"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Coke Blah-k

I've recently succumbed to marketing hype and tried the new Coke Blak, "a blend of unique Coke refreshment infused with the true essence of coffee". Since I am both a Coca-Cola and coffee junkie (yep, I loves me some caffeine) you would think that this new product would be right up my alley.

Professional taste-testers like John Moore at Brand Autopsy use words like "nose" and "finish" to describe this beverage, but I would just have to say that my amateur taste buds were underwhelmed. It was better than I had expected; but despite Coke's promise of "rich smooth texture and a coffee-like froth", it tasted to me like a regular coke with coffee flavoring added. Not bad, but not outstanding -- and definitely not worth the premium prices (roughly $1.50-1.75 per 8-ounce bottle) being charged for it. It's being promoted as having "twice the caffeine and half the calories" of regular Coke, but the reduced calorie content comes from the addition of the artificial sweetener aspartame, which to me is what ruins this drink by giving it a noticeable diet-soda aftertaste.

Other opinions of Coke Blak have been even less enthusiastic. Many people outright hate it; one reviewer said it "tastes like twelve miles of ass." Said another: "The initial cola-excitement was overruled by the flavor of burned Awful House coffee that hasn't been swapped out since 11pm." Even those who sort of like it admit that they're not sure what the occasion would be for drinking it. One taste tester reported, "I can't see it becoming a regular beverage of choice for me. When I want a Coke, I'd rather have a regular Coke. And when I want coffee, I'd rather have fresh coffee," which is a very good point. Although I didn't think it was awful, it would never replace either coffee or Coke for me. I wouldn't want to drink it first thing in the morning, for example, nor would I want to wash down a pizza with it at night. But I might occasionally sip one with a cookie instead of a mid-afternoon cup of joe.

Bottom line: if you like the flavor of coffee, you may want to give Coke Blak a try. Act fast if you're curious, however; I suspect this stuff won't be around for very much longer.


  • At 5/11/2006 10:10:00 PM, Blogger April said…

    I tried that stuff the first week it came out (promoted the crap out of it at WalMart) and I was not impressed either. Its too... syrupy for me. The taste is just not right, and it does have the very gross aftertaste. No one I've talked to has liked it. I have to agree, I give it a couple of months till its off the shelves.

    On a similar note: Does anyone remember OK brand Soda?

  • At 5/12/2006 02:49:00 AM, Blogger Schnozz said…

    In a sort-of-related topic, did you know they have coffee BEER? And it's actually pretty good.

    But yeah, I get the feeling the "twelve miles of ass" opinion would apply to my tastebuds as well. I hadn't even heard of this. I need to get out more!

  • At 5/12/2006 09:59:00 AM, Blogger Janelle said…

    I was going to buy it when I saw it in the grocery store last week but I was too cheap to pay the 1.50 for 8oz when there was a drive through coffee house right down the road where I stopped and got a 20 oz specialty drink cheaper.

    Yup, definitely overpriced. I just had another one now while reading these comments and it tasted even worse than the first one.

  • At 5/12/2006 01:52:00 PM, Blogger Jim said…

    it's for the same people who cannot make up their mind whether they want to exit or not and hit the EXIT sign, can't decide on whether to have coffee or a Coke why not have both at the same time -- how about Jello that tastes like Clam Chowder for folks who cannot decided if they want something cold or something hot --

    Blak must be in test market or in the midst of its national rollout, we don't have it yet


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