Coffee Tonic with Organic Coconut Bites


Coffee tonics have been around for a while, but if you’re hearing about them for the first time here; welcome, we’ll learn all about them together. The team here at Best Express Foods first came across coffee tonics when we were putting together a list of our favorite coffee blends to match our pastries (read that blog post here), and although we had already made our final selections, we were intrigued by the concept. So, thinking it would be easy, we dove right in and tried it—we failed. 

Let us warn you now: those majestic photos of coffee and tonic water perfectly separated, bubbles frozen in time, are a lie. It took us lots of trial and error to achieve that same effect. After toying with everything from temperature to glassware we finally prevailed all to find that our desired outcome lasted only seconds long enough to snap a picture. That’s when it hit us, the average coffee lover should know exactly what they’re getting into when attempting the same feat, less they suffer the same struggles we did. So we made a guide, guaranteed to save you time, frustration, and lots of coffee. 

First off, it’s important to understand what a coffee tonic is: a fizzy marriage of coffee and a carbonated drink. Although traditionally made with espresso and tonic water, and sometimes referred to as just “E&T,” versions of the coffee tonic made with seltzer, sparkling water, and even soda exist. Some mixologists prefer cold brew over espresso, some add sugar or other sweeteners, and some even add fruit. Because we were looking to enjoy our coffee tonic with some Coconut Bites—this organic treat is like the more delicate version of the coconut macaroon and goes fantastically with cold brew—we chose a brighter brew and lighter tonic water, but adjust as needed.

Ready to make coffee magic happen?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 oz Fever Tree Naturally Light Tonic Water

  • 4 oz Stumptown Coffee Original Nitro Cold Brew

  • 2 oz crushed ice

Like always, feel free to substitute ingredients to suit your taste. Try a different cold brew, test out a different tonic water, or experiment with a new garnish, just make sure to keep the ratios the same. 

And finally, before we get into it, some very important tips:

  • One of the major hurdles we had to overcome when making our coffee tonic was the almost instant loss of carbonation. To mitigate this, pre-chill everything. The colder your coffee and tonic water are, the more fizz you’ll get.

  • To further aid in keeping your beverage bubbly, use a tall, thin glass, similar to a champagne flute. This will not only ensure bubbles are much more tightly packed, but the length of the glass will keep them around longer.

  • Add ice after pouring your tonic. The cold blockade of ice helps slow the coffee and tonic from mixing.

  • Work fast. Seriously. 


Step 1. Brew
Because espresso can taste somewhat bitter, we chose to use cold brew for our tonic instead. You can either brew your own ahead of time, or crack open a bottle or can of the store-bought variety. (We used Stumptown Coffee Original Nitro Cold Brew.) 


Step 2. Bubbly + Ice
To further avoid a carbonation volcano, gently pour tonic water along the sides of your glass while holding it at an angle. Carefully drop in your ice, making sure not to splash or encourage the loss of carbonation.

Step 3. Pour
To achieve that two-toned Instagramable effect, slowly, very slowly, pour your coffee mixture over the iced tonic water. Garnish and enjoy after snapping the perfect photo. 

Fantastic, you did it! Now nestle some Coconut Bites next to your cold, fizzy coffee tonic and share your results with the world.

—Best Express Team

Auzeen Abdi-Mendoza