Nathanael Mehrens, co-creator of the coffee soda I consumed, describes it as tasting “like an orange Tootsie Pop,” with coffee’s richness and citrus. Until recently, coffee soda couldn’t be easily found outside of Nashville, because it’s a Music City creation (or so Nashvillians proudly claim).
Six years ago while working as a barista manager at Crema coffeeshop, Mehrens and Crema owners Ben and Rachel Lehman fashioned a Nashville coffee soda and named it Kenya Karinga Soda, after the single-origin coffee. The goal? To carbonate coffee itself, creating a more effervescent version of iced coffee that didn’t water down its soul.