Japan Does It Better 10: Apple Juice

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The first time I visited Japan, I was given a box of apple juice on the train. (It was an organized work trip…I did not accept apple juice from a stranger.) I was thirsty, so I accepted the juice even though apple is right down there with grape as my least favorite fruit juices. To my surprise, the apple juice was amazing. I mean, it was so good that I spent the rest of my trip seeking out boxes of it in every vending machine on the streets.
What makes it so good, you might be asking? It actually tastes like an apple, slightly tart and perfectly crisp. It is almost color-less and it is made with red and green apples (who would have thought?!) to give it that perfect balance of taste.
What I don’t understand is this:
I live in America, home to apple pies, apple crisp, apple turnovers, apple fritters, Johnny Appleseed, apple farms, apple picking…how can we be so wrong about apple juice?
I actually emailed Minute Maid to ask where I could find the red/green apple juice blend at home. They told me that their products are developed for the tastes of a particular country…I guess I’m in the minority in the US?
Crisp, refreshing apple juice…another reason Japan Does It Better!

16 thoughts on “Japan Does It Better 10: Apple Juice

  1. Mom says:

    Hope you enjoy a refreshing glass for your birthday.

  2. Connie says:

    Have a Happy Birthday.

  3. cath says:

    Happy birthday from us too.

  4. Shynell says:

    I lived in Japan for five years. Last week I was craving apple juice, from Japan. The search lead me to your blog…. man, I wish I had just one bottle. 🙂

  5. Melissa says:

    Yes!! I was just in Japan in January, and their apple juice was heavenly. If you figure out how to purchase it in the U.S., please let me know!!!

    • kimberly ah says:

      Hi Melissa!
      I will for sure keep you posted. I’ve written two emails to Minute Maid asking them to consider offering the blend here…no luck. But I still keep my eye out for it, or another similar option. 🙂

  6. homer says:

    I totally agree with you. The first time I had apple juice in Japan I was shocked! It wasn’t the amber color I was used to seeing here in the States but more like the juice when you bite into an apple.

    Another thing Japan does better is milk. Being lactose intolerant, I have to drink almond milk. In Japan however, I was able to drink whole milk without a single issue. I had cereal every morning and it was great!

    • kimberly ah says:

      Perfect description, “like the juice when you bite into an apple.” It’s exactly that!

      I didn’t drink any milk while I was in Japan but now I’m going to have to try it. I wonder if they process it differently since the Japanese don’t tolerate dairy well?

      Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  7. That’s awesome! You’d think Minute Maid used the same trade secrets no matter the country!

  8. PTuna says:

    100% agree! The moment I read this article, I got on Minute Maid’s website and asked them bring the Japanese stuff here. Japan’s juice is just so much better!

    • kimberly ah says:

      It IS! When I emailed them years ago, they said that they develop their products for the tastes of the country…which makes me think America will always want overly sweet juice. 😦

  9. pikangie says:

    Yeah I always noticed this. I was born in Okinawa and then moved to USA at 5, and so we’d visit back to Okinawa every few years… and one difference I always noticed was the apple juice. The juice in Japan is so much sweeter and I guess “lighter”? Like less bitter. I wonder if maybe they peel the apple before blending it? Because in American and Canadian Apple juice it has a more bitter taste that I wonder if they blended the skin with it or something.
    Either that or maybe they use a different types of apple or maybe more/less sugar?
    The apple juice I tasted in Japan tasted similar to those Japanese apple gummies they sell in some asian grocery stores.

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