Coffee in a new light: Chicago business reveals how sparkling coffee is made and how it gives back


Some 62% of Americans drink at least one cup of coffee each day, with many going to all kinds of lengths to seek out the best-tasting one in town. 

The National Coffee Association says cold brew rose to popularity in 2015 — and as of 2020, one in five Americans drinks at least one cup of cold brew coffee each week.

A new spin on the typical cold brew is hitting shelves around the globe, and Spritzi is looking to make its mark. 


Zach Coffey is a food and beverage sales representative-turned-business owner who, at age 26, came up with the idea of a sparking coffee company while traveling abroad. 

Fox News Digital spoke with Coffey and his co-founder Alex Coven about the new trend and what makes Spritzi, a Chicago-based canned coffee company, unique to the food and beverage market.

Coffey said he knew the concept of sparkling coffee was popular in Europe after seeing it multiple times while abroad. 

“When I was traveling in Italy, I saw similar concepts to refreshing coffee and how people would pull espresso shots and mix it with San Pellegrino or a sparking tonic,” he said.


The Iowa State University alum said that with his experience in the food and beverage industry, he decided to start his own sparkling coffee brand — and ultimately bring his interest to others in the U.S.

“It’s something you could enjoy in the afternoon [that] wasn’t an energy drink but a really, really cool, creative coffee beverage,” he said.

Cold brew coffee

From there, Coffey said he began testing the product and building out the brand when he met his business partner. 

Coven, a graphic designer whom Coffey reached out to for branding guidance, loved the idea and shortly became part founder of Spritzi as well. 

“I really believed in Spritzi and knew it was a popular thing in other European countries,” he said.


The concept was simple. Take espresso and mix it with tonic before adding flavors to the concoction. 

Spritzi currently has three flavors: strawberry dragonfruit, grapefruit citrus and an original cold brew tonic. 

Spritzi cans and coffee

Coffey said that although the idea of drinking a fizzy coffee in the morning with a fruitful flavor might sound odd at first, it’s the next best thing in the caffeinated drink industry.

“It’s taking really good coffee and mixing it with water and tonic, adding CO2 and carbonating it and then canning it,” he said. 

The coffee comes from Peru, Coffey noted, and the company has committed to being part of the “1% of the Planet” movement. Companies that vow to be environmentally friendly and give back 1% of their profits to environmental partners and charities receive a certificate to indicate their participation.

“When we started creating Spritzi, so much of it was rooted in where the coffee came from, and so much coffee is produced outside the United States,” Coven said.

He continued, “I thought we could make a great social [and] environmental impact by taking 1% of our sales from each can and donating it to social, environmental, charitable causes that directly promote and help the coffee farmer … in Peru, Brazil, Indonesia.”

Additionally, the pair said it was important to them that their canned sparkling coffee not include too many ingredients — emphasizing their five ingredients per can approach. 

“We’re a very honest cold brew,” Coven said.

He added, “A lot of canned coffee, in order to be more approachable to the consumer, is mixed with sugar, any sort of milk.”

For example, Spritzi’s strawberry dragonfruit flavor includes sparkling water, cane sugar, coffee concentrate, lemon juice concentrate and natural flavors. 

Spritzi on the shelf and coffee

As for what the brand hopes to bring to the canned coffee industry moving forward, Coven said the pair hopes to become a household name. 

The company’s goals are “helping [to] educate the population on the story of how coffee is made, where coffee comes from, staying true to our roots … making sure that we’re supporting the farmers that make this amazing drink that all of us enjoy on a daily basis,” he said.

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