The Best 8 Beverages in the World (Plus: Maui Treehouse and Wild Dog Video)


Pocari Sweat, not to be confused with Calpis

I am a consummate consumer in the literal sense.

Beverages, perhaps more than any other indulgence, have fascinated me from my first sip of Pocari Sweat in Japan. From Brazil to Zimbabwe, each locale has its superstar drink, and some are as defining of the culture as the people themselves. Here are my top 8 beverages in the world:

#8. Paulaner Kellerbier (Munich, Germany)

Paulaner is one of the six main breweries in Bavaria, and their incredible kellerbier is the only beer in the world that I love. I generally hate beer, but this is as pure as snow and as smooth as silk. It’s a good thing, too, as bottled water is more expensive than brewskies in Munich.

#7. Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee (Tanzania)

Tanzanian peaberry coffee beans, freshly brewed with a simple Krup machine, are near perfect for curing AM grogginess. The only close competitor for early-morning favorites would be Kenya AA coffee, which ups the caffeine but sacrifices some flavor. The former is more elegant, the latter more brute force.

#6. Portuguese Green Wine (Portugal)

Vinho verde, so named for the ripeness and not the color, is sweet and refreshing, perfect for a hot and humid early evening in Lisbon. If you don’t like fruity wines (think Zinfandel), you might be better off trading green wine for a drier Napa Valley Pinot Noir.

#5. Pocari Sweat (Tokyo, Japan)

Not to be confused with the always amusing Calpis Water, Pocari Sweat is the post-exercise darling of Japan. Clear and less sugar-laden than Gatorade, it rehydrates without causing stomach upset and helps you recover from the oppressive heat in a heartbeat.

#4. Acai (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Acai, an Amazonian berry, can be found on any beach in Rio. Generally served with a dash of guarana syrup for caffeine and a guaranteed sugar rush, it looks like purple frozen yogurt and is delicious with a bit of granola or banana on top. Just keep an ear open for “acai, acai, acaiiiiiiii!” and look for tan men carrying coolers on their hips or heads.

#3. Long Jin Cha Green Tea (Hangzhou, China)

The famous “dragon well” tea of the western lake district is well known for good reason. It is one of the top 10 best-regarded teas in China and delivers a beautiful combination of lightness, mild taste, and immediate alertness.

#2. Cold Mugicha Barley Tea (Tokyo, Japan)

Mugicha is the anti-heat weapon of choice for millions of Japanese and Koreans. It has a strong flavor, but the few sessions it takes to acclimate and appreciate this unique drink is well worth it. It improves circulation and, in so doing, helps decrease body temperature more than simple ice water. A delicious but acquired taste.

#1. Yerba Mate (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Consumed from a gourd, and replete with a straw that strains the leaves for you, yerba mate is the food of the gods. It contains three stimulants (caffeine like coffee, theophylline like green tea, and theobromine like cocoa) and provides an extended increase in mental performance without a subsequent crash. I love “Cruz de Malta” brand, and I credit this beverage with producing my first book. Pura vida!


German Riesling or real Thai Red Bull? Mexican horchata or Panamanian passionfruit? What is your favorite liquid Epicurean delight?

[This post was originally published this morning on the “traveler’s weblog” Gadling . Digg it here!]


Other News and Goodies:

Want to learn how I hit #1 on the Wall Street Journal and #4 on the New York Times with no advertising or offline PR? Here’s a chance to hear what I did, step-by-step…

I’m aiming for #1 on the New York Times business list this month.

I was #2 last month, beaten by “Outrage”, which is political and shouldn’t be on the business list at all. Arghh! Here’s what I’m offering until end of day this Sunday, July 29: If you order 10 or more copies of 4HWW on (NOT Amazon) and send the email receipt to with “BLOG BONUS” in the subject, I’ll send you an exclusive interview I did with Jack Canfield–who co-created “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and has sold more than 150 million books–in which I discuss exactly how I planned and executed my blog launch for the book. This interview cannot be bought, and this offer is only good until end of day this Sunday, July 29. Get your ten or more copies for friends, colleagues, clients and workaholic spouses or children here!

Remember the treehouse and wild dog from Maui I mentioned a week ago? Here’s the video…

Trouble playing the video? Click here.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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99 Replies to “The Best 8 Beverages in the World (Plus: Maui Treehouse and Wild Dog Video)”

  1. Beer? Really? You’d give up beer? Really? This must be a joke. Have you HAD beer? Apparently not.

  2. Hi Tim,

    Japan certainly has some interestingly named beverages……. And yet they all seem to taste like grapefruit juice.

    A few things, first, I’m a big fan of red bull.. does the recipe really differ from country to country? I’ve heard rumors that Thai Red-Bull is made with ephedrine..?

    Also, I’ve read your book and really identify well with a lot of the things in it (and you actually) but it seems like most of your stuff is geared towards mid-careerers. This I guess is who you wrote the book for, but I, as a University student, would like to know how it applies to me. I don’t have any experience to leverage against employers. I love the idea of starting my own business, but don’t really have an expertise at this point (although I liked your section on how to become an ‘expert’ on something). Basically, what can you recommend for a young man like myself ready to take on the world? I feel like you should be able to help me here, as you seem to be younger than most people you’ve marketed your book to.

    Finally, I have 1 more year of University left… Any chances of convincing you to come and do a talk at my school? I’m in Canada, but I figured another country wouldn’t thwart you.

    I look forward to hearing from you… if you have a lot of detail about the subject I’d really appreciate an email.



  3. I’d definitely agree with you on the Long Jing Cha and the Acai. My favorite green tea is the Monkey Picked Oolong which is no longer picked by monkeys but has a wonderfully bright green hue and is amazing to drink. I’d say it’s a step above Long Jing Cha. Often called the “champagne of teas” it’s definitely up there with champagne in terms of price but I’ve never had anything like it. I like Chinese baiju as well, WuLiangYe. Most laowais hate it, but not me. Brazilian chopps are definitely up there too–Skol and Brahma. Great on a hot day and when you want to have good times with friends. As is Agua de Coco, another all-time favorite.

  4. I chose beer, even though I don’t drink much of it these days. I generally drink tea all the time (and only started drinking tea about a year and a half ago), but I used to brew beer regularly and I chose beer as the one to keep from a safety perspective.

    If I decide to travel the world, then the water may not be safe to drink in places. In those cases, I’d have to settle for beer, whereas tea may still not be safe to drink.

    The brewing process kills off the things that are harmful, which is one of the reasons that invading armies used to bring beer on long voyages with them.

  5. I love the Thai Red Bull that comes in the little square green glass bottle. That’s the one they usually don’t let the Westerners buy. They sell it at 7-11, even, in Bangkok.

  6. Having not sampled all of these, I won’t argue it’s the best — but Thai Red Bull is quite an experience. To start, it’s not carbonated and much richer in flavor. The consistency is noticeably thicker. It’s sold absolutely everywhere in small, glass bottles — at around 30 cents a bottle (USD). Needless to say, red bull and vodka was our drink of choice over a long island weekend.

  7. Two teas! Excellent. I voted for tea, naturally, but wine is a close second. Yes, Dragon Well tea…it doesn’t get much better than that.

    I just wrote on my blog today the top ten reasons tea needs to be drank every day.

  8. Hi All!

    Great recommendations, and I love the observation about beer being safer than water in places. Most true.

    Also, if you choose bottled water in areas with poor water safety (which I’d recommend), do not have ice! It comes from the tap or worse in most cases.

    UnaBonger, if you’re having trouble with the video, please see the link here:

    Anyone else having video issues?

    Keep the recommendations coming 😉


  9. Great choices, Tim. I’ve always liked Paulaner (their hefeweissen is very good too) and Tanzanian Peaberry, and recently my wife picked up some vinho verde, which we loved. And I still remember drinking green tea heated to about two million degrees in a Guangzhou teahouse – we had just driven through tea fields that day. Good times, good sipping.

  10. Thanks Tim. I couldn’t get to it at work but can from home. I didn’t realize it was being filtered. Great vid.

  11. Funny you should write about Yerba Mate, I was just introduced to it a few days ago. Wonderful stuff.

    Good advice regarding ice in drinks. Most restaurants have automatic ice makers that connect to tap water supplies.

    If I’m traveling to a place where I might be concerned about water safety I usually take a liter Nalgene bottle and a few water purification tablets with. I can pack things in it (razors, combs, toothpaste, etc.) during the flights and have a way to have safe water, especially at 3 AM after drinking all that beer. 🙂 If you do this remember to purify the threads of the bottle cap (turn it upside down, loosen the cap, let some water run out) so you don’t have any surprises after you put your lips to it.

  12. A quick question for Tim:

    Why do you promote Barnes & Noble for people placing multiple orders of your book? Does it have something to do with how the books are counted for the NYT ranking specifically? Why doesn’t Amazon serve the same function?


  13. Love the video clip…ah, Hana. I know exactly the place you were staying! Next time you’re there you should get out to the true end of the Hana Highway, Kipahulu. If you went to Oheo Gulch you got very close. It’s the best part of the island, IMHO. No nightlife, but real Maui. Hope you enjoyed the Molokini dive!

  14. zico coconut water. perfect post-bikram yoga. more potassium than gatorade with less calories. tastes best really cold. mmm.

  15. Keith, it sounds like you and I should be best friends. We’re in similar positions, but I’m a year ahead of you. I just graduated only to realize that four years of college didn’t buy me any concrete skills. I can tell you that once you graduate the pressure to get a “real job” is immense. I recommend reading some of Paul Graham’s writings especially A Student’s Guide to Startups ( and How To Do What You Love ( I think we have a distinct advantage over others and that is that we didn’t spend 10 years of our life learning that we what we want to do isn’t what we are doing. I’m trying to expose myself to as much randomness and other life experiences that will help me build character and determine what things in life are worth pursuing. This requires patience that you may have, but others around you do not. Don’t listen to them.

    As for drinks, in Vietnam you can get a soursop drink with condensed milk that is mighty good. In Myanmar they have a coffee that is brewed down to a thick paste and combined again with condensed milk. It is supposed to be very good, but I couldn’t find it when I was there.

    I chose beer simply because that is what people socialize with. Like Tim, I too found the taste of beer to be repulsing. My freshman year I literally used to gag at parties when I was drinking which was quite embarrassing. Four years later I actually enjoy the taste of beer (mainly because I’m not drinking college grade beer). My favorite is 312 w/ a slice of lemon. It’s a Goose Island beer brewed locally in Chicago. Give it a try.

  16. Is that really true, about beer? It would seem that the beer would dehydrate the soldiers? Or are you pulling my leg?

    You should put North Bogota, Colombia on your list. Seriously. It’s very swanky, and isn’t dangerous like it used to be. It felt a lot safer than Costa Rica. Check out the “Chico” neighborhood. Imagine drinking Colombian coffee… in Colombia!

  17. I definitely would give up beer or wine. There are so many benefits from drinking tea. Tea can be drank at any time. Tea can be drank hot or cold. Also tea has so many various flavors. I have drink Yerba Mate myself it is great.

  18. Hey Tim,

    I have a side question for you, how you make yourself learn a subject (econ, psychology, anything) in short of amount of time? Besides the Parkinson and Pareto Laws what else do you use to help you save time and increase efficiency?



  19. Tim:

    Congrats on the book dude! It’s truly inspiring! 🙂

    I was wondering what are the 3 most common questions you ask people when conducting your research? Your book mentions that you ask 3 questions but never states what those questions are…is this something you can share with us?

  20. Hi All!

    Kevin, correct you are. I ask that people use for multiple-copy orders because they count each book as an order. Amazon counts one order as one order, whether it’s one book or 500. is definitely what I recommend if you are an aspiring bestselling author and people are buying multiple copies.

    Peter and Corri, your questions are related. I’ll cover a bunch of learning in future posts, but the 3 questions I generally ask are:

    1. What were the 1-3 best uses of time and money when you did ___?

    2. What were the 1-3 biggest wastes of time and money when you did ___?

    3. If you were me, what would you be doing, and who would you speak with?

    Hope that helps!


  21. Hey Tim and everyone,

    I have just posted the video thanking you Tim for writing 4hww and saying how the book has changed my routine and helped me being more productive and having more time to play!

    Please check it out.

    btw I love acai! Never been to Brasil but used to live in Hawaii and there’s a group of people on the North Shore, who make everything acai. So good for you!



  22. Refajo. Colombiana with beer served in a frosted glass. Colombiana is to my knowledge only available in Colombia, but Refajo can be faked with IRN-BRU if you are in Scotland. Not quite the same experience of course.

  23. If you like Acai (which I still have no idea how to pronounce, so perhaps I’ll have to go to Rio and find out) you might want to try Odwalla’s Amazing Purple. I lived off of that stuff during midterms last years (okay, well that and goldfish), and I still love it.

    That and the Yerba Mate are both good.

  24. Doh! I was in Rio 6 days ago, sitting on Copacabana and heard the guys yelling out ‘Acai’ and didn’t really give them the time of day (after all, they were just one of about 150 guys trying to sell me something.) Next time…

    On the other hand, I’m in Uruguay today–the true home of Yerba Mate and will be in BsAs for the next few weeks and I’ve got my mate close at hand. You really can’t beat it for concentration and relaxing. Next time you’re down here, try Canarias brand mate – it’s the most popular in Uruguay and from what I understand, a bit more potent than Cruz de Malta.

    Great post… looking forward to trying some of the other beverages listed here 🙂

  25. Hi Tim!

    B&N is only $14 for the hardcover! What a bargain.

    I’ll take u up on the 10 deal.

    QUESTION: Can I post this Canfield interview on my NING? or is this “for our eyes only”?

    Also, since nobody has said it, COCA-COLA gets my vote! Strangely enough I only truly discovered it 4 years ago (age 32), never enjoyed it up to that point. Tastebud shift?

    I love the Red Bull commercials but I can’t understand how anyone could drink it straight being sooo sweet! And the Thai real version is even sweeter? Does it really have ephedrine (Mau Haung?)

    My wife is Japanese and still gets monthly shipments from her mom of all her fave foods and teas that she can’t get here. So her vote is for the green tea named after some dragon.


  26. Victory,

    I dont really think Tim would want everyone posting the interview.

    It would kind of piss-off people (like myself) who legitimately bought 10 copies of the book with the expectation that they’re getting something not available anywhere else.

    Also (to Tim), when are you emailing people with the Canfield interview?



  27. Hey Tim,

    What camera did you use for the video?



    Hi Rich,

    I used the Canon Powershot — my fav of faves — that I listed in the “How to Travel the World with Less than 10 lbs.” post a week or two ago. I love it. I cut the file size to about 10% of the usual quality to upload it.

    Hope that helps!


  28. Hello All!

    James, I also dig Aquarius but usually water it down a bit first.

    Victory, please DO NOT post the interview anywhere. It is definitely for your ears only, and it would get me in trouble with Jack if it were to be posted everywhere, not to mention that it would be unfair to people who are getting the 10 books for this content. Thanks for understanding! There will be plenty of content coming soon that you can put on, and I appreciate the enthusiasm.

    Alex, the interview should go out within 24-48 hours of you sending the email receipt to I’ll also follow up with her to make sure.

    Thanks to all!


  29. Tim,

    Hawaii changed my life. Be sure to jump/swim the 7 pools in Hana.

    Right now, I’m in Panama.. Bella Vista to be exact. Where can I buy the book down here?



  30. No way, Diet Pepsi Max is the best drink ever! Wake up, people! (Please say you’ve seen the commercials –

    Sorry, there is a lot of caffeine running through my system!

  31. Hey Tim,

    My favorite bev. is Mate in the morning, and an acai shake with protein powder after a workout.

    For anyone curious, they can see a pix of my breakfast with my mate. (Search “mate” on my site.)



  32. Ahhhhhh, yes…beautiful Maui!!!!

    When I was a hospital design consultant…we’re talking 80 hour weeks as the “norm” (which is why I don’t do that anymore)…my client rented a house for me in Lanikai about 1-1/2 blocks from the beach. And every day I would go into the backyard to pick those fresh papayas, mangos, and passion fruit for breakfast every day, too. What absolute bliss!

    Thanks for stirring up such a delightful memory for me.

    PS: Don’t know how long you’ll be in the islands, but if you have a chance you might want to hook up with Roxanne Darling. Here’s her recent Beach Walks episode from Lanikai Beach to pique your interest:


  33. Hey Tim,

    I LOVE the video. I’m 16 and already run 2 businesses and plan to use one of them to go international to allow me to travel. I really admire what you’re doing and plan on purchasing your book this weekend. Have fun!


  34. I just finished your book and was inspired. Thank you for that.

    I know a member of the NR who you should meet. He is the owner of an adventure travel company called Off-The-Rails and the Director of Airline Ambassadors. He lives in San Francisco. I would like to introduce the two of you if you can make your way to the Bay Area. I believe you guys could successfully promote each other.

    I would also like to talk to you about language aquisition. I am also a lover of languages, fluent in Spanish and Italian (at least according to most people’s standards), and proficient in spoken Hebrew. I have learned languages through total immersion. I would like to know how you go about aquiring a language in a few months. I am going to be teaching Spanish and Italian to make some money while I put myself through law school. If you have the secret to helping people reach a level of fluency in a few months then I must get the secret! I want to be as effective as possible for my students. I also want your ideas on how to live the life you live once I start the business I plan on starting.

    Let me know when you, Dave Douglas of Off-The-Rails, and I can meet in San Francisco for lunch or dinner.


    Victoria Vertner

  35. Ha! Pocari rules! I’m traveling Japan right now and I’ve downed liters and liters of the stuff, especially when bicycling in the current weather conditions. Mugicha Barley is a really acquired taste — but what I most love about Japanese beverages is the fact that they sell ice coffee in vending machines in every street corner, and different flavours of it too.

    I’m glad Aquarius got a mention as well – used to be available widely in Europe but not anymore, that was the only sport-drink-like liquid you could get from anywhere. Now we have to rely on… uh… sports nutrition brands 😉

  36. For the best beverages, you might also consider young Thai coconut (not to be confused with the brown furry coconuts) water (not to be confused with coconut milk), which is both delicious and healthy–said to have the same electrolyte balance as blood. That’s why it’s a good post-workout drink. Here’s more info:

    After that, any big fruity red.

    And after that, Fresca, of course!

  37. If you enjoy beer, especially pale lagers, you’ll want to spend some time in the Czech Republic. My all-time favorite is DaÄ?ický, but I only ever found it in a tiny part of eastern Bohemia around the towns of Kutná Hora (where I believe it’s brewed) and Kolín. Another good one that’s much easier to find is Velkopopovický Kozel. The Czech imports that have made it to the US are pretty decent, but can’t compare even to the same brands on draft back in the home country, carefully tapped for a perfect head….

  38. Tea. Preferably green tea, flavored with mint. For those sacred moments spent with a woman divine.

  39. Hello.

    My vote is for water, evertime.

    In fact, I like it so much that its right up there at number two on my “Favourite Things of All Time” list – straight after AIR.

    : )

    Yerba Mate, love that too (although its nowhere near water on the list). Personal favourite is Rosemonte, preferably handed to me by a gorgeous Argentine girl, eyes warm and smiling away, as is so often (and addictively) the case.

  40. Orangina definitely belongs on the list. It may not be as exotic as Pocari Sweat, but I’ve yet to find another beverage that can cure a salt water and humidity-induced thirst so well!

  41. Re: poll.

    You could have a different wine everyday of your life, 3 times a day, and never have to repeat the same wine. Ever.

    Imagine, a different experience each and every time: Etheral, good, bad, indiferent. That’s how I’d rather live.

    Water? eh. Tasteless. And water sommeliers are just overrated, seriously.

  42. I used to drink Pocari here in the States when I was a kid… loved it. But then, it disappeared.

    I went to Japan when I was 14, and there it was… but they added the ‘sweat’ term. I wondered why, until I went to a kiosk at a train station and asked for a Pocari.

    “Bacardi?” the man said, handing me a bottle of rum.

    Tempting, but no — too thirsty to try to get away with buying Bacardi that day (I’m tall, but shoot — I was only 14).

    If anyone knows how to get a hold of some in the U.S., let us know.

  43. I’d have to choose Tea over Beer and Wine — everytime. Tea is one of life’s simple pleasures that is wonderful hot, warm and cold.

  44. I was in Hauna last summer. There was a black sand beach near there that was probably the most beautiful, serene beach I’ve ever seen in my life! I have a picture from there on my desk that I stare at every day. I want to go back so badly! Tiffany

  45. I think hot sunny climates are the best place to incubate amazing drinks, in South Africa there are quite a few delicious completely natural fruit juices:

    Superjuice (the crack of fruit juices), LiquiFruit, Appletizer, Grapetizer and more (haven’t been back in a while!).

    In colder climates you get amazing chocolate drinks, Pucko from Sweden is ust awesome, as well as it’s Danish siblings!

  46. Tea for sure there are many flavors you can drink it hot or cold there has been proven health benifits.. I love wine don’t get me wrong but i’ll pick something that will keep me sobor.. I couln’t imagine if i could only drink wine!

    i wouldn’t be able to drive or anything!

    i think you should of put more on there!

  47. Tim

    Your innovative thinking has really changed the way I look at my life and career. Have you ever thought about getting a channel on avantgo? I’m sure that it would be very popular.

  48. Hello – how do the NR invest any extra money they may have? Im not sure todays Financial Consultant can appreciate/understand the NR lifestyle. Tim

  49. OK, I know this is gonna sound weird, but for me, THE most refreshing drink in the world is a Diet Cherry Limeade from Sonic. It’s my one addiction. If I see a Sonic, I pretty much have to have one.

    On the healthier end of the spectrum, my two favorites are 1) fresh pineapple juice, and 2) a blend of pear, key lime and ginger fresh juice. Both are pretty thick & rich and best over a lot of ice.

  50. tim –

    cannot find the exhaustive coverage of blogs and how to build buzz with, etc. where is it,please?

    also, good on the rap for christine’s book “rules for renegades”, but the link takes you AWAY from your site instead of opening in a separate window. must_maintain_sticky_website, dear.

  51. I dove molokini a few years back, saw some sharks too! Funny, I thought this place looked identical to a house I stayed at on the Big Island near Captain Cook. We swam with dolphins that trip and I started thinking on the same wavelength as four hour workweek…Tim has only recently started to give words to my thoughts. We were also both born in ’77…rock on Tim!

  52. Mexican Pulque! So much history behind it that it doesn’t matter that it taste like crap. They now have it in cans in some places but they filtered it quite a bit and added some other ingrediants to make the taste and smell a little easier to take down.

    Anything from the Agave plant gets my vote… Pulque, Tequila, Mezcal, Agave Nectar.

  53. I am a obsessed with drinks of all kinds, especially the unusual types. My short list would have to include :

    #3 Malta (malta india) which is a non-alcoholic Malt beverage with a very robust almost molassis flavor.

    #2 fresh fruit ‘Frescas’ preferably Honey Dew, but any ripe fresh fruit will do. Its simply blended up fruit, water, and sweetener ( I prefer the taste of Agave Nectar). a cold ‘fresca’ with chunks of the fruit is Heaven on a hot day.

    #1 Is without a doubt ‘Koko Samoa’ this is popular in samoa and NZ. Its just roasted and smashed coco beans, which harden into a chunk of Koko. The coco bean paste/pulp (koko) is boiled in water for about 30 minutes. What you end up with is a serious wake-up beverage that has lots of roasted coco nibs you get to nibble on as you drink it. I like adding some cream or soy milk to mine and sweeten to taste. WARNING: if you order this online make sure you dont get burnt reject Koko…Ive had this happen….its very sad. Try This Out if you ever get a chance!!!

  54. Hi Tim

    Congrats on the new edition of the book! I just started drinking yerba mate (love the taste) and did some research on it. I came across some information that it might be carcinogenic. Are u aware of this? I really love the stuff and can drink more than 1 litre a day so am now a bit worried. Here’s a link to some info I found:

    I know everything is probably safe in moderation but I really love it and want to continue my mass consumption 🙂 Was wondering if you know more about this aspect of yerba mate.

  55. As to the question of whether mate can be carcinogenic, the substances blamed for the alleged toxicity are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), but are they naturally present in mate or the result of growing it in polluted areas and spraying it with pesticides as nearly all non-organic food growers do? Here’s an excerpt from:

    What are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)?

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of over 100 different chemicals that are formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil and gas, garbage, or other organic substances like tobacco or charbroiled meat. PAHs are usually found as a mixture containing two or more of these compounds, such as soot.

    Some PAHs are manufactured. These pure PAHs usually exist as colorless, white, or pale yellow-green solids. PAHs are found in coal tar, crude oil, creosote, and roofing tar, but a few are used in medicines or to make dyes, plastics, and pesticides.

    What happens to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) when they enter the environment?

    * PAHs enter the air mostly as releases from volcanoes, forest fires, burning coal, and automobile exhaust.

    * PAHs can occur in air attached to dust particles.

    * Some PAH particles can readily evaporate into the air from soil or surface waters.

    * PAHs can break down by reacting with sunlight and other chemicals in the air, over a period of days to weeks.

    * PAHs enter water through discharges from industrial and wastewater treatment plants.

    * Most PAHs do not dissolve easily in water. They stick to solid particles and settle to the bottoms of lakes or rivers.

    * Microorganisms can break down PAHs in soil or water after a period of weeks to months.

    * In soils, PAHs are most likely to stick tightly to particles; certain PAHs move through soil to contaminate underground water.

    * PAH contents of plants and animals may be much higher than PAH contents of soil or water in which they live.

    Notice that it says they are poorly soluble in water (tea water?) and the main source is air pollution and pesticides.

    This reminds me of a study that supposedly linked high consumption of hot peppers to greatly increased cancer rates. When you look at how the study was done, however, you realize that the peppers the study participants were eating were grown in Mexico and absolutely SATURATED with pesticides – much more than usual. (A lot of herbs grown in 3rd-world countries are that way, unfortunately). Add to that that other studies have actually found that hot peppers can decrease cancer risk and I think you get the point.

    I am VERY skeptical of almost all “studies” until I know a few things about how they were done, who financed them (conflict of interest?), how the results were interpreted, how many other studies found conflicting results, etc.

    I’m going to continue enjoying my organic mate’, but I’ll also be remembering , “All things in moderation… including moderation.”



  56. I’d like to contribute ‘Sobe Rush’, the energy drink sold in Argentina, for consideration for a future top 10 of worldwide beverages.

    Tastes average, but you’ll want to buy it as well after seeing the ad campaign.

    Latinos ‘doing’ Japanese culture – amazing:

  57. I only know 3 out of 8 in your list, I haven’t heard the rest just the teas and acai. Very interesting list, it made me curious to search for the other beverages and ‘love to try them. Thanks 🙂


  58. Would prefer acai berry and pocari sweat. But I wonder why these types of drinks aren’t so common in other countries. Although, it adds to the exotic feel, when you are in RIO and gulping some cocktails.

    -Ray Wilson

  59. I hate Mugicha (wheat tea) in any form,it has a disgusting taste. You are very right about Pocari Sweat,I used to drink it while in Japan competing in Judo and it replenishes you faster than any beverage I have ever drank.

    In the tea category Long Jing is definitely not at the top of the list flavor wise. I would put Gunpowder tea,Jasmine Tea,any brand of White Tea,Tea Guanyin,Black Tea grown in beds of roses (as they do on tea plantations in Yunnan Province arounf the Stone Forrest,you get the rose aroma when you add the heated water).

    Great list nonetheless,it is all a matter of preference,I am sure quite a few Americanos would put Big Red at the top of the list! Yuck!

  60. Favourite beverage: German Piesporter Goldtropfchen white wine, drinking it while cruising on a Rhine River steamer during a sojourn to the old Roman wine country between Colon & Wiesbaden…on a sunny afternoon. ;->)

  61. Which maté products did they study? Most mainstream maté is dried by using smoke, which one may appreciate is potentially carcinogenic. However, Ché and Kraus brands – as well as select products from Guakaki and others – are dried ‘naturally’, without smoke.

    Aside from the admission in that article that hot water may actually be the cause of increase in cancer, the finding of PAHs in some maté is hardly proof that maté causes cancer. What is the net carcinogenic load when factoring in the antioxidants in maté? Are there cancers which occur less often in maté drinkers? What correlative activities do maté drinkers engage in? Fernet abuse? Alfajore binging? I’m being flippant of course, but that article really isn’t complete enough science.

    Thought provoking though – I do reach for the naturally dried brands now.

  62. Hey Tim – Have you ever tried the drink NingXia Red? It is really amazing and I think you would enjoy it not only for its taste, but also for its amazing supporting health benefits. [Moderator: link removed]

  63. Aloha Tim!

    Next time you are in Maui look us up. The 4 Hour Workweek as been an inspiration for [Moderator: link removed] would love to host you and go on a hike or a surf.


    Larry Ward

  64. Pocari Sweat is really popular in Dubai too, that’s where I tried it out of morbid curiosity… Its a really weird name!

    1. Hell yeah Pocari Sweat, we had a permanently replenished supply in the fridge for months in Bali in case of hangover/illness/dehydration, great stuff.

  65. Thanks for the list Tim! It’s great to see pocari sweat on here. After a 9 month rotation in Korea I can say I had my fair share of pocari sweat as both a hangover cure and post hike thirst quencher. Have you looked into the assortment of “hangover cure” drinks they have in Korea? I know you have a few tested remedies and prevention techniques yourself, but I wonder if any of their pre-bottled methods have any scientific merit to them? Vice recently did a piece on the industry itself, I’d recommend looking into it if you find time!

  66. How can JAVAZEN not be on this list? As a mix of coffee+tea+superfoods it contains 5 of the 8 beverages listed? That’s Yerba mate, acaí, tea(x2), and coffee. I sit at a desk job for 9 hours a day and this stuff works wonders at keeping me awake and doesn’t upset my stomach like normal coffee does. I’d put it as #1 on this list if I were making it, In fact it came to mind with every description I read. Definitely worth checking out!

  67. Get over your over inflated ego! So let me get this right…you want us to shell out a bunch of money to buy not one but 4 copies of your over rated trash book so you can satisfy your ego to get your latest trash book to #1? Riiiiiiiiight

  68. There is a lesser known berry that’s actually more potent than acai, called aronia. Very popular in Eastern Europe. The berry is very sensitive to terroir. Privilege berries grown in warm, sunny areas, for richer, better taste and higher level of health properties.

  69. I’m enjoying a cup of Yogi soothing caramel bedtime tea right now. It’s a relaxing way to end the day, but it doesn’t put me to sleep right awazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  70. Next time in Brazil, search for a food and beverages chain called “Rei do Mate” (King of Mate) and you can mix Mate and Açaí in the same drink (with guaraná syrup top). Just don’t try to sleep later, lol.

  71. Cold mugicha is the shit! It’s hard to appreciate when it’s still not warm outside, but it’s one of the things I like best about summer in Japan. Tall glass of ice-cold mugicha with the cicadas making a cacophony all around you in August is a lovely thing.

  72. You ever tried ceremonial grade cacao? It’s not hot chocolate – as not made with milk but the way I make it is cacao paste, powder and a bunch of other good things like tumeric, cayenne pepper (activates the cacao), maca, mesquite, ghee, salt and pepper. Think it’s about to go mainstream as people love chocolate, it gives you lots of energy over the day, supports the immune system, flushes your blood and if you have a strong enough dose makes you feel a bit high.

    Have recently read some kids are snorting lines of pure cacao in clubs and in Europe there are conscious raves where everyone drinks cacao and then dances for 3 hours 7-10am with a much more open heart.

    If you try some do let me know how you get on.



  73. Pocari Sweat really helped me out in Japan after I experienced food poisoning from a tonkatsu chicken burger and fries at McDonalds… my curiosity of how McDonald’s tasted in other countries got the better of me.