Cola drunken out of a glass instead to a bottle/can taste differently to me; it is much better. Is this due to more aroma smelled by your nose when drinking out of open glass changing the kind of perception? That is the only explanation I can think of. Does anyone know some detailed medical links on this topic?

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    I think you mean to ask: "Why does cola sipped from a glass taste better than cola sipped from a can or bottle?"
    – Angelo
    Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 20:01
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    I'm with you to think that a) it's nicer from a glass, b) it's probably the amount of aroma you can smell that increases the experience. Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 20:35

3 Answers 3


It has long been known that receptacles influence the taste and appreciation of beverages.

Wine glasses, for example, are optimal for giving the nose an opportunity to experience the wine. They enclose a volume that allows you to swish the wine in the glass (without spilling it) to impart the aroma to air in the glass. The usually tapered opening keeps the aroma from dissipating before your nose can sense the wine.

Champagne flutes, keep the effervescent champagne or prosecco bubbly and cold long enough to enjoy the drink without it going flat.

Different beer glasses are optimal for showcasing the "head" and are tall for the same reason as champagne flutes (to keep the effervescence going as long as possible).

I think it is absolutely the case that the same kinds of considerations apply to cola and other effervescent soft drinks. My opinion is that the best glass for such beverages is a "collins" glass. It it tall and narrow and keeps the bubbles going for a longer time than a wide glass, it is like a champagne flute but holds a larger volume which is needed for soft drinks.


With particular reference to "Cola" one of the factors that affects the flavoring is that a "glass" of cola is frequently served from a "fountain" where the syrup is freshly mixed, and often stronger than at the bottler.

[Edit: I am also reminded that at a fountain, the water being mixed is (most often) city tap water, which may carry it's own 'flavors'.]

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    It'd be an interesting experiment - to pour soda from a can, a bottle, and from the fountain all into the same style glass and then do a blind taste test.
    – rfusca
    Commented Aug 29, 2011 at 19:37
  • that would be a worthwhile experiment.
    – Cos Callis
    Commented Aug 29, 2011 at 19:39
  • @rfusca We've actually done quite a few of similar experiments. The results range all the way from people who can't tell any difference to those who can distinguish all kinds with ease; there's a few tricky parts to it, though - e.g. the can contents can have very different composition to bottles (e.g. have more sugar). And I've even noticed that cola from a fountain with the flavour is running out (so it's not a perfect mix) can taste like a different cola brand :D Doing a blind test on the receptacle is a bit more complicated, unless you use a straw.
    – Luaan
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 12:22

When you drink from a bottle, you put the bottle upside down and you drink from the bottom of the liquid. When you drink beer from a bottle, for example, you don't drink in the head (foam) because the head is far away from your mouth. So you get fewer and smaller bubbles. (Bubbles expand in size as they rise.)

This is different from drinking beer from a glass where you drink with the head at your mouth.

Drinking from can is also different. While you drink from the top, just like glass, the can's opening agitates the liquid quite a bit as it passes through the opening, causing turbulent and generating lots of foam.

When you drink from a bottle, there is also agitation but not as violent as the case with can. As you drink from bottle, a small stream of air sneaks into the bottle. Compared to can, this flow is smaller and steadier, causing less turbulent.

None of the above is scientific or measured. Just my observation.

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