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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. 

Senior at UC Santa Barbara. Avid fan of Taylor Swift. Dog mom.
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