Top 10 Best Japanese Drinks
Japanese culture, one of the most authentic in the world, has so much to offer for a keen enthusiast. Advanced technologies, magnificent nature, anime and manga, extremely polite locals and delicious food 一 make your head spin with the variety of tastes. The list has no visible end so far.
However, when it comes to Japanese cuisine, food goes hand in hand with drinks. The number of them is quite dazzling. Their variety goes way beyond sake and shochu, with each beverage being worthy of every bit of attention.
And how dare we ignore such a special topic? So, get ready! Today you are going to learn about the top 10 best Japanese drinks.
Calpis is one of the Japanese beverages most beloved among children. However, it would be hard for anyone to resist, given the creamy texture and mild taste of this drink.
It has a long history, though. Calpis is the first Japanese drink made of lactic acid and has been a bestseller since 1919.
Originally a soft drink, it has lots of variations now. You can find Calpis soda, water and even ice cream on supermarket shelves. All these options add a special colouring to the traditional yoghurt-like texture and slightly acidic taste.
If you'd like to grab a somewhat stronger Japanese drink then chuhai is the right choice. Being quite popular among Japanese young people, chuhai consists of sochu and sweet soda.
That being said, this beverage has lots of flavourings such as lemon, plum, or apple. Sometimes, tea can also be a component of chuhai making it taste milder.
The alcohol flavour is not too strong, giving a way to the soda component. What’s interesting about this drink is that you can find it practically everywhere 一 canned in supermarkets or vending machines, or freshly made in local bars.
3. Barley Tea
As you know, tea has great significance for the Japanese people. There are many different types, but barley tea has a special place on this list. Made of roasted barley, this beverage has a very well-balanced and slightly bitter flavour. Thus, you can even drink it instead of water.
This tea tastes great all year round: warm in winter and cold in summer. You can find this particular Japanese drink in almost every household, as well as in supermarkets, bars, and cafes.
Besides, barley tea is free of caffeine. So, drinking is not only a pleasure but a healthy thing to do.
We are pretty sure that you have a notion about matcha or perhaps even had a chance to try it. This one of the Japanese drinks has been popular in Japan long before it became mainstream in the Western world.
Interestingly, matcha is represented in the form of green powder that undergoes a specific preparation to turn into a drink.
But people consume matcha in other forms too. This green powder is an ingredient in cookies, ice cream, cakes, and so much more.
The flavour of matcha is robust and slightly bitter. Thus, not everyone likes it immediately. But we suggest you try it yourself and see what all the fuss is about.
5. Canned Coffee
A cup of coffee before a busy day is a must for many. Just the aroma itself sharpens your senses and helps to wake up.
Sipping coffee in the comfort of one’s kitchen is a pleasure, no need to deny it. But sometimes, when you have almost every minute planned, grab-and-go coffee will do just fine. And Japanese canned coffee is exactly it.
When in Japan, canned coffee is always within reach. Vending machines have a wide range of options to offer. Doppio, mocha, kapuchino…
You will find everything and even more. So, you can have a sip of coffee on your way to work or uni, or drop a can into your bag to enjoy it later.
If we talk about the iconic beverages people drink in Japanese cafes and households, we cannot but mention ramune. The first thing that catches the eye is the packaging.
The bottle has a very unusual shape and an opening mechanism might be somewhat challenging
Nevertheless, ramune is exactly what you need during a boiling summer day. Being all fizzy and refreshing with loads of fruity flavourings and aromas, this Japanese beverage is well-liked by all the audiences.
Ramune is also regarded as a festival drink which tastes like “true Japan". So, don’t miss the opportunity to give it a shot.
When you hear the word “beer” the first country that comes to your mind is probably Germany. But we are here to surprise you because Japanese people enjoy beer too. This might be their first drink of the night before moving to something stronger.
The beer taste largely depends on the brewery since each tends to leave some personal flavouring touch. There are many such breweries in Japan, but Asahi, Sapporo, and Kirin are among the most common.
Thus, beer has a dry taste, contrary to the mild sweetness of Sapporo beer and the malt flavour of Kirin. You are free to choose anything to your liking.
8. Juice Drinks
All roads lead to … a vending machine. This is quite true for this case since the next drink from our list of the best Japanese drinks is available within the vending machine’s assortment too.
If you’re not up for a strong drink and something fizzy doesn’t do it for you, have a look at the Japanese juice drinks.
The number of flavourings is truly impressive, ranging from some well-known fruits, like white peach, to those of more exotic nature. You can enjoy juice drinks individually due to their smooth taste, or also as an ingredient for cocktails and other drinks. Both children and adults love them a lot, and let’s be honest: how could they not?
9. Lemon Soda
Lemon-flavoured soda is what people drink in Japan with great pleasure. A perfect refreshing option for a hot day, this lemon soda has a rich and natural flavour at the same time. Moreover, it contains the amount of Vitamin C that equals 50 lemons. Can you even imagine?
Thus, it is no wonder that since it first appeared appearance in supermarkets in 1984, C.C. lemon soda has been warmly welcomed by locals and people from other countries.
It is thanks to the media coverage, anime and popular culture that the world learned about this particular beverage. And you should also give it a try if you’re looking for a tasty and healthy drink.
10. Energy drinks
While energy drinks aren’t the healthiest options to go for, a situation sometimes calls for a quick boost of energy. With that thing in mind, you can easily find different energy drinks in the Japanese market. Just like Monster Energy Japan, for instance.
You can recognise this beverage after casting a glance at the packaging, which is truly iconic. However, it couldn’t just be this way, without any Japanese authentic aspects added. There are so many flavourings it's hard to settle your mind upon something very precise
But be careful with the energy drinks, since the aftermath effect doesn’t last forever. If you don’t feel up to mark, just have some rest and allow yourself to recover. This will be a much healthier thing to do.
And that’s it. Hopefully, this top helps you to learn more about the drinks from Japan and inspires you to try new things.
There is so much space for experiments with the listed beverages in Japan and lots of other options. Don’t waste a chance and let yourself fall in love with Japanese culture all over again.