COFFEE TALKS: NITRO COLD BREW OR NAH?

Coffee-chain bought iced coffee is often acidic. At Starbucks, iced coffee is double-strength brewed over ice and frankly the coffee comes out too acidic on the palate, so I cut it with sugar and cream. One way to reduce the acid is to use a Toddy system or a steep method where the coffee is steeped for 12+ hours. Though Starbucks started testing cold brew via the steep method in the Northeast, other Third Wave shops like Stumptown and Dark Horse have been brewing cold brew coffee via Toddy or steep method long before the mermaid wanted in.

Stumptown_Nitro

Last week Stumptown announced they’re canning their Nitrogen-infused coffee (Nitro cold brew) and will available in select stores soon. Nitro cold brew is relatively new on the coffee scene and utimately the goal for Nitro cold brew is to further cutting acidity and serving a really good cup of iced coffee. I noticed nitro cold brew in San Diego around September at one of my favorite roasters, Dark Horse. I tag this new trend of nitro cold brew as a one of the crossovers we get from a strong craft beer scene.

Nitro cold brew origin stories circulated last year like this Barista Mag blog post here about how Cuvee thought of infusing nitrogen into coffee much like how some craft breweries serve their stouts and porters. And then there’s this piece in Paste Magazine detailing the full sensory experience with nitro cold brew coffee from the visual cascading effect to the thick milk-like mouthfeel of the body as if cream and sugar were added.

So Should You Nitro or Nah?

Nitro does create a smoother taste and it does come out creamier than its counterparts. I too like the visuals of the cascading effect.  So what I’m trying to say is No. Don’t do it. Reconsider.

Simply put, Nitro cold brew coffee deserves a block of time to be enjoyed. Nitro cold brew has a small window of consumption. There’s no time to babysit because after 15-20 minutes it becomes just cold brew coffee. It’s like the iced coffee equivalent of the carriage returning to pumpkin form. I’ll admit those 15-20 minutes of consumption are amazing and I guarantee a caffeine buzz halfway through the cup.

But I still would love to get my hands on one of the new Stumptown nitro cold brew cans to compare notes.

Advertisements

LA ADVENTURES: A-FRAME

A-Frame

Highlights

Under the Roy Choi Empire.

Aloha. all day. (including brunch)

ALOHA style seating aka PARTY OF TWO? SIT WITH A LONELY GUY ON A 4-TOP.

HOW DO YOU EVEN MAKE IN-HOUSE SPAM? LIKE HOW DID YALL MAKE IT A THING?

Parking-friendly Westside LA.

filed under: Roy Choi running things, SPAM does amazing things

SPAMSANDWICH
Surfer’s Sandwich. House-made SPAM, Grilled Pineapple, Cabbage slaw, Sriarcha, Sweet Hawaiian Bread.

If there is one person who could and would kill it at serving Hawaiian grinds at a really good price point on the mainland, it would be Roy Choi. The other Roy has a reputation of serving the high-end version of what they do on the island. A-Frame has been around for a few years, but through Roy Choi’s personal twitter account he announced in the winter of 2014 he was going to re-work A-Frame’s menu.

The rumors out there had A-Frame’s new menu tasting closer to cuisine from Side Street Inn. On the island, Side Street Inn is one of the Hawaiian/local grinds that constantly serves great food with lines always out the door even at the newer location on Kappahulu.

Food memories engaged, GF and I were LA-bound for Sunday brunch service.

Weird happened when we arrived– they had not transitioned into the new menu. The hype that drove us there was for naught. So weren’t going to take a loss, we just went hard and ordered all the Aloha we could stomach.

Surfer’s Sandwich. What caught my eye was house-made SPAM. I love SPAM with all its salty-canned meat glory. Upon eating a bite into the sandwich like for real how do you make in-house SPAM?

LIKE FOR REAL HOW DO YOU MAKE IN-HOUSE SPAM?

The idea of making spam from scratch is insane, because you might as well use the canned product. Save yourself time Roy, but the SPAM matches the exact the flavor of SPAM and all its detractors. Canned meat, nitrates all day, salt salt salt. But the sandwich itself was everything I love about Hawaii presented in a sandwich. The grilled hawaiian sweet bread was a great touch as well.

LOCOMOCO
Loco Moco. Hamburger, Rice, Curry Gravy, Sunnyside egg, sriarcha.

LOCO MOCO. I’m always weary of any loco moco because it’s always mad heavy going down. The egg, gravy and hamburger patty is greasy. But my reservations always fade when I take a bite. The heartiness of this meal goes great first thing in the morning. The taste profile is different from what one might be used to from L&L and other Hawaiian spots. The curry gravy is a great difference here and I feel like it’s a good deviation from the norm.

FRIEDPOUNDCAKE
Fried poundcake with chocolate milk and ice cream.

This time around no aloha pancakes were ordered, because protein rules everything around me. It’s definitely on the radar for the next time up. And looking on their online menu it looks like the transition has been made into the new menu. R.I.P. Beer-can chicken.

If you can’t find aloha on the mainland, then that’s on you. Because you can order it at A-Frame. DRINKSFURIKAKE

Cheers to the Westside.

A-Frame
12565 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066