Why Does Coke From a Glass Bottle Taste Different?

Robby

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Why Does Coke From a Glass Bottle Taste Different?

Popular Science said:

It doesn’t. That’s what Coca-Cola’s spokespeople say, anyway. “The great taste of Coca-Cola is the same regardless of the package it comes in,” they insist. Rather, they say, “the particular way that people choose to enjoy their Coke can affect their perception of taste.” Sure, most people would agree that the cola is indeed delicious and refreshing, and pouring it into a glass or serving it over ice could influence the sensation of its flavor. But is it possible that the subtle variation in taste that some notice among aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass bottles is more than just a psychological effect of their soda-consumption rituals?
Given that the formula is always the same, yes, according to Sara Risch, a food chemist and member of the Institute of Food Technologists. “While packaging and food companies work to prevent any interactions, they can occur,” she says. For example, the polymer that lines aluminum cans might absorb small amounts of soluble flavor from the soda. Conversely, acetaldehyde in plastic bottles might migrate into the soda. The FDA regulates this kind of potential chemical contact, but even minute, allowable amounts could alter flavor.

Your best bet for getting Coke’s pure, unaltered taste is to drink it from a glass bottle, the most inert material it’s served in. Even that’s not a sure bet, though. Coca-Cola maintains strict uniformity in processes in all of its worldwide bottling facilities, but it concedes that exposure to light and how long the product sits on store shelves may affect the taste. So yeah, the packaging might mess with Coke’s flavor, but we’ll still take it any day over New Coke.
[Via Popular Science]
 

Kevin

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Mar 20, 2004
An interesting article and, for those old enough to remember drinking Coke out of 8oz bottles from a vending machine, is semi-backing the anecdotal beliefs that have been held since Coke started being offered in plastic bottles & cans.

These days I do no drink much soda (or "pop" for those of you in other parts of the world) but when it comes to real Coca-Cola, the kind made with cane sugar instead of corn syrup, my order of preference would be glass bottles, cans, and then plastic as a last resort.\
 

Tim

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Jan 16, 2005
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China
We can buy many different flavours of coke here and I'm not talking about different ranges! Depending on where the stuff was made gives it its individual flavour. I can readily identify three different flavours in aluminium cans that are sold round my city.
 

Kevin

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Mar 20, 2004
We can buy many different flavours of coke here and I'm not talking about different ranges! Depending on where the stuff was made gives it its individual flavour. I can readily identify three different flavours in aluminium cans that are sold round my city.
In most part of the US the choices for the 'big' names, like Coca-Cola & Pepsi, are restricted to the output of a handful of large bottlers spread across the US. The regions covered by the bottlers usually don't cross much so there are only small bands of locations where a shopper could find cans of Coke in the same store from different bottlers.

In the Southwest shoppers can come across product from Mexico where cane sugar is still often used so they have a bit of a better selection.

Fortunately this area is rife with a good number of small local bottlers so I can still get my hands on stuff like Red Cream soda or White Birch Beer without too much trouble.

Tim, speaking of soda in the UK... I was watching a show where the character was obsessed with "orange fizzy" -- Took me a few moments to realize that "fizzy" was a local term being used. :D
 

Tim

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There is a possibility here that "orange fizzy" was used instead of "Tango" or "Fanta" both major brands of fizzy orange drink here. Easier to get understood where aversions to product placement are concerned :) Generally speaking, "fizzy" would usually be followed by "drink" here. Can you remember where the character was supposed to be from? 'pop' is usually used in up north in England instead of "fizzy".

And we get cans with arabic writing on them round here. Down south (London) I've found cheaper offerings with Polish on them. Somehow products made in other countries are making their way cross border, something I reckon it's a lot easier to do in the EU than the US.
 

Kevin

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There is a possibility here that "orange fizzy" was used instead of "Tango" or "Fanta" both major brands of fizzy orange drink here. Easier to get understood where aversions to product placement are concerned :) Generally speaking, "fizzy" would usually be followed by "drink" here.
I did notice in some online sites that the full phrase of "orange fizzy drink" was used instead of shortening it to "orange drink" or " orange fizzy" -- I guess in the US we are so used to shortening words that we tend to speak with implied phrases instead of explicit phrases (eg: Q:"Wanna' drink?" A:"I'll take an orange." vs. Q:"Would you like something to drink?" A:"I will take an orange fizzy drink.")

Can you remember where the character was supposed to be from? 'pop' is usually used in up north in England instead of "fizzy".
I could not recall originally what movie it was but it came to me... don't shoot me but it was Adam Sandler in Don't Mess With the Zohan.

And we get cans with arabic writing on them round here. Down south (London) I've found cheaper offerings with Polish on them. Somehow products made in other countries are making their way cross border, something I reckon it's a lot easier to do in the EU than the US.
Any concerns with the manufacturing quality of some those cans from around the world?
 

Tim

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I see where you get your "orange fizzy" from then! It's to do with a supposedly stomach lining ruining Israeli brand the hardcore character in that movie drank, not British after all :)

and I don't think there will be food safety issues with anything made in the EU by such a large company. Supposedly in the food industry you find that even the water supply used in the product is supposed to go through filters and such to ensure there are no differences in taste although metal supplies can have differences admittedly. I used to work for a steel company here and learnt all about what can be passed off sometimes.

It's probably down to the water supply, the ingredient mixing machines being a bit off, human error or whatever, but what it boils down to is that there are subtle and not so subtle differences in the coke we can buy here, sometimes to the point of making it undrinkable for me!
 

astonwest

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Most of the pop in glass bottles around here is imported from Mexico, so uses real sugar instead of corn syrup, as mentioned previously. I prefer it myself...though it's a bit more expensive... :(
 

ShelleyM1987

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Gimme cola from a can any day. Reminds me of childhood and it tastes a damn sight nicer... Maybe it's the aluminium....???
 

Tim

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I read something yesterday about the artificial sweeteners not being used in some countries. I can't remember the exact details though now. But bringing this thread up was kind of timely.
 

Wolfrunner

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I can't say I notice any diference with Coke in a can, glass bottle or plastic bottle however I have difficulty in drinking beer from a can rather than a glass bottle. My favourite beer in my neck of the woods is called Sagres and when it's really hot it tastes really good from a bottle but it never has the same taste from a can. The explanations mentioned in this thread concerning the taste of Coke from can or a glass bottle explains it all.
 

Kevin

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The Costco warehouse stores in the area have been stocking Mexican Coca-Cola in glass bottles for a while now and business with them is booming. If you drink a Mexican Coke made with real sugar versus the US Coke with corn syrup you can actually taste the difference.

My wife is a Pepsi fan and recently I came across glass bottles of Mexican Pepsi at the local Wegmans grocery stores. Like Mexican Coke the Mexican Pepsi is made with real sugar. I don't drink much soda and in the cases where I do Pepsi is not my preferred drink. To me Pepsi is too sweet and I could not tell the difference between the US Pepsi, the limited availability US Pepsi Throwback which is also made with real sugar, and the Mexican Pepsi from Wegmans. For me all three versions were too sweet to be drinkable. After not drinking any Pepsi at all for a few weeks my wife tried the Mexican Pepsi again and to her it was much sweeter tasting than the US Pepsi.

So for the curious check around to see if you can find Mexican Pepsi for your own taste testings. Interestingly the Mexican Pepsi was extremely more expensive than the Mexican Coke. A case of 24 bottles of Mexican Coke in 12oz bottles runs about $18 in this area. By contrast a case of 24 bottles of 12oz Mexican Pepsi runs about $28! :eek:

Mexican Pepsi - Glass Bottle - Wegmans.jpg
 

Tim

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Well, now I've shifted location I'm in the area where the cheaper imported Coke comes from and I can say with confidence that in this climate it tastes good, compared to where I was. And that's just the cans. The bottled Coke tastes better still.

Seems that the principle of a drink always being made the same, tasting the same (Guiness) doesn't apply to Coke, and that imported Coke may or may not taste good where you are, excepting your Mexican variant (real sugar content). Fake sugar also has a lot of issues health wise apparently, although that's yet to be seen.
 

Kim

Cadet
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Sep 20, 2011
anything tastes better out of glass imho!

I really dislike cans, especially drinking straight from them...ewww! lol always have, even as a kid!

I don't drink coke or equivalents at all, but if I did, I would try to seek out the glass bottle versions.

We say fizzy drink in Australia too!
 

screenersam

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Jan 30, 2009
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Maryland
years ago I worked retail. we didn't sell drinks but we had a Coke machine and the vendor would come once a week or so to fill it.
one of our customers made a deal with him to bring a case of the small coke bottles every week (he'd return the empties; this was in the late 1970s, returnable bottles.)
the customer swore the cokes were sweeter in the little bottles. I agreed.
do not like canned.
 

Ascendria

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Jun 21, 2013
Glass bottle drink chilled in an ice box (not refridge), poured on chilled beer glass filled with small ice cubes is the best. :cheers:
 

astonwest

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If it was sealed in a can, it should be fine... ;-)

That said, I noticed that Wal-Mart was now selling individual glass bottles of Pepsi at the check-out counters. They would wait until I had to mostly give up dark colas... :mad:
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
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Mar 20, 2004
If it was sealed in a can, it should be fine... ;-)
Wouldn't some of the components start breaking down after all that time? In his picture, for example, the color is no shade of soda that I ever recall seeing for a Coke product.
That said, I noticed that Wal-Mart was now selling individual glass bottles of Pepsi at the check-out counters. They would wait until I had to mostly give up dark colas... :mad:
US Pepsi or Mexican Pepsi? My wife is a big Pepsi fan and could not taste a difference between the Mexican Pepsi in the glass bottles versus normal US Pepsi in a can. The Mexican Coke though everybody in the family can taste a difference.
 
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