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paulraphael

Coke Recipe

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Printed here.

These surface every once in a while; Coka Cola's official response is always that they're innacurate, and are the result of people crafting immitations.

I'm curious if anyone thinks today's coke is actually the same recipe as the one concocted in the 1880s. Doesn't it seem likely that it would have been streamlined and economized, at the very least?

At any rate, I'm much less interested in reverse engineering today's coke than in discovering something that might be similar but more interesting.

Could there really be this many flavors layered in a plain old contemporary coke?


Notes from the underbelly

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The response by the company was very interesting. Essentially what is incorrect is the procedural. I have some ideas involving flaming off a few ingredients (grilling limes anyone???) and caramelizing the sugar (oh wait wait it's been HFCS for 30 years!) before mixing. Really, honestly, none of this has been news for over a century. The ingredient list has been public knowledge for quite some time.

I think you flame off the alcohol and some of the oils. Run a few tests, and get an answer in a few days. But, hey, this was news to my grandfather when he was young!!!

Look, really, if mixing the ingredients listed makes a too sweet product, where do you go? caramelization of the sugar... re-examine the 'too sweet' comments from the company...

Anyway, IMO, the modern HFCS Coca-Cola product is sub-par. The product jumped the shark decades ago in the 1970's.

The psychological part is the real key. People are brand-loyal, no matter what they get served.

I'm a Pepsi Throwback fan, plain and simple. I like the actual taste of Pepsi Throwback. blindfolded. really.

If you're a coke lover, then you'll keep buying the HFCS swill and move on. Knowing what's in that phallic bottle probably won't change your buying habits.

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Coca Cola is definitely different from the 1880's version. Although it has changed subtely. Wikipedia has a purported orgininal formulation. An 'open source' project called Open Cola was created but has apparently not faired well.

One of the key steps in Open Cola seemed to be emulsifying the citrus oils - which seemed to require a modified power tool.

But the marketing perspective is more fascinating to me. Remember New Coke? It came out on top in blind taste tests against both the current Coke and Pepsi, but was a huge bomb commercially.

This is an important lesson. When you call something by a known name you create an expectation. When it varies from that, it's always a failure.

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Ahh, but where's the fun in NOT trying to sleuth out the ingredients?

I know there is some carmelized sugar in there, everyone uses it--even the big-boy destillers do to "add depth and colour". Once you burn sugar that black, not much is needed

I know there is some form of vanilla in there. A huge portion of Madagascar's GNP comes from vanilla, and Coke is one the biggest buyers of vanilla.

I know there is nutmeg oil in there. What isn't very well known is that Coke is the one of the bigger purchaser of "BPW nutmeg", as in Broken, Punky, and Wormy nutmeg. When nutmeg is this far deteriated, it makes it soooo much easier to destill out the essential oils.

I know there is caffiene in there. Worked for a coffee trader in S'pore who also ran a chain of coffee houses. He also had S.E. Asias's only decaffienation facility. Sold the decaf coffee at a premium and sold the caffiene to the pharmaceuticals and to Coke. Legend has it that Coke was seriously considering using caffiene derived from bat guana during WW2, but decided against it for obvious reasons.

I know there is phosphoric acid in there.

I know there is co2 in there. Most brewers in Europe are closely linked to either Coke or Pepsi, co2 being a natural by-product of brewing, and it doesn't get wasted.

Don't know if there's much Kola nut extract in there, and I doubt if there's any Cocaine in there.......

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Printed here.

These surface every once in a while; Coka Cola's official response is always that they're innacurate, and are the result of people crafting immitations.

Yes, but it's sometimes good reading! Here's an article from the UK's Guardian that was published in 2006, which details the attempt to make a Coke analogue from one of the many recipes that are online. The ingredients and techniques they used are also detailed at the end of the article.

Although I find it curious, the real downside seems to be the quantities involved. I think (skim-reading the article again after almost 5 years) that the recipe in the article makes about 50 litres of 'coke', but some of the ingredient quantities listed are only a few drops. I don't think a 'drop' is a metric unit, and I think they're fairly variable, and so I imagine it would be difficult to create a consistent product without up-scaling the recipe significantly, in which case you'd end up with enough syrup to keep you in 'coke' for life... Dealing with such small quantities also makes it difficult to tweak the recipe; when you're dealing with 3 - 6 drops of a liquid you can't really add an extra dash just for luck without seriously affecting the end result...

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Has anyone done a blind taste test of HFCS vs. cane sugar syrup?

Umm, they're like night and day. HCFS has a hard, bitter aftertaste and the sugary taste takes a brief instant to develop in the mouth. On the other hand, cane sugar is 99.9% sucrose; it is immediately sweet with no aftertaste. Less refined cane syrups are another creature entirely, with all sorts of secondary flavors depending on the syrup.

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Has anyone done a blind taste test of HFCS vs. cane sugar syrup?

Umm, they're like night and day. HCFS has a hard, bitter aftertaste and the sugary taste takes a brief instant to develop in the mouth. On the other hand, cane sugar is 99.9% sucrose; it is immediately sweet with no aftertaste. Less refined cane syrups are another creature entirely, with all sorts of secondary flavors depending on the syrup.

Have you done it as a blind test? I'm not doubting that they could be so different, but it's curious, since sucrose and the type of HFCS used in soft drinks are chemically almost identical.


Notes from the underbelly

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Are you going to try the recipe Paul?

I have to say I don't drink soda, but this sure looks interesting!

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I find the regular coke (HFCS) vs. "mexican coke" (cane sugar) to have slightly different taste. I don't have the most sensitve palet but it is different enough that I go looking for the mexican stuff. The main difference being that mexican coke is less sweet.

Over all I find soda too overly sweet. I wish they would make a less sweet version (especially of coke). Smucker's has gone down this road with low sugar spread. It is great.

Coke please make a less sweet version....

Soup

PS i know about the diet stuff but I don't like the artificial sweetners.

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I'm not really at liberty to talk much about it, as I work in a lab, but our current project is sweeteners. Yes, in a professional laboratory setting, I have tested HFCS and pure sucrose syrup in a blind taste test, along with hundreds of other sweeteners, both natural and artificial, and yes there is an ENORMOUS difference between just those two. If they tasted the same, I would probably be out of work.

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Are you going to try the recipe Paul?

I have to say I don't drink soda, but this sure looks interesting!

Oh, no ... I hardly ever even drink soft drinks. I'd love to taste test someone else's attempts though. The recipe actually looks tasty.


Notes from the underbelly

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Has anyone done a blind taste test of HFCS vs. cane sugar syrup?

Umm, they're like night and day. HCFS has a hard, bitter aftertaste and the sugary taste takes a brief instant to develop in the mouth. On the other hand, cane sugar is 99.9% sucrose; it is immediately sweet with no aftertaste. Less refined cane syrups are another creature entirely, with all sorts of secondary flavors depending on the syrup.

Have you done it as a blind test? I'm not doubting that they could be so different, but it's curious, since sucrose and the type of HFCS used in soft drinks are chemically almost identical.

I have done blind taste tests with regular Pepsi & Mountain Dew (HFCS) and Pepsi Throwback & Mountain Dew Throwback (sugar) and people can definitely tell the difference. I prefer Throwback so much that I won't touch the regular stuff at all anymore. The taste is like a real treat, almost a dessert, and, yes, it's cleaner on the palate without lingering sweetness. Throwback is in supermarkets across America right now if anyone wants to run a test.

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