Let’s Settle This: Coke vs. Pepsi


When I was about 17 years old, my Step-dad accused me of eating only the pink Flintstones vitamins (yes, I still ate those at 17 and continued until I was 26, when I started buying adult gummy vitamins – because now I’m a grown up). He was right, of course. They tasted better.

Certain that this was not true, he challenged me to a blind taste test to determine whether I actually could tell the difference. Risking ODing on children’s vitamins, I accepted. And promptly lost the bet and my dignity, when I improperly identified a purple vitamin as a pink one. THE SHAME. I continued to eat only the pink ones on principle.

Fast forward nearly ten years. I eat my gummy vitamins daily and rarely drink soda. On the occasion that I do, I’m a Coca-Cola snob.

taste test 3

When I studied abroad in Paris, I got hooked on the real honest to goodness sugar version of this stuff (in other countries, Coke contains real sugar and not corn syrup). Back in the States, I couldn’t find the good stuff so I settled for the occasional American coke. UNTIL I discovered Mexican coke. You know, the tall glass bottles with refresco and hecho en Mexico on the side. Real sugar in all it’s glory! Now I know every place it’s sold within 15 miles of my home (slight exaggeration). You can’t just find this stuff anywhere. You have to hunt it down.

I’ve since been accused of not being able to tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke or between Coke and Mexican Coke. I CAN tell the difference, I insisted. So N challenged me to prove, once and for all, that I can. A blind taste test.

pepsi vs coke

I hope it’s obvious from this ridiculously long personal story introduction that this isn’t a sponsored post. A word of warning: if I do ever hit the big time and get sponsored by Coca-Cola, it will go straight to my head.

So, N and I developed a highly scientific experiment. I wrote 1, 2, and 3 on the bottom of glasses in sharpie (what, you don’t write directly on your glassware?) and I left the room while he did the pouring and wrote down which number contained Pepsi, Coke, and Mexican Coke.

And now, the taste off.

mason jars
God I hate myself for using mason jars as glasses. Pinterest got the best of me 2 years ago. Forgive me.

Up first, here goes.

taste test 1

I’m pretty sure it’s Pepsi. I can’t even describe the difference but it’s there. On to the next two…

taste test 2
Intense deliberation happening here.

After tasting the next one, I’m positive the first one is Pepsi. This one is just so much better. But figuring out which is Coke and which is Mexican Coke will be harder. I take a sip of each, back and forth. Repeat. Repeat. The second one tastes slightly sweeter and is a little more bubbly. I like it better. I’m calling it, it’s Mexican Coke.

Here’s what I wrote down:

Coke vs. Pepsi
I had a ? next to Pepsi initially but after taking a sip of the others, I’m sure it’s Pepsi

So, was I right?



I have to admit, I’m a little too proud of myself. Yes, I recognize that this post is completely ridiculous. But I’ve proven something to the world (or basically just N) and I’ve proven something to myself.

If you need me, I’ll just be over here gloating.

And drinking Mexican Coke, of course. Because it just tastes better.

drinking mexican coke

I’d like to end this post on a super mature note. To anyone who ever said to me “Coke and Pepsi don’t taste that different”:

Barney Stinson Gif

  • THIS IS BRILLIANT! I agree with you 100%. Always Coke, never Pepsi. And Mexican Coke is where it’s at, yo.

  • They are all SO DIFFERENT!! I am a die hard Coke fan, but once in awhile the sweetness of Pepsi is really satisfying! I love this post haha!

  • YES. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I have this argument ALL THE TIME. First of all, always Coke. Always. Secondly, yes to the Mexican Coke. Mmm. Pepsi tastes like a flat version of Coke. No bueno. THANK YOU.

  • I thought I was the ONLY one who loaded up on Mexican Coke at the grocery store! I live in small town, USA and the Mexican section is pretty much taboo; luckily for me, no one to steal all my stock!

    • I’m jealous that they have it stocked at your grocery store! Where I live, there is one liquor store that sells them individually and one hot dog shop. I guess it’s good they aren’t at my grocery store because I’d buy them all the time.

  • There TOTALLY is a difference! I think I’ll have to share this post with the hubby since he has made fun of me for years for saying that. I know I’m totally in the majority but I actually prefer Pepsi over Coke. No idea why either – I just like the taste better. There definitely is a taste difference though!l

    • Someone on twitter said maybe you just drink what you grew up drinking. On the occasion that my Mom bought soda, it was always Coke.

  • love this 😉 im from australia, and i hate hate hate american coke. i would buy mexican coke, but then i might die of an overdose, so i stick with the diet coke because it tastes kinda similar. but you better believe i will be drinking alllll the real coke when i get home.

    • I’ve never thought about what American Coke must taste like to people who have grown up on the good stuff! Crazy.

  • YES! I don’t like regular Coke, but was previously addicted to diet Coke. There is a huge difference between Diet Coke and CocaCola Light (which is sold in other countries). CocaCola Light is SO much better!

    • I’ve heard that too. I’m not much of a diet soda drinker. I hate the taste of all of it but I’ve heard that I’d like Coca-Cola Light.

  • I agree! I can taste the difference between HFCS and real sugar. HFCS just tastes sickeningly sweet to me—it’s just too much. If don’t buy soda anymore, but when I did I would always get it from Whole Foods.

    • I’m not sure I could put my finger on how they taste different but they definitely do, because I was able to identify which was Coke with HFCS and which was made with sugar.

  • YES! I can absolutely taste the difference between Coke and Pepsi, too! Pepsi is too heavy and sweet – no good at all. I’m also from GA where the World of Coke is located so if I didn’t love Coke already, I’d make myself. 🙂

    • I couldn’t really put my finger on how they taste different but Coke is definitely more crisp and refreshing.

  • You nailed it! This post is all sorts of awesome. For all those naysayers who say you can’t tell the difference, you proved them wrong. I’m a big snob with my pop, too. (I’ve been thinking about writing a post on how different regions call it soda or pop, because it fascinates me:) To me, there is also a big difference between fountain pop and bottled pop. I’ll drink Diet Dr. Pepper out of a can, but not in its fountain pop form:) So I can appreciate your quest for Mexican Coke. Well done!

    • You should totally write a post about that! I forget that people call it pop in other places. There definitely is a difference between fountain soda and bottled or canned. For some reason, I would take a can over a bottle any day. i feel like the can keeps it colder longer and it makes the whole experience more enjoyable.

  • While I don’t really drink Coke anymore except on very rare occasions…I’m so with you on this. I have always hated Pepsi and could always tell the difference. The real sugar Coke is the best!

  • lol at your “testing” face. But pepsi is my favorite. Even though I will drink a coke. But sweet tea beats them all! lol

    • Oh I’m definitely a sweet tea drinker too! I’ll ask, “do you have coke or pepsi?” and if the waitress says Pepsi, I get sweet tea. It’s also what I drink at home since I don’t buy soda often.

  • hahaha that is awesome!!! i would hope i can taste the difference. i am all about coke, sorry pepsi.

  • Mexican coke is SO much better!!

  • I rarely order soda in restaurants, but if I do order a Coke and they tell me they have Pepsi, I stick with water. Pepsi just isn’t worth it.

    • Agreed! Sometimes the wait staff will look at you funny, like, does it really matter? YES it does.

  • Hahaha, I love this! I can absolutely tell the difference as well. I have always been a total Pepsi girl, it’s so much better! Andrew is a coke person. However, neither of us actually drink soda anymore. But when I was studying in Italy, I got hooked on the REAL coke, omg the difference is amazing. Especially during a hot summer in Rome, nothing beat an ice cold coke! Now if I drink soda, it’s usually just a Sprite or 7Up when I’m hungover! ha

    • It’s the studying abroad that hooked us! I had no idea that they used real sugar for soda in other countries until I studied abroad.

  • I’m a Coke girl myself when I do drink pop, but I must say Pepsi Next is pretty good too – in Canada it’s sweetened with stevia. I work with these two companies all the time for work so I loved reading this!

  • Kim

    I am LOVING this post!

    I am a total Soda Snob! I know it and fully admit it!

    I am a Coke fan as far as cans & bottles go (Cherry Coke to be specific).

    I am a Pepsi fan as far as fountain soda goes.

    If I had to choose between Pepsi fountain soda & a bottle of Cherry Coke- it would be a tough decision but I would most likely choose the Pepsi Fountain Soda.

    And don’t get me started on store-brand soda! It does not taste good! However, specialty sodas do taste good.

  • this has nothing to do with soda but your hair looks so cute in all these pics! I had mine that short a few months ago and now I’m growing it out… but you just gave me the urge to chop it all off again! haha

  • Lex

    hahaha this is amazing! such an accurate victory dance gif. I’d be doing the same! I hate it when i order a diet coke in restaurants and they ask “is diet pepsi okay?” NO IT’S NOT OKAY.

  • So much love for this post!

    1) Yes, coke over pepsi any day. And mexican/french coke is THE BEST. When we were in Europe this past summer and two years ago, I was either drinking wine, coffee, water, or coke.

    2) Mason jars are all I use for glassware. Oh, and my camelback.

    The taste test is a genius idea as well, btw.


  • I’m a Coke person too, in my country (Argentina) they use real sugar and it tastes great, Pepsi tastes like a cough medicine and that it’s not a good thing!Also the glass bottle is better than the plastic bottle.

  • I try not to drink soda either but when I do it’s Coca-Cola. When i ask for a diet coke and they tell me Pepsi okay. I say no!

  • Coke and Pepsi do not taste the same. I could easily pass this test. Coke, always and forever.

  • Haha this is awesome. Pepsi and Coke do taste different. As a cherry coke snob nothing (not even wild cherry pepsi) comes close. I will have to look into Mexican coke though. Sounds like a sugary treat. I’d be gloating too.

  • Dr. Pepper FOR LIFE. And thank you for reminding me to talk my adult gummy vitamins.

  • Pepsi is disgusting. I’ve never heard of Mexican Coke! In fact, I didn’t even know it was different in different countries. I must find some.

  • Ew. I hate Pepsi with a passion. I’m happy you could tell the difference between all three!

  • I definitely agree Coke over Pepsi, but Dr. Pepper RULES them ALL! 🙂

  • Erin

    For whatever reason this post had me smiling by the end. Perhaps it started way back at the beginning when you only ate the pink Flintstones vitamins because they tasted better or probably more so that you ended up right & vindicated in your second blind taste test and therefore Coke in any variety was the clear winner over Pepsi. Myself personally, I’m mainly a Coke drinker(never the Mexican kind though) but I will drink Pepsi if that’s what is offered when it comes to a dark soda; honestly I’m not overly picky but there is a definite difference in taste between the two & I can’t say I’ve come across many or any for that matter who doesn’t have a preference one way or the other. You enjoy your victory dance(no matter how goofy you or others may think you are) and slight gloatiness if necessary. You over came & won the Pepsi vs. Coke varieties blind taste test challenge. Kudos & congratulations to you!

  • Oh, yes – the taste is DRASTICALLY different! I like both depending on what mood I’m in – I will specifically crave one over the other – but I have nailed the blind taste tests – it’s especially nasty when someone throws store brand colas in. WOW.

  • Pepsi is never okay. But as for me, is it weird that I actually prefer corn syrup Coke to real sugar Coke? I died when I was in England, I just wanted the bad stuff so dang badly!

  • Kait

    Coke and Pepsi ABSOLUTELY taste different and anyone who tells you otherwise needs their glands checked. I must now hunt down Mexican Coke…

  • Lo

    This is amazing! Coke definitely wins against Pepsi, but can’t say I know the difference between Coke and Mexican Coke… I need to go to Mexico!

  • There is TOTALLY a difference between Pepsi and Coke! I don’t drink soda that often, but when I do, I choose Coke as well. I have a friend that I worked with in CA and we found Mexican coke at a legit carniceria, she stocked up and ONLY drank them on special occasions so they would last. ha! They are much better.

  • Pepsi and coke are totally different!! And Mexican coke. I was introduced to it years ago. Oh man that’s the good stuff!! I’m a dr pepper girl myself.

  • Oh this is awesome. I can absolutely tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke, as I like Pepsi a lot better. Of course I don’t drink them anymore and haven’t since surgery, but still. Love this post!

  • It’s always coke. Period the end. Can’t do pepsi. You have mad skills. (I still eat flinstones vitamins. One night, I ate a whole bottle. I’m still alive.)

  • THANK YOU!!!!
    I’ve been made fun of so much for being a Coca Cola snob… it’s just SO much better!
    I work at a restaurant that serves Pepsi and I’m seriously surprised not more people answer my shameful “Is Pepsi okay?” with “Is Monopoly money okay?”
    Seriously. Give it up Pepsi, you lost.

  • Up until about 10 years ago I would have said Coke hands down but in the last decade I have started drinking Pepsi Max, but if it Coke or Pepsi it has to be Coke

  • Just went on a first date last week and he got a Pepsi. When I quickly told him I was a Coke kinda gal he just shrugged. #strikeone #onlykiddingalittle

  • Not only can I tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi (which is a HUGE difference and Coke is WAY better), but I can tell the difference between Dr. Pepper and Mr. Pibb. I have a very discerning pallet.

  • I use mason jars as glasses, too! I got the idea from Tilted Kilt, though – not Pinterest.

  • Coke and Pepsi taste totally different!! I am a Pepsi drinker 🙂

  • HAHA! This taste test cracks me up! I *very* rarely drink soda anymore but I am totally on board with you about reaching for Coke and not Pepsi. 🙂

  • I’ve never heard of Mexican coke – maybe because we don’t have it up here? But I agree, I loooove coke and hate it when restaurants think it’s acceptable to replace coke with pepsi instead. You can taste the difference!

  • Interesting post idea! 😉 I was worried it was a sponsored post at first, but it doesn’t look like it it. right?

  • No contest. Coke is just better.

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