Today I was enjoying one of the side benefits of my current employment: free Coke. There are always lunch meetings and other events that leave and excess of food and beverage available to those of us who like to mooch. One such event left and almost-full 2-liter in the fridge, which I’ve already significantly depleted. It made me wonder. Am I addicted?
We’ve all heard stories about cocaine in our cola. I went to The source of internet confabulation and discovered that the original recipe did call for use of coca leaves, as did all later varieties in some form or another. Today, we get our coca supposedly in non-narcotic form from the Stephen Company, the only company in the U.S. allowed to import and process coca leaves legally. 100 metric tons per year have suddenly made Maywood, NJ all the more interesting.
But my original question remains unanswered. Despite a lack of narcotic, what is the flavor effect of small amounts of coca extracts? What is the appeal of a cola beverage? The pure sugar content? The fizz of soda water? The caffeine? The ads and product jingles that are typically unappealing anyway? All these I could get in other ways. There remains something as yet unknown, perhaps something as simple as a single event or childhood experience, that has burned the cola brand on my psyche. Whatever the reason, I still like Coke.