I admit it: I’m a Coke addict. I first drank Coca-Cola out of a baby bottle when I was three — my grandmother thought it would soothe a stomachache — and I’ve been hooked ever since. (Yes, I had a lot of cavities as a child… Why do you ask?) But I don’t like the “secret” part of the secret formula — who knows how many artificial ingredients it contains? So my colleagues at Plenty helped me find some healthier and tasty eco-colas. Maybe I can kick my Coke habit after all.
Steaz Green Tea Cola
$1.59 for 12 oz.
Not surprisingly, this blended cola is the least fizzy of the five we tasted. The tea’s tannins give it a dry finish, so it’s a good choice if you like sodas that aren’t too sweet.
Reed’s Original China Cola
$1.19 for 12 oz.
The most acidic brew of the bunch is also the spiciest, thanks to added nutmeg, cloves and licorice. Serve it very cold so that the spices don’t overpower the cola taste.
Whole Foods 365 All Natural Cola
$0.49 for 12 oz.
Whole Foods’s house brand combines a straightforward cola taste with good carbonation, and a balanced sweetness and acidity. It almost tasted like the Real Thing.
Boylan’s Natural Cane Cola
$1.39 for 11.5 oz.
This cola’s brisk, snappy bite, with hints of root beer and cinnamon, was a hit with our tasters. And even when it gets a little warm, the sweetness never becomes cloying.
Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola
$1.49 for 275 mL
With its deep brown color and creamy carbonation, you could almost mistake this sophisticated U.K. import for a microbrewed stout. We loved the overtones of ginger and vanilla.
Story by Deborah Snoonian. This article originally appeared in Plenty in October 2006. The story was added to MNN.com in June 2009.