While canned iced coffees have long been popular in Asia, North American seems to have been more reluctant to embrace that option.
Back in the 1990s, although the iced coffee market was a $3.5-billion business in Japan at that time, canned iced coffees were only just being introduced here. Several companies, including Nescafé, rolled out bottled or canned versions in Canada and the U.S. but they failed to catch on, vanishing from store shelves within a few years.
Nonetheless, the growth in iced coffee and tea beverages has since been continuing steadily on this side of the Pacific.
Beverage companies are increasingly shifting towards iced coffees and teas, and even Tim Horton's jumped into the bottled market in July with its iced capp version selling on grocery store shelves.
Meanwhile, while I was browsing through the cooler at Body Energy Club, I stumbled across a curiosity that made me do a double-take: Fernwood Coffee's Coffee Cream Soda.
It's a carbonated drink that combines coffee with the unlikely partner of cream soda. Artisan roaster Fernwood Coffee Company in Victoria, B.C., came up with this unusual concoction.
Selling in 355-millilitre cans, it lists cold-brew coffee, organic sugar cane, lemon juice, and pure vanilla paste among its ingredients.
It's 110 calories and has 28 grams of sugar.
The cold-brew coffee flavour is rich and strong, and the sweetness of the cream soda blends surprisingly well with it. The carbonation isn't overpowering, but it is an unexpected combination.
For me, I consider it more of a novelty flavour rather than something I'd drink regularly (I'd need to grow accustomed to sparkling coffee). But I can see how this would appeal to coffee addicts with a sweet-tooth and a coffee-fiend coworker did call it "delicious".
There's also a regular carbonated cold-brew coffee available as well.
If you want to try it out yourself, they're selling for $4.15 at Body Energy Club locations in Vancouver.
There have been previous attempts at carbonated coffee.
Back in 2006, Coca Cola launched Coke Blak, mix of cola and coffee. Remember that? No? Neither does anyone else.
Then in 2009, President's Choice offered a Coffee Italian Soda. It didn't quite catch on either.
Well, we'll have to wait and see how Fernwood Coffee does with their version. Until then, bottoms up!