When it comes to sweet, rich, bottled coffee, it's hard to beat Starbucks. Then again, at 200 calories and 3 grams of fat per bottle, Starbucks' Frappuccino is hardly a healthy drink. For 34 percent less, my local Asian market offered several other canned coffees, including Pokka and Sangaria. While not quite as tasty as the Frappuccino, Pokka has just over half the calories and one-sixth the fat. And, for those who are really serious about cutting back on the bad stuff, Ucc's unsweetened black coffee has all the caffeine but none of the calories or fat.
Photo: Cote, Flickr
Given that Red Bull is a copy of Krating Daeng, a Thai energy drink, it isn't a surprise that Asian markets often offer an impressive selection of caffeine-packed sodas. What is surprising, however, is how much better many of them taste -- and how much cheaper they are. In an office taste test, the staff of DailyFinance universally preferred the flavor of Roaring Lion, an energy drink that's almost exactly like Red Bull, but has a lighter, more citrusy flavor and costs 26 percent less. Yunker, a Japanese energy soda was even better: Packed with herbs, B vitamins and Coenzyme Q10, it had a mild, almost lychee-like taste -- for about the same price as Red Bull.