I’m a big fan of every coffee I’ve tried from Noble Coffee to date. Their Bishan Fugu a few years back opened my eyes to the amazing world of “fruit bomb” coffees (coffees with intense, dominating fruit notes). When I heard they were coming out with a new sort of coffee beverage, Noble Tonic, I knew I had to try it.
The main ingredient in the tonic is cascara, the fruit of the coffee plant. The coffee beans we drink are actually the bean from within the coffee fruit. Usually during processing, the fruit of the coffee cherry is removed and discarded. I loved the idea of re-using the fruit rather than letting it be thrown away or composted. Cascara is becoming more well know in the specialty coffee industry, but this was the first time I’d seen it used in a tonic drink.
It’s important to note that even though it uses the fruit from a coffee cherry, the taste of the drink shares very little resemblance to coffee. In addition to the cascara, they’ve added lemon and agave to add some sharpness and a bit of sweetness, respectively. Though it didn’t taste like coffee, it excelled in some of the same areas that a good coffee would. It was well balanced with the zing from the lemon and carbonation, the sweetness from the agave and flavor from the cascara. It has some nice layers of complexity with the layering of flavors as well. I found the sweetness to be most prominent though and was surprised it only had 6 grams of sugar.
With this drink more than others, expectations matter. If you’re looking for a tonic, soda or nice summer refreshing drink, the Noble Tonic fits the bill and delivers really well. If you are looking for a more coffee-centric drink similar to a carbonated cold brew though, you’ll be disappointed.
With only 40 calories and 40mg of caffeine, I think the Noble Tonic was a delicious afternoon summer drink.