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Coffee in a Can is Underrated

May 22, 2009

Over at BoingBoing Gadgets, Lisa Katayama laments the absence of canned coffee in US vending machines. I totally agree: There’s something to be said for getting a pick-me-up while waiting for a train or bus (and for only around US $1.20). Almost any of the Japanese brands are much tastier than the awful Starbucks Doubleshot which, at least here in the South, is our only option. Also, you have a choice of hot or cold – though ‘hot’ is usually only available in the cooler seasons.

This is no big news, but I was surprised to learn that the Japanese hot/cold vending machine has been around since 1973!

In the Line of Fire - Kirins Brand (as seen in my office).

In the Line of Fire - Kirin's Brand (as seen in my office).

Canned coffee is said to have originated in Japan in the late 1950s, but it really took off around 1973, when beverage company Pocca invented the Hot/Cold vending machine. After that, everyone from Coca Cola to beer manufacturers like Asahi and Suntory came out with their own versions of coffee in a can.

Photo by STBECK, Near Hamamatsucho station...

Photo by STBECK, Near Hamamatsucho Station, Tokyo...

It sure beats the hell out of this monstrosity I saw at the mall last week.

Your Coke stock at work...What overhead? 50" touch screens are cheap, right?

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