If one thing draws you through Carbon Beverage Cafe’s doors, it should be the E.T. The drink (pictured) is a mix of espresso (the “E”) and tonic (the “T”) and lemon verbena. Sound weird? Maybe a little, but it’s the refreshing new face of iced coffee.

The tonic-and-coffee phenomenon has been bubbling up on the coasts and in Europe for some time now. The basic premise is this: Tonic (thanks to quinine) highlights coffee’s citrusy notes. Carbon, which opened, along with sister restaurant Habit Doughnut Dispensary, 12 days ago in the old Paris on the Platte space, further extols those bright flavors by adding lemon verbena syrup. The effect is dessert-ish without any of the cloying sweetness. I’m beyond hooked.

The rest of Carbon is equally exciting. The espresso machines are set up ModBar style, meaning they’re dropped below the counter so as to keep the view minimalistic and sleek. (Alpine Modern Café in Boulder does the same thing.) Aside from coffee, there are taps (a total of 18) for wine, beer, house-made sodas, and craft cocktails.

And then there’s the food. Barring a couple healthy choices like the tree hugger with coffee-infused muesli, seeds, nuts, an either Greek yogurt or a poached egg, it’s all about comfort here. Wu-Tang tots come with a bonanza of dipping sauce choices; pizza in a cup (cue Steve Martin from The Jerk) touts thick-cut pepperoni and rich marinara; and the Golden Arches breakfast sandwich (pictured) is one for the ages. The sandwich employs rich brioche that’s smeared with blueberry-bourbon jam and topped with a fried egg, Spam, American cheese, and smashed tots. It might be gilding the lily, but no doubt this will become Carbon’s best seller.

Coffee, sodas, spirits, and food (plus a doughnut shop next door), Carbon has everything going for it.

Bonus: All of the posted menu prices include tax.

1553 Platte St., 720-428-8565, habitcarbon.com

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Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.