Japan’s No.1 Coffee Brand Ueshima Coffee Company Launches Nationwide in Sainsbury’s

Fashion, tech, karaoke and rather odd vending machines, Japan gives us so much, but coffee?

Actually Japan has been at the forefront of coffee innovations like pour-over, siphons, and flannel dripped coffee – long before they were popular in the Western world.

Ueshima Coffee Company, Japan’s No.1 Coffee Brand1, is now bringing Japanese coffee culture to UK homes as they launch nationwide in Sainsbury’s with two distinctive blends –  House Blend and Fuji Mountain, all characteristically smooth, bold in flavour, and low in acidity – reminiscent of the coffee enjoyed in coffee houses and homes across Japan.

Established in Kobe in 1933, Ueshima Coffee Company is on a mission to establish Japanese coffee culture across Europe, encouraging people to slow down and enjoy the distinct flavours and the drinking experience.

The Sainsbury’s range includes beans, roast and ground coffee, Nespresso® compatible2 aluminium capsules in two of the blends – House Blend and Fuji Mountain. Created by its Japanese coffee masters (Q Graders) using its original recipes and modern roasting profiles, the whole range is 100% Rainforest Alliance certified, with 100% recyclable packaging through local waste streams3 or via its partnership with TerraCycle®4.

I like to grind my own beans as I get the kind of grind I prefer and the beans stay fresher longer than pre-ground. Ueshima sent us pre-ground though, which actually turned out to be a good thing as our grinder decided to suddenly pack up after years of sterling service and unbearable noise.

The packs all have ziplock reseals to keep in the freshness though, and storing them in the fridge also helps longevity. All of the coffees are 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified ensuring that the coffee is produced using methods that support the three pillars of sustainability: social, economic and environmental. Independent, third-party auditors – critical to the integrity of the certification – evaluate coffee farmers against requirements in all three areas before awarding certification.

We tried the House Blend first, it’s a secret blend, inscrutable even, and we found it nicely rich but not too demanding for a morning coffee. Quite chocolatey, sweetish and a little went a long way so quite economical too. Rated 4 for strength by Ueshima, it has a low acidity, which is good if you like your coffee black. A good ‘general purpose’ coffee with a very good aroma. And for once the coffee actually tasted as good as it smelled.

Second into the cafetiere was Fuji Mountain. This showed 5 for strength on the pack and was certainly a powerful coffee, with plenty of flavour but no bitterness.

Very dark indeed, it had notes of brown sugar and a touch of cocoa on the aftertaste. Suprisingly smooth for all its heft, it was a definitely our favourite for after dinner, but not too close to bedtime unless you want to be ‘doing the luge’ until the small hours.

Most supermarkets now have a wall of coffee, which often makes choosing one a trial. Ueshima’s cheerful packs, very Japanese, make them stand out and this is stand out coffee;

You purchase the range of Ueshima coffees, across Sainsbury’s, Waitrose & Partners, Ocado, Amazon, Harvey Nichols or directly at www.ueshimacoffeecompany.com. All deliveries come in recyclable cardbard.