With temperatures creeping up into the 80s this week in New York City, it's officially iced coffee season. And this year, there's a new take on cold brew: Nitro Coffee, a beverage for when you want to feel like you're drinking a beer, but have the mental state of someone who's just downed multiple espressos.
Nitro is coffee infused with pressurized nitrogen and/or carbon dioxide, then chilled in a keg and served on tap in pints and tulip shapes that fill with a foamy head. It doesn't just look like beer, it tastes a little like it, too. Bon Appetit describes it as "rich and creamy" as well as "sweeter and less acidic than large-batch cold brew," and even "chocolatey."
The Washington Post says that the specific and soon-to-be patented JoeTap system, which AC Beverage uses to bubble-ify their nitro, makes the drink "taste as if you’ve added cream and a sweetener to the cup." The system take advantage of what's already in the coffee to highlight different flavors that would otherwise go undetected. Charles Kleinrichert, founder of AC Beverage and inventor of JoeTap, says that his system, which debuted last month at the annual Specialty Coffee Association of America gathering in Seattle, breaks down the nitrogen into microscopic bubbles that better infuse the coffee giving it the velvety texture.
If all of that sounds good enough to drink, don't worry—Bon Appetit lists just some of the many hip coffee shops around the country that have Nitro on tap. And some companies, like Cuvée Coffee are already debuting canned versions of the brews: