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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Does Coke-A-Cola vary from location to location?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (24446points) November 11th, 2023
11 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

Like for example water quality?

Where is the best Cola in the World?

The best that I had was from a McDonald’s fountain Coke.

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kritiper's avatar

It probably does, based on the taste of the water the syrup is mixed with.

zenvelo's avatar

The biggest variation is whether the local bottler uses high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Coca Cola available in California but imported from Mexico is made with sugar, and tastes much better.

The whole “new Coke” change in the early 1980s was to mask the US production changeover from sugar to HFCS.

By the way, it is “Coca~Cola”, not Coke-a.

Smashley's avatar

Yes. Water matters, but usually not as much as the concentration of the solution. The reason you like coke from McDonald’s best is that there is more syrup in their mix. More sweet=better

@zenvelo – new coke was a specific formulation with more sweetener in it. It tasted like coke dressed as Pepsi, which was exactly the point. The sweeter Pepsi had been taking market share, and coke thought they needed to compete more directly. This time period was actually after the 5 year period from 1979–84 in which coke allowed bottlers to transition to corn syrup. Coca-cola had already been quietly altered before the fiasco of New Coke, though it did take the introduction of Classic before anyone really complained about corn syrup. The lesson they learned is not to advertise change, just change it and pretend like you didn’t. Many iconic brands have followed suit since, lowering costs by using cheaper ingredients, but never mentioning it outside of industry publications.

Zaku's avatar

I remember someone writing (oh, actually I think a podcast, maybe Malcolm Gladwell’s) that McDumbald’s Coke tastes different/“better” because they cool it more.

But also, yes, soda pop manufacturers have been tuning their formulas to their data on local tastes for at least 50 years, probably longer. (And as @zenvelo wrote, Mexican actual-sugar Coke, in particular.)

Smashley's avatar

@Zaku – that sounds like a misinterpretation of McDonald’s statement on their website “ The water and Coca-Cola® syrup are pre-chilled before entering our fountain dispensers with the ratio of syrup set to allow for ice to melt.” The key is the last bit. The ratio of syrup is higher, so that when the ice melts it doesn’t taste watered down. It is sweeter, which tastes better,

LadyMarissa's avatar

Whenever you enter the territory of a different bottler, you get a little bit different flavor. Since Atlanta is the corporate office & where CC was birthed, I like to think that those of us in Georgia gets the best flavor!!! The absolute worst flavor was when I vacationed in the Bahamas. It is the water at the bottling plant that can change the flavor. The recipe for making the syrup is basically the same at every bottling plant, so the water is the only real variable. Now once it makes it into the retail establishments, the local water comes into play as well as the ratio of the mix. I can’t stand McDonalds Cokes although I know a lot of people find it to be the best. I don’t know if it’s true, but I heard a so-called expert say it’s because of the salt McDonalds uses on their fries makes it taste better. He challenged his followers to drink one without ever tasting the fries & he says you’ll be disappointed. I never tested the theory as I stopped drinking Coke in 2021. I lost 40 pounds in the first month after I stopped & I didn’t want to screw that up. Much like an alcoholic, I’m afraid to have “just one” for fear of falling off the wagon & regaining that weight!!!

KNOWITALL's avatar

Coca-cola is a syrup essentially, vendors mix carbonation. McDonalds got a special formula, its our favorite, too.

smudges's avatar

^^ If it’s a special formula, they can’t call it Coca-Cola. It’s patented and the formula is a secret. If McDonalds makes their own formula, they’re not allowed to call it CC. They’d have to call it McCola hehe

Coca-Cola also owns the patent on their formula. This means that no other corporation is allowed to make their cola in quite the same way Coca-Cola makes theirs.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Mcdonals Coke is delivered in stainless tanks, not bags and they have a filtered water system. Still Coke per NY Times.

JLeslie's avatar

From soda fountain to soda fountain it can. Different ratio syrup to carbonated water. Also, the temp of the soda if you are drinking without ice. In the US the syrup will be with high fructose corn syrup except in special circumstances where you can get cane sugar syrup.

The Coke at the Coke museum in Atlanta is DELICIOUS.

The Macaroni Grill restaurant in Collierville, TN when I lived near there had amazingly yummy Coke from their soda fountain, not sure if that is still the case. Also, a McDonald’s a couple of miles from my house back in the 1980’s.

smudges's avatar

@KNOWITALL Oh ok. I’m sure other vendors have the same, not just McDonalds.

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