A new caffeine delivery system

If you’re an office drone in need of a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, you might decide to sip some espresso. Or you might decide to guzzle some soda. Now, thanks to the Suntory company, you don’t need to decide at all. Its new “Espressoda” product appears to combine both experiences in one handy bottle.

The concept is clever, the name is clever, and the marketing is clever, too. Its website includes a video game in which a tiny stick figure carrying a briefcase runs across a gigantic spreadsheet, leaping from pie chart to bar graph as you control him with your mouse. (Click on the “game” tab at the bottom of the screen here to play.)

Caffeine junkie that I am, I was quite excited when I saw this beverage in a vending machine in the building where I work.

When the bottle came out of the machine and I was able to read the ingredient list on the back label, I was disappointed to see that sugar was the first ingredient. (Coffee was second.) I’ve been trying to cut needless sugar out of my diet, so I knew I probably wouldn’t be buying this product again.

On the other hand, I have enjoyed coffee ice cream and coffee-flavored candies in the past, so I still expected to enjoy drinking Espressoda.

Alas, the beverage didn’t strike my palate as sweet at all, but harsh and stale, like coffee that had been left out overnight. I wound up pouring most of it out in the sink. I love coffee, but this was not my cup of tea.

(P.S. You know what Japanese vending machine concoction I do love? Pancake milkshake in a can.)

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