Forget Cold-Brew: Summer Is All About Nitro Coffee

Why people are shelling out $5 a cup for joe’s newest fad

April 29, 2016 9:00 am

From hipster coffee stands to gourmet grocers and farmers’ markets, there’s a new cup of joe in town being served from a tap: nitro.

At $5 a cup, it doesn’t come cheap. But is it worth it? Let’s review.

Nitro? I think I did that in college once. That’s nitrous. This is cold-brewed coffee that’s been pressurized with nitrogen — much like a nitro beer (Guinness, Murphy’s, etc) — and then put in a keg.

Does it look like a pint of Guinness? Precisely. It even does that waterfall thing when settling, especially when there’s no ice in the cup. Which you don’t need — seeing as it’s served from a keg, it’s already cool.

So I won’t get high? You get a caffeine high, which is nice. But basically this added step renders the coffee smoother and creamier without actually adding cream or sugar.

No sugar?! You can add sugar, and there are brands that are bottling it flavored. Lucky Jack laces their organic Arabica brews with ingredients like hemp milk and cane sugar (they’re offered throughout the U.S.). However, the nitrogen really does make the coffee taste great straight.

Where and when did all this start? Supposedly Cuvée Coffee in Austin, TX was patient zero, but pretty much every coffee aficionado has entered the ring.

So you drink it cold? Correct. As of now, no one is serving it hot. The fact that it’s cold-brewed means it has lower acidity, is less bitter and plays nicer with your digestive system — a lot of baristas and bartenders are even mixing it with cocktails and beers because it blends so well.

Is it worth the extra buck? Totally up to you, man. It’s tasty enough that I’ll part with a dollar on occasion, when I feel like doing a little something nice for myself.


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