Starbucks to roll out nitro cold-brew this summer

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I don’t know about nitrogen, but carbonated coffee is vile (I do cold-brew, and have a SodaStream, so I had to try it).


How bout a cask conditioned, cellared coffee, aged for a week on toasted oak?


I assume this is after it was shat out by a cat1.

1Yes, I know, not actually a cat.


When I saw the headline I was very excited that Starbucks was finally making good on my decades-old plan for better iced coffee, namely putting a dollop of liquid nitrogen in freshly brewed hot coffee to instantly convert it to iced.

Liquid nitrogen is cheaper than dirt (in fact, nitrogen is the active ingredient in dirt!) and the method actually works great once you get the hang of adding extremely cold liquid to fairly hot liquid. No melting water ice, none of this fizzy nonsense, none of the absurd rituals of concentrating and diluting to make iced “coffee” that most places do now.

Unfortunately, since cold-scalding accidents or inadvertent pressure buildups leading to explosions are more or less guaranteed over a given time horizon, it doesn’t really scale up. I mean, I still think it’s a great idea, but it’s just so hard to find baristas with the kind of raw physical courage you need for good iced coffee these days.


Whelp, you just named the newest coffee shop in SF.

Kitty Koffee


I can attest it’s a delicious treat, but cost prohibitive at $5 bucks for a 12oz serving. My local go-to coffee joint has had it for over a year.

I’ve got to try this. I already enjoy nitrogen in my beer.


I heard that there is an ice cream chain that uses LN to instantly make ice cream out of whatever ingredients you choose.

Looking forward to trying it.

I think this is the one you’re thinking of, for all of our Los Angeles mutants:


That must be it… I think that our friend mentioned Little Tokyo.

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Now I’ve got to thinking…
Sterilize a keg of coffee in a sealed, stainless steel keg. Age it on oak with just a touch of malto-dextrin (for body), and serve it out of “coffee engines” cold. Also, design a plastic cup with a lid that looks like an imperial pint.


Based on my one-time experience with Pepsi Kona I don’t have high hopes for this, either. The writer of that linked article pitches several questions to the reader, which I will now answer for those who have not had the pleasure:

Are coffee and cola as compatible as cherry and cola, and as chocolate and milk?


Is this a marriage made in marketing heaven?


Or could it be as misguided a move as reformulating Coke?

I think you see where this is going.

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Nitro-infused cold-brew is ‘carbonated’ in the same way Guinness is carbonated, more or less; it’s not like drinking bubbly, fizzy coffee, as the bubbles are so small. What you get isn’t coffee soda. It’s creamy and smooth, like a coffee milkshake without the dairy, and the tiny bubbles play a trick on your tongue of making it seem sweeter than usual.


Okay, that sounds delicious. I’m in.

Summary for those who haven’t read the whole thread yet: Coffee + CO2 = regret; Coffee+ N2 = heavenly unicorn rainbow streams


The Amazon link to the cloth bag is for something called
###Pure Joy-bag Nut Milk

and I’m happy that now I’ll never have to order one of those face-to-face from a real person.


Golly, last time I asked for that, I received something extremely different.


Starbucks is also selling wine and beer now. Maybe that nitrogen system will get used for that as well (the beer, not the wine).

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Usually CO2 is used to pressurise beer and send it out of the taps, but Guinness uses nitrogen.
And what does the photo at the top of the article look like? Exactly.