UCC Coffee Museum and UCC Coffee Road

by Luc Gougeon

UCC or Ueshima Coffee Company is a household name for any coffee drinkers in Japan. The brand is omnipresent and I was super happy to visit their coffee museum which is located in Kobe.   It’s also where I drank one of the rarest coffee in the world, just keep reading.

The museum is located right next to the UCC headquarter on Port Island.

When you walk in, you can see a beautiful copy of  All About Coffee by William Ukers and it sets the tone for the rest of the visit, UCC Coffee Museum is all about coffee!

The first coffee can in the world!

It’s obvious that UCC put a lot of care into creating this museum and it’s traces the history of coffee from the tree to the cup.  You can see the original tea ceremony from Ethiopia.

A single coffee tree is brilliantly showcased

It reminds all the coffee drinkers that everything starts with a single tree.

The museum is separated in different sections and while most of the descriptions are in Japanese, there is just enough English for a foreign visitor to trully enjoy his visit.

These were real coffee cherries!

The UCC Coffee Museum has a small Jamaican consulate since the owner was named honorary consul of Jamaica.

The founder of UCC Coffee

Different UCC products which are widely available pretty much anywhere in Japan.

Some of the first UCC coffee products

Coffee bags

You can try lifting a 60 kg bag of coffee.

Coffee sorting table.

Batch roasters

Cupping

The roasting section has a great skeleton roaster which lets you see what happens inside a roaster.

Old roasting devices

The extraction section was really fun and they had video showing how most of the coffee machine works.

Early espresso machines

Wow!

The coffee cup collection

They have cup from all over the world.

At the end of the visit we had a chance to taste some UCC coffee.

They offer the same coffee made with two different grinds.

The perfect way to end the visit.

Oh wait, it’s not over!   The UCC Coffee Museum has it’s own coffee shop, the UCC Coffee Road which is located right next to the museum entrance which means you don’t need to pay the 300 yen museum fee to enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the best equiped coffee shop I have ever seen.

It’s not a big coffee shop, but they have some good stuff!

As soon as I walked in I noticed the Bourbon Pointu which is one of the rarest coffee in the world.

UCC is responsible for saving this unique coffee produced on l’Île de la Réunion.  OK, it’s also the most expensive coffee I have ever ordered.

When you order, you can choose if you want your coffee made with a siphon, paper drip or french press.  I opted for the paper drip.

The dripping station is very nice.

The siphon station is just as nice.

They have a special edition La Marzocco espresso machine and the lady making my coffee won a medal at the World Barista Competition.

This is what a 2500 yen cup of coffee looks like.

It was a very delicate flavour with a great bouquet.  Both me and my wife agreed that it was unique and well worth the price.

My wife ordered the Mandheling which was pretty good.

There is no doubt in my mind that I will visit the coffee road again.  I also came back with the coolest souvenir, a real coffee tree.

The UCC Coffee Museum is located on Port Island right next to the IKEA store and you can easily access it by the Port Liner train.  The museum is located across the street from the Minami Koen station.  The entrance fee is 300 yen.

http://www.ucc.co.jp/museum/english/

6-6-2 Minatojima Nakamachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0046

 


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