High-end offerings from Kirin.

I missed my chance to try the Halloween special drinks. Oh. Well.

But I finally went to check out the new stuff at my local store.

I was not disappointed.

Staring at me was a whole lineup of Kirin branded drinks. Kirin, is of course most famous for it’s beer that can be found in all Japanese, and most Chinese restaurants in the U.S.A. Well, these are non-alcoholic. And they are the high-end, flagship soft drinks. By high end, I mean they cost an extra 50Yen more. Hah hah.

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What we have here is a choice of Coffee, Green Tea, and Ginger Ale. I checked out their website: http://www.kirin.co.jp/products/softdrink/bekkaku/  Yes. It is the high-end quality oriented drinks. On top of the three I just found, there is also a regular tea offering.

At this point I will just jump out and say it. The Ginger Ale is the clear winner! Crack open the bottle and a pleasant smell of fresh young ginger hits your nose. I never experienced such smell from any big name drink companies. The taste is not overly sweet, with a bit of a honey aftertaste. (I am not actually sure it was sweetened with honey, but the taste is there.) The spice is that of good and fresh ginger, no artificial taste at all. Not bitter. And has a very pleasant gingery after-burn. (The official claim is that freshly graded ginger is used for this drink.) I would say, if you want same quality ginger ale you would absolutely have to spring for the expensive boutique drink brands. Now, I am not that big of a fan of ginger ale, (except occasionally with my whiskey), and normally don’t go shopping for it. But! I am very excited about this drink.

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Next on my list of flavor favorites it the green tea. If I understood the website correctly, the tea leaves for this drinks are young (1 week?) and grown in low-light conditions (basically covered). The tea is then brewed at a temperature lower than boiling. What does that mean for the taste? There was no bitterness to the tea at all! And yet, it had a very strong leafy flavor. I would say, I could make tea like that by myself if I actually take care to brew carefully. But, I could not buy that type of quality in a bottle regularly.  I drank this cold, and with a stuffy nose. I think drinking it warm, and with working sinuses would do it much more justice.

 

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Finally, the coffee. The specialty of this are the “Bourbon Amarero (Brazil) golden beans”, and some rare syrup containing sugar. (Whatever that means.) This one is sweetened milk coffee. I think they claim to use more beans than usual in making this brew, I believe this because the coffee definitely has a strong caffeine kick. The flavor it … …decent. Better than other canned stuff. Worse than any coffee shop. The sweetness it at a good level. The coffee taste does not have any of the not that great flavors that typically come with the canned stuff. I still can’t decide if the milk was creamy or not. (Weird).  It’s a decent drink. But more of a purchase of opportunity. If I have time to think, I would go get something from a cafe instead.

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I like my cars like I like my coffee.

I was disappointed with the free toy offerings lately. The military stuff looks cheap. And the only other car collection featured luxury SUVs: not my cup of coffee.

And now comes this!

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The RUF Porsche collection! RUF is a Euro tuning house that takes a Porsche and turns it up to 11. You get a choice of 5 cars in any color as long as it is black! Actually, the RUF SCR (911) that I picked was matte black, while the RUF slantnose (930) was glossy. I am digging the matte black paint on the toy! The three other car choices are RUF THR (993), RUF RGT (996) and RUF RT 35 (991). The last of which you can still buy from the company.

The toys are big, heavy, and high quality. Guess that’s why you have to buy two bottles of coffee to get one. The body is metal. Paint is carefully done, no smudges. You even get the RUF badge on the hood. The underbody feels cheaper, plastic, but definitely has an intended pattern to it. I am still deciding whether or not to spring for the whole set. I am much more into the older models than the new ones.

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Now. The coffee. It’s black! Not sure about the “Premium Aroma” mainly because it is sold refrigerated. But pretty good for a canned drink. None of that typical moussy taste. Not overly burned, just enough of a bitterness to feel it. Not sour. Quite pleasing. Oh, and the caffeine is kicking in as I write this!

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Georgia on my mind.

This one is not seasonal, but it is one of my regular choices.

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The is a lot of Georgia brand coffees around. Most of them come in a can. Most of the time you would get them from a vending machine.

So, why this one? I tell you why! It reminds me of childhood! I don’t know what kind of artificial creamer they put in this, but it tastes like coffee with ice-cream: sweet, creamy, and slightly frothy somehow (even though it does not foam up).

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Flashback: My fair lady! I am so excited!

I am so excited.

Walk into my local Conbini store and what do I see?

UCC coffee with a die-cast toy of Fairlady Z. These are the Nissan Z cars in the States. I love those cars, and I used to own a 280ZX Turbo. Actually, my father drives it now, so it’s still in the family. I am going to od on coffee now just to get all 8 different models and at least 3 models of my car!

These toys are metal top, and plastic bottom. No brand name stamped anywhere. The paint job is amazing, especially for a free toy. So cool!

The coffee itself is milk coffee, no sugar. Not bitter, but not so mild that you only taste the milk. And surprisingly good for canned coffee: no mousy flavor, and no sour taste.

I posted about these toys on my old Fairlady Z forum. Ended up cleaning out the local store of their stock just to fill all the guys’ requests.  And of course I kept a set for myself! And a couple more, to play with…

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