If you’ve been to Frary Dining Hall at Pomona recently, you may have noticed a welcome addition: now compensating for the facility’s lack of soft-serve frozen delights is a brand-new Coca-Cola Freestyle machine. This wondrous delight may look like a Scandinavian-engineered spaceship, but from its touch-screen depths emerge 106 flavors of Coca-Cola product. I headed over to Frary on a number of occasions to investigate the machine; I have yet to sample all of the products (I haven’t tasted Hi-C in years and hope to keep it that way), but here are some of my initial thoughts on the available beverages in the classic Coca-Cola range.
Coke: Tasted the same. +1 for consistency.
Coke Cherry: Similar to Cherry Coke from a can, but perhaps a bit sweeter.
Coke Vanilla: I love Vanilla Coke and overly-sweetened beverages, so this was very much to my liking. Some of my friends found it too sweet.
Coke Lime: This one had an awful, bitter aftertaste. The Diet Coke with Lime (see below) was an enormous improvement.
Coke Cherry Vanilla: Sweet but not too sweet, and somehow fruity at the same time. Surprisingly palatable!
Coke Raspberry: This was remarkably tasty, and the raspberry flavor actually complemented the cola base better than the classic cherry flavoring.
Coke Orange: Tasted like the machine had accidentally mixed Coca-Cola with Fanta. I almost spit it out.
The machine also offers Caffeine Free Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero as bases for the above flavors. I next sampled the range of flavors in Diet Coke.
Diet Coke Cherry: Very good, with the fruit flavor more evident than in the original Coca-Cola.
Diet Coke Lime: Very similar to the canned Diet Coke with Lime, and a far better choice than the sugared version in the Freestyle (less bitterness comes through).
Diet Coke Vanilla: Again, the Diet Coke base carried the vanilla flavor better than the original Coca-Cola base, although the vanilla was still very strong.
Diet Coke Orange: I hated this. Then again, I’m not a fan of orange flavoring, although it wasn’t as overpowering as I would expect.
Diet Coke Cherry Vanilla: Too artificial and saccharine even for me! Pass on this one.
Diet Coke Raspberry: The raspberry flavor in this drink was more prominent than in the regular Coke with raspberry, and the flavor was more mild than the cherry version. I liked this one a lot, and it’s not available in cans or bottles so be sure to try it!
Overall, I was absolutely a fan of the new Freestyle at Frary. In addition to my intensive research on the original Coca-Cola flavors, I also sampled some of the Sprite, Fanta and other flavors (the Vanilla Barq’s is absolutely worth a taste). There are some creative options to be had—Sprite Raspberry comes to mind—and it’s worth the short line to try your luck at a new flavor.