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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.

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