UCC, one of Japan’s leading manufacturers in coffee and tea products, is from Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, and was actually the first to introduce the world’s first canned coffee in 1969.
With the mission to have more and more people appreciate the magic of coffee, the UCC Coffee Museum opened its doors on October 1, 1987 in Kobe. To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the UCC Group, the museum was renovated and reopened once again on October 1, 2013. If you’re wondering why the company selected October 1st for the opening and the reopening of the museum, the answer is that this date is considered to be “Coffee Day” in Kobe!
The museum is structured in a spiral so that starting from the very top you gently move down to the rest of the rooms while discovering the history and culture of coffee. Get ready to know everything about your favorite beverage starting with its origin, how it’s cultivated, and the importance of classification. While focusing on Brazilian coffee, visitors learn that a strict inspection of the coffee’s aroma and taste is something that the green coffee beans go through before reaching consumers around the world. As you move on, you’ll be able to discover the process of roasting and blending of green beans, as well as that of extraction. Last but not least, in a beautifully designed space, you’ll get to discover coffee’s culture as it has been illustrated on stamps and in novels. Get ready to be amazed by the museum’s large collection of coffee cups while listening to melodic jazz tunes.
The UCC Coffee Museum embraces digital technology by offering an audio guide that you can use for free on your smartphone when connecting to the museum’s Wi-Fi. Moreover, in each exhibition room there are touch screens that invite visitors to interact and participate in knowledge games that will help them discover the different aspects of coffee. When you’re done exploring the museum, ask yourself how well you know the museum’s exhibits. Try the fun quiz at the Q&A Corner and find out! And finally, you will have a chance to get a “Coffee Doctor Certificate” with your photo included.
I’ve saved the best part for the end. The museum also has a Tasting Corner. Compare the aroma and taste of different types of coffee; a true paradise for all coffee lovers! If the tasting portion is too little for you, then you should definitely visit the UCC Coffee Road Café where you can enjoy various kinds of coffee.
The museum is closed on Mondays. Hours are 10.00-17.00 and there’s an admission fee of ¥300 for adults (high-school students and above). Middle high school students and under can enter for free. To access the museum, you can take the Port Liner bound for Kitafuto from the Sannomiya Station and get off at Minamikoen Station. The museum in only 5 minutes away.
If you like coffee then you should definitely visit the museum! It’s beautifully organized, with interesting exhibits and there’s some basic information available in English.