It's no secret that I love coffee. I enjoy the taste, the experience, the bump in energy and, similar to restaurants, I love checking out cafes everywhere I go. So when I heard about "nitro coffee" I was intrigued and wanted to learn more about, what I assumed, was a new thing in coffee to hit the Nation's Capitol.
But when I started digging, I found that it's been around for awhile. It's had a home in Philadelphia, New York and Austin for a few months now, and, apparently, DC as well.
A friend and I took a 7am yoga class on Wednesday and walking to our car, we passed a sign in front of Dolcezza on 14th & P Street, NW that read "Nitro Coffee." My intentions to head strait home and jump into work were thwarted and into the shop we went. Meaghan, my yoga friend, doesn't drink coffee, but was a good sport and ordered up her own Nitro to try.
Nitro coffee is poured into a plastic cup in the same manner as which a draft beer is poured, strait from a keg. It's a version of cold brew coffee that's been infused with nitrogen or carbon dioxide under high pressure, chilled and stored in a keg.
It's a smooth brew and less acidic than a pour over or other style of hot coffee, and significantly stronger. Some attribute this to the quick absorption rate the nitrogen gives the coffee. Either way, I drank it strait up -- no sugar, no cream -- and it was delicious.
My brave friend, who doesn't drink coffee, had a few sips and said it was tasty, but she couldn't finish it. So, naturally, doing what any good friend would do -- I finished the remainder of hers as well... and had the most productive day, as I buzzed straight through the day with laser focus and a bounce in my step.
Dolcezza has had it on tap for months now and there's a rumor that Philadelphia based La Columbe (in the Shaw neighborhood here, but also in New York and Chicago) will offer nitro infused lattes, as in milk and coffee, poured from a tap, infused with nitrogen, mixed into the same cup. Commenting on the nitro latte, Philly.com says "Pure Latte - that feat of molecular gastronomy that's available now on draft at the cafés and, soon, by the can at retailers nationwide. (It required 17 patents, but it's actually frothy when you crack it open, thanks to a valve inside that releases nitrous oxide)." I'm headed there this weekend to check it out. Stay tuned!
If you like coffee, particularly STRONG coffee, then I highly recommend although it's pricy -- the 12-ounce cup is $4.50. I didn't feel jittery or over-caffeinated, just a happy, steady buzz. If you have seen Nitro coffee in your city, town or local coffee shop, please leave the name in the comments below so I can swing by the next time I'm traveling!