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3.26.2005

Brief history of Coffee in Japan

1609 - Coffee was brought into Japan by the Dutch when a trade company was established
1804 - the first written account of a Japanese drinking coffee
1826 - popular myth that coffee is a medicine for longevity
1858 - free trade began, official import of coffee began
1869 - first printed advertisement of coffee in Yokohama
1878 - first attempt to cultivate plants that yield coffee beans
1888 - first class European cafe "可否茶館 (Kahi Chakan)" opened in Tokyo (closed in 4 years)
1910 - first "不二家洋菓子店 (Fujiya Western Sweets Shop)" opened in Yokohama
1930 - 7000 cafes in Tokyo; 17,000 waitresses hired
1934 - import of Columbia coffee beans; operating cafes across the nation were close to 30,000 stores
1936 - first import of Blue Mountain coffee beans via import route from London, UK
1938 - import of all goods became restricted due to WWII, coffee import halved
1942 - coffee import zeroed
1945 - coffee became a luxurious consumer product due to low availability within Japan
1950 - coffee import resumed after 8 years of interruption; import were heavily taxed
1953 - first import of Blue Mountain coffee in post-war Japan; cost was very high due to unusual climate in Brazil
1956 - first import of instant coffee; first Japan-made espresso machine
1960 - free trade of coffee beans; first production of instant coffee in Japan
1961 - free trade of instant coffee
1963 - establishment of a coffee association in Japan
1967 - first instant coffee produced by the freeze dry method
1971 - consumption of instant coffee reached 12,000 tons in Japan
1974 - distinction between coffee produced in Japan and those of export
1980 - the coffee association became a corporation
1983 - October 1 is established as the nation's "Coffee Day"

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