Calpis is a ‘cultured milk drink’ from Japan. Sounds gross perhaps? I first found it by accident in a Japanese vending machine thinking it was a bottle of water, and fell in love with it immediately. Lucky for me, I was given two bottles of Calpis recently – the original flavour, and a mango flavour which I didn’t even know existed! I thought I’d spread the joy…
I probably would not have ordinarily bought this for myself so it was quite a happy accident, and I went on to buy it quite a few more times whilst I was in Japan.
Here in the UK, Calpis is sadly not freely available in shops, but when I go to London, I can usually find it in Chinatown. It looks like these are Korean/Indonesian versions judging by the packaging (and with a little help from Google Translate…).
So what does it taste like? In my opinion, the original Calpis tastes like a still, creamier version of the soft drink Lilt (a fizzy tropical flavoured drink here in the UK) – it has a coconut/pineapple taste to it. That’s the best way I can describe it! Other people have said that it tastes like Yakult, the probiotic milk drink. Appearance-wise, it is a cloudy white colour; regardless, I find it delicious.
The mango version was good, but I don’t like it more than the original version; it tastes like a mango juice drink I can buy from pretty much any supermarket. Poured into a glass, it looks like orange juice. So if you get the chance to just try one of them, make sure it’s the original 🙂