2013.11.9 Cola

While companies around the world have made all sorts of different versions of cola, the distinctive taste remains unchanged. So where exactly does the tart, sweet taste of your favorite soda come from? Thanks to a recent visit to a cola producer, a writer on Daily Portal Z found out more about the soft drink and shared his discovery with Japanese netizens, who were somewhat surprised at cola’s humble (and druggy) beginnings, but were left wondering about Coke’s secret recipe.

As common as the drink is, the exact taste of cola seems a little hard to place for a lot of soda enthusiasts. Most can agree that a cold glass of it tastes great on a hot day, but where does that flavor come from?  The Daily Portal Z writer went to Kimura Drink, a beverage company famous for making unique sodas like “Shikuoka Cola” and “Mt. Fuji Cola,” to see what was behind the soft drink’s “je ne sais quois.”

Kimura Drink’s Shizuoka Cola made with the area’s famed green tea

2013.11.9 Cola shizuoka cola

Zero-calorie Mt. Fuji Cola, a white soft drink to “evoke the mountain’s fallen snow”

2013.11.9 Cola mt. fuji

The company president Mr. Kimura told Daily Portal Z that the origin of cola is the kola nut, which is a seed of a tree that grows in Africa. It was and still is a popular drink ingredient in many Muslim countries, where alcohol is frowned upon. The nut naturally contains caffeine and is considered a mild stimulant.

2013.11.9 Cola nuts

When the nut was discovered in the West, many companies used it for medicinal purposes. In fact, the cola beverage was originally considered medicine to cure everything from morphine addiction to impotence. Coca Cola upped the ante by putting cocaine in their cola, giving “patients” an extra jolt. Meanwhile, Pepsi Cola’s name originated from the digestive enzyme “pepsin” since it was considered a digestion aid.

2013.11.9 Cola しgn

Some Japanese netizens were surprised to hear about cola’s start from an African seed and its use in cocaine-laced “medicinal beverages.”

Cola now is just considered bad for you…

Eww, putting cocaine in cola sounds nasty.

Wait, “Cocaine Cola” was actually a thing? 

But many know-it-alls were left underwhelmed as they thought it was obvious that “cola” would come from “kola.”

We’ve known the basic original ingredients for a while, it’s the actual recipe that’s the real secret.

Did anyone not know that cola came from kola nuts??

More importantly, does anyone in Japan know the real recipe?

Did the kola nut discovery surprise anyone else? Are you more interested in what is behind Coke’s heavily protected trade secret? Or are you more a root beer or octopus soda kind of person?

Source: Jin 115
Images: Wikipedia, Kimura DrinksWikipedia, Wikipedia