Thursday, 10 March 2011

A hidden Gem. Calpis Water

Some of the things that I got addicted to on my first trip to Japan; House of the Dead 2 with guns, Crazy Taxi, Space Channel 5 and Calpis Water.  Game, Game, game, drink.  That’s right.

My first attraction to this beguiling jewel was the colour.  Or lack thereof, what could it beeeee? 

It looks like watered down milk. What possible flavours could be contained within?    My mind wrestled with this concept. Had the colour been red, purple, brown, even blue, I could have surmised from previous experience that it might be raspberry, grape, cola, bubblegum or some such flavour.  But white? 
The only associations I have with that is… milk.  Surely not even the magical lands of Japan could market watered down milk as a drink?  Or coconut perhaps?

Surely not.

The next piece to the attraction was the name, which revealed nothing about the joys (or possible horrors) of flavour contained within.  Calpis Water.  I was unsure as to what a Calpis could be.  Is this some sort of tea?  I thought I was pretty knowledgeable in my teas, so I ruled this out.  Was it even sweet?  Japan has a number of not sweet bottled drinks dispensed from their many vending machines. 

I was most intrigued…

The name, still had me.


Pronounced in Japanese, it would sound like “ka ru pi su.”  In my own, multi-continental accent* I found the name of this water to be most amusing.  In fact, it comes out sounding more like …

You’re probably going to laugh.

“Cow piss.”

How could I refuse such a beguiling name?  Well, I couldn’t.  And so began a fascination with a drink called cow piss which didn’t really taste like cow piss.  Well how I imagined cow’s piss would taste anyway.

In fact trying to describe the flavour is troubling me a bit right now.  It’s kind of sweet, but not a lot.  Refreshing, slightly fruity, but not exactly a fruit flavour I can put a name to. 

Oh! It just hit me! It tastes like Yakult, that other crazy Japanese drink.  If you have had yoghurt flavoured lollies (such as Hi-chews) and most other things that are supposed to taste like ‘plain yoghurt’ then that is the flavour that Calpis Water gives.  Yummy!

From that day on, I have loved Calpis Water.  I hadn’t had any for a long while and one day, I found a bottle tempting me with it’s pissy-ness in my local asian food store, well it had been a while and a treat was in order and so I found myself once again drinking and enjoying cowpiss   Calpis.

Behold the crazy confusion inducing whiteness of CALPIS WATER!!!
And the annoying trickiness it instils when being photographed.


*The reason I describe my accent as multi-continental is, well because it appears to be just that.  I was born in New Zealand as my English family were island hopping their way to the merry shores of Australia.  I spent 2 years in NZ and have been in Oz ever since.

Most people tell me I have and English accent, probably because I say ‘yoghurt’ instead of ‘yoegurt’ or darnce instead of the American dance.  Plarnts instead of plants.  I think you get the idea.
I very much doubt I developed an NZ accent, but sometimes people tell me they can hear it.
Most people I know (and some strangers that have had dealings with just my voice, which is a little creepy) recognise my voice from my “distinctive accent,” so I feel safe in assuming it isn’t Australian, or terribly English.  To add some more worldliness/mystery to me, I have had people asking me from which part of South Africa I hail from.  Go figure

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