It’s not food, it’s not cats, and it’s not my random experiences, but here’s a new series that I’ll be writing for this blog occasionally. As you can guess from the title, it’s going to be about drinks in Japan. While Coke is probably the dominant soft drink back in the UK, it’s cold green tea here. I picked up my first green tea at Kansai International Airport.

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Ayataka Green Tea

This is an (empty) bottle of Ayataka Green Tea. Yes, the bottle is very bent. I don’t know why. As I understand, the company is owned by Coca-Cola. Unlike bottles in the UK, Japanese bottles often come in a variety of sizes that aren’t 500ml. This one is 525ml. Ayataka Green Tea is meant to be as close to freshly brewed green tea as possible, without actually being freshly brewed. For example, it has a certainly cloudiness characteristic of fresh tea which you can see in the bottle if you swirl it round. Many canned and bottled teas can be quite sweet – Ayataka is not. It has a sort of bitterness about it, which is almost on the smokey side of the taste spectrum. Finally, if you’ve been travelling all day and you’re after something refreshing, I think you’d be better off with something like water or Orangina.

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Kirin Amino Supli C

I picked this one up from the vending machine in my hotel this morning. I saw the Kirin label, a company famous for their beer, and thought I’d give it a try. Again, it’s not 500ml but this time 555ml. Where do they get their measurements from?!

I’m going to get right into this one with a taste test. Sherbet Lemon and blackcurrant sums it up best I think. It’s like a cross between Ribena and the electron-replacing energy powders you can get in the UK for running or cycling. It’s quite sticky and very sugary, although it certainly won’t replace my go-to energy drink, Lucozade. It’s apparently stuffed with 1000mg of Vitamin C and 400mg of Ornithine. I can’t say I can feel the effects of the Vitamin C or the C5H12N2O2 (Ornithine).

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Kirin Loves Sports

This is another 555ml bottle. I guess there’s at least a pattern with the sizes. The plastic on these bottles is quite a lot thinner than the average coke bottle plastic, and they almost always seem to be compressed slightly, as if they’ve been sealed when the liquid is a little warm – think safety seals on jam jars for example.

This has more amino supplements in it and no vitamin C. It’s an odd chalky, orange-flavoured beverage. I can’t recommend this one. It’s a weak flavour, and honestly I’m not entirely sure I like the idea of forcing peculiar sports-enhancing chemicals into my body in the form of a soft drink.

If you have any questions or drink-test requests, drop a comment in the section below!