Whether you’re in Japan for a short period or for the long haul, Kaldi Coffee Farm offers a taste of home to many travelers. Not only can foreigners in Japan find many of the foods they love from their home country, as an import store, Kaldi offers a wide variety of foods, drinks, and coffee from all over the world. It’s a great international stop and shop.
Kaldi is easily recognizable by their yellow-and-blue logo, not to mention the customers lining up outside for their free sample of coffee being handed out by the clerks (hot in winter, iced in summer). The chain is a regular sight at shopping centers around Japan, so it is perhaps surprising to learn of its humble origins when it was founded back in 1986 along a small shopping street in Tokyo's Shimotakaido area.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you should definitely visit Kaldi Coffee Farm. You can find wonderful fruit jams (that aren’t the average strawberry or blueberry found in grocery stores), Nutella, and some excellent European chocolates and snacks.
Need something a little heartier? Well, Kaldi has canned food like Hormel pork-and-beans chili and jars of ready-made salsa or just-add-water hummus. You can find foods from Germany, Mexico, Vietnam, Thailand, and many other countries. And be sure to pick up some imported wine or beer to go with your meal ingredients.
Kaldi even has some of the rarer items of Japan, like cheese. Japanese grocery stores sometimes carry cream cheese and camembert but you’ll seldom find sharp cheddar or anything else in the category of good cheese. While Kaldi may not stock the widest selection, they do carry some very tasty cheeses and sausages.
For those who celebrate Christmas, you can find advent calendars and German stöllen here. And for Thanksgiving, you can even find gravy fixings and instant stuffing. They’re great for holidays or if you’re suffering from a bout of homesickness. Best of all, they tend to be much cheaper than many import food shops.
Mostly though, Kaldi is all about their coffee. You can buy fresh ground of whole beans here, including fair-trade coffee. They also offer seasonal blends of coffee—these tend to sell out very quickly, so snatch them up fast!
You can find Kaldi at some stations and in many shopping centers. If you’re in a major city, you’ll have no problem finding one of their storefronts, open from 10 am to 9 pm. The one drawback might be the narrow aisles, so be sure to practice those “sumimasen”s (excuse me).