What is EST Cola?

If you are in Thailand you probably have seen it already. A cola brand which seems too suspiciously similar to Pepsi, but it is not really Pepsi. What is it? Well, it’s complicated.

For many years Pepsi topped the Thai market share of soft drinks. It had 48% of the market by 2011, followed by Coca-Cola with 42%. In 2012, there was some disagreement between Pepsi and Serm Suk Public Company, which led them to break their 50 year-long contract. Instead of distributing the american drink, they would create their own drink: EST.

Ironically, Coca-Cola was the main beneficiary from this battle, gaining back the first spot on the soft drink market with a 50% share by 2013. Anyway, that’s why magically all those restaurants and street food shops changed overnight from Pepsi to EST.

Nowadays EST continues to grow with more and more flavours, bottle sizes and lots and lots of commercials (just take a look at their website)

est flavours

EST comes in all flavours and sizes

But what does it taste?

I have had the pleasure to taste EST Cola several times, most of them when I just wanted a Coke and got it instead and I am not going to lie to you, it is bad.

Of course, my taste doesn’t mean that it is universally bad and there is probably some people out there who like it more than a normal Coke or Pepsi (there is even some guy selling it abroad on Amazon) but it is just not my thing. It is like drinking a cheap clone of a clone, some kind of sparkling water with a bit of standard-coke flavour. No, not my thing.

EST Cola tastes like one of these, melted

EST Cola tastes like one of these, melted

Some people on the Internet says that the flavour it is better tailored to Thai people, adapted to their spicy-proved tongue. Others say it has less sugar and therefore is completely superior to any other soft drink brand. Up to you if you want to believe it.

So, how does it compare with Coke?

Apparently everything you read on the Internet may not be true, so we decided to take a close look at the nutritional information of both a can of EST Cola and Coca-Cola, to see the differences.

Coke and EST, face to face

Coke and EST, face to face

The results are these:


EST ColaCoca-Cola
Carbohydrates35 g34 g
Sugar34 g31 g
Sodium35 mg31 mg

So apparently, it even has more sugar than a normal Coke, which would explain that saturated cheap syrup flavour. But that is just my opinion, what do you think of EST Cola? Do you like it?