• A. Denise Beltré

Kuat: My Search For the Perfect Guarana

Going to Brazil for the first time is like a sensory overload. If the journey begins in Rio de Janeiro, even more so. Getting out of the airport and feeling that first blast of warm, tropical air hit you in the face is just the start of the experience. For me, it was the beginning of something else, because you see, I was thirsty. For many this wouldn’t even be worth mentioning, but it led to discover something I didn’t expect.

Upon arriving at our hotel, I realized that I’d finished my water bottle, and I needed something refreshing to drink. I made my way out to the small store next door. Naturally I was looking for water, and purchased a bottle. But as I walked through the refrigerator section, I noticed several beverages that I didn’t recognize. One in particular caught my eye: Antartica. ‘Hmm,’ I thought, ‘What is this?’ I asked the store clerk what type of drink it was, and he answered “Guarana.” I’d heard of guarana, but I didn’t remember ever tasting it, so I bought one. After finishing my water bottle, I tried the Antartica, and it was like nothing I’d ever tasted! A carbonated sweet drink with hints of lemon-lime and something else. The something else was the guarana, and it was delicious! I shared it with my travel mates, who also loved the taste, and we went looking for more!

Every time we spotted a small shop that sold snacks, we would go inside and search for our Antartica.

It was about three days after our arrival that we found it. Going into a small store, we asked if they had Antartica, and the store keeper said that didn’t, they only sold Kuat (pronounced quach). We’d never heard of Kuat, so we bought a bottle. The taste explosion we experienced was like fireworks. We all had the same reaction at the same time. “This is amazing!” We happily gulped down the rest of the Kuat, and ran back to buy another. For the next three weeks we would hungrily search for Kuat in every store and hotel snack bar. We found that there were different flavors, and we couldn’t get enough! The last bottle of Kuat I drank was in the airport on the way home. I knew that I would probably not taste it again for a long time.

When I returned to the USA I found that I was right. Somehow Antartica was sold in several places, but not Kuat. To this day when I meet Brazilians I ask them if they like Kuat, and they’re often surprised that I know that it is.

Visiting Brazil helped me find the perfect guarana: Kuat. Go explore Brazil, and see where it leads you!


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