Okay, okay, admittedly, I am not a big fan of any of the “Coke” products, really. Not Classic Coke, not Diet Coke, not even Vanilla Coke. I prefer Pepsi over coke, and I prefer not to drink colas, generally. Which is why pretty much every other review of a soda on Modern Evil is by Iain. He likes colas. He’ll probably review this product soon enough.
But I was shopping last night, and my local Fry’s Marketplace had 20oz bottles of Coca-Cola Zero on sale, 2 for $1. I got one. I figured I could afford 50cents, even if it wasn’t to my liking.
So, there are two main reasons I don’t like Coke. First, it is bitter and not sweet. I don’t mind a certain degree of bitterness, if it is balanced by sweetness, and I prefer just straight sweetness, but Coke just tastes bitter to me, not sweet. Second, it generally has WAY too much carbonation. I don’t like much carbonation in the first place, and often will ‘shake out’ much of the carbonation in regular soda, but for most non-coke sodas, I can at least drink the normally carbonated product without choking to death. With Coke products, there is typically enough carbonation that it detracts so much from my drinking ability that I give up.
Coca-Cola Zero has MORE carbonation than ANY Coke product I have ever tried to drink. It’s crazy. Maybe I got a ‘bad’ bottle. Maybe it’s intentional. I don’t know, but I tried several times to just take a sip of the soda, or a normal drink, and 100% of the time, the carbonation caused a choking fit. So I shook it out, until the carbonation was merely a pleasant tingling rather than an overwhelming expansive and choking monster, so that I could taste the drink without dying.
Coca-Cola Zero has a lighter flavour and mouthfeel and, to me, seems less bitter and more sweet than other Coke products. Iain always talks about aftertaste, and I’m sure he’ll have something to say about Coke Zero’s aftertaste, but … I’m not even sure I tasted one. Lighter, sweeter, less bitter, but still recognizably in the Coke family. Not something I’d generally choose to drink, but not bad.
Well, except that if I drank it at full carbonation, I’d probably die before I got through one serving’s worth, let alone 20oz. I will not buy more of this product. But if you like choking to death on carbonation, don’t like calories, and think a lighter, sweeter, less bitter Coke sounds nice, you may like Coke Zero.