We’re constantly looking for new ways to deliver on our flavour promise. We love specialty coffee as pure as it comes, but sometimes it’s just fun to mix it up and team up to create something completely new.

Roasting our annual classic Festive Blend, we knew we were on to something pretty damn special. Chocolate, caramel and boozy cherries in a cup, what’s not to love? But this year, we wanted to think outside the box, so we hit up some friends who don’t even know that the box exists. 

If you don't know them already, say hello to StrangeLove

Formed in Byron Bay in 2012, StrangeLove are known for creating non-alcoholic sodas for adults. They’re not your average drinks though. With Yuzu from Japan, Lime & Jalapeño, Very Mandarin and Holy Grapefruit on the menu, not to mention their signature range of premium mixers, the team know a thing or two about interesting and delicious flavour combinations. 

We caught up with our Head Roaster in Melbourne, Arch, to figure out how exactly you combine specialty coffee with soda to create something beautiful. 

Arch, what are we dealing with here?

"We wanted to create something different and delicious for summer. This year’s Festive Blend had us excited for the possibilities; with notes of chocolate, caramel and boozy cherries, we knew we could create something really special with the right combination.

We hit up Strangelove and had a taste of all their mixers to pick the ones that would work best with coffee. We landed on their Tonic No. 8 and their Dry Ginger Ale". 

Tonic and Ginger Ale? Not traditional coffee pairings. How do these fit together?

"We chose the Tonic because of what it’s made up of: lots of quinic acids that drive up the sweetness in coffee. It also highlights all the vibrant notes in our Festive Blend, with the end result being juicy notes of boozy cherries and blood orange. 

The Ginger Ale works thanks to the smokiness of it. Those dry raisin notes highlight the pudding characteristics in Festive Blend. You’ll find ginger ales pairings in a lot of booze collaborations, the dryness is what makes it work. Combining it with the coffee gave us a result we weren’t necessarily hunting for; notes of tangerine, vanilla and maple syrup for a sticky sweet finished product". 

If you could create another flavour with StrangeLove, what would you dream up? 

"We’re already looking into StrangeLove’s Lo Cal range – we’re loving the Cloudy Pear and Cinnamon in particular. Combining this with one of our new single origins – our Costa Rica for next year – we’re tasting sweet notes of fresh mango and jubes (the lollies). The wild part is that the intense sweetness comes from the natural fruit and natural processed coffee; there’s no added sugar at all!

This is the perfect afternoon drink for summer. The StrangeLove range has no shortage of inspiration, so we’re keen to keep playing with flavour with these combinations". 

You can try out our StrangeLove collab at every Allpress Roastery Café in Australia and New Zealand.