Wednesday, January 18, 2006

How to Shake a Snapple


I was recently in my office cafeteria, when I noticed a young whippersnapper buying a bottle of Snapple iced tea. Before opening it, he inverted the bottle about 160 degrees, and then proceeded to pound the bottom of the bottle with the palm of his hand several times. Each strike causes the depression in the cap to pop out with a popping sound, while presumably mixing the contents at the same time. I was so annoyed by this that I almost went into a crazed epileptic seizure.

Ok, before you start thinking I'm some kind of obsessive-compulsive psycho, I've always been annoyed by this since the height of Snapple's popularity in the 90's. I was in school in Philadelphia at the time, and noticed that all my classmates who hailed from the northeast would do this with their Snapples prior to opening them. Supposedly, this was the "cool" way to shake a Snapple. I had no end of northeastern "elites" to admonish for wasting motion on such an inefficient process in order to look hip.

Now, I'm no guru of fluid dynamics, but this method of shaking does not adequately or efficiently mix the settled gunk on the bottom of the Snapple to produce a uniform mixture of juicy goodness. The pounding on the bottle simply creates compression waves that do not displace particulate matter well enough to create a uniform mixture. Contrast this to the technique the other 99% of the world uses to shake a bottle, which is through rotating the bottle. Rotational shaking produces much more torque, which promotes the aeration of the liquid with bubbles and the creation of eddies, all of which contribute to better scraping the gunk from the bottom of the bottle and mixing it.

So, now that you have the facts at hand, please, please, for the love of efficiency shake your Snapple like a normal human being, and not like some Snapple fashionista, or you will one day face my wrath (or see me foaming at the mouth in a crazed epileptic seizure). OK, you may still think I'm an obsessive-compulsive psycho, but I had to get that off my chest. ;-)

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