Exotic beverage review: Pokka Milk Coffee

Terrible Chin Man makes an appearance on the Pokka can. There're no medical warnings on the can, but there is a warning that "the appearance of milk particles in this product is natural and does not affect the quality". This does not fill me with confidence.

I've sampled canned coffee before. There's the Dare Shot, made by the same company that makes Dare iced coffee, which is reasonably pleasant. I've also sampled a canned coffee called K'Fee, which was extremely unpleasant. So this should be interesting.

Pokka Milk Coffee is made by the same company that makes Pocari Sweat, the infamous Japanese sports drink. It's basically just an equivalent to Gatorade, but it's named after a bodily fluid, so who am I to argue?

It's dark. And slightly translucent. And, as the label on the can warns, it's covered in bits of floating debris. There're small milk particles covering the whole surface, and something that looks like an oil slick bubbling across it. Something tells me that my first sip of this stuff is going to include all of these bits and pieces. Mmm!

Yeah, that's a kind of filmy skin of milk crud on top of the coffee, there. Nice.

It smells like coffee. It also smells slightly like long-life milk, which I guess is to be expected.

It tastes like cold coffee. Not iced coffee, cold coffee. It tastes exactly like the dregs of a mug of coffee that you've left on your desk while you've scuttled off to take care of more important tasks.

I'm unsure if this drink is meant to be consumed cold or warm. I've heard rumours that Japanese vending machines sell the product warm, which would make sense, as it tastes as though it'd benefit from not being icy cold. I scoured the can for advice on temperature, but it doesn't give one, so I went for the safe approach of refrigerating it prior to sampling it. The Asian supermarket had refrigerated cans of the stuff available, so I figured they knew something I didn't.

There's a bitterness that's exactly the same as after a cup of strong coffee.

It's not the worst thing I've tasted. Every fibre of my being wants me to dislike this drink. It's Japanese, it's coffee in a can, it's a dairy product, it's brewed. It's also sold in vending machines in Japan, which puts it at about eight on the weirdness scale from one-to-schoolgirl-panties. However, it doesn't taste too bad, and assuming I don't collapse from intense intestinal pain within the next few hours, it appears harmless.