One of the beauties, or nuisances (depending on how you see it), of the Internet these days is the “fad culture.” Previously, the “fad” concept was strictly reserved for, what would be now, fashion faux pas. Think your classic Sketchers’ Wheelies, frosted tips, Livestrong bracelets (or sleeves), Juicy Couture “jogging” suits, and the list trails on.
Interestingly, over the past couple of years, this “fad” concept has notably spilled into the media-gorged food culture of today. Next thing you know, cupcakes are the hottest thing since sliced bread, avocados go in and on everything, and bagel bakeries have started letting toddlers dye their bagels.
If, through all of this culinary commotion you have considered yourself blissfully unaffected, you may want to think again. “Nitro” coffee, the newest of these food fads, might have just set up shop in your local, sacred coffee space.
What is “Nitro” Coffee?
Nitro coffee is pretty much what is sounds like — typical cold brew coffee that has been infused with (you got it) nitrogen. If you find yourself asking for this creative coffee concoction, you’ll note that it’s served from a tap. Nitro coffee is stored in a pressurized keg, or more recently, in individual-sized cans/ airtight bottles. While this new-age nitro seems to only slightly differ from the average cold brew, you can taste some major differences.
The Taste Test
As one would expect, the nitrogen infused into the coffee creates carbonation — hence the necessity for a keg, airtight can/bottle, etc. What you don’t expect is that this carbonation actually makes the coffee creamier and sweeter.
Personally, I’m not big of adding sugar to my coffee, but I do love half and half. When trying my first Nitro coffee, I’m not not sure what stopped me — maybe the nitro’s lighter chestnut color, or the cream-colored foam at the top — but I didn’t reach for the cream. Regardless the reason, upon my first taste, I’m thankful I passed on my beloved dairy.
Similar to cold brew, Nitro coffee is higher in caffeine than your normal cup of Joe. Funny enough, nitro actually seems stronger than cold brew. Some say the caffeine “rush” hits you sooner, others think it could be an accelerated absorption rate caused by the nitrogen. Either way, all I can say is, it’s strong stuff.
While at times I think the “food fad” phenomenon is tiresome culinary clutter, I found nitro coffee, in the very least, interesting. So, unless your some coffee-conservative or purist, and you don’t mind an extra caffeine pop, this nouveau coffee cocktail is worth a try.