Showing posts with label Beverages. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beverages. Show all posts

Friday, February 11, 2011

Asahi Mitsuya Cider Lemon Burst Zero 三ツ矢サイダー レモンはじける・カロリーゼロ


I'm not usually a fan of diet sodas, mainly because I don't like the taste of artificial sweeteners. But that all changed once I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and majorly limited what beverages I can drink. These days it's a choice of water, milk, diet soda, or juice which is severely watered down.

So when browsing in Nippon Food Supplies I came across this bottle of Mitsuya Cider Zero. The label states that it has zero calories, but it has 175.5kj and 11 grams of carbohydrate. It seems moderately ok, even for me having to watch my carbs, it's still under one serve. Surprisingly this drink has the same amount of calories and carbohydrates as the original Mitsuya Cider which doesn't claim to be low in calories. Strange?

Lemon Burst (known as Lemon Hajikeru on the label) is quite fizzy when first poured out into a glass. It smells quite lemony too, but more like a dish washing liquid than a soda! The first sip is really tart, the lemon is just so strong and overpowering and kind of burns the back of my throat. I can really taste the artificial sweetener in here, but maybe that's because I'm not used to it, however I just can't get over that taste and it's somewhat chemical.

I found this to be really harsh on the tastebuds. It's quite fizzy and the lemon is just so strong and sour, even though it's only 1% juice. I can't say that I would buy this again, even though it's meant to be reduced calories. I think I'd rather stick with juice and water! I seriously wouldn't recommend it unless you love sour, fizzy, burn-your-throat-out beverages. I don't think it's worth it.

Brand: Asahi
Calories per bottle: 175.5

Friday, April 16, 2010

Itoen Teas’ Tea New York Style Herb Darjeeling 伊藤園ティーズティー ニューヨーク ハーブダージーリン


I was looking for a refreshing drink and this bottle caught my eye. It looks modern and well designed.

It was also on special for $2.99 so that persuaded me to give it a try.

I only noticed after purchasing it that it is made by Itoen, a company who's drinks I rarely like. They are well-known for their healthy drinks, mainly with fruit and vegetables.

At the top of the bottle near the brands logo it has "New York Style" written. I'm not sure what that actually means, the bottle or the contents.

The flavour of the tea is Herb Darjeeling. I'm not a fan of herbs but since herbs and tea resemble the same kind of leafy greens I thought they would probably go well together. The bottle also mentions that Lemongrass is an ingredient, it is unsweetened and there are no calories.

A look on the back of the bottle also confirms this.

The first smell when I opened the lid was very medicinal. I could really smell herbs. However when I took a sip, I couldn't really taste any herbs, but more a flavour of straight black tea.

I'm not a tea conoisseur, I'm really only familiar with a few styles, and I've never had Darjeeling before, but it doesn't taste like it has a definite flavour more than other tea.

There is definitely no sugar in here, there is no sweetness at all. The tea reminds me very much of Straight Tea by Kirin, the same kind of tea flavour persists. There is a bitter component when swallowing the tea and I attributed this to the herbs until I looked on the back of the bottle and found the only herb ingredient is lemongrass. The only other ingredient is "black tea" but it doesn't say it's Darjeeling in particular, so I am not sure if they are just calling it Darjeeling or it actually is.

I'm very familiar with the taste of lemongrass and there is absolutely no taste of that in this tea, so I'm pretty sure they used a minute amount if only so they could put it on the label.


I'm not sure if New Yorkers drink tea this way - I searched the internet and couldn't find any evidence of a particular recipe or way that they drink it, so I will leave that up to my readers to inform me, if they know.

So in all, it's like drinking straight black tea with a bitterness, and no sweetness. It turned out to be pretty bland. It doesn't refresh me, but it doesn't make me thirsty either. It's just very plain.

It=t was a disappointment to be sure. There was no noticeable lemongrass flavour as per the bottle, and the bottle and it's "herb" statement was a little bit misleading anyway. I do like the bottle - it's pretty funky, but that's the only part of this drink that is.

I guess I'll just mark this down as yet another Itoen drink I don't like.

Brand: Itoen
Calories per bottle: 0

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Itoen Lactic Acid Yoghurt Taste かち割り乳酸菌ヨーグルトテイスト


Today was a hot, humid day. We had walked around the city for 2 hours and when I spied this in the refrigerator of a Japanese supermarket it looked like heaven.

It cost me $3.50 - I know you're thinking it's daylight robbery. But honestly, a bottle of Kirin Gogo tea here is $4.99, so it's not that bad. :)

This is a lactic acid drink, otherwise known as milk acid and is formed from the lactobacillus bacteria amongst others and is commonly found in yoghurt. This particular drink's claim to fame is that it can be frozen, defrosted and then drunk, unlike Calpis and other yoghurty drinks.

This smells similar to Calpis but it has more of a citrus element. It also has more of a milky colour than Calpis, it looks like someone has poured milk and water in the bottle as there is the blue/gray colour apparent when milk and water is combined.

I found this to be quite refreshing. The yoghurt taste is pleasant and the citrus flavour is refreshing enough so that it didn't leave me thirsty. The bottle is cute and an unusual shape. I'm keeping it for my water bottle :)

This was an April 2009 release by Itoen and it's best before is June 2010. This surprisingly had soybean dietary fibre in it. It didn't effect the taste any. I guess Itoen had to make it healthy somehow, not just with yoghurt.

I would definitely buy this again, even at $3.50.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Calpis Sour Chuhai カルピス・サワー チュウハイ

Browsing Yamanaka Frante I found a whole aisle full of Chuhai. Chuhai is an alcoholic drink, usually made from vodka and juice or soda, the traditional type is made with shochu mixed with lemon, from which it gets the name chuhai - a mixture of shochu and highball.

A whole variety of flavours were packed into the shelves - peach, grapefruit, lemon, plum, pineapple, orange, grape, mango, apple, and the list goes on.

I chose one that interestingly had a soft drink mixed with it - Calpis - a kind of yoghurt flavoured uncarbonated drink. Because this Calpis has 5% Vodka mixed in, it is called Calpis Sour.

The can itself contains 350ml. On a further inspection of the ingredients I found that there is also filtered water, hence the image of the ice on the bottom of the can, I guess it is meant to be a similar feeling to "on the rocks".

When I opened the can I couldn't actually smell any alcohol, only the faintly sweet lemon-y smell of regular Calpis. The first taste is quite like regular calpis, smooth, sweet, lemony, with hints of yoghurt, but right at the end the strength of the alcohol kicks in, and I don't think it is sour, but it is quite strong and rather unpleasant.

The flavour emerges on the top of my mouth and the middle of my tongue, the real strength of the vodka and the lemon notes of the Calpis. I feel my cheeks going warm, and extending down my throat. This is strong for me, but I am not sure why. I usually drink mixed drinks, as in Vodka and juice, usually around 5%, so I can't really fathom why this rubs me the wrong way.

Maybe Japanese Vodka has a different taste to what I am used to. I definitely wouldn't buy this again, mostly because of the strong taste of alcohol at the end. It is not a drink that is mixed well, rather it is soft drink at the beginning and alcohol at the end. I also don't get any notion of the 'sour' mentioned in the name of the drink.

This wasn't even good as a novelty drink, though I am sure some people out there enjoy it. Sadly I am not one of them.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Natchan なっちゃん

I picked up this bottle of Natchan! at the same time as the Vitamin Water in my previous post.

It too, was only ¥98. The front of the bottle claims that there is Vitamin C and 20% juice. This is the original orange flavour and is a childhood favourite of Yasu's. I kind of feel guilty having it while he is not here!

The side of the bottle states that Florida Oranges were used for the juice contained in Natchan!
There are 39 kilocalories, and 16~60mg of Vitamin C.

I love the bottle for it's cuteness. The smell when I open the lid is kind of a very weak orange scent, but when I take a sip I get the taste of freshly squeezed oranges, some sweetness and kind of tart. The aftertaste is a slight watered down flavour, the majority of the taste of orange is when it is in my mouth. It is not overly sweet either, like some juice can be. I'm not so much a fan of the aftertaste, I've never liked watered down orange juice. I do like the taste of the drink though. It reminds me of sunday morning, drinking freshly squeezed juice with eggs on toast.

This is a great children's drink, and great to revisit as I haven't had it for over 5 years. I am not sure if the taste may have changed since then, but I like it the same as I did then.

If anything, if you don't like the taste, I am sure you will like the bottle, I give it 10 points for cuteness!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Suntory Vitamin Water ビタミンウオーター

I picked this up at Apita this evening for ¥98. It was on special, I am not sure how much it usually costs. I am currently in Japan for 2 months so I have lots of different snacks and beverages to hand, and I intend to make the most of it for my blog while I am here.

I was looking for Volvic actually, but because there wasn't any, I chose this vitamin water because I thought it would be similar to a flavoured water. I wasn't wrong.

On the website, it boasts that there is Vitamin C, B Complex, and Royal Jelly contained in this bottle of water. There is also Lemon juice (the second ingredient on the ingredient list) and it is a major player as far as taste goes.

At first taste it is like a lemon cheesecake taste, strong at first, but then subsides to more of a lemon juice flavour and then becomes weaker, like watered down juice. I like the flavour, and unlike other flavoured water, it doesn't make me feel thirsty.

I drank this at room temperature and it was very refreshing. I don't feel any different, even for all those vitamins it contains, but I really enjoyed the flavour and the taste. I guess if you drink this every day you may show some improvement, I am not really sure.

As a refreshing drink in the middle of a humid, sticky summer, this goes down a treat, and I will definitely be buying it again.

The bottle states this has 20 kilocalories, 200mg of Vitamin C, and 0.3mg of Vitamin b6.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

UCC Coffee With Milk


This coffee by UCC has been around for years, but I've never actually bought it until now. As I'm currently having a coffee fad, it stood out to me in the drinks section of my local Japanese supermarket and as it was on special it made the decision for me.

I love the blurb on the front of the can -

UCC: The pioneer maker of the canned liquid coffee in Japan. Come on, and enjoy its original taste.

The can holds 337ml. The ingredients are sugar, skim milk powder, coffee, whole dried milk. Even though the coffee is second last on the list it is quite prominent in the drink.

The colour of the coffee is a very dark colour, like when not much milk is added, even though milk is higher than coffee on the ingredient list. I'm glad this coffee has sugar in it, it's not really sweet but sweet enough not to be too bitter.

I've never been a fan of coffee in a can mostly because Japanese companies tend to make it too strong for me, but this coffee by UCC is something I could drink quite regularly.

I like the can itself, the simplicity of the design, the price, and most important the taste. I think quite often Japanese drink makers rely on package design and advertising quirks to sell their products rather than the actual content and what it tastes like. Fortunately UCC coffee has stood the test of time and is still here to provide us with a refreshing coffee that doesn't need silly advertising campaigns to promote it.

So yes, I can now say, I'm a fan of coffee in a can but only if it's made by UCC!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Asahi Mitsuya Cider


It wasn't a concious decision to review more Japanese beverages, it's that it's the only thing I've bought recently from the Japanese supermarket! I promise though there are some more Japanese Kit Kat reviews on the way from tomorrow.

I bought this bottle of Asahi Mitsuya Cider at the same time as the Kirin Lemon Tea. Mitsuya Cider is popular enough that it stays around the Japanese supermarkets here constantly. It's not one of those drinks that comes and goes and never returns. Because of that I have bought this drink several times but this is the first time I have reviewed it.

The bottle is 500ml. The nutritional information states that there is 175.5 kg of energy, 0 g of fat, 11 g of carbohydrate, and 8 mg of sodium.

When I opened the bottle there is a loud sound of the gas, but not much fizz. The smell reminds me of bubblegum or a gobstopper bubble gum ball. Ultimately I think this is Japan's version of lemonade. My thoughts are that usually cider is made with apple, and there are no apples or fruit in this drink. The ingredients list water, fructose, flavour, and caffeine. Just what flavour it is I don't know.

Although the drink doesn't look fizzy, when I take a sip the cider fizzes in my mouth. The taste is firstly like a soda water with a dash of lemon, or a weak lemonade, but the end is like the taste of having chewed bubblegum until it had no more flavour. It's not really a nice flavour to end on, and really just makes me thirsty. I really want to have a tall glass of water after drinking this.

I wouldn't even recommend this for curiosity's sake though my husband loves Mitsuya Cider, and that is why I keep buying it. I guess it holds something that I can't fathom to others who have grown up with it.

A little bit of info, the red symbol on the front of the bottle is actually 3 arrows joined together. In Japanese "mitsu"is 3 of something, and "ya" is arrow. So you get 3 arrows.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kirin Afternoon Tea Lemon 午後の紅茶・レモンティー

I must admit, I'm a big fan of the royal milk tea that Kirin make. Today I was passing a Japanese supermarket and had such a thirst, I needed something really refreshing. The canary yellow label on this bottle sang out to me and I bought it.

It didn't disappoint. It really is a very refreshing drink. Despite the fact that the label states there is only 0.1% lemon juice in the tea, the lemon is quite present in the flavour. It's basically Kirin's straight tea with a dash of lemon. The label says it has water, sugar, tea, spice, lemon juice, and vitamin c. I'm not sure how much actual vitamin c you would get from drinking this, but as it's last on the list, I would say not much. It's an afternoon tea anyway, not exactly the place to look for vitamins.

However, it's pretty good if you're watching your weight as there is 1 gram of fat per 500ml bottle. 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of salt and 34 grams of sugar.

This is a greatly refreshing drink for a hot summer's day and in my case an unusually sunny and warm winter's day! I will definitely be buying this again.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Natchan Fruity Soda Grape

Yasu is a huge fan of the original Orange Natchan! so when I saw this at the Japanese supa I quickly grabbed it as it was the only one left.

Suntory make a huge range of drinks from soda's, to wine, and chuhai, mineral drinks and beer. And their whisky is famous.

This soda, when poured into a glass does not contain much fizz. Even when I shake it up in the bottle, it does not create bubbles.

It has a very dark red colour, almost like a wine. The aroma of the soda is very grape - but more of the fake grape scent as in bubblegum. However, it's a scent that reminds me of my childhood, the candy we used to get for 5 cents each at the local deli.

The flavour is quite strong. A burst of grape flavour in my mouth. However, after it starts to go from the front of my mouth to the back, I notice that it's mellowed out somewhat, almost like weak cordial. The flavour explosion is at the beginning, and the aftertaste is a watered down grape juice.

If I could keep this in my mouth without swallowing, it would be the perfect drink. I like the fact that it's not too fizzy, it's easier to drink. Though I don't like the watered down aftertaste. I wish it stayed fully flavoured throughout. After drinking this, I now have a flavour in my mouth that is reminiscent of chewing bubblegum for a long time and then spitting it out. It's like the taste of the flavour that once was.

Yasu however thought this flavour was excellent. Maybe it was specifically for Japanese taste buds. Who knows.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Morinaga Milk Cocoa

I came across this small 150 gram box of Morinaga Milk Cocoa in my local Japanese supermarket. For $3.35 I thought it wasn't too much of a risk if I didn't like it, it's a small box and so not much wastage.

The front of the package has an announcement that says "30th Anniversary" and "Oishisa up" or in other words they've upped up the level of flavour. It also has the slogan "Cocoa is Morinaga" in small print above the cup of cocoa.

The cocoa is sealed in a foil bag that is folded over underneath to fit in the box. Upon cutting the top I got a whiff of chocolate cocoa, and it smelled quite nice.

To make hot cocoa you need three small teaspoons heaped of cocoa and 120 mls of hot milk. As Yasu was also having some I heated up 240mls of milk. It didn't take very long on our gas stove. I poured the milk into the cups and whisked it all together with a small whisker.

The effect was a cocoa with a nice creamy froth on top.

I did not add any sugar, nor did I need to. It was chocolatey, sweet, and creamy but not overpowering. I suppose that if you wanted to make it stronger you could add more cocoa in the cup.

I didn't expect to like this cocoa but I became a big fan very quickly. Yasu also loved it and asked for another cup! This can also be made as an iced drink.

I guess the slogan is true, Cocoa IS Morinaga!