What is Cola Flavor?

January 6, 2024
David Sunnyside

There are plenty of people who would argue that the reason cola managed to conquer the world’s soft drink market is because it tastes different from other flavors. It’s certainly true that Coke doesn’t really taste like Pepsi, RC, or any of the other brands that make up the rest of the industry. There are a few reasons why. One has to do with the fact that cola was invented as a health tonic. It wasn’t until the 1880s that pharmacist John Stith Pemberton decided to start bottling it for sale that he was able to establish it as a recognizable brand name. Until that time, most cola was sold at soda fountains.

The other reasons that cola tastes different are to do with the ingredients and recipe. The original version used kola nuts to add a unique flavor and some caffeine. The other ingredients included vanilla, cinnamon, and citrus oils. These all come together to create a sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy flavor that’s hard to duplicate.

Changing the ingredients can dramatically alter the taste of a cola. For example, most sugar-free colas use high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar. In other parts of the world, however, HFCS is subject to production quotas and may be replaced with other sweeteners such as stevia or sucralose. Similarly, other chemicals can be added to the mix for various effects such as carbonation.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram