Japanese Snack Food Review: UCC Coffee (Original Blend with Milk)

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Welcome to weekend two of the August Blogaversary All Liquid Japanese Snack Food Review. Of Doom. Heh. Anyway, today I bring you yet another Japanese canned coffee drink. This makes three different coffee drinks (so far! Those crazy Japanese love them their canned coffee) to premier at the JSFR: The robust and tasty Hello Boss Coffee, the less than marginally palatable Mr. Brown Coffee and now the newcomer UCC. If you follow the links you will see that Hello Boss got a very nice tasty high rating while Mr. Brown…didn’t. That leaves a pretty wide space between the two and look! Here’s something to fill it.

UCC’s coffee is sweet and smooth and smells faintly of stale coffee. Hrrrm. Well, two out of three right? I liked the sweet (although I could have also had as much enjoyment with maybe a titch less on the sugary) and ordinarily I’m not much of a milk in coffee drinker but UCC does good with the milk. Or maybe the milk smoothes out the stale coffee taste. That’s the only thing that really holds UCC back from canned coffee perfection (and overthrowing Hello Boss for best canned coffee). It’s not bad, really, but it’s not great either. It’s certainly better than the break room coffee at work and that stuff has no hope no matter how much sugar or milk you put in it.

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Of course the review wouldn’t be complete without some label fun. The company info says that UCC is a “product of Japan” and even gives a whole mailing address on the can (Kobe if you were curious as to which town. Of course it is, where else would they get such tasty milk?) Then, after the warnings of not to heat the can (or SPLODY!) or freeze the can (or SPLODY!), they stamp a Hawaiian bottle deposit. Becauuuuuuuuse…Hawaii is the closest place with a deposit? Maybe it’s an international trade agreement: Hawaii sends off its low end coffee to UCC and UCC prints the bottle deposit on their product. Why just Hawaii? Michigan, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and lots of other states have deposits but they aren’t listed (California does make an appearance as a stamp in the top of the can but just as “cash refund”). Finally, I love the last sentence in the whole warning spiel: And drink in short period of time. What exactly is a “short” period? One hour? Two days? A week? And then what…splody?

I’d say that UCC is smoothly drinkable with a slightly disappointing coffeeness. I think that is a perfect example of a not quite three pea Rating but I’m going to give it the 3 Wasabi Peas out of a possible 5 anyway because the label made me laugh.

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