In this Edition of Lost in Digestion: Go Caf Crazy with Bernachon Canned Coffee

November 5, 2018

This is Lost in Digestion; where we do a quick review of the oddest-looking mystery eats available from the many Asian groceries all over the Metro. From Japanese Hello Kitty Melons  (which cost way too much) to extrasmegaupersized fries (which cost way too little ), we got you covered.

I have a complicated relationship with caffeine. That’s why whenever I pass by my favorite discount Japanese store, I always find myself drawn to the aisle where they keep all the imported canned coffee. This can be an expensive habit, partly because the miniature cans all look so cute, it makes me want to buy one of every adorable variant, but mostly because of the damaged merchandise fees I always end up paying. They always stack the cans so badly, as if it was built by someone who never played with Lego growing up (or wants the stack to be precarious on purpose). A hard stare is enough to make it topple most times, and any poor sap in the general vicinity when the coffee pyramid inevitably collapses is then forced to pay for any of the cans that end up with a dent (that is to say all of them).

Like I said, expensive.

During my last visit, I picked up (by choice) a couple of cans of Bernachon Coffee. I’m pretty sure they’re Asian, fulfilling that set of requirements for Lost in Digestion, but ask me from where in Asia it hails from specifically, and I wouldn’t know the answer. It’s covered in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean script all over, none of which I can read. The word coffee is in English, though, and that’s good enough for me.



I bought two cans, and as you could see, they’re both awfully pretty. The shades of red and blue they picked look particularly appealing to me, reminiscent more of expensive cars rather than plastic picnic cups. Also, the cans are mini-sized. And just like socks for toddlers, baby corn, and those little bottles of expensive booze you get in the hotel, smaller versions of bigger things will always be cuter.

As for the coffee inside, they’re both just coffee with milk, so they look pretty similar to each other and to every other cup of coffee with milk you’ve finished. There was nothing terribly sexy or exciting in their appearance. One was light brown, and the other was a lighter light brown.

As this graphic (which took me an hour to make because I’m a dinosaur) clearly illustrates.

Taste and Texture

The blue can is labeled Mandheling. Mandheling is a c. arabica variant found in North Sumatra, Indonesia. The name isn’t really specific to any particular kind of bean or processing style, it just refers to the region where the coffee’s grown.

This coffee tasted very sweet, almost cloyingly so but not quite. It was also very creamy, just a few notches below what I would call thick. One thing I didn’t like was the formulation; I would’ve preferred less dairy in their mix. While it was still very drinkable, it didn’t taste like coffee coffee to me. It also left a very fruity aftertaste in my mouth, an almost grape-like taste. It was an odd but not really unpleasant flavor.

The red can’s contents were also sweet and creamy, but less so than the blue can’s. This actually tasted like coffee to me, but I still would’ve preferred a stronger coffee flavor. I’m a pretty far gone cafjunkie though, so my coffee preferences may be a bit out of whack.  I could also taste a much more complex and smoky flavor compared to the Mandheling, I guess that’s the roast part of its Italian Roast label.


Caffeine content is always a big thing for me when it comes to coffee. It’s pretty much the only reason why I (and so many other people like me) drink it in the first place. (Unless you’re one of those weirdoes who drink decaf, buy non-alcoholic beer, or continued to watch Scrubs post season 8. If so, I’m sorry, we can’t be friends anymore.)

The Mandheling is pretty decent in this regard as each 58kcal can comes with 55mg of the good stuff. That’s about a little under a third stronger than your average real-life cup of coffee. The Italian Roast does even better. It clocks in at a very respectable 70mg of caffeine per serving. Drink two of those red cans at once and you’d be buzzed for the next two to three hours.

Final Rating

Lost in Digestion gives Bernachon’s ambiguously Asian canned coffee four Ambiguously Asian Babies out of five. I still don’t know where the product comes from, but I bet one of these tiny humans probably came from the same country.


It also only costs Php 33.00 (though you do have to buy two at a time). While it’s nowhere near the piso-per-caf ratio of say, a box of Extra Joss  sachets, only crazy people (like me) evaluate drinks in that manner. For those still in possession of their sanity, there are much worse coffee choices out there.

Bernachon tastes nice, the packaging’ great, and it packs a decent kick. It’ll wake you up no problem. Plus, it got me to google image search Asian babies, and that brightened up the rest of my week immensely.


Lars Roxas Lars Roxas

Laurence is a twenty-something turtle pretending to be a writer. In the past, he has worked as a warehouse clerk, Apple genius, martial arts instructor, copywriter, editor, english teacher, and personal trainer. He can’t swim or ride a bike, but he's done Judo on three continents. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Occasionally, his stories appear in real actual books. He makes awesome waffles.

6 comments in this post SHOW

6 responses to “In this Edition of Lost in Digestion: Go Caf Crazy with Bernachon Canned Coffee”

  1. Lesly Bries says:

    Two for 88 deals on the canned coffee in Japan Home Center always perks me up. The UCC canned stuff is such a steal! It tastes better than canned Nescafe too.

  2. peppermintfreya says:

    Where can you buy these?

  3. mumblingmaya says:

    There’s this black canned coffee I got from SM Hypermart for my bf. It tasted week and a little salty even.

  4. etteirrah says:

    I read Mandheling as man-handling. what

    Anyway, I think Bernachon is from Hong Kong:

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