I thought I had heard of it all when it comes to coffee, and then nitro cold brew coffee came along. It's unlike your usual iced coffee or espresso or other cold brewed coffee you can get at coffee shops or your local Starbucks, and it's pretty popular with coffee drinkers at the moment. But what exactly is nitro cold brew, and how is it different than regular coffee?
What is Nitro Cold Brew?
Nitro cold brew is cold brew coffee that's been infused with nitrogen gas through a pressurized valve, according to Thrillist. Men's Journal says the base ingredient is a "rich, chocolatey coffee that has been cold-brewed for up to 24 hours."
That outlet says the nitrogen is "paired with the stout tap" and that the gas from the nitrogen creates pockets of air in the coffee that makes the texture -- or "mouthfeel" -- rather like a milkshake. Yum!
Healthline says it has a "frothy, foam-like texture" that makes some people compare it to beer. (Personally, I'll take coffee any day!)
Where Does It Come From?
Nitro cold brew's home cities are considered Austin (at Cuvee Coffee) and Portland, Oregon (at Stumptown).
But you can now get Starbucks nitro cold brew around the country as well, so it doesn't matter if you're sitting in a park in New York City or running around Los Angeles, you can get your hands on the drink. The chain has it available at its stores and in grocery stores in flavors like black, dark caramel, and vanilla sweet cream.
Does Nitro Cold Brew Have Health Benefits?
Yes! For starters, brewing nitro coffee at a lower temperature can result in less acidity than what you'd find in regular coffee, according to Healthline. Being milder means it's possibly more suitable for people who tend to get irritated stomachs or digestive problems from coffee.
However, it is higher in caffeine and lower in beneficial antioxidants compared to normal coffee. So if you're deciding how to brew up your coffee beans or coffee grounds and whether or not to break out the cold brew coffee maker for this particular drink, those are some things to keep in mind.
From health benefits to mouthfeel, there are a ton of reasons cold brew is so hot right now. Might as well ask your barista if they can make a nitro cold brew for you if you're especially curious about it!