Stoney Tangawizi – Africa’s Soda on Steroids!

 

I don’t particularly like soda.

In fact, I avoid drinking soda most of the time. Any kind of soda to me usually just tastes like sweet bubbles of sugar, which I’m not really a fan of.

It’s not a deep hate that I have for soda, I’ll drink it if it’s the only option – but if there is something else available (like water), I usually choose it.

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Stoney Tangawizi - East Africa

I’m much more inclined to drink a cup dark robust coffee, a comforting tea, or bottle of locally brewed beer.

All of this is true, until I land back in East Africa (mostly Kenya or Tanzania) and have my first beverage: always a Stoney Tangawizi!

I love it so much that I might even get my hands on a Stoney prior to making my way to the butcher for a couple kilos of nyama choma.

There’s a pungent mist that is exerted as soon as the bottle is popped, the trapped pressure escapes. I take my first sip, closing my eyes to ponder and thoroughly enjoy the up-the-nose burning sensation that delightfully accompanies the initial swig.

It’s a moment that I remember from long long ago, a soda so powerful it can make you cry.

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Bottle of the Best Soda in the World!

What is a Stoney Tangawizi?

You might be curious now, what kind of soda is this? Tangawizi is the Kiswahili word for “ginger.”

Imagine an intense Gingerale, a ginger sensation that seems like it was injected with fierce steroids, combining a solvent and reactant that fosters a potent chemical reaction. The recipe is beyond brilliant!

The soft beverage is produced in East Africa by Coca-Cola and bottled into brown bottles.

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Coca Cola Sales Container - Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

I’ve been drinking Stoney Tangawizi for 18 years now, and though I drink soda very rarely, I could drink Tangawizi everyday!

I’m open for other suggestions, but as of now, I’ve never had a soda on earth that is as good or as powerful as a Stoney.

Ever had a Stoney Tangawizi soda in East Africa?  How did you like it?  What’s your favorite soda?

 

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Comments

  1. Jan Ross says

    I am seriously addicted to Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper lately. It’s all I drink and I just can’t get enough.

    • Daisy says

      Wow! I LOVE Stoney Tagawizi!!! I discovered it during a mission trip to Uganda last summer. It’s fun to see I am not the only one with such a love for it. It’s more than just a soda, there is something about the flavors that make it really special. I haven’t seen it anywhere here in Colorado. Just be careful all you Mzungus going to E. Africa…here’s my little story. I’m not the biggest person ever and discovered this amazing soda in this equatorial nation. I should have been drinking more WATER… I wound up with the beginning of dehydration–cold sweat, cramps, dizziness… Luckily it was easily remedied by imbibing a lot of water and being disciplined about how much water I was drinking. Alas, no more Stoney Tagawizi for the rest of the trip. We were spending a lot of time out in the sun and dancing with the tribal women–another memorable part of my trip. Anyway, just wanted to share, how cool there is a whole website about loving Stoney Tangawizi!! lol

    • says

      Bravo!!!! I am an immense fan of Stoney! I first had a Stoney in Kenya, Africa, and I have not liked another drink as much since! You are so right, one has to taste it to know the experience in full !!!!

    • says

      Cool, glad to hear it’s also popular in SA. I’ve heard and seen Grapetiser, but I’ve never tried it – I’ll sample it next time I get a chance – thanks for sharing!

    • says

      To be honest, 10 years ago it used to be easier to find – anywhere you could get Coke. Now it’s at fewer restaurants, but you can always get it at the big supermarkets, and more local style butchery eateries. I think you’ll love it!

  2. says

    I’m also not a big fan of soda, but mostly due to the carbonation. Sounds like this soda has oodles of carbonation, so I’m not sure I’d be as big of a fan! But with your glowing recommendation I just might have to try it someday. :)

  3. says

    I don’t think I could muster to drink that soda! Its amazing how many different types of sodas there out there that I have never heard of. Soda to me is just something I try to stay clear of at all cost. I would try this though simply because you’ve made me curious. Nice post love those bottles.

    • says

      Yah – I remember the bottle in that movie, might be the same kind! It would be great if you had a chance to try Stoney, I also don’t like fizzy soda too much, but love this!

  4. says

    Thanks for the great post — we just got back from a mission trip in Kenya and my wife was “jonesing” for a Stoney the whole time. We call it the Gateway Soda. Now if we could just find it here in Texas . . .

    • says

      Great Neil – hope you had an awesome mission trip. My parents actually live in Tanzania now and work with a mission organization. I hope you guys can find Stoney in Texas – there’s a sizable Kenyan population there, so you just might be able to find it!

  5. chifeef says

    This soda is AMAZING!! It has been over ten years since I’ve tasted it’s pungent goodness and I still crave it. In fact, I was searching for a way to get it here in the U.S. when I landed on here. Glad to know I not the only one jonesing for this stuff!

    • says

      Haha, awesome!!! It’s by far the best soda for sure. I was just traveling in Sri Lanka and I had a “Lion Ginger Beer” – it was comparable to a Stoney – not sure if you can find that in the States, let me know!

  6. Andy D says

    I discovered Stoney in 2004 while serving on a short-term Christian team in Uganda. I have since returned to East Africa five times and have always successfully refreshed my memory of Stoney. Some people might consider your description of Stoney “over the top.” I would title that group — “Those who have never had a Stoney!” It really is unique and I join you in your quest to get the word out.

    Still looking for a source in the US, but have not been successful….yet.

    • says

      Cool to hear this Andy, thanks for sharing! I think the only way to really understand a stoney is to drink one, before that all descriptions sound over the top! I hope they start selling it in the US soon!

  7. Brian Bilderback says

    Interesting. I was directed here by a friend who loves and misses Stoney, because she said you described it better than she could.

    I too have a favorite pop that I believe that it, too, is superior to other carbonated beverages. Fortunately, my favorite is American-made and easily acquired. It’s called Vernors, and it originated in Michigan. Like Stoney, it is a ginger-based soft drink. It’s not as pungent as your description, but it does have abit of a zing, and it does assault the nose – in its case due in great part to its small, champagne-like bubbles. It’s incredibly complex for a soda — the makers boast they still age it in oak barrels before bottling. The zing of the ginger is offset by the mellow notes of its second most dominant flavor component, vanilla. It’s probably nothing like Stoney, but I dare say it’s on a par when it comes to the devotion of its drinkers.

    As for drinks here in the states that just plain go for as much gingeriness as possible, I’d recommend trying Cock and Bull or Reed’s.

    • says

      Hey Brian, thanks a lot for sharing this. I’ve never heard of Vernors, but your description makes me want to try one as soon as I get back to the States next time – I’ll keep an eye out for it! Thanks also for the other suggestions!

      • Brian Bilderback says

        Mark,

        It’s my pleasure. If you find yourself in the upper midwest, particularly Michigan, I recommend you get it in bottles – it really does make a difference. Sadly, here on the west coast, I have to settle for cans, but it’s still better than other pops.

  8. nairobi native says

    hahaha stoney ni soda ya kipekee nakuambia! The best soda ever. I remember the first time I drank one, boy, it brought tears to my eyes and made me cough a bit lol. Today I don’t suffer the same reaction, the human body is so adaptable, eh?

    I live in Nairobi and these things are all over the place. I’m willing to ship them to any part of the world, get in touch with me – nairobidrifter@yahoo.com

  9. Lauren says

    Ahhhh I miss it so badly! I was in Uganda last year and it was all I got at the restaurants. Serious cravings.

  10. Massawe says

    Just got off skype with a cousin in Tanzania and I was cracking them up because I tried to get them to send me a whole crate of Stoney via DHL. The craving was so strong I had to google ‘Stoney Tangawizi’ just so I can day dream about it. Maybe if they send me the crate I can send you one :)

  11. Emma Gillard says

    I was recently in Uganda for a month and absolutely fell in love with stoney. I am trying to order some for my friend’s birthday since she loved it too but can only find the south african canned version which is apparently not as nice. Does anyone know where I might be able to order some? I live in England but am happy to pay postage to have it sent over.

      • Hollis says

        Dear fellow addict…..;-) I found a product here in the US that comes close. It’s a mixer from a UK company called Fever Tree and it’s their Ginger Beer. The bottles are small and they’re pricey, but it’s the closest I’ve come to ST. I, too, became completely enamored with ST in Tanzania in 1995 and even brought an empty bottle home with me (with the cap still on so I can pop it off and sniff!). I bought the FT at Bevmo.

  12. says

    Love Tangawizi… But does it contain actual ginger?? From the ingredients listed on the cap, it doesn’t look like it!! Devastated… But unlikely to stop drinking it… And intrigued at how they pull off that amazing zing!!

    In Australia, Bundaberg Ginger Beer is the much-loved local version, with real ginger sludge at the bottom, so “invert before opening!”

    • says

      Hey Arthur, I’m not sure either, but yah, if it doesn’t contain real ginger, they’ve done a magnificent job of concocting an incredible flavor. Thanks for the Australian suggestion, would love to try it!

    • Stoney Addict says

      There’s an ingredient; Natural Flavouring, that might be made from actual ginger. Anyway let’s assume that’s it and continue enjoying this irresistible soda!

  13. says

    I just returned from my third trip to Nairobi, but this time I stayed with a friend who introduced me to Stoney! I drink ginger beer in the States, but there is no comparison. I love Stoney!! I drank them everday and was sad when I discovered that I’ll have to wait for my next trip to endulge myself again…..

  14. Meg says

    I feel the same way about Stoney. I can live without other soda, but I might be able to drink Stoney everyday.

  15. Jen says

    Oh for a Stoney right now! I lived in Rwanda for a couple of years and for some reason you can’t get stoney there, so whenever I’d cross into Uganda or Kenya the first thing I would do was sit down with a Stoney, warm or cold who cares, and sneeze ecstatically as the first sips went right up my nose. It’s inspired! I miss it sooo much! Wonder if it would taste as good anywhere else….

  16. Hampri says

    Awesome, Mark. Imagine my excitement to find Tangawizi in the sampling area on a tour of the Coca Cola HQ in Atlanta, GA !!! My kids thought I was nuts ! Was reliving my childhood there.

  17. says

    The first time I drank stoney through a straw… i coughed/sneezed as if I inhaled the soda up my nostrils! My friend told me to drink it slowly. Now, I can drink it without gagging and always have it with lunch!
    I am still in Kenya and will not get tired of drinking this stuff!
    If only they produce it in cans and I would surely bring it during safaris!

  18. C.F. says

    I just tried it for the first time today. I love it! A very similar drink in the states is Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale. In fact, Buffalo Rock is a little stronger!

  19. audiodoc says

    I first had this ‘beer’ in Kenya in 2012 and fell in love with it. I am not a soda drinker, but the amazing effervescent ginger taste had me hooked

  20. Stoney Addict says

    I’m very surprised to find this whole fan base of my favourite soda. I’m a Kenyan and stoney tangawizi is the only soda I can stand. The stuff is simply amazing. Coca-cola should try market this outside East Africa…just saying.

    Now that it comes in plastic bottles (up to 2 litres), anyone who wants to sample or bring back memories…try these online stores:

    http://www.chandaranasupermarkets.co.ke/cart/aisles/beverages/soda.html?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage-ask.tpl&product_id=6546&category_id=162

    http://epepea.com/store/

    http://www.supermarket.co.ke

    Make sure you discuss delivery before buying. Some may not ship outside Kenya.

  21. Fish says

    I love Stoney, whenever I’m in Uganda I only drink that. Usually I also don’t drink any soda, no coke or fanta. But Stoney rocks. I don’t know why coca cola doesn’t sell it world wide, it’s much better than anything else.

  22. Catherine says

    STONEY….I honestly feel this is the only legit drink from Coca Cola. IT’S SO DARN amazing especially when cold. I live in Nairobi, and i’m lucky it’s in plenty!

    Used to drink Fanta, Coke, Sprite…..then i discovered stoney. I forgot the rest.

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