The five-year pumpkin spice trend is pretty much maxed out. Now, it’s time for a eclectic set of new flavors to jockey for poll position as the next fad. In recent weeks, we’ve seen the release of Coca Cola Coffee Plus, Tim Hortons Buffalo Latte, and garlic coffee.
Coca Cola Coffee Plus
How about using coffee, itself, as the flavoring? That’s exactly what the guys at Coke are trying with their new Coca Cola Coffee Plus. Made with actual Brazilian. coffee beans, the soft drink boast no sugar. Compensation is provided by extra caffeine. A 100ml serving contains 14mg of caffeine, a roughly 50%increase over a normal coke, but still less than the 43mg found in a typical cappuccino.
“We weren’t just thinking of that 3 p.m. slump,” said brand manager Evgenia Papageorgiou. “But it could also be an unexpected complement to so many foods, or even an after-dinner treat.”
The product initially appeared in Japanese vending machines. About three weeks later, it launched a summer treat in Australia. (Australian summer starts in late September.) Currently, the corporation is billing the drink only as a summer treat, but if Coffee Plus proves popular, we could see an American release.
Tim Hortons’ Buffalo Latte
What’s more natural than pairing wing sauce and coffee? That’s the new idea from the iconic Canadian (now owned by Burger King) chain Tim Hortons. The Canucks are promising a drink, “made from freshly brewed espresso, steamed milk, mocha, and bold Buffalo sauce flavor, the latte is topped with whipped topping and a dusting of zesty Buffalo seasoning” in a release.
The company is launching the drink as a marketing ploy to help promote the addition of espresso drinks to the menus in their 4600+ global locations. “Tim Hortons and Buffalo sauce were both born in 1964, so why not take these two Buffalo staples and combine them?” says Stephen Goldstein, Regional President, Tim Hortons U.S. “The unlikely pairing of sweet mocha and tangy Buffalo sauce come together to create an unexpectedly delicious sweet and spicy treat we hope our guests will enjoy.”
Unexpectedly delicious? For now, only patrons at the Hortons locations in Buffalo, NY will be able to judge for themselves as the latte is in a geographically limited release.
Speaking of odd pairings, how about trading coffee beans for roasted garlic? That is the vision of 74-year-old Yokitomo Shimotai, a former coffee shop owner in Japan’s Aomori Prefecture. The caffeine free beverage is made entirely from brewing garlic with water, but allegedly tastes exactly like coffee—allegedly.
“My drink is probably the world’s first of its kind,” Shimotai,told Kyodo news. “It contains no caffeine so it’s good for those who would like to drink coffee at night or pregnant women.”
Shimotai explained that 30 years ago he accidentally burnt garlic in his cafe. Instead of tossing the garlic in the trash, he mashed it up with a fork and added it to hot water. The result was a bitter beverage reminiscent of coffee. A quest began…
Shimotai became obsessed. He opened a workshop in the Iwate Prefecture and began testing garlic roasting methods before settling on an electric furnace. In 2015, he was granted a patent for his garlic coffee product.
Unfortunately, you’re going to need to travel to Ninohe in Iwate Prefecture to get your hands on the brew, (It is only sold in two shops right now.) A packet of garlic coffee (you got to brew it yourself) retails for 324 yen ($2.80). Order and info should be directed to Shimotais’s workshop, Techno Baisen Kobo, in Ninohe. 0195(37)1999.