THE Hong Kong bottler of Coke protested that it was unfair to compare the price of Coke here with other countries because of the variable cost of materials, machinery, salary levels, inflation and property costs. But the drink was the same worldwide, insisted Rebecca Jackson, external affairs services manager for Coca-Cola China Holdings. She cautioned that there could be different labelling and the size of cans did vary. Ms Jackson's insistence that the Coke was always Coke, at least to the taste, was disputed by the South China Morning Post's blind taste test. Most of the Coke aficionados taking part in the test rated the Hong Kong brew 'top of the pops'. Sixty per cent chose the Sha Tin offering, saying it was fresher, sharper and had a 'stronger' taste. Canadian coke also rated highly: 80 per cent placed it in the top two, alongside the local cans. Jordanian coke was 'too sweet' and Singapore's version was 'flat and strange'. One taster challenged the fuss over foreign fizz. 'There's not actually a lot of difference between them.' The cans from Singapore and Jordan are 330 ml but retailers are selling them at the same price as the Hong Kong Coke which is packaged in 355 ml cans. Also in 355 ml cans are the cheapest variety, imported from Canada.