Linea Verde, in Bloomfield, is the source of Frizz, an Italian carbonated coffee drink | On The Side | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Linea Verde, in Bloomfield, is the source of Frizz, an Italian carbonated coffee drink

Try it served cold on a summer morning, or as an afternoon energizer by the pool

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Gina Merante, at Linea Verde - CP PHOTO BY KRISTA JOHNSON
  • CP photo by Krista Johnson
  • Gina Merante, at Linea Verde

Linea Verde Green Market in Bloomfield offers a treasure trove of fresh produce in a cozy, colorful shop. But among the expected stock of greens, fruit and Italian cooking staples, there is an unexpected gem hiding in the cooler next to the cans of San Pellegrino. 

A small glass bottle holds Frizz Coffee, a bubbly espresso soda brewed and bottled in small batches. Frizz is delightfully sweet and energizing, delivering the carbonated satisfaction of soda, combined with a refined espresso flavor and a caffeinated boost. For Gina Merante, the owner of Linea Verde, her love of Frizz is tied to family history — it is bottled in her father’s home village in southern Italy. She began selling it in her shop; since then, other business owners started to do the same after trying the unique beverage for themselves. 

At both Lili, in Polish Hill, and Liliput Café, in Oakland, the menu features a Frizz-focused signature coffee option. Named the Mind Cure — after the record store previously above Lili and its proprietor’s penchant for the beverage — the drink comprises Frizz, served with an additional shot of espresso and a splash of creamer. It’s an iced beverage that has the same kick of caffeine one would enjoy from a shot-in-the-dark, but with a sweeter taste and a bubbly, froth-topped texture. 

Frizz is delicious on its own: Try it served cold on a summer morning (in place of hot coffee), or as an afternoon energizer by the pool. A dash of mint or lavender simple syrup adds a refreshing touch. Another summer treat is Frizz poured over ice cream, especially a strong vanilla or chocolate, making an indulgent caffeinated ice-cream float. 

If you’re one of those people who needs a pick-me-up in order to make it through a night of bar-hopping, ditch that energy-drink-based shot you were going to knock back, and instead pour yourself a Frizz-based cocktail. It naturally pairs well with Irish cream and coffee-flavored liqueurs, as well as vanilla vodka.


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