Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Calpis Soda Grape Zero
Let's get the big laugh out of the way first. When you say "Calpis", it sounds like "cow piss". The makers of Calpis either didn't know or didn't care about that when they made the name. The "cal" is for Calcium and the (rather unfortunate) "pis" is from Sanskrit and supposedly means "supreme taste" and is used because it is part of Buddist culture (and Japanese culture has elements of Buddism). Note that in English-speaking countries, this is called "Calpico".
Despite having been here for 20 years, I've never been tempted to buy Calpis. I chuckled about it a few times when I first got here, and promptly lost interest. The drink is supposed to be yogurt-like and feature milky flavors. It's called a "lactic acid" beverage. The color of this beverage certainly would bear that out as it is very cloudy and appears to be mixed with something milky.
This attracted me to it because it is zero calorie, though the first ingredient is, oddly "grape sugar". I'm guessing that it is not absolutely zero, but one of those deals where it is essentially zero per 100 ml. The other ingredients include the usual cocktail of artificial sweeteners.
This smells like grape soda, and on first sip, tastes like it. It has two strange aftertastes. The first is likely the lactic acid/milk element and the second is the artificial sweetener. I don't know what it is about Japanese low calorie sodas, but with the exception of Diet Coke, they all seem to have a heavy chemical flavor. This one is better than some on that front, but the weird bitterness and somewhat metallic taste that chases every sip spoils what might have been a promising beverage. So, while I drank the rest of the bottle, I wouldn't buy it again.