The humble soda hasn’t been getting a lot of good press lately, but you know what everyone still loves? Coffee.
It might just be why Coca-Cola has latched onto our favourite caffeinated beverage, combining it into the (not so catchily named) Coca-Cola Plus Coffee No Sugar.
The soda is launching first in Australia as a limited edition item ahead of the country’s summer, following the hype from Coca-Cola Ginger, which was released same time last year.
Here’s what it apparently tastes like, according to the company’s press release:
“It’s a fresh take on the delicious taste of Coca-Cola Classic but with the unmistakable aroma of real coffee and some subtle caramel undertones,” Coca-Cola Australia spokeswoman Lisa Winn said in a statement.
It’s being positioned as a late-afternoon drink, something you’d drink instead of coffee. At 14 mg per 100 mililitres, there’s much less caffeine than a regular cappuccino (43mg), but slightly more than a Coca-Cola (9mg).
And as the name gives away, there is no sugar. With the tide turning away from sugary sodas, it makes sense.
But it is any good?
In The Simpsons, Homer Simpson pulls out a can of “Nuts and Gum” after explaining to Lisa that, “Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are,” because he’s a “white male aged 18 to 49.”
Well, we might’ve just found the “Nuts and Gum” of soda.
For the record, I do enjoy both Coca-Cola (postmix, with lots of ice) and copious amounts of coffee, but the combination was always a concern.
The reality is that Coca-Cola Plus Coffee No Sugar doesn’t really taste like much of either. When you first sip it, there’s that dry taste of Diet Coke, but the aftertaste is of a slightly creamy coffee, but definitely not the espresso variety.
It’s more like the coffee flavour you’d get in something like Kopiko, an Indonesian coffee candy, or from one of those Japanese coffee cans that come out of vending machines.
Reactions from colleagues were mixed: “It’s weird, but I would drink it,” said one person. “It’s like fake coffee. It’s gross,” said another.
For me, it wasn’t particularly pleasant. It leaves you wanting one of either, and certainly isn’t a winner in the same way other experiments were, like Coca-Cola Vanilla or even Cherry Coke is.
You can also get Coke with coffee in Japan too
Remember how we said Coca-Cola Plus Coffee No Sugar tasted like one of those canned coffees from Japan?
Well, there’s a Coca-Cola with coffee drink that’s been recently launched in the country, called Coffee Plus. But unlike Australia, Japan’s version comes with sugar.
— コカ･コーラ (@CocaColaJapan) September 12, 2017
Still, the reviews weren’t particularly glowing, as per Japanese consumer site Shin-Shouhin’s review of the beverage.
“To be honest it is not a fragrance that seems to be very tasty,” according to the reporter, via Google Translate. “I do not think it’s delicious, but it’s not as bad as I thought.”
If anything, Coca-Cola has come up with a product that’ll most certainly be talked about on social media, and through articles like these. Perhaps in this day and age, that’s enough.