We usually talk about big ideas here — and we’ll get back to that tomorrow with some Big News and other vital matters pressing the urban core, and if you are in search of some deeper reading right now, click here — but today we’re going to take a pause that does not refresh as we virtually taste test and review together a new pox upon humankind:

 Coke Blak 

When I first learned about Coke Blak I was deeply intrigued. “What
could be better,” I unwittingly wondered, “than the mixture of two of
my favorite beverages — black coffee and soda pop?”

Beware of what you wish for because you might just have to swallow an 8
oz. bottle of it in a gooey, unsmooth and sickly-tasting dose of
medicine pretending to be a refreshing drink.

Coke Blak tastes like those coffee toffee candies really old people
would give you on Halloween when you were a young kid roaming the wild
city streets.

Coke Blak leaves you with an aftertaste that never goes away.

Coke Blak sticks to your teeth like a polyester sweater your
grandmother knitted and wants you to wear without an undershirt on a
sweltering day to prove your appreciation.

Coke Blak can make young women swoon, old men cry and teenagers afraid
of the dark.


  1. I’m saving my empty bottles for the day when fools will pay hundreds of dollars for them on e-bay as they seemingly do now for crystal pepsi. 🙂
    My friend Allison and I drank a bottle each and with each sip said to one another “blech!” and “disgusting” but, each having a waste not want not mentality, could not bring ourselves to throw it away.
    My excuse is I was raised by two WWII survivors.

  2. Hi Gordon!
    I have been looking for Coke Blak since I heard about it and I would check around my neighborhood weekly to see if I could finally buy a taste.
    Janna finally found one for me in Queens. She brought it home. She tried hers earlier in the day. She said nothing as she handed over the bottle. I drank it all — in spits and dribbles — and said nothing.
    The next day Janna asked me what I thought about Coke Blak since I’d been longing for it so — and I didn’t answer her. She said, “If you liked it, you would have asked for another. You hate it!”
    I broke down and said, “Yes, it’s awful! I hate it! I admit it! I was misled by the advertising!”
    Then she told me she hated it, too, but didn’t want to say anything “to ruin the surprise.”

  3. I am a coffee freak, but black coffee blended with soda? Nah…I don’t think so.
    I was not at all excited about trying it and now, after reading this review I won’t do it – ever!
    I don’t like to get shockingly surprised!

  4. I saw Coca Blak yesterday. So tempted, really. But, after reading the reviews, staying far away.
    Coke hasn’t had a decent “new” drink in a long while. They should just stick with the oldies, but goodies.

  5. Katha!
    Please go find a Coke Blak today and post your review here! I’m dying to know what you think of it now that you know what you think of it. I’m curious if you will be surprised or merely confirmed!

  6. Hi Alice!
    Welcome to the blog and thanks for your comment!
    You gotta try it — just once — think of it as a really bad rollercoaster ride that you’ll never get off. The taste will stay with you for a week! How can you turn down that kind of thrill opportunity?
    I agree Coke keeps trying to reinvent their own wheel. Leave it alone enough already!

  7. LOL!
    Hi David, Thanks for the warning!
    I am a BIG fan of Coca Cola. But only the original. I’ve tried the one with a twist of lime, and it’s not that bad – but I don’t think you can ever beat the classic that’s been around for years.
    However, when I think about having Coke, and Coffee mixed together in the same bottle? It makes me want to be sick! That really just sounds disgusting. Add to which I’m not a huge coffee fan anyway lol.
    Have a good day 🙂

  8. Hi Dawn!
    Hey, you gotta try Coke Blak at least once so you can tell your grandkids about it — believe me, Coke Blak is not long for this world!
    The Diet Cherry Coke isn’t too bad. The Diet Vanilla Black Cherry-Whatever Coke is pretty bad.

  9. Hi Joe!
    Now that’s interesting! I thought Coke Blak was “tested” in Europe because those kinds of “drink blends” were more popular there than here?
    You simply must give it a try sometime, Joe. There’s nothing quite like drinking an 8 oz. bottle of a polyester sweater!

  10. Indeed David, normally things are tested specifically in the few counties around me.
    I like Diet Coke Cherry and Lemon – but not vanilla.

  11. Hey Joe —
    Yes, somehow vanilla does not seem to work in pre-made soft drinks. I guess they can’t get the chemical composition right.
    The new Diet Dr. Pepper Berries and Cream is not too bad!
    I know a lot of people hate the Diet Coke Lime and the Lemon version — but I find them both oddly refreshing and I even prefer the Lime to the Lemon — to the utter dismay of many close friends.

  12. Hi Mad Secretary —
    Oh, you have to at least try it once! It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!
    I guess I should’ve had a contest where people would send me a video of them actually buying, opening and drinking a Coke Blak to win bottle of Pepto-Bismol.

  13. LOL @ Pepto Bismol as a prize!! trust me, all I’d want is a bucket! You can happily keep the Pepto Bismol 😛

  14. When I saw the Coke Blak graphic, I was excited!
    Coke Blak!
    Black is beautiful.
    The name has the potential to be a “Bad Azz” drink.
    Something to reflect the sophistication of the urban core — the energy and vitality of the streets.
    Then I read the review and came away with several impressions:
    Old people.
    Toffee candy of the sort nobody wanted in their bag on Halloween.
    Other failed Coke formula experiments.
    Very disappointing. Blak could have been so good!
    I haven’t seen it or tried it, so maybe it’s being test marketed.
    Maybe they can tweak the formula and make it live up to it’s potential.
    It reminds me of another disappointment in the Coca-Cola line-up: Black Cherry Vanilla.

  15. Hey Chris!
    I shared your excitement — but you can’t share my disappointment until you find — and then actually swallow — 8 0z. of the polyester sweater that is Coke Blak!
    Always bet on Black. But never Coke Blak.
    I don’t mind the Black Cherry Vanilla Coke. It’s actually 100% better tasting than Coke Blak.
    I don’t think Coke Blak is being tested in the USA. I think it’s pretty much a released product. Janna found ours in a Godiva Chocolates store in Rego Park — so maybe they’re trying to go upscale first and then mainstream lowbrow last…

  16. I’ll have to check the usual places where I shop to see if I can spot Coke Blak. I have three places I like to go that serve different markets — a local grocery store, a discount place that draws heavily from Gary, and the Wal-Mart that attracts everyone from everywhere within 20 miles or so.
    I might have to try to Black Cherry Vanilla again.
    I had the diet version, but high-fructose corn syrup does make a difference, especially if the nutrisweet isn’t protected from heat while being stored or transported.
    Black Cherry Vanilla.
    The name is so alluring — it makes me think of a local “gentlemen’s club” in the urban core that I haven’t visited in a long, long time.
    I wrote a work safe post about the Black Cherri Lounge on my blog when I saw they have a BBW dancer night for people who enjoy watching voluptuous dancers, something that’s evidently fairly popular in the urban core.
    There is no coincidence that Coke Blak’s webpage features video that focuses on the bottle’s attractive curves.
    I think there’s some subliminal advertising going on over at Coke!

  17. Hi Chris!
    Yes, let us know if you can find Coke Blak and, if you have to ask for it, let us know if the people helping you have even heard of it yet.
    The regular Black Cherry is better than the Black Cherry Vanilla.
    You’re right that aspartame can quickly go bad. A doctor friend of mine told me once — If I’m remembering it right — that aspartame, when it expires in soda, begins to get the same properties as embalming fluid. It was scary then. It is scary now. He does not drink any diet soda for that reason alone. I prefer zero calories to 200.
    Ha! I don’t know if “Black Cherri” would ever be “work safe” in that outfit, Chris! Whoo!
    I think you’re right Coke Blak might have a different audience in mind. The bottles are tiny and made of glass and the intricate design is actually a shrink-wrapped plastic — it isn’t painted on the bottle as one might wish.

  18. I shouldn’t have tried to see if there were perils associated with diet drinks because I found bad news. Of course, isn’t everything bad for us if we consume too much?
    The government says there’s nothing to worry about, so I’ll just cut back from 6 liters a day to maybe 2 1/2 or so of diet pop.
    From PHXnews.com:

    Documents from a large soda company show an intense research project focused on why their own fruit-flavored beverages tested positive for benzene — some at shockingly high levels.
    Different hypotheses were explored.
    The scientists and senior managers found that the benzene resulted from an interaction between the sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid (or its cousin erythorbic acid).
    The most shocking finding of all was that heat alone — and especially heat and ultraviolet — led to even much higher levels. The presence of citric acid also accelerated the increase.

    Our government says there’s no need to worry, however.
    As a heavy diet soda consumer this reassurance makes me feel better.
    From CBS News:

    No safety concerns have arisen from tests for the cancer-causing chemical benzene in soft drinks, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday.
    Still, the agency is not ready to disclose its findings. The FDA started sampling soft drinks after a private study in November found small amounts of benzene in some beverages.
    In the vast majority of drinks sampled, benzene either was not found or was present at levels below the federal limit for drinking water.
    “Although the results to date are preliminary, they do not suggest a safety concern,” Robert E. Brackett, director of the agency’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, wrote in a letter released Tuesday.

  19. Hi Chris!
    Yes, we do celebrate different community standards. I mean, I work for myself out of my home and I find Black Cherrie unsafe for my workplace! Bwa-harrr!
    No soft drinks are good for us. They’re all killing us. Diet. Fructose. “Real” Sugar. Doesn’t matter. They all gang up to provide no goodness. I guess that’s why we drink so much of it — to test our humanity against our deaths.

  20. Community standard and how to determine them are always interesting.
    When I worked in South Bend, Indiana, there was an obscenity trial brought by the former prosecutor against an adult bookstore in 2001.
    The judge and the jury had to sit through hours of videotape evidence. If one wanted, one could sit in the courtroom, observe, and listen to the audio while the jury watched the tapes.
    From WNDU report about the proceedings back in 2001:

    For jurors, it appears to be an extremely uncomfortable job. Today alone, the panelists watched some three and a half hours of sexually explicit films. It was more than one of the jurors could handle.
    Juror dismissed
    The juror later told Newscenter 16 that he could not sit and watch that long and not get repulsed. “One juror indicated he felt they had seen enough, and immediately the judge released rest of the jury to the jury room, then asked juror if he could discharge his duties which included reviewing the materials in entirety. He indicated he could not remain objective. He was dismissed from the jury,” said Patrick Mangan, Citizens for Community Values.

    The prosecutor lost a re-election bid.
    I wonder if it was because he wasn’t in line with community standards?

  21. Hi Chris!
    What a great story. It just shows we have a big country with lots of ideas and people seeking their own safe place.
    We need to get into this a bit more in future articles because this really does directly go to issues in the urban core verses beliefs held in suburbia and beyond.

  22. It’s amazing how the world changes when one crosses various city limits or county boundaries.
    In our area, you can travel from the heartland filled with farms to urban areas in less than an hour.
    We took a family trip to a dairy farm over the weekend and saw a calf being born. Later that evening we went to a wedding reception in a Chicago suburb that had visitors from across the country and across the world.
    All of these experiences were within an one hour drive of each other and illustrate how small our modern world has become and why it’s always important to try to understand each other’s viewpoints.

  23. Hi Chris —
    You’re right that because of modern technology the boundaries between city and country are thinning. New Jersey is sort of the same way as your neck of the woods. Get in a car and drive an hour West and you’re in the middle of farm land. It is quite beautiful.

  24. I must say that I liked the Coke Blak when I tried it. It wired me up pretty good too.

  25. It’s a good substitue from either of the the drinks, coffee or Coke. If you are a person who drinks coffee all day, then this is just a little something different in your day. If you’re an all day Coke drinker who likes coffee the same applies.

  26. Its carmel coke. Its not that bad. It doesnt taste like regular coke, and it shouldnt. If you want a coke classic, buy one. If you want to try something new, give Blak a shot. It put me in mind of a botteled starbucks frappicino. Its a good morning drink. It wont replace my liquid life staple Dr Pepper, but ill probably have one every now and then. All in all: 6 out of 10

  27. Coke Blak tastes like a coke float made with coffee ice cream 😛 Anyways I thought it was some new energy drink, but it’s not, it has just as much caffine(45 mg) as diet coke does and has more calories.

  28. I don’t usually act all litigious and stuff; but I’m really wondering how they can be so careless as to not have check with me first — you know, they didn’t even offer me a free case of the stuff. -Dan Oblak

  29. I would buy a Coke product if they made it with real sugar instead of the HFCS. I don’t understand why so many people buy such terrible (tasting) products. Yecch!

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