REVIEW: Coca-Cola Apple (Japan)

Coca Cola Apple  Japan

While we’re able to rot our teeth here in the States with Coca-Cola Cinnamon, those in Japan have been able to rot their teeth with Coca-Cola Apple. The fruity-flavored cola follows Coca-Cola Peach, which came out in Japan earlier this year.

Oooh, what would a Coca-Cola Cinnamon and Coca-Cola Apple mix taste like?

My friend Melissa picked up this bottle for me during her trip to Japan because I begged her to. She also tried it once she got back to her hotel and iMessaged me that she couldn’t taste any apple.

When I finally got the bottle of Coca-Cola Apple (and a bag of roasted chicken Lay’s she bought for me during her 2018 trip to France), I was expecting my taste buds to experience what hers did.

When I twisted off the cap and took a whiff, I could easily detect apple under the cola aroma. Then I took a sip. To be honest, I didn’t get any apple flavor with that first one. So after taking a second sip, I let the carbonated beverage sit in my mouth and swished it around like it was Coca-Listerine.

I imagine those of you in the dental field are screaming “NO” at your screen. But it was worth it because now I could notice the fruit with every sip. (I don’t know why that worked.) It tastes like a combination of Coca-Cola with more than a splash of apple juice. It’s mild, and I didn’t get it at first, so I can understand how my dear wonderful, smart, and beautiful friend who bought me this bottle and is probably reading this review, wasn’t able to notice it.

Now, I don’t know if this contains apple juice because I can’t read the ingredients list, despite many years of C’s in Japanese language classes. But it sure tastes like it does, which makes this cola quite pleasing to me.

But if you want to obtain an apple-flavored Coca-Cola the expensive way ($12-$15), you can do so by picking it up via eBay or from an online Japanese snack seller, like NapaJapan or J-List. Or you can pick it up the super expensive way, by flying to Japan.

Coca-Cola Apple is definitely not worth getting via the super expensive route, but, because it tastes like it has apple juice, it might be possible to recreate it at home, if you can figure out the right Coke-to-juice ratio. I think it’s an experiment worth trying.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 500 ml bottle
Purchased at: Somewhere in Japan
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (100 ml) 46 kcal, 0 grams of protein, 11.4 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of salt.

REVIEW: Pepsi Pineapple (Japan)

Pepsi Pineapple  Japan

What is Pepsi Pineapple?

The newest Pepsi flavor in Japan, if you’re reading this in summer/fall 2019. If you’re reading this after that, it is a Pepsi flavor that will never come to the U.S. unless a PepsiCo bigwig reads this review and is moved by my words so much that he or she convinces the powers that be to sell a pineapple-flavored Pepsi in the U.S.

How is it?

It’s good enough that, if a bigwig at PepsiCo is reading this review, he or she should persuade everyone there to offer a pineapple Pepsi in the U.S. next summer.

Now I say it’s good enough, but it’s not “Oh, my God! Find your passports and fly to Japan to buy them all” good. It’s pleasant enough that, if you’re willing to spend roughly $10-$15 and wait 3-5 weeks for a bottle to be shipped to you from Japan via some of the slowest forms of parcel transportation, then I’d say spend the money and wait.

The fruity flavor at the beginning of every sip is a bit too faint for my liking. The cola prevents it from shining. But the tropical fruit pops mostly in the aftertaste, which is not ideal. But it’s prominent and better than having no pineapple flavor at all. It’s a sugary, somewhat natural pineapple flavor that kind of makes me forget about it being not so noticeable at the beginning of each sip.

Is there anything else you need to know?

As I’ve said many times on this blog and in conversation ice breakers, I wish Pepsi in the U.S. was creative with cola flavors. I know we had mango, berry, and lime varieties earlier this year, but two of those have been done before. The creativity Pepsi expends in new varieties is about the same as what Hollywood expends nowadays with all these reboots.

After typing that, I realize the possible bigwig at PepsiCo reading this might’ve been insulted.

Also, I could go for a lychee Pepsi, Japan. I’d spend good money and wait ten days for one. (Ten days being how long it takes for products shipped from Japan to end up on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean).

Conclusion:

Although I’m not entirely pleased with it, Pineapple Pepsi is one of the better Pepsi flavors I’ve had from Japan since I started spending money on obtaining them over a decade ago. Some U.S. Japanese grocers might bring this in, so if you happen to see it in one of those stores, I’d recommend picking it up.

Purchased Price: $12.99
Size: 490 ml
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (100 ml) 47kcal, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, 11.7 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.03 grams of salt.

REVIEW: Mountain Dew Violet (Japan)

Mountain Dew Violet  Japan

I love Mtn Dew Pitch Black, but I’ve had a difficult time finding it ever since it last reared it purple head back in 2016 as part of the brand’s DEWcision campaign where it was pitted against Mtn Dew Baja Blast to find out which flavor would become a permanent member in the lineup.

SPOILER ALERT: Pitch Black won, but it seems Baja Blast is the real winner because it has come back again and again in bottles and cans, while Pitch Black appears to have crept back into the vault inside Mtn Dew Mtn.

Pitch Black is still on the Mtn Dew website and when I asked on Twitter if anyone else has seen it, almost all of those who replied also haven’t seen it. Oh, you say you can easily find Pitch Black near you? Well, lucky you, you purple-Dew drinking punk! I don’t have that high fructose corn syrup sweetened luxury. Even PepsiCo’s product finder says I’m screwed.

But earlier this year, Mountain Dew Japan rolled out the grape-flavored Mountain Dew Violet that I hoped would be like my beloved Pitch Black. But I am not so desperate to find that out by flying to Japan to pick up a can. However, I’m curious enough about it that, when asked by a friend if I wanted one she purchased while on a recent vacation, I made the strenuous effort to venture outside of the house for the first time in a week or so, exposing myself to a battering of the sun’s burning rays on my pale skin, to pick it up from her.

Mountain Dew Violet  Japan Glass

Although much longer than the last time I’ve been out in the sun, it’s been a while since my last sip of Pitch Black, but some memories of it came rushing back with my first sip of Mountain Dew Violet. But, to be honest, I don’t taste any Mtn Dew citrus. I also don’t get the sour bite that 2005s reformulated Pitch Black II had.

The grape is so pronounced that I imagine some folks might confuse this with straight up grape soda. It tastes as if someone, and I’m not pointing fingers at Mr. Melon because he has the body type to do so, squeezed the life out of Alexander the Grape and into a can.

As someone who likes grape soda, it tastes fine. But I Dew wish it had more of a Dew flavor. I also wish I could find Pitch Black, PepsiCo.

Thanks to my dear friend Stefanie for transporting this can from Japan to my hands.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 350 ml can
Purchased at: Received from friend
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (100 ml) 20 kcal, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.09 grams of sodium.

QUICK REVIEW: Kit Kat Chocolatory Special Strawberry Maple (Japan)

2018 12 21 KKSM1

What is Kit Kat Chocolatory Special Strawberry Maple?

While in Tokyo recently, I made a stop at the Kit Kat Chocolatory store & café and brought home some goodies. Kit Kat, the king of novelty-flavored candy bars, has rolled out a Strawberry Maple variety for their Chocolatory retail outlets in Japan.

2018 12 21 KKSM2

How is it?

These Kit Kats have a strong, pleasant, but artificial, strawberry aroma. Like a bowl of Frankenberry doused in Strawberry Quik. No trace of maple yet.

2018 12 21 KKSM3

Strawberry was definitely in charge of the flavors. The taste was in line with the scent profile – nostalgic fake berry. I love this flavor, but it’s present everywhere – including multiple Kit Kats – so it didn’t excite me here.

2018 12 21 KKSM4

I only picked up the maple after the strawberry taste faded away, and even then it was subtle. If I wasn’t expecting maple, I don’t think I would have noticed it at all. The more I ate, the less I tasted it. This was disappointing since I’m a huge maple fan.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Google translate amuses me to no end. The translation of the text inside the box lid reads: “You can enjoy exquisite harmony with maple smelled faintly. With fresh strawberries.”

2018 12 21 KKSM5

Conclusion:

These are pleasant, but like the Ruby Kit Kats, they’re too familiar to feel special. If you’re a strawberry fanatic, seek them out. Otherwise, give them a try if they meander into your world, but don’t make an effort. If you’re a maple fan, pass on these – it’s just not there.

Purchased Price: 400 yen (approx. $3.52 US)
Size: 46.4 g box (4 mini bars)
Purchased at: Kit Kat Chocolatory main store, Ginza, Tokyo
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 11.6g bar) 64 calories, 3.7 grams of fat, 4-24 milligrams of sodium, 7.3 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.48 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Kit Kat Chocolatory Special Butter (Japan)

2018 12 14 KKB

What is Kit Kat Chocolatory Special Butter?

While in Tokyo recently, I made a stop at the Kit Kat Chocolatory store & café and brought home some goodies. Now, there’s always one errant flavor in the group that everyone raises an eyebrow at and this is it: butter.

2018 12 14 KKB2

I’ll let the Google translation of the text inside the box describe them: “I kneaded butter powder between the layers of the wafers, making full use of the sweetness of chocolate, I finished it tastefully to feel the richness of butter.”

How is it?

The aroma inside the package reminded me of baking and raw dough. The taste was an instantly familiar one, yet novel to this format – creamed butter. When making cookies, you usually start by mixing sugar and butter together – creaming. Those of us with no willpower are very well-versed in the flavor of creamed butter, and this Kit Kat has captured it perfectly.

2018 12 14 KKB3

I thought these would be less sweet and heavier on the butter, which is why I wasn’t sure about them at the start. I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed them. If you prefer your sweet/butter ratio on the savory side, you probably won’t like these. But if you’ve had your hand slapped by Mom or Grandma for dipping into the mixing bowl early, you’ll love them.

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Is there anything else you need to know?

I now regret only buying one box.

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Conclusion:

I’ll just say it – I loved Butter Kit Kats. If you’re buying gifts for a baking junkie, track these down. If you’re a novelty junkie, track them down. If you’re a butter junkie, they’ll still make you happy, but not as ecstatic as the baking freaks. But that’s probably OK since your heart might explode if they did.

Purchased Price: 400 yen (approx. $3.52 US)
Size: 46.4 g box (4 mini bars)
Purchased at: Kit Kat Chocolatory main store, Ginza, Tokyo
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 11.6 g bar) 65 calories, 3.8 grams of fat, 4-24 milligrams of sodium, 7.2 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.45 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby (Japan)

Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby

What is the Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby?

While in Tokyo recently, I made a stop at the Kit Kat Chocolatory store & café and brought home some goodies. Ruby Kit Kats are a new type of chocolate made from unfermented cocoa beans (regular chocolate is fermented). There’s no coloring added, so the dusty mauve tint is the natural shade of the cocoa beans.

Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby 2

How is it?

Ruby Kit Kats smell like white chocolate and taste like a blueberry or blackberry-flavored white chocolate. There’s a prominent cheesecake-style tang.

Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby 3

It’s a tasty Kit Kat, but I expected something out of left field since it’s a whole new category of chocolate. However, it tasted like something I’ve had before. Without the press releases and special packaging, I would have figured it was just another novelty flavor.

The color is lovely. It gives the illusion that it’s more natural than the bright pink most berry items sport these days. Maybe it is since there’s no coloring added?

Kit Kat Chocolatory Sublime Ruby 4

Is there anything else you need to know?

Wanna know how to spend $42 in a Kit Kat store? This is it. These are ‘spensive – $3.50 for a tiny box. The packaging is so distinctly Japanese – graphically clean and minimalist, carefully wrapping a precious single stick of Kit Kat – as in 1/4 of a standard Kit Kat package here in the US. $3.50 for one finger of a Kit Kat! I was so disappointed, then nauseated by my American-sized gluttony. So I ate another one.

Conclusion:

These are interesting, but no more than any other random flavor variety of Kit Kat. I hope millions weren’t spent developing this new ruby chocolate, because it’s not all that. Try them if they’re easy to get and the price lowers, but don’t bend over backwards to find them.

Purchased Price: 400 yen (approx. $3.52 US)
Size: 12 g bar
Purchased at: Kit Kat Chocolatory main store, Ginza, Tokyo
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (12 g bar) 61 calories, 3.6 grams of fat, 2.4-11 milligrams of sodium, 6.5 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.61 grams of protein.