You’ve probably seen it pop up on your Instagram at some point. A black coffee with a creamy head that cascades down the inside of the cup with the hashtag #nitrocoldbrew. Something that looks a bit like a beer…
But have you ever wondered what the hell it is? Lets break this down into two bits. First, cold brew.
The name gives it away really. Coffee that’s brewed in cold water. We steep fresh coffee in cold water for up to 18 hours. We use Petone spring water as it lets the coffee shine without the nasties in regular tap water getting in the way. Without heat, less acidity is drawn out of the coffee. The result is a much smoother flavour, minus the bitterness you sometimes get from a hot black coffee.
So that’s cold brew. But what about the nitro bit? A good place to start is beer. Guinness to be exact. When you order a Guinness, you’ll notice the creamy white head, and a nice falling cascade effect. Different to regular beer, not as “fizzy”. This is because of the gas. Normal beer uses carbon dioxide. Guinness uses nitrogen, the same gas we use in our nitro cold brew.
Infusing with nitrogen creates much smaller bubbles that stick closer together. More of a foam than a fizz. Our cold brew is put into kegs, infused with nitrogen, then poured from the exact same tap that’s used for Guinness. The tap has a restrictor plate that agitates the nitrogen particles in the coffee as it passes through. This gives the coffee a super creamy texture.
There you have it. Nitro cold brew. At the moment, nitro cold brew is massive in the USA and parts of Europe and growing here in New Zealand. In the craft beer and coffee capital, Wellington, it appeals to almost everyone.
It’s the perfect, refreshing summer pick me up. Because really, who wants a flat white when it’s 25 degrees outside?