So. Coca-Cola Life. Ok let’s get this out-of-the-way right off the top. I am a Coca Cola connoisseur. It comes from growing up as a full on geek, where we would finish off entire 2 litre bottles EACH of it during an all night RPG session. Hey, you try to be the storyteller for a Vampire: The Masquerade game that started at 4pm and is still going strong at 4am with your players trying to screw up your story by stealing a fire truck to…wait where was I? Oh yes. Coke is part of being a geek. It just is.
Oh yes, my liquid love. I know Coke. I can tell difference in taste from Coke in Canada versus the US versus Mexico (sorry don’t have enough experience for Europe or Asia). I don’t care what they say, there is a difference. My favorite is fountain drink pop with the syrup turned up just a bit higher. After that from a bottle, poured into a cup to let the initial fizz burn off, next poured from a can and finally, drinking directly from bottle or can. There is a distinct difference in taste of all of those. Do I sound a bit like a wine snob? You bet your burps I do.
Now before anyone starts getting all uppity on me for how bad Coke is for you…just stop. I know it. I harbour no illusions about it. It is my one vice in life. I don’t smoke, I barely drink, I have a sweet tooth for a good chocolate chip cookie and vanilla dip donuts, and I’m as square as they get when it comes to drugs. Just ignore all the prescription ones on my desk beside me as I type this. Anyone with an SCI probably has the same basket full of those. I know that Coke is bad for me, I know that my body could handle and burn it off and I was lucky until recently for that. I’ve now got a Coke “gut” that I’m working to lose, which the lack of walking doesn’t help. Despite all that. I know my Coke. I’ve also tried just about every version of Coke possible to see if I could cut my sugar intake.
Diet Coke? Had a bottle literally attempt to kill me, so don’t even go there. New Coke? Hell, I remember even as 12-year-old I hated that stuff the moment it came out in 1985. Coke Zero? Best try yet, but damn it makes me burp and it still suffers from the problem that all pretenders to Coke suffer from. I’m looking at you Pepsi. And that is where the newest version of Coke comes in. Coke “Life”. Ya…I don’t know what marketing genius came up with that name either. I suppose because it uses “natural” sugars and adds up to less sugar, it’s all about your “life”. Sorta? Kinda?
Can you tell how I feel about it? I don’t hate it, but…I can’t say it replaces Coke in my taste scale for the same reason that all those others haven’t done it.
On first drink I didn’t think it was too bad. I wasn’t hit with the instantly face scrunching fake sweetness of aspartame, but it definitely had more of a bite than normal Coke. Still it wasn’t bad. Until five minutes later when I realized I could still taste it on my tongue. Then 30 minutes. Then an hour. Finally, I had to wash it down with real Coke. Therein lays the problem with every variation on Coke I’ve ever tried. Pepsi, RC, no name cola’s, diet, sugar-free, zero’s, hell even Crystal (Pepsi). They all leave an aftertaste. That’s my opinion and mine alone. I realize not everyone is going to agree, but what I enjoy about Coke is it’s a clean taste after that first hit on your tongue. None of the replacements/competitors can claim that.
So Coke Life? Sorry, but no one drinks Coke for their health. Now I just have to make it through 10 cans of it…wonder how long that will take.