Nitro what? Nitro Brew, Nitro Coffee and Nitro Cold Brew are words that I’m sure you are beginning to hear more about, yes even here in Dubai! Once the preserve of Speciality Coffee shops, it’s now becoming much easier to get your hands on a cup of this gas infused drink and whilst you might think it’s just fizzy coffee there’s so much more than that.
What is Nitro Cold Brew, is it new?
Well, not actually that new I had my first cup here in Dubai at Goldbox Roastery about two years ago and immediately loved it. As far as I know Goldbox were the first to bring nitro coffee to Dubai, but of course the story starts longer ago than that.
What’s so special about Nitro Coffee?
Adding a simple gas, nitrogen, to a cold-brew coffee completely changes the way that it tastes, looks and feels in your mouth.
Look wise, it’s been compared to looking like a glass of stout or Guinness often with a thin creamy layer of foam on the top. Visually nitro coffee kind of of slowly dances around in the glass, also referred to as cascading, which makes it mesmerizing to look at especially if it’s served in a sparkly clean clear glass.
Taste wise of course it depends on the cold-brew, but generaly it’s smooth, clean and it feels smooth and silky in your mouth. The combination of the foam and the tiny nitrogen bubbles help to extract sweet flavors of the coffee as well as sweetness which comes from the coffee hitting a different part of your tongue as you drink it.
Since nitro coffee is made from cold brew coffee, it’s generally less acidic than hot coffee which results in a richer tasting coffee it also has a thicker mouth feel than regular cold brew.
PS – You might think that the nitrogen makes the coffee fizzy, but it doesn’t. Nitrogen gas is dispensed as really tiny particles so it doesn’t add carbonation to the coffee in the same way as carbon dioxide would.
How is it made?
Firstly you have to start off with good cold-brew coffee, which is why it’s been so popular with the Speciality Coffee shops.
Secondly you add the Nitrogen. Nitrogen is an odorless, transparent gas which when added to the coffee through a pressurized valve. Usually this is done using a Nitro Coffee Kegerator and coffee is served on tap, draft style from a keg in a similar to how beer is served (but of course it’s not beer and it does not contain alcohol).
Thirdly you drink. Purists drink it as is, others have it over ice (though you lose the cascading effect of the coffee if you drink it that way). You can also add syrup, milk or cream to it if you really want to. Personally I’m a purist and believe it tastes so much better as it is, but I won’t hold it against you if you want to add something extra.
Where can I get it in Dubai
Most of the Specialty Coffee shops have Cold brew on tap and have been serving it for a while. Coffee Planet have been providing it to some of their retail clients since Feb 2017. It’s was also launched in Costa Coffee 1st August and is available at their new drive through location on Jumeirah Beach Road and the shop at the DNATA building on Sheikh Zayed Road.
In addition to buying in many coffee shops, if you’re lucky you should be able to get your hands on canned Nitro Coffee from a few outlets with Stumptown being amongst the first to figure out the technical challenges of serving this exquisite coffee in can.
Images from an event held by Costa Coffee to launch Nitro Brew Coffee #Nitronation
[This story has been written exclusively for FoodeMag dxb. All images by Debbie Rogers]