Japanese Canned Coffees

CONTRIBUTED BY JANNINE MYERS

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Coffee, coffee, coffee…….. that’s what usually resonates in my mind about, oh say, late afternoon. That’s about the time of day that I really start to drag and feel the effects of  my usual energy-sapping, task-packed mornings. I could never adequately describe to anyone exactly what it is that I do each day, as no two days are the same, but I am the type of person who is always engaged in multiple activities and sometimes at the same time. I’m also the type of person who unintentionally stirs myself into a state of semi-alertness right before my alarm clock starts buzzing at 5am, just so that I can bounce out of bed and start my day.

Needless to say, when 3pm rolls around I no longer have that bright and wide-eyed look and the spring in my step has begun to dwindle.The good news however, is that wherever I am, I know with the utmost certainty that in no more than five minutes I can be at a vending machine or convenience store and have my hands wrapped around a small can of Georgia coffee. But is that really good news?

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Have you ever wondered why so many people in Japan drink canned coffees, and why those of us who do like to indulge in these magical little pick-me-ups have a tendency to jokingly imply that they’re addictive? Well just recently I was both stunned and dismayed to hear that the “addictive” nature of these drinks may in fact be real and not imagined, and not due to their caffeine content but rather their nicotine content! The fact that I may have been consuming nicotine-laced coffees for the past year is devastating enough, but add to that the fact that these coffees are one of my few fail-proof vices that help me get through each day and you can see why I’m upset.

You’ll understand then, why I felt compelled to get to the bottom of this and prove to all those evil conspiracy theorists, that any suggestions of Georgia coffees containing nicotine is simply ludicrous and not to be believed. And here’s what I found out: nothing!

Well, not exactly… I did find out that due to the alleged presence of nicotine in Georgia canned coffees, export of this product to the United States has apparently been prohibited. But I’m not ready yet to buy into this, and neither should you, my fellow Georgia coffee fans. Help me readers, to put an end to these scandalous rumors and send me the facts! I’m hoping for the best but prepared for the worst.


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21 Comments
  • May 4, 2009

    Interesting. And I don’t even drink the stuff.
    Reading their statement, I had to laugh though, I hardly think anything coke sells can be called ‘wholesome’!!!

    Reply
  • May 4, 2009

    “Here Here!” Good point Pam, I totally missed that.

    Jannine Myers
    Reply
  • May 4, 2009

    An update on this post: I just now received a reply from Coca-Cola (several weeks later), which states that none of their products contain nicotine. The following is their statement:

    Thank you again for contacting The Coca-Cola Company. We appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns. Please be assured that Georgia Coffee flavors do not contain nicotine. All Coca-Cola brand products, including Georgia brand coffees, are wholesome beverages manufactured in compliance with the federal law governing food safety and labeling, the laws of all the states, and the laws of over 200 countries throughout the world where they are sold. We hope that this information helpful and assures your confidence in our brands. We appreciate your patronage and invite you to contact us again should you have further questions or concerns.

    What do you all think now? I have to admit I’m a little skeptical as it took them several weeks to reply to my “nicotine” question,and only 24 hours to reply to a previous question about the possibility of Georgia coffees being sold in the States. Hmm, the jury is still out for me…..

    Jannine Myers
    Reply
  • April 7, 2009

    I “heard’ the sauces contain 25% caffeine 25% nicotine 50% ground up poppy heads. Can anyone confirm? LOL (joke)

    Reply
  • April 7, 2009

    We are moving to Oki this summer and my husband keeps talking (and talking) about Coco Curry. It makes me wonder:
    A)Is it as addictive as Georgia Coffee?
    B)Is there a secret reason why? 😉
    and C)What do other people think of Coco’s? (We couldn’t find mention of it so far in Okinawa Hai, even though I am as addicted to this site as others are to Georgia Coffee or Coco Curry.)

    Sarah
    Reply
  • April 7, 2009

    @Rachael-
    I don’t think anyone, me included thought you were stupid. I just put the post that niacinamide was B3, so it was simple and plain. I didn’t want someone to just quickly scan your post and only notice that you said it was derived from nicotine-and not where you said that it wasn’t a concern.

    I apologize if you think I was insulting you.

    Nicole
    Reply
  • April 7, 2009

    Just an FYI for the response to my comment stating “There is a chemical that Coca Cola uses called Niacinamide also know as Nicotine Amide. But from much reading its so derived from Nicotine that there should be no concern.” is incorrect. Just so you don’t think I’m an idiot I actually did research this! Yes niacinamide is converted into Vitamin B3 but please take a look at at these websites and you will see the in the beginning is derived from Nicotine
    http://www.ch.ic.ac.uk/rzepa/mim/drugs/html/nicotine.htm (important info is at the bottom of the page.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotinamide
    http://www.lonza.com/group/en/company/news/publications_of_lonza.-ParSys-0002-ParSysdownloadlist-0038-DownloadFile.pdf/Chuck1.pdf
    http://research.exercisingyourmind.com/2007/05/20/pdr-niacin-nicotinic-acid.aspx
    Like i said before it is so derived there is no cause for concern. The other man made ingredients are more cause for concern. For those who think i don’t know what I’m talking about i have many other websites if you would like to look at those as well.
    From here on out….i wont voice my concern or take the extra time to research info everyone is concerned about….ill just read posts and keep my trap shut.

    Rachael Domann
    Reply
  • April 7, 2009

    Hi Sarah,
    I have to admit, Cocos Curry is enjoyed by everyone in my family and a great place to go on nights when we’re pushed for time and looking for a quick, filling meal. Addiction-wise, it’s not up there with Georgias coffee, at least not for me anyway. And as for the ingredients I really couldn’t say what goes into the sauces, but if I find out I’ll be sure to pass the information on.

    Jannine

    Jannine Myers
    Reply
  • April 7, 2009

    Hi Rachael,
    I’m so sorry that you feel offended by some of the comments made and I realized after reading my own response to everyone, that you may even have felt offended by my reply to your point made about Okinawans living long lives. Like Nicole, I want to apologize if you took offence to my reply; I really do try hard to make it clear to everyone that my comments and opinions are completely subjective and open to debate. As one of the soon-to-be-editors I realize I will inevitably receive opposing arguments to some of the things I write, and I know there will be times when certain comments will leave me feeling as you do now, but I hope I will pick myself up and continue to write, just as I hope you will continue to participate and leave comments. I really do value your input and am so grateful for the comment you and a couple of others made about the possibility of other chemicals in the coffees being potentially more harmful than nicotine itself; I hadn’t even given thought to that. So please continue to send in your thoughts and comments; they really are appreciated.

    Jannine

    Jannine Myers
    Reply
  • April 6, 2009

    This is the first time I have ever heard this rumor. I guess because I don’t drink coffee and if I did I don’t think I could bring myself to drink coffee from a can that sits in a vending machine for days or longer before being ingested.
    I am guessing that there is no nicotine added but I would have to ask if they use Bisphenol A to line their cans as this is probably the real dangerous concern if you are consuming anything from a can on a daily basis. Most Japanese products don’t have Bisphenol A but if this is made by Coke who knows….

    Reply
  • April 5, 2009

    I think that Georgia coffees are probably the least of anyone’s worries if they have ever looked to see what is in most cola soft drinks Americans ingest everyday. The fact that they are single serving sized is a great benefit to us all and I agree with Nicole that niacinamide is not nicotine….it is part of the B vitamin group…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotinamide

    Reply
  • April 5, 2009

    Just FYI-
    niacinamide is vitamin B3. 🙂

    Nicole
    Reply
  • April 4, 2009

    Jannine, LOVE this first post of yours. Can you imagine if I drank a can of this, nicotine or not. I drink a cup of tea and I am climbing the walls LOL
    And yep, the coke thing is true, my friend’s (great?) grandfather was one of the inventors of coke…:o)

    Reply
  • April 5, 2009

    Thanks so much everyone for your feedback. I sent Coca-Cola an email a while back asking them why they do not sell Georgia canned coffees in the United States. They sent me an immediate reply stating that due to different market tastes/appeals etc, they did not determine enough demand at this point in time to start selling to American consumers. I sent a further email in reply to their response, asking for verification of a rumor I had heard which suggested that one of the obstacles preventing Coca-Cola from selling the coffees in the United States was the federal law which prohibits importation of goods which contain certain chemical substances such as nicotine. I have not yet received an answer from Coca-Cola, nor do I expect to.

    So, my friends, whether or not there are traces of nicotine in Georgia coffees, I think I will probably end up taking the “drink in moderation” approach, whereby I give up my daily drinking habit (I sound like a wino LOL) and resort instead to enjoying the occasional can on those days where I am really dragging (although that’s most days so I may have to come up with a plan B).

    And at any rate, the number of other chemical additives present in the coffees is a little alarming in itself don’t you think? One last point, and without intending to put a damper on things, it’s true that Okinawans have been noted as being amongst the group of longest living people, but I believe that’s relative to older generation Okinawans and not necessarily today’s generation which has moved away from the traditional Okinawan diet and lifestyle.

    Thanks again everyone, your comments are much appreciated. We should all get together for coffeee soon….

    Jannine Myers
    Reply
  • April 4, 2009

    One note about the above post “the Okinawans drink it”…most of them don’t actually drink Georgia, but instead drink one of the many other types of canned coffee. Georgia tends to be too sweet. Georgia coffee does have quite a few chemical additives that are indeed bad for you if you are drinking it daily, and many cans/day.

    Paul
    Reply
  • April 4, 2009

    LOVED THIS POST!
    My daughter took what I thought was an educational field trip to the Coca-cola factory here. Oh no my friends when she came home with her info I almost passed out. They showed them a video that said “some of the Georgia coffees MAY contain TRACES of nicotine.” What in the heck. I was also mid drink when she shared that tidbit.
    I am choosing to believe that the one I drink, happens to be the one that doesn’t have it.
    I also am ready for the worst.
    Anyone up for a field trip, let’s go check this out.

    Reply
  • April 4, 2009

    Welcome Jannine- thanks for the interesting post! Will continue to “caffinate on”….

    Staci
    Reply
  • April 4, 2009

    OK….after mucho research! I had to know! I will be moving there soon and know i will be addicted to Georgia Coffee as i have got a taste of it from friends of ours bringing it back to the states for us. So the nicotine question….had me wandering. Ok so here is what i have read on numerous websites….adding them all together….the verdict is yes and no! There is a chemical the Coca Cola uses called Niacinamide also know as Nicotine Amide. But from much reading its so derived from Nicotine that there should be no concern. I was more concerned of all the man made chemicals Coca Cola uses! LOL I couldn’t confirm it anywhere on the Coca-Cola website but from a couple places I read Georgia Coffee is actually produced in the Atlanta Georgia plant-supposedly how it got its name. And if true I cant see something containing nicotine being produced in America! REALLY THE BOTTOM LINE IS…..is Okinawans drink it….something must be good/ok with it…they are the longest living people! I’m going to live by this golden rule when i live there when it comes to trying new things! Hope this helps.

    Rachael Domann
    Reply
  • April 4, 2009

    This is one of those Okinawa Urban legends. The link below from Japan Update has info on online ordering and stores in the US that sell Georgia Coffee.http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+39148

    As for Coca Cola containing Coke…
    THAT WAS TRUE!
    http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/cocaine.asp

    Maybe a one or two flavors of Georgia contain(ed) nicotine…
    I say drink on.

    The Roaming M's
    Reply
  • April 4, 2009

    Georgia is a personal favorite of mine…. 🙂

    Reply
  • April 4, 2009

    I don’t buy it! The nicotine rumor that is, because I definitely buy the coffee. Georgia Coffee is made by Coca-Cola, and I just don’t see them doing that. Nicotine, when ingested in sufficient amounts, can actually kill you, and I just don’t believe that is something that Coke Co. would consider messing with for even a second. It’s just like the rumor that Coke used to have cocaine it, simply not true. I plan to drink on!

    Derek
    Reply