Coffee soda may seem like an oxymoron to some, but, much like beer whiskey, the bizarre mashup actually exists. And mmm, is it good. In fact, I’m such a fan of the stuff that when Northern Spy left the East Village and took its coffee soda with it, I mourned so hard that they gave me the recipe.
I have to admit, I haven’t used it much– mostly because it’s so easy to just hit the bodega and grab a Manhattan Special, the 122-year-old Greenpoint brand that upped its game this summer and is now available in 12-ounce bottles rather than the traditional stubbles. While syrupy sweet Manhattan Special used to be the only game in town, the coffee soda market has been expanding, to the point where citrus coffee soda is now a thing. And I’m all for this– after all, as much as I love Manhattan Special, it tends to explode all over the place half the time I open it.
Anyway, the newest entrant into New York’s coffee soda market is Matchless. The brand has nothing to do with the Greenpoint bar of the same name– this is not a case of nightlife venue going into the soda game, as with White Label mate soda. Matchless is actually a Nashville brand, founded by the owners of Steadfast Coffee after one of them, Nathanael Mehrens, created the massively popular Kenya Karinga soda for another popular coffee bar, Crema, in 2012. The soda is made from coffee that’s brewed hot, flash-chilled, carbonated, and finished with demerara sugar and citric acid. It’s been on tap at Steadfast and around the southeast, but the guys recently started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for canning. With less than two days to go, they’ve already surpassed their $36,000 goal, meaning they’ll soon be shipping cans around the country. A spokesperson tells us that expansion into New York is a priority, and estimates that cans will be available here by early next year.
A coffee soda that won’t explode all over my pants on the way to work? Bring it on, y’all.