This weekend I saw that the new “Coke Blak” had hit the store shelves at the local market. It’s pricey and you can only get it 4 8oz. bottles at a time, but we had Mike and Julie coming over so I figured people would get a kick out of trying it.
The bottle is sleek and stylish. However, I would feel a little weird drinking something in public out of a bottle that screams “DESIGNED TO BE SEXY!” so loudly. I poured mine into a glass.
It is easy to sum up the flavor of Coke BlaK. It’s coffee-flavored C2. It tastes like Coke Classic with a shot of coffee syrup, but with half the calories. It’s pretty sweet. Lightly carbonated. According to the company, it’s got less caffeine than actual coffee, and about twice as much as a Coke Classic.
If I understand correctly from reading other reviews, this is not the same beverage that has been marketed in France. The French version is, apparently, a lot less sweet and a lot more coffee. That would have been a much more radical departure from Coke than this was.
This one still tastes quite a bit like Coke. That surprised me a little. And now I wonder what a Coke Zero + a shot of Autocrat tastes like. For us SouthCoasters (and Rhode Islanders) coffee syrup is never very far away. I expect that you can make a much less expensive version of Coke BlaK in your own kitchen.
If I have time, I will work out a copycat recipe for y’all. [Done! See below.]
The response from the panel of four taste testers was positive. We seemed to generally agree that we liked the stuff but wouldn’t pay a high price for it. I will let the individuals involved give their own impressions in the comments.
I liked it, too, but I don’t drink a lot of sugared beverages when I’m trying to watch calories. It’s easy for me to cut them out. However, under normal circumstances I would enjoy this stuff if it were about the price of Coke. (Sorry - I don’t remember what I paid for the 4-pak. I will check that and update this entry later). Thumbs slightly up on the beverage, thumbs slightly down on the price. And, I’d like to try the French version.
In semi-related news, there is a bit of nervousness around the globe regarding benzene levels in soft drinks.
Coca-Cola BlaK copycat recipe (first pass)
Stir the soda a little bit to get rid of some of the carbonation
I chose the Iced Cappuccino mix because it is more coffe-ish and less syrup-ish (i.e. less sugar) than the regular syrup used to make coffee milk. Also, it has more caffeine in it than the regular Eclipse and Autocrat (which are made by the same company anyway).
I used the calories as a rough guide to estimate the amount of mix which might be needed. My recipe comes out to about 50 calories.
I failed to mention when I first posted this that none of us really like the idea of the Coca-Cola company making up new letter for our alphabet. BlãK looks a lot like it should be pronounced “blah-k” at first glance (thus the joke about “Coke blah” that we made all night, and the references to Count Blah for those who remember “Greg the Bunny.” The word would, ostensibly, refer to the color of the stuff, in which case you’d be inclined to pronounce it “black.” In France, instead of the Coca-Cola squiggle over the “a” they used a bar, which implies the English pronunciation of “blake” with a hard “a” sound. In Portuguese, that diacritical over the “a” calls for a slightly nasal version of the vowel, but I can’t remember if that would be a nasal “blah-k” or a nasal “black” or something in between. It’s been a while since college Portuguese.
Maybe they just want us to wonder.
In any case, I think the name is a weird attempt to be edgy. First and last letter capitalized and a made up letter in the middle. That’s hot. (not) But I have to say, I’m liking my imitation Blãk. Call it Coke Blãke. Rhymes with fake.
I don’t know if Autocrat still makes this Iced Cappuccino mix, but the same basic product is listed on their website as “Newport Coffee Traders Iced Cappuccino Mix” and you have to buy a gallon of it if you get it through the website. New Englanders can probably find it easier - just drive to Rhode Island. The iced cappuccino mix is good stuff.