Maybe the real treasure was the raw Pepsi we drank along the way.

Raw Pepsi (or Pepsi Nama in Japanese) made news when it hit the shelves in shops across Japan earlier this week, promising drinkers would experience the highest level of refreshment in Pepsi history.”

Of course, we here at SoraNews24 pride ourselves on bringing you the latest food and drinks news from Japan no matter how unappealing the drink may seem, and immediately rushed out to give Pepsi Nama a taste test.

Last time, taste test responsibilities fell on the shoulders of Ahiru Neko and Go Hatori, who reported not only that Pepsi Nama was far superior in taste to regular Pepsi, but the difference between the two beverages was as clear as night and day.

Anyone would be able to tell the difference,” Ahiru Neko declared boldly.

▼ Soda expert Ahiru Neko swilling the Pepsi around to taste the subtle notes

But these two men have refined soda palates. They’re used to feeling the bubbly rush of cola glide across their taste buds. Even though they could instantly taste the difference, would the common man be able to distinguish between Nama and regular Pepsi?

In order to conduct a fair test, we enlisted the help of the guys who have the least sophisticated tongues in all of SoraNews24 HQ.

Yes, this time our challenges were “taste deaf” reporters Mr. Sato and Takashi Harada. While both men have years of experience when it comes to taste testing, subtle notes and delicate flavours are not their forte, with Mr. Sato appreciating the volume and texture of food over its taste, and Takashi just lacking confidence in his sense of taste.

Surely they would be the perfect candidates for our experiment — if these guys could taste the difference, anyone can.

So the stage was set and the rules laid out: our challengers had to guess which one of the unlabeled bottles in front of them contained Pepsi Nama, with both men being allowed as many sips as they needed.

As the men took their first sips, P.K Sanjun, who was on photographer duty, had to wonder: would they both get the right answer, bringing a happy end to this fierce battle?

As guys who make their living from writing articles about food, who and pride themselves on their experience in the field (Mr. Sato’s Twitter handle is @Foodqueensatou after all) a lot was on the line.

As the time to make a decision drew close, P.K held his breath with excitement. Which bottle would they pick?

▼ Gasp!!

Mr. Sato declared that he thought the left bottle contained Pepsi Nama, with Takashi opting for the right bottle. If this battle wasn’t tense enough, P.K.’s dream of a happy ending of both men guessing correctly came crashing down around him.

One of them was going to be wrong.

P.K. decided to question the competitors on why they made their choices.

Takashi: “The first thing I noticed was the smell of the drinks were different. This drink had a little fizz to it, and it tasted good. The taste was a little different too.”

Mr. Sato: “I can taste that there is a difference, sure. I just picked the one I liked more. ”

Interestingly, P.K. noted, neither of them mentioned anything about the drinks’ after-taste. In the original experiment, both Go and Ahiru Neko commented on the after-taste being a decisive factor in being able to tell the two drinks apart.

Go: It’s their aftertastes that set them apart, especially the difference in sweetness. After drinking Pepsi Nama, going back to drinking regular Pepsi is like drinking sugar water, or some kind of cola-flavored candy.

Ahiru Neko: Yeah, Pepsi Nama doesn’t have that syrupy sweet finish that regular Pepsi has.

Yet in this layman version of the experiment, both Mr. Sato and Takashi neglected to mention the after-taste — as expected of the men with the worst sense of taste in SoraNews24.

Who would come out on top, riding the Pepsi wave to victory? Which bottle contained the Pepsi Nama?

▼ The right bottle!

Yes, Takashi, with his lack of confidence, took the win in the Joe Regular Pepsi Nama taste test.

While Takashi basked in his stunning victory, P.K. immediately went to the defeated Mr. Sato for some post match comments. How would he be able to cope with such a devastating loss?

Of course, our Mr. Sato has faced much more crushing defeats in the past, so as P.K. asked him if he felt any regret over his incorrect Pepsi choice, Mr. Sato hit back with a comment that affected P.K deeply.

“So I didn’t choose the ‘right’ bottle, but I have no regrets choosing regular Pepsi because I chose the drink I liked the best. ‘The after-taste is different!’ Who cares about that? As a gourmet writer, I shared my genuine thoughts. I’m glad I went with the one I liked best.”

▼ So in the end, while the self confessed “Food Queen” Mr. Sato
may have made the “wrong” choice, his honesty still touched P.K’s heart.

Even though Mr. Sato went with regular Pepsi, both he and Takashi noticed that the taste of the two drinks were definitely different. So why not give the taste test a try yourself and see if you can taste the difference as well!

And really, don’t worry about Mr. Sato feeling sad about his loss. He’s already moved on to bigger things. Literally.

Photos: SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]