Japan (28 reviews)

Toko Ramune Drink Melon Flavor

Toko Ramune Drink Melon Flavor

For those of you who do not know, I have a love of melon. I don’t know when it started. I don’t know what brought it on, but over the past couple of years I’ve been drawn to anything melon related. I even got a honeydew Swiss cake roll from Chinatown in Toronto. It was mind blowingly good. I tend to stay away from Ramune drinks, as they tend to be far too sweet for my tastes, but how could I turn down a melon one?

We drank this as part of our second visit on the Buffalo Eats podcast. While I was stoked on it, I was afraid it would be too sweet, and I wouldn’t want to finish it. I figured this was it would be shared, and perhaps we could capture the sound of the marble being popped in for some live magic. Do those marbles serve any real purpose other than fun? I mean they are fun, but it seems like it’s a lot of extraneous bottle design for a little fun, that so many companies have embraced.

This definitely tastes like candied generic melon. I assume it’s supposed to be honeydew, due to the green color (no pun intended). It was pointed out in the podcast that it tastes like a Jolly Rancher if they made a melon flavor. I can see where they thought that, but the flavor doesn’t have the intensity that those candies do. Perhaps it tastes like a watered down, overly sugared version of that. Yeah…let’s stick with that.

Country
Japan
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on March 26th, 2013
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Ramune Lychee

Ramune Lychee

It's been a while since I’ve had a bottle of Ramune. I had forgotten how hard it is sometimes to push that marble down. Or perhaps I’m just getting weak/old. I bought this bottle on our last trip to the Asian market because I love the little face on the bottle. It looks happy because of the smile, but it's almost a mischievous look. It’s as if he's saying, "go ahead, drink this... I DARE you." Maybe I’ve been watching too much of The Office, but he kind of reminds me of Dwight.

Actually, that is the perfect analogy to this drink. Lychee is great so you think this soda is going to be great. Then you see the mischievous character on the label and you start to second guess yourself. Then you turn it around and notice there is high fructose corn syrup in it and you think to yourself "I thought only Americans used that awful sweetener?" Then the marble is really difficult and gives you a really hard time. So by the time you finally taste it, it's delicious but you're really scared that it might actually be poison.

This drink is Dwight K. Schrute. If only it was beet flavored.

Country
Japan
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Derek Neuland on February 27th, 2013
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Kirin Espresso Tea Lemon

Kirin Espresso Tea Lemon

The flavors behind this drink take you where you want to go when you retire, around the world. Tea taste? Present. Lemon taste? Wildly present. Coffee/espresso taste? Lacking. The lemon though, man...there in full effect like Reggie. I don't know what an espresso tea is since none of the ingredients are reflective of anything coffee related. The tea, though, is a sweet lemon tea. Although I assume it's black, I can't taste because of the sweet lemon going on in the forefront.

I didn't know what to expect with this drink because I thought that I was going to get a trifecta of flavors but instead, I only got a duo. Instead of getting the Thompson Twins, I got Tears For Fears. Instead of Beastie Boys, I got Lightning Bolt. I was discounted by 33.3% and I think that I would have rather gotten the full lineup.

Country
Japan
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Coffee, Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on December 19th, 2012
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Sangaria Tubumi Grape

Sangaria Tubumi Grape

Gene you’ve done a great job here with this white grape juice. It has a great flavor and nice carbonation. Wait…what? It’s not carbonated? I guess it’s just that good that my mind somehow imagined the bubbles. Let me take another sip. You’re right it’s not. Why on Earth did I think it was?

Now Gene this is great but as you know us here at Sangaria are trying to take the company in a “green” direction. You know, reduce our waste and all. We’ve been getting in a lot of trouble with the government as of late. Is there anything you can think of to help us out? Wait you want us to put the remainders of the grapes in the drink? That’s just plain weird Gene. Who would want to drink that? Okay find I’ll try it. This actually isn’t too bad. My only complaint is that the grapes could be peeled. You have a machine that will do that? Where do you get those wonderful toys? This is going to be perfect. It’s a wonderful tasting white grape juice with whole peeled grapes thrown in to make drinking fun again. Kids are going to have a hay day and you Gene are going to have an awesome compost pile with all of those grape peels. I told you we had to get rid of waste, so now you have to take them home. Enjoy.

Website
http://www.sangariausa.com/
Country
Japan
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Categories
Chunky, Juice
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on July 5th, 2011
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UCC Green Tea

UCC Green Tea

Imagine for a second. You have a five-month-old kid who won't sleep. He's up every three hours including that awesome "ten minutes after you fall asleep" move which makes you contemplate, if only for a second, that you'll just let them starve and sit in pee for another hour so that you can get some sleep. Due to this constant up and down your sleep schedule is crunched down to a scatterbrained four or five hours night after night. You are up at six in the morning and you get some stuff done around the house and decide you're going to go to one of your favorite restaurants to get something for breakfast.

Your kid is sleeping soundly and for a minute, you actually and stupidly think that you're going to get time to enjoy a meal out without...woop...there it is. You eat like you have been stuck at sea for months and haven't had a good meal since you left shore and don't even get a chance to finish one single glass of iced tea, which you wanted…a lot.

Since you're up so early, you decide to errands, all the while craving the tea that you had no chance to drink. Two hours later you're home and have no chance to sit and drink something because now you've got to do stuff around the house. You mow the lawn, plant a new hibiscus tree that you hope does well in your crappy soil, and try a new weed killer on the lawn which is fifty percent weeds.

Finally you're done. You're tired. You're accomplished. Your kid is asleep. You are all alone with silence in your house. You go into the fridge and there it is. Green tea, just green tea. No sugar. No preservatives. No fuss. You can't open it fast enough. You can taste the cool bite of the tea on your tongue. You wish it would never end. Had that can been bottomless, you would have somehow gotten to the end and asked for seconds. It's perfect. In this moment you are happy. And then your kid wakes back up and starts crying...

Website
http://www.ucc.co.jp/eng/
Country
Japan
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on June 26th, 2011
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UCC Green Tea, 11.1-Ounce Cans (Pack of 24)

UCC Oolong

UCC Oolong

Green tea? Had it. Black tea? Been there, too. White tea? Old news, friends. I think that it's about time that we vary our tea selection to varieties that aren't colors. We're adults. We're worldly. We travel by boats and planes to foreign countries. Worldwide trade is in full effect. Treat yourself to something not from the country you live in. Look, brand loyalty is fine, but look at Thirsty Dudes. We've reviewed drinks from dozens of different countries.

Take this team from Japan. Japan has sugar but does this oolong tea need it? Not at all. In a world filled with even the purest of sugar, sometimes you can't beat an unsweetened team on a hot summer day. This tea is a nice shortstop between green and black tea. A little bitter and a little earthy but just like you would make at home.

You don't have to love unsweetened tea, but as an adult, at some point you have to accept that some drinks don't need to be sweetened.

Website
http://www.ucc.co.jp/eng/
Country
Japan
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on May 29th, 2011
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UCC Oolong Tea, 11.1-Ounce Cans (Pack of 24)

Ito En Teas' Tea Green White

Ito En Teas' Tea Green White

When I'm at work I am at the height of being a "thirsty dude." The amount of beverages that I drink borders the insane. I don't know if I'm really as thirsty as I think I am, or if it's just a way to pass the time. I used to just drink whatever was on hand, but I got to a point where all the sugar was too much for me. After that I turned to mostly water. Even when I'm not working I drink nearly a gallon of water a day. Water is delicious, refreshing and cleansing. Now that I've discovered these huge bottles of Teas' Tea, everything else is out the window. They are water, tea and ascorbic acid. 0 calories and 0 sugar means that I don't have to feel guilty about drinking a two liter of it a day. On top of that it tastes great. It tastes like perfectly brewed tea that has been cooled down. If you have any interest whatsoever in unsweetened teas this line is something you need to check out.

Website
http://www.itoen.com/
Country
Japan
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 26th, 2011
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Ito En Teas' Tea Green White, Unsweetened, 16.9-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 12)

Ito En Teas' Tea Pure Green

Ito En Teas' Tea Pure Green

So the Teavana ad keeps popping up when I load our site. I have to say their tea is delicious. Possibly the best I've ever had. To be fair I haven't had much loose-leaf tea in my life, but the types I've had from there are over the top good. They have tea that has been picked by trained monkeys (Okay I think it was just a story about a monkey picking tea, but for the sake of the review let's pretend it's their tea that is monkey picked). Having a trained monkey would be pretty rad. At first I think I'd have him run errands for me, but eventually I would probably just hang out with him and play Uno or something. If I were ever in Japan I'd sure as hell have that little bugger pick me some tealeaves.

The leaves Teas' Tea uses may not be picked by monkeys, but it is pretty pure tasting. It's all natural and unsweetened. It's water, green tea and ascorbic acid (vitamin c). In the world of unsweetened green tea it doesn't get much better than this. Lucky for us Big Lots got a bunch in and they are blowing them out for $1 a bottle (they are normally about $4). I will be drinking this all day at work for weeks to come. Now how do I acquire a monkey, and then how do I train it?

Website
http://www.itoen.com/
Country
Japan
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 18th, 2011
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Ito En Teas' Tea Pure Green, Pure Green Tea, 16.9-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 12)

Ramune Hawaiian Blue

Ramune Hawaiian Blue

It scares me to push the marble down on bottles of Ramune. It always feels like I’m going to break it. Then the moment it finally gives, I get scared that the soda is going to bubble up and start spilling out of the cap. To try and prevent this, I keep the plastic plunger in the top until the fizzing dies down. There is a process to this.

Once again, we have a company that doesn't put the flavor of the drink on the label. Hawaiian Blue? Really? What does that even mean? I'll let it pass Ramune because this is actually kind of tasty. Like most Ramune I've had so far, I can't really distinguish a strong flavor. I feel weird writing this, but it really tastes like "blue soda". It's lightly sweetened, and doesn't have the usual syrup flavor that HFCS gives drinks. I keep getting suckered into buying Ramune because of the cool shaped bottle, but I'm always left unsatisfied after drinking it.

Country
Japan
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Derek Neuland on April 12th, 2011
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Ramune Curry

Ramune Curry

Every once in a while I come across a drink that sounds so disgusting that I can't wait to try it. Today I had this pleasure once again while shopping at an Asian market. When my friend Robyn pointed out a curry flavored soda, I couldn't believe my eyes. I couldn't wait to try it so I opened it in her car. I let her know there was a chance of me puking and she was OK with it.

Sadly I did not puke because this does not taste like curry. I can't even figure out what this tastes like because my mind so wants this to taste like curry. It's not a bad taste either. It's almost like a weak ginger ale. Now I want to find a drink that is marketed as curry flavored that actually lives up to its name.

Country
Japan
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Derek Neuland on March 2nd, 2011
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Hata Ramune Soda Curry 6.6 Fz
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