Meet Mitsubishi Electric’s TO-ST1-T, the $270 Japanese Toaster that Toasts One Slice at a Time

I’ve always been intrigued by specialized instruments and devices. Some items that first come to mind are Post Hole Diggers, SoloWheels, Garlic Choppers or even the Ninm It’s OK Bluetooth Cassette Player.

This one is no different. It serves a very unique purpose. Toasting a single slice of bread to a niche specification preferred by Japanese markets. I’m talking about the Mitsubishi Electric TO-ST1-T.

Akio Kon/Bloomberg

Reed Stevenson for Bloomberg:

There’s nothing more enchanting than the perfect slice of toast, says Kaori Kajita, founder of the Japan Butter Toast Association, which sounds half-baked but actually exists. “You can’t help but be elated.”

It helps that bread in Japan is tailored for toast. Called shoku pan, Japanese-style square bread has been around for years (think of a high-quality version of Wonder Bread). The toaster boom has its origins in the desire to have soft, chewy bread that tastes and feels like it came out of a baker’s oven, Kajita says.

I can relate. Nothing is better than fresh bread from the baker (well okay, Mr.s Baird’s Bread beats em all but I digress).

Japan is full of specialties, traditions, and politeness the rest of the world often doesn’t understand. This toaster slots into that cultural framework easily. Let’s face it, toasters (and now, more than even smart ovens) are temperamental and frequently too complicated. I’m not in love with the price tag, but personally, I find the TO-ST1 a refreshingly simple device I can get behind.

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