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.
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.