There are plenty of coffee shops in Japan: Starbucks, Doctor, Excelsior just to name a few chain stores, and of course, you will also be able to find plenty of local cafes to enjoy a cup of coffee with something sweet. But sometimes you will be in a hurry, and there are also times when you just can not seem to find a nice cafe nearby to get your daily intake of caffeine and a snack to satisfy your sweet tooth. On such days and others too, the best choice would be to stop by at a 7-Eleven convenience store and get a ‘Seven Café’ and one or two of their ’Seven Café’ donuts! They recently started with in-store bakery corners, which can be found nearby the register. Stop by at your nearest 7-Eleven and give it a try.
There are almost 20.000 stores in Japan, and the best part is that you do not need to worry about store hours since they are open 24 hours a day.
Their coffee choices are simple: there is hot coffee, iced coffee or iced cafe latte. With decent prices, 100¥ for the regular size, 150-180¥ for the large size (hot or iced coffee) and 180¥ for regular iced cafe latte, Japanese 7-Eleven’s choices are also for the budget-conscious.
It’s hard to believe, but there are nineteen different donut choices available though not every prefecture has all flavors available. Unfortunately, there is no matcha flavor yet, but you will surely find your favorite donut! Prices vary between 100¥ and 120¥ a piece.
Recently, there has been a spike in interest in different kinds of milk in Japan. A very popular example is ‘Tokyo milk’, which gained popularity due to the fact that its farm is situated in Tokyo, which means it can be brought to the capital in a short time guaranteeing its freshness. The donuts that are based on famous farm milk are several kinds of whipped cream containing donuts, and the so-called milk donuts of which the dough is made using milk.
There are various flavors that are typically Japanese. Kink powder, for example, is an excellent substitution for those who have a peanut allergy but still love a rather nutty taste. Brown sugar is famous in Okinawa, and mochi mochi is an onomatopoeia for a very soft texture. Same goes for ‘fuwa’, which is sometimes repeated “fuwa fuwa” to emphasize its softness. Good examples of donuts that are available only in Japan are the Fuwamochi Ring donut, Kinako Soy Milk donut and Mochi Mochi Strawberry Ring donut.
There are other flavors that are popular and deserve a mention (and a try!) The combination of salt and caramel in the aptly named Salt and Caramel donut is another recent hype in Japan and definitely recommended! Also don’t skip on the Lemon donut, a surprisingly well balanced donut with a sweet and sour taste.
Next time you feel peckish, why not visit the first 7-Eleven you happen to pass to have a delicious coffee and donut moment?