Coke vs. Pepsi: We Settled the Debate with a Blind Test

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Coke vs. Pepsi is one of the most heated debates in foodie history. Find out what our team of experts has to say.

We’re sure you’ve been in this situation before: You order a Coke at a restaurant and the waiter responds, “Is Pepsi OK?” (or vice versa). For some people, the idea of switching brands is absurd. No way could a Pepsi take the place of a cold Coca-Cola (especially if it’s a McDonald’s Coke)! No way would a boring ol’ Coke be a worthy Pepsi substitute!

But what if you didn’t know which cola was which? Would you find yourself enjoying the other brand? Is there really even a difference between Coke and Pepsi?

To find out, our Test Kitchen team sampled each soda blindly, recorded their thoughts and voted for their preferred soft drink. The results might shock you!

Our Test Kitchen’s Favorite Cola Is…

Are you ready for this? When sampled blindly, the majority of our Test Kitchen team preferred Pepsi.

In our test, Pepsi got more votes thanks to how darn refreshing this soft drink is. It’s sweet, of course, but it’s also got a little something extra. Pepsi has a slight citrusy tang that makes it taste crisp and delicious.

The cans and bottles of Pepsi our team popped open also seemed to be just a smidge more bubbly than its competition—and that carbonation counts. What many of us desire when we order a soda is the bubbles (it’s why sparkling water is so popular).

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The Bottom Line

This test was a close one! While most staffers in our Test Kitchen preferred Pepsi in a blind test, that doesn’t mean that Coca-Cola was bad in any way. Some testers thought Coke is just a little too sweet and not quite fizzy enough compared to Pepsi—which isn’t negative by any stretch. But it did make our culinary crew think differently about their sipping habits. Perhaps they’ll be hitting the Pepsi button on the office vending machine next time!

And you can rest assured that recipes that call for a can will be delicious whether you use Coke, Pepsi or whatever other colas you have on hand. Need some recipe inspo? Get started with these: Cola Cake with Strawberries, Cola Burgers and Cola Hot Wings.

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.