Starbucks has officially jumped on the barrel-aged coffee wagon. The coffee gian...
Get ready for the newest twist on coffee to come to your town. A couple of years back, it was hand-dripped coffee, prepared in a delicious ritual. Last year, cold-brewed coffee made the rounds, with all the big coffee players introducing their own versions of coffee brewed without the application of heat. This summer, be on the lookout for the installation of taps in your favorite coffee shop. That’s right – cold-brewed coffee on tap is now a thing.
But let’s back up a bit here, shall we? While the New York Post is raving about nitro brew as if the Big Apple discovered it, the fact is that patrons at some trendy coffee shops in other parts of the country have been enjoying nitro coffee for at least a year or two. In fact, nitro coffee has been a thing in Sacramento, Texas and Chicago since at least mid-2014. The velvety brew is often described as having the appearance and mouth-feel of a Guiness stout, along with the rich, smooth flavor profile commonly associated with cold-brewed coffee.
These days, you can buy nitro coffee on tap at a variety of New York cafes – and in a growing number of bars and coffee shops around the country. And if there’s not a coffee shop with a nitro tap near you, you can head to the store (or your favorite online curated coffee site) to find a can of Cuvee Coffee’s Black and Blue nitro in a can.
According to many aficianados, the main appeal of nitro coffee is visual. The nitro cascade, one restaurant owner told the Daily News, is the same type of visual experience as latte art is for hot coffee drinks. Other restaurant owners like on-tap nitro because a tap takes up less space – and is quicker to prepare – than traditional cold-brews, or, for that matter, drip coffees. And at a typical $4 a pop, it’s also a nice revenue generator.
The real appeal of nitro brew coffee, however, say most drinkers, is in the mouth experience. The nitro-infused brew creates a velvety, lush mouth feel akin to the best stouts. Nitrogen infusion reduces acid and sour flavors, and adds an effervescent sparkle on the tongue – and for those who value the caffeine boost in their favorite coffee brew, nitro coffee packs a potent punch, thanks to the lengthy filtering process.
Like most coffee trends, this one may take a while to spread across the country to smaller cities and towns, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until a local bar installs a tap for coffee if you’re willing to make a bit of an investment into equipment – or have a friend with a kegerator. We’ve been looking into making our own, and figure you can actually set up your own cold-brew nitrogen tap for about the cost of a mid-range espresso machine. Pair it up with a coffee cold brew system, and you’ll be in business to enjoy velvety, creamy cold nitro brew coffee all summer long.