The Urban Myth of South Australian vs. Victorian Coke Cola taste

Coke pouringOnce heard a story from a bloke which claimed that Victorian truck drivers would stock up on Victorian Coke Cola before they crossed the South Australian border.

Now I don’t have access to a truck driver but I DO have access to a couple of genuine South Australia Coke Cola cans* courtesy of a couple of friends.

And four taste testers from the office.

The taste results were 50-50.

Coke side-by-sideSouth Australian Coke Cola has a stronger flavour and smell.

Victorian Coke Cola has a mellower flavour, and while you can’t see it in the photo of the two glasses side by side, the Victorian Coke Cola has a darker colour to it.

And the reason for the stronger flavour is that South Australian water tastes awful.  Or in the words of SA Water:

South Australia’s relatively dry climate and diverse range of water sources provide significant challenges to ensuring clean, healthy water for the State’s urban and rural communities.

So Coke is masking the taste of the water by adding more flavour.

Me?  I prefer Victorian Coke.

* – ironically the six-pack of Coke Cola I purchased from Coles in Footscray Victoria, was packaged in South Australia.

“So where was that Australian Coke Can, canned/bottled/produced?”

If you were going to do a “taste test”, this would be fairly important to know.

Was that Coke Cola can purchased from a South Australian Petrol Station REALLY canned in Adelaide, or was it imported from another state?

So I did a search around the internet, and found mmmmmcoke’s collecting guide on eBay.  For the current series of Coke Cola can, if you look on the bottom, you’ve see information like this:
post 2006 australian coke can dates

The general stamp format is as follows:
BEST BEFORE DATE  MANUFACTURED LOCATION  TIME OF STAMP  PRODUCTION LINE NUMBER

So for the two cans pictured above:

  LEFT CAN RIGHT CAN
Best Before Date 06 DEC (20)12 15 DEC (20)12
Manufactured Location MELBOURNE ADELAIDE
Time of stamp 19:27 19:45
Production Line Line 3 <blank>

The complete list of manufacturing locations you may see are:
T = Townsville, Queensland
B = Brisbane, Queensland
S = Sydney, (or they also use X for Sydney)
M = Melbourne, Victoria
L = Launceston, Tasmania
A = Adelaide, South Australia
P = Perth, Western Australia