Diet Pepsi pleases in taste test?

When it comes to soda — specifically cola — people tend to be quite particular. Many people are positive they can taste a clear difference between Coke and Pepsi, but perhaps that is not always the case.

These cola companies have ample different styles of these beverages ranging from regular, diet, caffeine free, and zero sugar. All are made with unique recipes with the end goal of making it taste the same (or just as good) as the regular. But how easy is it to compare them if you don’t know which one you’re drinking?

Four members of the Occurrence staff participated in a blind taste test of six different colas: Regular Coke, Diet Coke, Caffeine Free Diet Coke, Regular Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, and Pepsi Zero Sugar. After taking notes on each one, each participant rated the samples 1 thru 6 and left some thoughts on the taste of each.

The results are in:

  • 1st PLACE: Diet Pepsi

It is very sweet and sugary. I liked Diet Pepsi better than Diet Coke. The bubbles are stronger than diet coke but they work well accompanying the rich syrupy taste. The aftertaste slightly dries your mouth out but stays sweet. -Kristi Grunditz

  • 2nd PLACE: Pepsi Zero Sugar

Pepsi zero sugar surprisingly was the sweetest of them all for me. It felt more thick than the other sodas without as much fizz or burn while it goes down your throat. In general, a very rich flavor – almost impossible to tell it was diet! -Dylan Ward

  • 3rd PLACE: Regular Pepsi

It is more crisp and sweet like candy. There is no pungent after taste like the zero sugar. It also didn’t fall flat like the Pepsi Zero. It has less carbonation, so the flavors and sugars are easier to detect and taste. -Jomon Abraham

  • 4th PLACE: Coca-Cola

I recognized this one immediately. One of my all time favorites. It gives you a classic throat burn like any heavily carbonated drink would in a way that is unique to Coke. It was a sweet and powerful flavor that is very hard to beat. -DylanWard

  • 5th PLACE: Caffeine Free Diet Coke

This drink has a very flat taste with a low level of carbonation. The sweetness I do get is from syrup rather than sugar though surprisingly for a syrupy soda it almost dries one’s mouth out on the aftertaste. The taste is some of the weakest cola I’ve ever tried and could be emulated by watering down a much tastier soda. -Josh Finkelstein

  • 6th PLACE: Diet Coke

It is pretty sweet, but not as brightly flavorful as the syrup you would put on pancakes. The bubbles aren’t so strong, which makes it easier to focus on the taste of the diet coke, which was not my favorite. -Kristi Grunditz