Nitro iced coffee marries the life-affirming jolt of cold brew with the smooth, creamy texture of a
perfectly drawn pint of Guinness. Packing 30 percent more caffeine than hot brewed coffee, nitro is poured like a stout, straight into a glass—no need for ice, or even milk. Nitro’s roots can be traced to Portland-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters, which first began storing coffee in kegs with nitrogen in late 2011 in order to transport large quantities of iced java while maintaining freshness and flavor. Diane Aylsworth, Stumptown’s Director of Cold Brew, says Nitro’s growth rate is “far outpacing” the company’s original, bottled cold brew, and is now even available in a can. The Nitro concept has since spread to discerning bean bastions around the country, percolating everywhere from Austin’s Cuvee Coffee to Philadelphia’s Square One. With nitro brewing into a full-blown coffee craze, expect Starbucks to unleash its inevitable “Nitroccino” any day now.
Photos by Anais & Dax