Archive for the coffee Category

Coffee Flavored Soda: Something Wicked This Way Comes

Posted in Coca Cola, coffee, food, reviews, soda with tags , , , , on October 18, 2006 by Paxton


The apocalypse, the end of the world. You might think this is foretold by simple things like locusts, oceans flowing red like blood and the sky turning black as a death shroud. I have a different, yet all the more deadly and horrific sign: coffee flavored soda. I am aghast at the mere mention of this unholy union, but being the purveyor of pop culture that I am, I have to try it. There are really only two I care about right now, and they are Coca-Cola Blak by Coke and Pepsi Cappuccino by, of course, Pepsi. Other smaller companies make a version of this deadly brew, but I am only going to try Coke and Pepsi’s offerings because that is my prerogative and I don’t actually think I have the testicular fortitude to try more than 2 bottles of this Death Juice (i.e. coffee flavored soda).

Before I get to the reviews, you should know that I LOVE soda. Love, love, LOVE it. Also, I HATE coffee. I hate the smell, I hate the taste. I hate coffee ice cream. This should be interesting.

I work for the corporate office of Winn-Dixie and they recently threw us an employee barbeque. Coca-Cola catered the drink portion of this event. They were giving away Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Coke Blak. Recently, Coke has been giving away bottles of this stuff all over the place trying to get people to taste it, but it has yet to really catch on. I have a guess why, but I’ll taste it first before I make any snap judgments.

I took my first sip, and after gagging and coughing for 10 minutes I thought that God hated me and that’s why he created this drink. Then, being the connoisseur of cola that I am, I had to try to finish the bottle. During the torture session of finishing this bottle, I can only think of my cousin Mike as he recently tried to finish a tiny can of low sodium V8 juice. My face puckered, my fingers closing my nose and a look of absolute disgust on my face I soldiered on and had two more sips before nearly puking up my kidney and half my lung. Awful, nasty stuff. I asked a coffee drinker what he thought. He said, at first, the coffe/cola flavor is nice, but after multiple sips the taste somewhat sours in your mouth and you realize that your taste buds were pulling the long con on your brain.

Final Verdict: If you value your life and your sanity, stay away from this hateful, hateful drink.

You are probably not going to be able to find my second drink, Pepsi Cappuccino, in your local 7-11. This is really only marketed/sold in Europe and Russia. I was able to procure this can through much barting with overseas contacts. You don’t want to know what it took to get it, but let me just say this, it involved 3 goats, a marriage proposal and a pair of Levis button-fly 501 jeans with the ass cheeks cut out. Oh yes, I just said that.

I haven’t actually opened the can, so I’m doing it for the first time right now. After 2 rounds with the devil’s urine above, I can only imagine what lies in wait in this can of Pepsi Cappuccino. The verdict is….hey, this isn’t too bad. The hell? The taste is mostly Pepsi, but there is a subtle hint of chocolate. Now, since I hate coffee, I don’t really know the difference between a cappuccino, an espresso or a latte. I would be interested in trying a cappuccino after trying this. I like that Pepsi doesn’t hit you over the head with the coffee flavor. It’s subtle. It’s sexy. I like it. Holy crap. This article isn’t ending the way I planned. This is a most unexpected development. Hooray for Pepsi! This is why I prefer Pepsi products over Coke.

One thing I will mention, Pepsi makes other coffee colas called Pepsi Kona (which was discontinued) and Pepsi Tarik. I’m not sure if both of these are the same thing and just named differently in different markets, but the logos are similar. I am still trying to procure one of these. It may be that Pepsi Tarik/Kona is actually closer to Coke Blak than Pepsi Cappuccino. When I get a can, I’ll let you know.

So what have we learned? We have learned that Pepsi Cappuccino is actually a pretty tasty drink. We have also learned that if Coke Blak were a person, I’m pretty sure he’d beat his kids and cheat on his wife and maybe even drink Coke Blak. Maybe they should rename it “New Coke” because I think this drink is headed in the same direction as that fateful drink in 1985, directly for the pop culture trash bin.

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Death by Taurine: Energy Drink Reviews Part II

Posted in coffee, Death By Taurine, humor, pop culture, reviews, soda with tags , , , on August 2, 2006 by Paxton


Welcome to part 2 of my energy drink reviews. If you missed part 1, just click here for reviews of Red Bull, RockStar, MDX, SoBe No Fear and TaB Energy. If you read those, then move along to part 2 below where I discuss 6 more energy drinks.

Full Throttle – This is Coca-Cola’s first entry into the energy drink market. So far, on taste alone, this is one of my favorite drinks. It’s like a stronger Mountain Dew or Mello Yello. Very good and the Sugar Free version (0 cals, 0 sugar) tastes exactly the same as the full Full Throttle. As far as its energy boost, there is none. No energy boost in an energy drink is like taking the bus to cross the street. What’s the point? On taste alone, this is one of the best, but there is, inexplicably, no energy boost.

Full Throttle also makes a version called Full Throttle: Fury. There isn’t a lot of difference between Fury and the regular FT. The taste isn’t as potent, and the kick is still non-existent. That’s the difference. Just acknowledge that it’s there and move on.

Von Dutch – You’ve seen the Von Dutch label on celebrities’ clothes, jeans and trucker caps, now taste the energy drink. Overall, it’s really good. It has the second best energy kick next to Diet Rockstar, and its taste is actually better, not so black licorice-y. What the hell is in the drinks that make them all taste like black licorice? I hate black licorice. Sugar Free has the same kick as regular with an even better taste. I would almost say this is my favorite because the taste is pretty good and the energy kick isn’t so potent that I feel like I just freebased cocaine and chased it with heroin.

Vault – This has had a pretty big marketing campaign based on the slogan “Drinks like a Soda, Kicks like an Energy Drink”. That tagline should read, “Drinks like watered down soda, Kicks like a One-Legged Man”. It tastes like an even blander version of MDX, if that’s possible. The Sugar Free Vault even manages to step down the taste ANOTHER notch. It’s like drinking water with a splash of Diet Mountain Dew…and no energy kick. Very disappointing. Move along.

Monster Energy – This energy drink has the tagline ‘Unleash the Beast’. Somewhat silly for a drink that tastes like jolly ranchers. This is a fairly good tasting energy drink with a mild kick. If Diet Rockstar has the highest kick, and Von Dutch is second, this would be third. Von Dutch still tastes better as this drink is too sweet. Even the Lo-Carb version tastes sugary. Calorie levels are similar to all the other drinks; regular has 200 calories and Lo-Carb has 20 calories. A not bad, if somewhat pedestrian, choice for your energy drink.

Like RockStar, there are like 4 versions of Monster Energy. I only tried regular and lo-carb. I didn’t even bother with the other two.

Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng – This is not officially labeled as an energy drink, but it definitely gives the buzz of an energy drink. Back in 1999, before the energy drink boom and during the time when dot-coms were considered good investments, I was consulting at a client in Tampa, FL. A fellow consultant liked this tea and he got me liking it too. We weren’t really using it for the energy boost, at first, but it gave us such a great buzz that we began to use it for that very reason. He would drink them like crazy. He drank like 5 one day and was bouncing off the walls. Back then the tea came in a really cool bright blue/violet bottle with finger grooves in the side. Now it is sold in a regular bottle with a picture of a tree on it. It’s also sold in giant cans that look like the regular bottle. Still gives a good kick and it tastes pretty good too. Check it out, there’s also a Diet version with only 20 calories.

Jolt Cola – I used to drink this in college when I was cramming for an exam. The last time I used it was in 1997 while studying late for my COBOL final exam. It gives a great buzz but the sugar crash is heinous. You actually feel hungover after drinking a bunch of this stuff. I thought it had been discontinued, but it’s still sold in certain parts of the country. Jolt Cola today has a new package that looks like a battery (get it? Energy=Battery…clever) and it comes in several varieties (Cherry, Ultra, Blue, Cola and Red). I’ve tried the Cherry and Ultra. Very tasty and still has the sugar/caffeine kick I remember. The sugar crash has been toned down with some other ingredients like Vitamin B and Ginseng. If you can find it, I still recommend it.

UPDATED!! Click here for Death by Taurine Part III – 5 NEW energy drink reviews.

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Death by Taurine: Energy Drink Reviews Part I

Posted in coffee, Death By Taurine, humor, pop culture, reviews, soda with tags , , , , on July 31, 2006 by Paxton


Energy drinks have become extremely popular in the last few years. I remember in college, the only energy boost options we had were coffee (which I hate) and Jolt Cola (which tasted like crap but gave you a nice buzz). That’s assuming you didn’t want to delve into the recreational use of pills like No-Doz and Dexatrim. In the last few years, though, energy boosting drinks have become all the rage. Red Bull was the first of the energy drinks to become hip and popular, but now you can find energy drinks branded with Las Vegas (a city), Hulk Hogan (a wrestler), Von Dutch (a clothing company), Orange County Choppers (a custom chopper shop) and many, many more. You can still find Jolt Cola in certain smaller markets in the US. TaB, the ever elusive diet soda, also has its own energy drink, and so does Ice T. That’s right, ICE-FRIGGIN-T has his own energy drink! Take that home, play with it, see if it rolls over. Anywho, I originally resisted the urge to try these things, but I’ve become curious to their energy-giving abilities whenever I wake up in the morning for work feeling like I was hit by a truck. I figured I’d either try these energy drinks and I would feel better, or they would make me feel like a crack addict; all twitchy and shifty-eyed, waiting for my next fix. With this review, I’ll let you in on some of my favorite energy drinks and I’ll give mini-reviews of each. I’ll let you know if it tastes good and if it does actually give you a boost in energy. Let’s take a look.

Red Bull – I’ll begin with the daddy of the modern energy drink boom. It’s become hip to drink these on the bar scene and quite a sizeable mixed drink menu has sprung up using this as an ingredient (i.e. Jager Bombs). It’s not bad. It has a very black liquorice taste which goes away when you are about half way through the can. I prefer the Sugar Free version as it has 100 fewer calories and the sugary, liquorice-y taste is somewhat muted. As you try more and more of these energy drinks you will see they have a similar taste: black liquorice. Just keep that in mind. As for Red Bull’s energy boost, I never got a slight buzz or energy lift from it. But that’s just me, you may find different results as people metabolize food and drink differently. For me, though, this is best used as a drink mixer. According to Energy Fiend, 170.63 cans of Red Bull would kill me.

RockStar – This is pretty popular too. Steph tells me that other teachers at her school (Club-A) drink the Diet version to give them a boost. The product has a great name, and their slogan rocks too; “Party Like A RockStar”. I bought it for my friend Dave who said it didn’t do much for him (he likes Red Bull), but I decided to try it on my own. As far as energy boosting, this gives me the biggest buzz. One can of this or the Diet Rockstar and I feel like a ferret on a double espresso. A few weeks ago, I had one at 7am and I STILL had trouble getting to sleep that night. The Diet Rockstar does have that “Diet” taste compared to the regular RockStar, but it has 0 sugar and 20 calories (220 calories in regular) and, like Red Bull, Rockstar has a very black liquorice-y taste. The taste does fade as you progress into the can, but the first few sips, for me, kick like a pissed off mule. If you need the energy boost, pick up a can of Rockstar and prepare for the onslaught of mind-buzzing energy shakes. If you want taste, you’ve bought the wrong can. According to Energy Fiend, 91.00 cans of RockStar would kill me.

TaB Energy – One of the first diet sodas on the market, TaB, gets its own energy drink. The drink itself is pretty tasty…and pink. Not only is the can the trademark TaB pink, but the actual drink itself is pink. Like neon pink. Almost EMBARRASSINGLY pink. TaB was originally developed by Coca-Cola in 1963. Originally thought, by me, to be discontinued, TaB is still available in limited markets because it still sells just enough to be profitable. So, in reaction to the growing energy drink market, Coke decided to release TaB Energy. The drink, I just found out, is marketed mostly for women, so I looked like the idiot when I was checking out at the Winn-Dixie. TaB Energy tastes nothing like the original TaB because it’s not a cola drink, they just share the same brand name. The drink is sweet, almost candy-like in its taste, but the energy kick is low, almost non-existent, consistent with Coke’s other energy drink, Full Throttle. Pretty good on taste, but an energy drink that doesn’t give you energy is like kissing your sister. Sure she’s hot and it tastes good, but why bother? It’s illegal. According to Energy Fiend, 143.68 cans of TaB Energy would kill me.

MDX – This is the Mountain Dew energy drink. It’s very similar to Coke’s other energy drink, Full Throttle, but does not taste as good. It’s almost bland, like Diet Mountain Dew, and there was NO energy boost. Period. If you are going to take the taste away, at least hit me with some nervous energy to make me forget that I drank bland sugar water. Both Sugar Free and regular taste the same. So if you like the taste of Diet Mountain Dew but think it should cost twice as much, this is your drink. According to Energy Fiend, 165.96 cans of MDX would kill me.

SoBe No Fear – SoBe is known for their juice drinks which aren’t bad. Unfortunately, their energy drink blows donkey. I applaud their attempt to make it taste like their juice drinks. The first few sips of this drink have a distinct apricot taste that is not un-welcome after so many black licorice flavors. Why must all energy drinks taste like spoiled black liquorice? Let’s mix things up a bit, people!! After several more sips of SoBe, though, the taste goes from apricot, to crap-ricot. I couldn’t finish the can it was so bad. I’m pretty sure I didn’t drink enough to get the energy buzz, but I don’t care. Worst tasting energy drink EVER. According to Energy Fiend, 172.78 cans of SoBe No Fear would kill me.

Okay, that’s it for today, class. Look for part 2 coming later this week.

Click here for Part II

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