Has it ever occurred to you how much alike these two look? When you pour your Coke straight from the fridge in your glass, the lovely foam appears. 1cm of the perfect mountain top/cloudy bubbles/beaten whites. Is it a coffee or a Coke?
Oh wait, is it actually a pint of dark ale?
No coincidence here. The Coca Cola corporation is one of the richest in the world for a reason. These guys have probably studied the appearance, smell and texture of the enjoyable treats in life. This is why your foamy Coke reminds you of the mood-boosting Cappuccino, or a relaxing first-of-the-Friday-night pint of beer. Energy and good vibes at the same time. What not to like (not to sell?)
There are even people suggesting that, when poured into whiskey, Coke preserves its majestic bubbles even longer.
The key to the Coca Cola mystery is that it is a cultural chameleon that changes its appearance all the time. It seems a party drink, then the liquid charger that keeps you going through the day, then the symbol of the millennial generation, a fetish to adore and collect (as academic studies assume). It is like the most flexible friend on Earth who knows when to be happy, sad, stupid, quiet, loud – when you need it.
In reality, all the fairy-tale apart, there is time and place for any food and beverage. The Italians drink their cappuccino only until 11am in the morning, never later. The Brits have their beer after 5pm. This is why even Coca Cola should not be consumed around the clock – yet it fluctuates between times and occasions. It is not rooted in tradition or society – it is an imposed gastronomic construct. You know, like one of those things you had not known you needed before they sold it to you.
I’ll stick to my coffee, my beer and my cultural tradition. Doppelgängers, go away.