This type of coffee was invented by the Japanese back in 1969 and was first developed by a company called UCC Ueshima Coffee Co. The more significant impact in the world of canned coffee was made in 1973 when the Pokka Coffee was introduced and until 1983 this coffee maker shipped more than 100 million cases.
Myth or not, the story of how this type of coffee was born is very interesting. The story is that the founder of UCC Ueshima Tadao was drinking his coffee flavored milk while waiting for his train. Back in these times, you had to return the bottle after you finish your drink. So what happened? The train that Mr. Ueshima was waiting began its journey from the station a bit earlier than expected, so in order not to be late for his appointment. Ueshima ran to the store and returned the bottle of the unfinished milk. He managed to get into the train in the last second but this situation made him wonder if it was possible to make a type of coffee that people could drink anywhere. His invention lives up to this day.
Why the Japanese? Because they stand for the busy and working people, and they needed a type of coffee to drink while standing on the platform waiting for the transport or driving to the work, like mister Ueshima Tadao.
Today you can buy canned coffee in any supermarket or vending machine (which even offers heated cans) without the need of sitting down. For some traditional coffee lovers it takes away the excitement but for others, it saves valuable time which is considered as gold in the time we are living in.
There are a lot of types of canned coffee. From milk coffee to black coffee, caffe latte, hazelnut taste coffee, iced coffee etc.
The first UCC can that was produced had a capacity of 250 ml but also the coffee appeared in the 190 ml designed cans.
Very popular hobby in Japan is can collecting and some coffee cans may have a monetary value, of course, if they are rare enough.
So, yeah, when you refresh yourself with a can of coffee which you picked up at a supermarket or a gas station you must thank Mr. Ueshima Tadao and his innovation which took the evolution of the coffee drinking to a whole new level suitable for the modern world.