Ubuntu: Free as in Cola

· by Steve · Read in about 2 min · (357 Words)

I happened to be passing through one of our local Fair Trade shops today to pick up some more coffee beans, as is my habit - not only do they have more variety than most regular supermarkets, but their blends are almost universally better quality, thus slaking the taste buds of the discerning Java drinker as well as giving a warm fuzzy feeling that you’re doing something positive for farmers in developing countries, or at least helping them get screwed slightly less than they would otherwise be.

Anyway, the crux of this story is not coffee, because right there on the counter as I was paying I spotted a drinks can emblazoned with the name ‘Ubuntu Cola’, which made me suddenly smirk and chuckle involuntarily in a way that prompted the cashier to give me an unusual look. Of course, I could have spent the time explaining to him that Ubuntu was the name of a free software operating system, and thus to see it turning up on the side of a can of cola was pretty surprising, but we could have been there for a while, and he probably wouldn’t have thought me any less crazy by the end of it either - I suspect he would have just been a little more specific about it (i.e. a crazy geek). As such it was faster just to grab a can, add it to my tab and be on my way.

So what’s it like? Well, it’s a little darker than regular big-name cola and tastes quite a bit like Pepsi, although oddly it seems to remind me of the Pepsi of my youth, perhaps because the ingredient list seems a little simpler and it’s loaded with natural cane sugar rather than ‘high fructose corn syrup’ (whatever that is). Overall pretty good - I usually don’t choose to drink cola these days but it was worth the experiment, if only for the blogworthiness 😀

As it turns out, there’s a whole Ubuntu Trading Company and it appears Ubuntu Cola might just be the first of many Ubuntu food products. I wonder what Mark Shuttleworth thinks of that?