I'm in Japan Now (hurrah) but can't order an atsui ko-hi-

yeah i dont know if the gaijin pass will get you through that one




The best choice (it’s really good with oat or almond milk subbed in btw)

I hate cow milk so I have already checked the menu for the katakana of ootsumiruku, and I am ready! I see a purple halloween frappachino monstrosity has joined the menu since yesterday so I will try that as well. Kind of ironic to go to Japan to get drinks from an American chain, but oh well. Very few starbucks in Aus because we all thought it sucked (and lets be honest, it kinds does).


LMAO What is this anime! Hilarious! :rofl:
Throws me back to my first times ordering coffee in a cafe. I didn’t get all the Italian names either and just kept ordering something different every time until I stuck to cappucino haha


I am not sure if this is what you meant but it is the context that is the reason why 熱い is heard as “iced”. The barrista is expecting one of two answers for how you want your coffee: ホット or アイス. So they hear 熱い as iced.


The anime is Nichijou

1 Like

Yeah, that sounds pretty likely to me, especially if the pronunciation of あつい is maybe not 100% (not even talking pitch accent, there’s no way someone’s going to think you’re asking for an 厚いコーヒー, but just the sound of the word itself) I can totally see being confused because what someone’s saying vaguely sounds like something you expect (アイス) but not quite. Context will take you far but only if the person on the other end knows what they’re hearing in the first place.

That said, if you’re serving someone coffee and you’re not 100% sure what they’re asking for… repeat what you think their order is back to them. If someone asks for あついコーヒー and you repeat back アイスコーヒー they’re gonna notice something’s up. But if they don’t do that, then you’re kinda stuck in confusion town.


It’s also worth keeping in mind that, as someone who speaks English, you can immediately recognize that ホット = 熱い, but it may not always be the same way in reverse. For instance, an employee at an American cafe may serve “caffè latte,” available in hot or iced. If an Italian customer came in and asked for “warm coffee milk,” they would probably get a confused barista & the wrong order. (Or worse, most American cafes will shorten the drink name to “latte,” and the poor Italian would just get a cup of milk)

Basically, +1 to @Kellamity’s advice to go by what’s written on the menu.


Other way around. An American customer ordering a latte from an Italian cafe would get a cup of milk. The Italian at the American cafe would get what the American cafe considers to be a latte, which is a caffe latte.


Nichijou! It is a panel anime, it’s so much fun. Lots of ridiculous things happening haha.

I heard it’s actually sweet potato, so I’m going to try it while it’s here! I got the sweet potato frappacino that was on special past month and it was excellent.

Also, I’ve noticed that customer service workers have very low tolerance for small variations in order, particularly at Starbucks, and I guess several other people have explained why. I once accidentally ordered a chai latte instead of a chai tea latte and they didn’t understand what I meant.

I’ve also noticed though, that because politeness in customer service is so important here, people often can’t or won’t deviate from their scripts either, even if it’s clear I haven’t understood their keigo. Simple language is not. allowed. in their minds, respect>everything. I see where they’re coming from, but sometimes it makes things really hard to understand.


The parupuru haroeenu frappachino? It tasted just like sugar to me, but purple. Wouldn’t buy again!

1 Like

Last time I went over I didn’t have the nerve to try to ask for much in Japanese, but now that things are open I’m planning to make the trip again and your story gives me inspiration to try asking for something like this! Luckily the people in this thread have given some useful tips. :slight_smile:

How has it been over there in general? Has it been a nice time, are people friendly? I’ve been wondering if people are antsy about the borders being opened again or if they’re happy to have travelers back. Anything you’d care to share about that? Thanks!

1 Like

This is also true for drink sizes. I don’t think I’ve seen 大きい or 小さい refer to drink sizes.


Everyone’s been absolutely lovely to me, and I’m on day 14 of trip so I’ve had lots of chances for people to be awful, and it’s never happened. It’s a dream vacation.


Post photos. Tell us about your trip outside of Starbucks. :slightly_smiling_face:

Though, did you visit the Starbucks in Toyama? It’s supposed to be one of the world’s most beautiful. :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

That’s awesome! I’ll continue planning my trip with renewed confidence haha.

I’m with Belthazar, I’d love to see photos or hear anecdotes of the trip from someone there now so I can steal ideas for my trip as well. :smiling_imp:

Glad you’re having a wonderful trip, thanks for sharing.

Apart from ホットコーヒー, I also get the impression that ブレンドコーヒー (blend coffee) has become more commonly used recently. Even at Mr. Donut, which isn’t exactly haute cuisine by any standard, you choose between ブレンドコーヒー (burendo kōhī) and アイスコーヒー (aisu kōhī), and I seem to recall that they made the same distinction on one of my flights.

Technically, the term “blend coffee” could be used to distinguish them from single-origin coffees, but since pretty much every coffee that you get ordinary restaurants and cafés are blends, I assume it’s mostly for marketing purposes.

This reminds me of when I tried ordering a macchiato in Italy for the first time. In Swedish and English, I usually just ask for a “(double) macchiato”, but the menu there had the terms “caffè* macchiato” and “latte macchiato”. I reasoned that “Well, I know the word macchiato has something to with spots, and I want just a spot of milk, so I guess I’ll order a latte macchiato.”

Turns out I was ordering the exact opposite of what I actually wanted.

* Or perhaps its was “espresso macchiato”; I can’t quite recall.