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Jul 4, 2018

Japan's clear drink obsession

I still remember as a kid in Australia when clear Pepsi was a thing. Back in the 90's it was a pretty big deal...a drink that looked like water, but still tasted like Pepsi? Incredible, right?


Well, I guess the novelty of it has worn off in Japan a little, because I feel like clear beverages are everywhere on store shelves here these days. It started with all of the clear flavored waters...pretty benign, since they have those in so many spots across the world, and they're usually fruit flavor infused. Inoffensive, for the most part.


It's becoming like a clear drink plague though! There was the clear royal milk tea, which to me just tasted like really artificially sweetened water, clear coke, a clear latte...the list seems to go on and on. @edthethe wrote about the clear latte here, and her thoughts very much echo what I felt about it. I'm a coffee lover so I was curious, and it was so bad that I took a sip and ended up throwing the rest away. There's even a clear "faux beer" on the market now as well...which might well be the wackiest one yet.

Japan's clear drink obsession photo

Clear coke - all over the shelves here at convenience stores and supermarkets...

Japan's clear drink obsession photo

For a coffee lover, this clear latte was a clear no after the first sip.


I guess my real question is, do these products have repeat buyers after the first gimmicky purchase that people make? Don't get me wrong - I'm a sucker for these things too, and generally give them a whirl to see what all the fuss (or weirdness) is about. But after that initial taste testing for each product, I haven't found the need to go back for seconds. Maybe I'm wrong, and people do actually like them?


How many of Japan's clear beverages have you personally tried? Any that you actually enjoyed enough to purchase again? Any that you were super disappointed in? 


Any other clear drinks that you think might be just around the corner? Perhaps a clear corn soup for winter? I'm kidding...I hope.

genkidesu

genkidesu

After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!


7 Comments

  • ReishiiTravels

    on Jul 4

    I actually asked my boyfriend about this and he said people buy them for work. Apparently some companies are really strict and will only allow you to drink water or tea, and this is a way to get around that.

  • genkidesu

    on Jul 4

    @ReishiiTravels I never knew that but it makes sense now! I guess that's another quirk about Japan - back home as long as you're not drinking alcohol at work my bosses wouldn't care. Crazy to think that here something like coffee or soda at work would be a no-no!

  • ReishiiTravels

    on Jul 4

    @genkidesu Right! I was shocked!

  • Candiajia1

    on Jul 4

    Like you ladies I was totally shocked when I offered my husband juice to take to work in his clear glass bottle and he told me if it’s not water or a ‘clear’ drink it’s a no no! Like really??? Weird I tell you!

  • edthethe

    on Jul 5

    my kids love these. I don't buy them for them, but every time they come home from somewhere they have a bottle.

  • genkidesu

    on Jul 5

    @Candiajia1 my mind is still blowing that is actually a regulated thing in workplaces that you can only have clear liquids or tea!

  • genkidesu

    on Jul 5

    @edthethe I think I would have loved them too when I was a kid for the novelty! I feel like I'm getting old and uncool...I always taste them and think they are super artificially-sweet tasting :(