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I was reading the other day about the importance of the head when pouring beer, and I wondered if there are any similar considerations when pouring cola's? I'm a huge fan of good Coke (my favorite is Brazilian Coke, but I'll take anything with cane sugar), and I'm just wondering if I can improve an already great tasting drink!

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

More head = less carbonation, which will change the mouthfeel of the drink, albeit largely imperceptibly for most people (myself included). Less carbonation will also change the actual perception of flavour; it will taste sweeter, mostly.

I find it bizarre that--apart from the cane sugar, which does impart a different flavour than HFCS--you think there is a difference between Coke made in various places. They all work to the exact same recipe. Transnational brands work because the Coke--again, minus the HFCS/cane sugar difference--tastes the same in Duluth as it does in Yellowknife as it does in Sao Paulo as it does in Beijing. Thet's kind of the whole point of a specific product of that nature.

As an FYI, multiple studies have shown that almost nobody can actually taste the difference between Coke and Pepsi. They may think they can, but MRI has shown that they really can't, although there was an intriguing finding that when test subjects were told they were drinking Coke (while actually drinking Pepsi) the same brain centres lit up as when actually drinking Coke. The reverse was not true for Pepsi. Odd, that.

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Using the same recipe does not guarantee the same results. Obviously Coke works hard to make their product globally consistent, but at a minimum, different bottlers have different water sources. That could make a discernable difference in flavor. –  mjobrien May 3 '11 at 3:06
That's kind of what a recipe is, you know. Especially with the amount of money involved, yes they do work very hard to make sure it's the same everywhere. And I would be astonished if they weren't using filtered water, which will--especially with all the other flavouring added--result in zero taste difference. The entire success of the brand is predicated on identical flavour wherever you go. –  daniel May 3 '11 at 7:04
The OP might not be referring to actual Coca-Cola, just some form of cola they sell in Brazil. Many people interchange the generic cola with the specific Coke. Anyhow, good answer. Most people don't realise that it's the carbonic acid that gives fizzy drinks the fizzy sensation on the tongue; it has nothing to do with the bubbles. Hence flat fizzy drinks taste sweeter. –  ElendilTheTall May 3 '11 at 7:17
Have you had Coke in other countries? I grew up in Brazil and there is a distinct difference between Coke (Coca-Cola brand, to be clear) and Coke in the US. I recently did a blind taste test with my family, using Coke from Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Chile and the US. There were distinct differences between all of them. –  Michael May 3 '11 at 15:56
Coca Cola is markedly different in other countries. The Coke in Mexico (and the diet coke as well) is hugely different in taste from what is sold in the US. The best tasting coke (...I almost typed--the best coke I ever had) I ever had was in Frankfurt, Germany. In the US, Pepsi typically tastes sweeter than Coke, however that is reversed in Canada. Coca Cola in Asia is very different than in Europe and North America. The only thing uniform about Coke internationally is the red label. –  Ray Mitchell May 3 '11 at 16:24

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