There are a few different ways of getting your morning caffeine fix. Some folks stop by the convenience store for a gulp-buster of caffeinated soda, while others prefer the mellow, earthy flavor of hot green tea. There are also caffeinated candy, gum, and energy drinks
. And sure, we’ve always been fans of the classics: coffee and espresso. Lately though, we’ve been hearing a lot about coffee soda.
Coffee soda, you ask? That’s correct! And no, it’s not some crazy new energy drink filled with unpronounceable ingredients. Instead, it’s made with coffee beans, seltzer water, and cane sugar, all of which when combined creates coffee soda.
Lately, it seems like the stuff is poised to become a hot new coffee trend
, but as it turns out, it’s not very new at all.
The Manhattan Special Company, which is actually based in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, has been bottling this mysterious hybrid of espresso and New York-style seltzer since before your grandpa was even a twinkle in his father’s eye.
The company was founded in 1895, and for more than 100 years, this family-owned business has been filling Manhattan Avenue with the bold aroma of its fine products. It was once a very popular beverage among local area teenagers, but these days, it seems to be making a comeback. It can typically be found in slews of New York bodegas and specialty shops.
Coffee Soda Manufacturers Who Are New to the Game
Now, Manhattan Special isn’t the only game in town. Austin, Texas has produced Coffer, a naturally carbonated version of the coffee soda. Starbucks added carbonators to its stores
back in 2013, and there are rumors that coffee soda can be had there, too, if you know how to ask for it. Further, coffee sodas have been seen at trendy coffee shops across the country, from Portland to Providence.
Okay, But How Does Coffee Soda Actually Taste?
By now you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about with coffee soda. While we can’t reach through the Internet and give you a can or a glass of coffee soda, we’ll do our best to explain the experience.
The Manhattan Special is what you might call an acquired taste, but not in a bad way. It’s got a rich, almost smoky aroma that will please your inner coffee lover. The carbonation is more similar of champagne than soda, so be careful if you’re just opening one that you’ve carried home in your bike basket. Coffee soda’s flavor can be very sweet, and there’s also something rich and creamy about it.
So Is Coffee Soda the Next Big Thing?
Will coffee soda ever supplant coffee as the coffee cognoscenti’s morning quaff of choice? We doubt that. But it’s still a delightful and novel way to experience your favorite bean, all while getting a little taste of Old New York, too.