Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Taiwan Beverage Hall of Fame: First Inductees

One of the little things I really enjoy about Taiwan is the wonderful selection of beverages available in the convenient stores which dot the island. Any activity a human being can undertake is better with a beverage in hand, kind of a score multiplier for Life if you will(Needless to say, given the convenience of obtaining beverages here in Taipei, my chain combo is ridiculously high at the moment).

Given my love of tea/coffee/soda/juice, I thought I'd start selecting a few of my favorites for special commendations. The theme of this first round of inductees is 'Bottled Refreshment'.

Starting on the left we have two coffee drinks, somewhat similar to the Starbuck's bottled frapicinos you can buy in the States. I think I actually like the taste of the Starbuck's version better, but these are much cheaper and... voluminous. Also, they aren't as sweet so you can get you're caffeine kick without feeling like you have to skip breakfast.

Next up is Kirin something-or-other black tea(紅茶). That something-or-other is probably describing the delicious lemony taste. The tea is fairly sweet, but unlike soda goes down smooth. If you aren't that familiar with Kirin, you may not know that they are a Japanese beverage company which produces much more than the beer they sell in the U.S. In Japan especially, you can find all types of Kirin drinks.

After Kirin we have an unsweetened green tea, which I just tried for the first time today. I liked it a lot, better in fact than another green tea I was going to put on this list. Overall, I just thought this one was smoother and had less of an aftertaste. I'm a huge fan of green tea in general, but back home I mostly stick to drinking it hot since all the bottled brands are expensive and loaded with either sugar or sugar substitutes.

The last two inductees are relatively sweet green and black teas. They are pretty much my standard choices, along with Kirin's offering above, when I want a tea with a little sugar.

Well, that's all for 'Bottled Refreshment'. In later editions I hope to discuss Taiwan's many tea stands and coffee houses.

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At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Todd said...

Let me know if you find the Taiwanese versions of Dr. Enuf or Jolt.

At 12:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taiwan's Jolt? Whisbih.
Also, keep an eye out for the Yakult vending machines for cans of "Spunk" lemon flavored sports drink.

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll have to keep an eye out for those.

At 2:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the tea drinks with the tapioca pearls in them. A couple are also famous for bad Engrish lables.


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