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The very moment you first taste Two Rooks, you will understand that we have set the standard for Cola extremely high.
There wasn't a top shelf cola until now.
Available in packs of 6 or 24 250ml cans.
When it comes to colas, there are two major players that need not be named outright, and between them they have pretty much carved the planet up between them and built a wall, with a few cracks filled by the smaller players. Some of those produce colas that are little more than muddy water, while others are finely crafted beverages with a lot going for them, but not much exposure... as with all big walls, very little light shines into the cracks.
Now, the major players have 2 things going for them... long track records, and a heap-tonne of money to spend on marketing. That's really about it, because their beverages have so much utter crap in them, it's hard to tell if it was made in a vat, or a really big laboratory beaker. So the little players who come up with really good, almost-entirely natural, healthier versions of cola have a struggle, but a superior product if you take out the addictive aspects of the major players... and that's an observation from someone who spent nearly 30 years *actually addicted* to one of the major players' beverage.
Now here we have a really neat, natural cola designed and marketed by a Kiwi company based in the industrial sector of Hamilton. While the drink is actually produced in Thailand, it's still a Kiwi product because the brains and money behind it are right here in Godzone. But how does the drink stack up?
Surprisingly well actually. It could be said that a "top shelf" cola is one that has a premium quality, premium taste at a premium price... and this certainly fits that bill. Is it as cheap as the stuff brewed by the megalitre? Not even close... you could buy at least 1.5 litres of the big brand ones for the same cost as a single 250ml can of this. Does it have the rich combination of flavours as the big players? Nope, it's simple, clean and light. Does it have that jangle-your-throat fizziness of the major brands? Nope, it's quiet, smooth and mellow.
So, why is it a premium cola? To be honest, I can't be entirely sure. When compared with the major brands, it's about on par on most of the ingredient metrics, but it also ranks higher in some of them. More "energy" mostly in the form of sugar, quite a bit of sodium, and of course it still has caffeine. What I can say though is that taking a drink of 'regular' cola, and then a drink of Two Rooks... the Two Rooks cola was far more pleasant to drink because of the lower levels of carbonation and acidic aftertaste.
I was tempted to see how it stacked up to a recipe I used to make many years ago... Slow-cooker Pulled Pork. Back then I had to use a casserole dish in the oven on a very low heat, but I made it once after I got my slow-cooker so used that as my benchmark. It uses a full litre of cola usually, but I made a quarter-batch for the sake of this review. I have to say, it turned out better than when I make it using the regular big-brand cola. I couldn't tell you why, all I know is that I liked this latest batch way more than I usually do, and regret deeply drinking the first can, wishing I had instead gone with my original plan to sue both cans in a half-batch of this.
Overall, would I buy it again? Not too sure actually. It's a nice cola, it tastes good as a drink, great in the pulled pork... but the price-tag does make it more of a treat than a staple. However, if I was out at a pub or cafe and had the choice, I would probably treat myself to a Bourbon and Cola using this, for sure.
Random listing from 'Beverages'...
To enjoy all the goodness Mai'a has to offer, all you have to do is slip your Mai'a Coffee Straw into a glass of cold milk, sip back and relax!
As the milk passes through the straw, special coffee beads dissolve to deliver a scrumptious, refreshing drink unlike anything experienced before.
Mai'a is available from leading supermarkets in the coffee aisle now!
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