Coffee is one of the most consumed beverage in the world. Almost every working individual need their daily dose of caffeine to function before starting work. I have recently started drinking coffee as a part of my morning routine. Whenever I ordered iced coffee before, I would start getting jitters and swore never to drink coffee again—until I find myself getting another cup of coffee and the jittery cycle repeats. It’s hard to resist when—the moment you walk into a coffee shop—you get a warm, cozy, welcoming blend of the coffee beans. Of course with the morning rush, it’s almost impossible to go to a coffee shop so I turn to the nearest convenience store (or Conbini in Japanese). Since black coffee is too strong for me, I have only tried cafe lattes from all three of the most popular convenience stores in Japan: Family Mart, 7-Eleven, and Lawson and here’s what I think:
My company is located in Honmachi so there are a lot of convenience stores in every corner, surprisingly Family Mart. To start off, let’s talk about its appearance. Family Mart’s cafe latte cup looks pretty classic with its deep red exterior and striking black lettering of their standard blend of coffee and latte. Topped with a fluffy froth, the cafe latte looks and tastes like cafe latte and is served at right temperature making it easy to hold. It is also less expensive than its two other rivals.
Next is the infamous 7-Eleven, known worldwide for its orange, green, and red stripes, that anyone could tell from a mile away. It comes in a white cup with a simple black logo and some supporting sentences. Nothing too fancy, just simplicity. As for the taste, it’s pretty straightforward, bold, and well-balanced. A perfect blend for a 180 cup, a tad bit more expensive than Family Mart.
Lastly, the underrated Lawson, who stepped up their game with their recent collaboration with Muji. Compared to the previously mentioned above, Lawson offers a variety of low carb diet-friendly selections. The cup comes in a black colored exterior with a white simple logo of Machi Cafe. The flavor is bold and leaves a lasting taste, however the cup gets too hot when held.
Overall the quality was better than expected for a convenience store coffee. I personally think 7-Eleven wins this one, for its consistent, bold, nutty flavor, and easy access. Unless you have the time and money to spend at an actual coffee shop, sophisticated flavors is beyond what a convenience store coffee machine can put together. Coffee is still coffee and it will satisfy your daily intake nonetheless.