The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Like any college student in need of a caffeine fix, I was a frequenter of Starbucks. On days where I felt a little frisky I might have hit up The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Some of my friends even considered me to be the go-to person for recommendations at most coffee-selling establishments. This was before I experienced an epiphany in the parking lot of a Japanese grocery store.
UCC Coffee is an extremely popular brand of canned coffee in Japan, or so I was told by the store clerk attempting to persuade me into making a purchase. As an exhausted freshman experiencing her first round of collegiate finals, the promise of caffeine was all it took to convince me. I decided to buy a few, since they were relatively cheap and I had no plans of leaving the cave that was my dorm for the next few days.
I can recall the moment of the first sip with rapture: smooth, cool, and just strong enough to please the coffee critic inside me. For all intents and purposes, UCC Original Blend is a latte (sorry to the vegans out there) but despite its basic ingredients list, it has that aforementioned strength in its last moments of savoring that really pull you in.
I finished the few I had bought rather quickly, and returned to the market despite the overwhelming need to study and cry simultaneously. This time, I decided to try out the Hawaiian Kona blend. This one was noticeably stronger in taste, with a fruitier undertone that I quickly began to adore. If forced to choose, I’d say the Kona flavor even tops the original. Still, both have quickly become a staple in my morning routine.
I’ve now ventured out into the many different brands of canned coffee. I enjoy the sweetness of Mr. Brown caramel lattes, as well as the richness of their canned cappuccino (even though it’s not actually a cappuccino). Boss Coffee has also inhabited my fridge shelves regularly, with its bright rainbow packaging acting as a mood booster on the earliest of mornings.
Rarely do I step foot in a Starbucks, and for that I have UCC to thank. Fellow students will often ask what I’m drinking, and are astounded by the idea of canned coffee. I’ve turned a few of my friends into fellow devotees and plan to continue doing so. It’s convenience and flavor is far too difficult to refuse.