Saturday, August 8, 2009

Back in the CSSR 2: Pleasures of Kofola

Traveling in the former Czech and Slovak Socialist Republic I have again had many opportunities to enjoy Kofola, the CSSR's answer to the Captialist West's Coke and Pepsi. Dark, carbonated, and slightly bitter, Kofola was created by a state-owned pharmaceutical company in an effort to find a use for surplus caffeine produced by coffee roasting facilties. Now it's the most popular soft drink in Slovakia -- ahead of both its American rivals -- and #2 in the Czech Republic.

I wrote a piece on the revival of Communist era products -- including Kofola -- in The Christian Science Monitor on my last trip to the former CSSR. Since then I developed a fantasy that, at the height of the Cold War, Czechoslovak agents stole the secrets to Maine's indigenous-ish soft drink, Moxie, one that I shared with Jim Baumer while he was writing Moxietown. After all, they seem to taste the same, and both are best served ice cold.

Photo (c) 2008-9 Colin Woodard.


  1. Hi Colin,
    I am not sure whether you posted a comment to our article
    however, it was nice to discover your blog. I can't wait to read more about your experiences from the former CSSR.

  2. Thanks, Daniela. Plenty of material coming up from East-Central Europe....