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The following is from a blog that no longer exists, except in my Google Reader archive. Its author worked in a flavor factory that produced Coke:

"I’ll explain why Pepsi sucks so bad, yet somehow manages to win taste tests. If you take Coke and Pepsi side by side in a blind test, Pepsi will win. This is because the bad taste of Pepsi cumulates from several sips (it is an aftertaste effect). So even though I hate Pepsi, I can take a sip or two and enjoy it. After half a can, I’m grossed out. Coke on the other hand tastes good no matter how much you drink, because its aftertaste is the same as its, uh… during taste. Thus, Coke is also better for mixing (who likes rum and Pepsi? Anyone?) because its taste is a constant. People who are expert tasters can tell Pepsi is garbage from sip one. But mortals like you and I fall for the trick, allowing Pepsi to claim that it wins taste tests."

Not to me. I hate the taste of coke - it tastes like acid to me. I like pepsi much better. (And I'm not talking about just a few sips.)

I've never noticed any particular aftertaste from Coke or Pepsi, but I have noticed that with Pepsi I get that 'sickly-sweet' taste after about half a can, which I don't get with Coke.

Also exists in the Internet Archive.

The previous paragraph mentioned the flavoring of cassia, and the following mentioned how sugar holds the flavor.


I have read before that the reason that Pepsi wins is because it is sweeter and when asked to compare two drinks people have no way to base the choice on apart from sweetness.

Thus they choose pepsi.

Outside of contrived taste tests though, people actually prefer the taste of coca-cola but can't quantify why.

I think few people actually know how to taste food or drink. I'm not sure I'm one of them, since I'm having to teach myself. You have to make sure the smell of the food strongly makes it into your nose, which tends to happen only weakly by itself. The best technique I've got so far involves taking a bit, inhaling a lungfull slowly through my mouth passing through the food as much as possible, then slowly exhaling through my nose while returning to chewing, which works great except for the bit where you are "eating with your mouth open" (though it isn't gaping and nobody seems to have noticed, I still feel wrong). Pedestrian foods become good and great foods become stellar this way.

Do this and almost anybody could probably tell Coke and Pepsi apart. Just take a swig from each without inhaling it, though, and you'll just get the tongue, which isn't very discriminatory at all, and you just get "sweet" and "bubbly".

Do this and you'll also understand why Coke is preferable. Pepsi is guy on a viola, Coke is a string quartet. Both are frankly pretty limited in the grand scale of things, but Coke is at least complete.

Not sure if that applies to Pepsi Max, which is awesome.

Remember Crystal Pepsi?

Remember Pepsi Blue?

Pepsi seems very dry to me – which works for wine but not exactly for sugar water. That dryness is very hard to notice if you only take a sip.

Coke has a horrible aftertaste IMHO. I can't drink much of it at all. Pepsi is far sweeter. Pepsi Max is the best though.

Taste is hilariously subjective. Pepsi Max tastes, to me, how cat piss smells. That said, Diet Coke is even worse.. perhaps I'm overly sensitive to artificial sweeteners in some way.

> Coke has a horrible aftertaste IMHO.

True, but these tests were done when they still used sugar.

This is a fantastic analogy for culture and media!

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