Coke Byte Review: Tastes like a sweeter and smokier Coke.

Coke’s New Pixel-Flavored Soda Tastes Like A Sweeter And Smokier Cola

Not what you’d expect.

Originally Published: 
Courtesy of Coca-Cola

In Elite Daily's series Chef's Kiss, we taste the latest food and drink trends to help you figure out which ones you definitely don’t want to sleep on. In this piece, we taste Coca-Cola’s Zero Byte.

Coca-Cola stepped into the digital realm to extract the taste of pixels for its second flavor Creation: Zero Sugar Byte. The new soda is meant to taste like “powering up a game,” according to the brand. Very mysterious. Naturally, I was curious to decode the cryptic flavor profile. In this Coca-Cola Zero Byte review, I crack open the new drink and spill all the tasting notes you can expect if you get your hands on this extremely limited-edition soda yourself.

If you’re not familiar with Coke’s latest venture beyond flavors like cherry and vanilla, let me fill you in. Coca-Cola Creations was launched in February 2022 to bring in new collaborations and ideas, like the space-inspired berry-flavored Coca-Cola Starlight complete with an AR concert from singer Ava Max. The limited-time offerings will have you testing your taste buds as the company tries to bring abstract flavors to life. Back to Byte. I got an early taste of the soda, and upon first look, the metallic purple packaging of the slim 12.5-ounce can looks sleek and modern with a trippy graphic and Coca-Cola’s iconic logo in pixel form. The zero sugar, zero calorie cola is labeled as “pixel flavored,” which keeps the element of mystery going until you actually pop it open.

Coca-Cola Zero Byte Review & Taste

A quick whiff of the drink gives off the signature Coca-Cola scent, although slightly fainter than OG Coke. Similarly, the color is also a tinge lighter and more transparent than the Coca-Cola you know.

On the first sip, the taste is completely opposite from what the initial look implies. The sweetness is immediately overpowering — I imagine it’s a similar intensity to how it would feel if I was being attacked by the enemy in a video game. Once you get past the sugary factor, it actually tastes pretty smooth.

There isn’t an immediately recognizable flavor, but it slowly surfaces in the aftertaste. After several sips, it’s noticeably a bit bitter in the way that angostura bitters are. It reminds me of herbs and spices. Now, you might think those flavors aren’t fit for soda, but it surely balances the sweetness.

The fizziness carries the crisp and refreshing feeling of a Coke, as you’d expect. I chilled the drink in the fridge, as it feels wrong to be drinking room temperature soda. As I tried to nail down the flavor profile, I realized that the flavor is toasty, not in a warm way, but in the way that the crust of a good wood-fired pizza is charred and smoky.

So, the question remains, what do pixels taste like? According to Techopedia, “pixels are the basic building blocks of a digital image or display and are created using geometric coordinates.” They’re made up of varying intensities of the RGB color spectrum — red, green, and blue — which combine to create the overall color of the pixel. So, does Coke Byte taste like a pixel? You could interpret the sweet, herbal, and smoky flavors of the soda coming together to create the full picture as the “pixel” of it all. I don’t think this would be a flavor I’d put on my regular rotation, but I’d be down to crack open a can while firing up a video game.

If you’re curious about the flavor of pixels, you can buy Coca-Cola Zero Byte exclusively on the Creations hub online on May 2. The “portal” will allow you to purchase two-packs that cost around $15, not including shipping in the United States. The soda previously launched in Latin America on April 4, and it will launch in China on May 23.

Don’t be camping on this one, because only 25,000 cans will be sold.

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