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Weird Soda Review: Coke Zero “K-Wave”

My hand, holding a can of Coke Zero K-Wave in front of the window for lighting purposes. It's an energy drink-style can, with a pastel purple to green gradient design and Korean characters on it.The problem with finding weird sodas like this is I’m only really looking at the soft drinks aisle when I’m in the mood for something brown and fizzy to drink, so I buy these, put them in the fridge, and end up keeping them in there for a week, not even drinking then when I’m thirsty, because I figure, no, I should do this properly, I should do a review. Such was the case with this can of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Creations: K-Wave Limited Edition, which makes no big claims on the can itself but is apparently inspired by K-Pop.

Once again, I truly do not know what that could possible mean.

Let’s get to it.


I don’t listen to K-Pop — if you say “BTS” to me I will assume you’re talking about a behind-the-scenes featurette of some kind, not four to seven randomly generated young men. If this is meant to taste like that kind of music, or, like the kind of thing a fan of that kind of music would like, well, I’m expecting a flavour that’s bright and loud in front with very, very little depth to it.

So unless it tastes like boys something fruity, I guess.

The Nose

I’ve opened the can and will now take a whiff of it. To enhance the experience, I’ve also popped on some BTS on Spotify. On first sniff, this is different than the 3000, lighter. My first thought is perfume, flower smells. Slightly artificial. All of this not in a nasty way. It sits in the nose pleasantly, but leaves it quickly.

The Taste

Time to sip.

Hm. It’s a more complex blend of fruit flavours — yeah, definitely fruit flavours — that’s a little hard to unpick. My first thought is of the light sourness of apple-flavoured candy, but as it sits in the mouth what comes forward is the flavour of banana candy. That raspberry idea from the 3000 is kind of here, but where that was “the shape of raspberry flavour without raspberry flavour,” here that’s maybe been filled in with, well, apples and bananas.

I take back the thing I said about a lack of depth, there’s a real aftertaste development here. That development is reminiscent of mouthwash more than anything, but still, that’s a layered flavour.


Overall, from flowers to a simple fruit basket to mouthwash, it’s kind of a weird blend. Not unpleasant, and with a sweetness that I suppose fits the K-Pop thing, probably. I wouldn’t know, I’ve clicked through this Spotify playlist looking for something that sounds like music made by people instead of robots and have struggled to find any.

If you liked the 3000, you’ll probably like this one. I’d recommend maybe keeping a taste you like nearby to wash it down with, though. I’m gonna throw back some M&Ms, I think.

Weird Soda Review: Coke Zero “3000”

An energy drink-shaped can of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Creations: 3000 Limited Edition.So I’ve had this one in the fridge since Sunday, but then on Monday I burned my tongue on hot soup, so it took me a few days of not wanting to waste it on my slightly numb mouth zone to get around to: Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Creations: 3000 Limited Edition, which claims to be a “future-inspired flavour co-created with AI.”

Now, I don’t know exactly what that means, but my guess is an ad exec somewhere got paid way too much to get a soda engineer to type some things into ChatGPT, or some other awful plagiarism generator. Whose artisanal soda recipe was this ripped off from? There may be no way to know.

Let’s get to it.


I was pretty sure I’d seen this one go around when it was on shelves in America, but Googling it as I write this, it turns out this one is totally new, so I guess my vague recollection to expect a raspberry element in there somewhere, or maybe a blue flavour, that’s off the table. Neither the ingredients list nor the first sniff give any additional information — it’s just the same hollow smell as all zero sugar cola. The colour is the same as any Coca-Cola.

Now, a second sniff after a pour makes me feel like I might be onto something about the blue and raspberry flavours. Time to sip.


I’m very used to being betrayed by awful mystery Fantas, but I was really hoping this wouldn’t immediately send me there. And yet my first sip’s impression is… cotton candy? The vibe is definitely candular. Candesque. Of the Cand. But it’s not a specific cand. It’s just sweet. A little sour? Raspberry flavour candy as a touchstone is not a million miles off, actually. But it doesn’t taste like raspberry, not really. It’s like. You know raspberry. You recognise raspberry in the movie based on raspberry. And this is the third sequel to that movie, but now it’s all original material, and it’s not really anything like you were picturing based on raspberry? It’s like that.

Yeah, no, finishing the can, I have no idea what this tastes like. No. Wait.


Vaporwave. That’s it. Fuck me, it doesn’t taste like the year 3000 or like AI but like Vaporwave. It tastes: Like Vaporwave. And much like Vaporwave, it is indeed tolerable for a few sips, but quickly becomes tiresome from being so sugary and so overly produced.

I’m gonna go drink some water.

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