From orange to vanilla, and even the possibility of a marijuana blend in the future — when it comes to mixing soft drink, Coca-Cola is never one to shy away from a kooky concoction.
But its newest blend is going to be a real heart-starter.
From today, Coca-Cola will roll out a special blend designed especially for the "adult palate" in selected bars, hotels and restaurants across Australia.
Mixing two of our favourite ingredients — coffee and chocolate, as well as coffee and caramel — the new infusion will combine the taste of Coke "with a blend of real coffee from Brazil".
Lucie Austin, marketing director at Coca-Cola Australia, said the new blend has been created for "social settings".
"Coca-Cola Batch Blends have been crafted for the curious mind and those after drinks with more adventurous flavours," she said in a statement.
"This premium range gives Australians the chance to explore sophisticated tastes in social settings when out and about enjoying a drink or a meal with friends."
Earlier this month, Coca-Cola in the UK announced it would be releasing a cinnamon-infused soft drink ahead of the festive season.
The limited-edition flavour will be available in 500ml or 1.25 litre bottles, but it's unlikely to make Australian shores.
News.com.au contacted Coca-Cola Australia for comment, and the company was quick to break the bad news.
"We are always responding to people's changing tastes and preferences and we regularly introduce exciting new flavours in Australia such as Coca-Cola Orange No Sugar which is available now," the spokesman said.
"There are currently no plans to introduce this flavour here."
Combining coffee and Coca-Cola obviously draws attention to caffeine, which the blend contains 35mg per 250ml serving compared to 48.75mg for a 375ml can of regular Coca-Cola.
According to Australian Food Standards, there is no recognised health-based guidance value for caffeine consumption, such as an acceptable daily intake.
However, a Food Standards Australia/New Zealand Expert Working Group analysed the available literature in 2000 and concluded that there was evidence of increased anxiety levels in children at doses of about 3mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight per day.
The anxiety level for children aged five to 12 equates to a caffeine dose of 95mg per day (approximately two cans of cola) and about 210mg per day (approximately three cups of instant coffee) for adults.
Speaking to news.com.au, nutritionist Kristen Beck said while the combination of coffee and Coca-Cola might sound intense, the caffeine content is quite low in comparison to other products on the market.
"The combination of caffeine and Cola does sound like a bit of a heart-starter, but the caffeine content is a conservative 35mg per can, which is actually around the same amount per can as normal Coca-Cola," she said, acknowledging the serving size of the new product is smaller than traditional Coca-Cola.
"In relation to the caffeine content, there is actually significantly less than the amount typically contained in a cup of brewed coffee (around 90mg), and far less than in many energy drinks (which range from 80-150mg per can), and iced-coffee products (which can range up to more than 135mg per serve) currently on the Australian market."
Beck said her biggest concern with the new blend is the inclusion of artificial sweeteners.
"My biggest nutritional concern with the new product isn't actually the caffeine, but instead the artificial sweeteners (phenylalanine)," she said.
"While these are often portrayed as a healthier, no sugar and low kilojoule option, research shows that the intense sweetness of these sweeteners can actually leave you craving more sugar in your overall diet, as the brain is conditioned to expect an energy hit when it tastes sweet foods and beverages.
"This means it can actually drive you to consume more total kilojoules across your day."