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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Cola (native name). Sterculiaceae. Cola. Also called Kola, Korra, Gorra. One species is much grown in the tropics for the stimulating cola nut.

The genus consists entirely of plants with unisexual or polygamous fls. in axillary or terminal clusters: calyx 4-5-cleft; petals none: fr. of 4-5 leathery or woody oblong carpels.—Probably about 40 species, of Trop. Afr. trees chiefly interesting for the cola nuts, which are said to sustain the natives in great feats of endurance. The tree grows on the east coast of Afr., but is very abundant on the west coast, and is now cult, in the W. Indies. Within the tropics the trade in this nut is said to be immense. It has become famous in the U. S. through many preparations for medicinal purposes and summer drinks. The seeds are about the size and appearance of a horse-chestnut, and have a bitter taste. Although repeatedly intro. to Kew, England, the plant never flowered there until 1868.

Colas require a rich, well-drained soil. Those introduced into the West Indies and other parts of America, especially C. acuminata, thrive best on a sandy loam. The trees are grown from seeds, which are large and fleshy, keeping well for some weeks after ripening. As the tree is difficult to transplant, the seeds may be planted singly in small pots, and the young trees kept growing thus until wanted for permanent planting. Propagation may also be effected by cuttings of ripe wood, which should be placed in bottom heat, and treated in the usual way. (E. N. Reasoner.)

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Indonesian Coca-Cola bottle.

Cola is a sweet carbonated drink, usually with caramel coloring and containing caffeine.[1]

Originally invented by the Coca-Cola Company it has become popular worldwide. Today, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have become the two major global brands, leading to the drink often being seen as a symbol of the west.

During the Cold War it was perceived in many countries as symbols of the American power and culture. As a result, communist and anti-American countries created their own national versions of the cola drinks, such as the Czech and Slovak Kofola or Polish Polo-Cockta. These days Mecca-Cola is marketed as an alternative to U.S. brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola to pro-Muslim consumers.



The flavor of individual colas are usually kept a secret, with the Coca-Cola recipe stored in a closely guarded safe. The main ingredients in a cola's flavor base generally comes from a mixture of citrus flavorings such as orange, lime and lemon and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. The name comes from the kola nuts that were originally used in early soft drinks as the source of caffeine.

Cola drinks may be sweetened with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, stevia or an artificial sweetener depending on product and market. Caffeine-free cola drinks are also available.


The two most successful and the only truly global brands of cola are Coca-Cola and Pepsi. There are too many local brands to list, made by small regional producers but certain countries and continents have variants produced on a mass scale for large populations. Many generic manufacturers of cola around the world now exist.


  • In the United Kingdom, South Africa and western European countries Virgin Cola was popular in the 1990s but has waned in availability.
  • German brand Afri-Cola had a higher caffeine content (about 250 mg/L) until the product was relaunched with a new formulation in 1999, and has it again since a second relaunch with the original formulation in April 2006.
  • Czech and Slovak Kofola is the third best selling soft-drink in their markets behind Coke-Cola and Pepsi.
  • Cuba Cola is the native cola of Sweden.

Asia and the middle-east


  • Inca Kola is another brand that is marketed in many countries by the Coca Cola group; it is the major cola in some South American countries.
  • There is also an open source recipe for a cola drink, OpenCola.
  • tuKola and Tropicola are brands from Cuba (also sold widely in Italy)
  • Royal Crown is widely available in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Chemical Reactions

Being carbonated, colas are acidic (carbonic acid is formed when carbon dioxide dissolves in water), and so can react violently with basic chemicals, such as baking soda. Many colas also contain phosphoric acid and/or citric acid, which further increases the acidity.[2]

The Diet Coke and Mentos eruption is an experiment that became popular at the start of the 21st century. Mentos candies and crystalline powders such as sugar and salt when added to cola (usually diet coke), cause fizzing by providing many micronucleation points for the carbon dioxide to leave solution.

Another experiment involved adding Dry ice, providing additional carbon dioxide and can force some of the carbon dioxide present in the drink out of solution, creating an explosion, destroying the bottle. Thus, making, as some call it, a "Dry Ice Bomb".

In either case, mixing these substances with cola (or any other carbonated drink) causes the drink to bubble, creating foam and greatly increasing the pressure in the bottle, resulting in either the bottle or the cap giving way.[2]


The word cola may have been introduced into the mainstream by the major producer Coca-Cola, as they saw their trademark slipping into common use, like other genericized trademarks. They successfully defended the exclusive use of their name and its diminutive form "Coke" by suggesting the alternative of "cola drink" as a generic name for similar types of carbonated soft drinks. The word cola as part of the Coca-Cola trademark may have originated from the kola nuts that were originally used as the source of caffeine, or from when the original recipe contained coca (from which cocaine is derived).

See also

External links




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