Skip to main content

These TikTokkers Are Making Orange Juice Espressos, Should You?

In theory, mixing bitter coffee with tangy orange juice sounds like something a toddler would do: brown and orange? Sharp and bitter together? Believe or not, though, this unholy communion can be a smoky, sweet treat — given the right mix.

Search for ‘orange juice espresso’ on TikTok and you’ll stumble upon a stunning 527.6 million views. This includes over 1.6 million views from @bundaddy swearing that, “I have not seen one person who likes espresso and orange juice not like them together. You think that you won’t [like it] — you will.”


I’ve never led you astray! #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #MaiselChallenge #MakeItGucci

♬ original sound – bundaddy

At The Manual, we were up for the challenge. Along the way, we had help from Natalie Sexton, the current proprietor of Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company, to provide perspective on the concoction and its significance for the orange juice industry. What emerged was a business profile reflecting the industry and an important answer to the OJ-coffee conundrum: Maybe.

The more astute, culinary-aware readers might already be asking, “What kind of orange juice and what type of espresso?” For Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company, it’s Fort Pierce. Florida citrus trends toward the sweeter side of the scale.

“It’s the heartland of citrus due to the terrain, tropical temperature, and the soil. It produces very, very sweet juicy oranges,” Sexton said.

Natalie’s uses 80% Florida oranges in its juice, maintaining relationships with 25 local growers for over 20 years.

An outdoor breakfast spread that includes a pair of orange juices mixed with coffee.

“Our commitment to sourcing and production is what sets us apart,” Sexton said. “Our commitment to minimally processed juice is as close to using only actual ingredients as possible.”

Sexton’s father, Bobby Sexton, was a fourth-generation Florida citrus grower who saw the niche market for fresh-squeezed juice when the only market options were highly processed concentrates that were pasteurized to the point of sterilization. He dreamed of producing fresh-squeezed juice but was too busy running the family’s packing house to pursue it. His wife, Marygrace, took that vision and began to squeeze fresh juice for a roadside stand. 30 years later, this has blossomed into a family-operated, women-owned business that produces high-end juice, sourcing 35 to 40 states and running a revenue of over $110 million in the process.

Still, with some of the country’s sweetest oranges on tap, when Natalie’s made their own OJ and coffee cocktail, drink makers found that adding a splash of pineapple smoothed out the double shot of acid and brightened the mix.

“Taking two very acidic items and mixing them together isn’t always the best idea,” Sexton said. “We actually mixed the orange juice with pineapple. It changed the profile and made it more consumable.”

The key seems to be sweetness when mixing the Vitamin C-rich drink with morning java. My own experience avoided espresso for cafe de olla, aka ‘Mexican coffee.’ Brewed coffee is cut with cinnamon and cane sugar to produce a super sweet, spicy concoction. Mixed with fresh-squeezed orange juice, the effect was surprisingly tasty: The super-sweet drink elevated tart citrus juice with a pleasant sugary and smoky bump.

It was a fun trend to follow and it helped Natalie’s bring new exposure to its consumers and buyers.

“Trends are wonderful because they inform a further customer base on new ways to use our product and new ways to consider our beverage. It’s a great awareness opportunity, providing alternate options and considerations. It’s a wonderful new way to translate the brand,” Sexton said.

When new beverage buzzes arise, Natalie’s reaches out to its social media influencers and food service partners. Chefs, for example, are now using Natalie’s to make the concoction in restaurants, coffee shops, and cafes.

An extra shot of caffeine along with anti-inflammatories and a solid dose of Vitamin C, it’s refreshment worth experimenting with at home or when going out.

Editors' Recommendations

Matthew Denis
Matt Denis is an on-the-go remote multimedia reporter, exploring arts, culture, and the existential in the Pacific Northwest…
The best boxing documentaries to watch this year
From Muhammad Ali to Joe Frazier, the docs on this list cover some of the most prominent fighters in boxing history.
When We Were Kings Doc

Boxing is having a moment right now. From highly-anticipated heavyweight bouts to exhibitions of old rivals to insanely hyped celeb boxing, boxing fans new and old alike are turning their eyes to the sport's latest renaissance. Notice how we say "latest," for boxing already features many great moments of glory in its rich history. If you're not someone who wants to get in boxing shape yourself, there are still plenty of ways to engage with the sport.
One of those ways to engage with the great, inspiring stories that delve into the history of boxing and its present. It would take all day to find the best boxing documentaries on streaming platforms, but this list should be a good starting point. By watching these eye-opening docs, you’ll learn more about the most historic fights, the biggest fighters, and the global reach the sport has had since it first emerged.
Related Reading

Best Sports Movies
Best Sports Documentaries

Read more
Star Wars drinking game rules you can use for all the movies
These drinking game rules will ensure that the Force of intoxication is with you, whether it's May the Fourth or not.
star wars drinking game rules cocktails death feature image

May the Fourth may come just once a year, but celebrating everything that Star Wars has given us shouldn't be confined to a single day. You should feel free to rewatch your favorite Star Wars films whenever you want, especially since they're so conveniently located on Disney Plus.

As fun as lounging and binge-watching is in and of itself, you might find that adding alcohol to the equation really spices things up. This is why movie drinking games are a great way to take any film you've already seen and add a whole new level of entertainment on top of it. With 11 different movies to choose from, we thought it best to create one list of Star Wars drinking game rules to rule them all. So whether you're starting with the original trilogy or jumping ahead to The Force Awakens, here are some drinking guidelines to try to stick to throughout.

Read more
The 10 best Marvel movies, ranked
With 32 MCU movies to choose from, we think the top 10 stand tall above the rest
Avengers Endgame Best Movies

Some people don't like the dominance displayed by the Marvel Cinematic Universe in recent years, as it seemingly blocks out all of the other great cinema on display at the movie theater and at home. Still, there's no denying the pop culture influence and the mainstream adulation towards the superheroes that make up these 32 films in the MCU. With almost 15 years of movies to choose from, most have been a hit, but several also didn't live up to expectations. We're here to help you watch the 10 best Marvel movies, from the Avengers movies to all of the niche MCU movies that make the universe stick and come together in special unison. You can watch nearly all of these movies on Disney Plus!

10. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

Read more