If you like your coffee like a cold punch to the mouth, then get a taste of the newest caffeinated trend to come to Michiana.
It’s called nitro coffee, which is a type of cold-brew coffee that’s treated with nitrogen. Cold-brew coffee is made when coffee grounds are steeped in room temperature or cold water for hours, but nitro coffee takes it a bit further by encasing the liquid in kegs, infusing it with nitrogen and tapping it. The result is a cup of black coffee with a creamy head that looks very much like stout beer.
There are at least three different businesses locally serving up the highly-caffeinated drink.
DIY Coffee and Ale Supply, which is located at 114 E. Washington St. in Goshen, started serving nitro coffee about a month ago. Its owner, Chris May, said the process gives the coffee a different taste and texture from hot-brew coffees.
“It actually tones down the bitterness and acidity in the coffee,” May said. “So for people that don’t like high-acid coffee, it tones it down significantly and makes it incredibly smooth and also highly concentrated in caffeine.”
It’s the high concentration of caffeine that puts DIY Coffee and Ale Supply’s price for a 12 oz. pour at $5, May said. If he had to guess, a cup of his nitro coffee probably has 15 to 20 percent more caffeine than regular coffee.
The creamy head that makes nitro coffee look like a stout is “chewy” like whipped cream, May said. It also gives the drink a mouthier texture.
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Three Crowns Coffee, which you can find at 114 S. Buffalo St. in Warsaw, also serves up cups of nitro coffee. In manager Eric Squires’ words, the drink has a “light effervescence.”
“We serve ours neat like a beer because it reminds us of a good nitro stout,” he said. “It is creamy without adding cream and less acidic without losing the interesting notes that make our blend unique.”
Three Crowns sells a pint of nitro coffee for $3.50.
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If you’re looking for a cup in South Bend, then drop by the Crooked Ewe Brewery & Ale House at 1047 Lincoln Way E. for the bourbon barrel-aged nitro coffee. It’s $5 at Crooked Ewe.
And while May’s said he’s a hot-brew kind of guy, he said nitro coffee’s not going away any time soon.
“A lot of people want cold coffee,” May said. “I don’t think that’s going away, but I also think (nitro coffee is) a new phenomenon and so people are attracted to it for that. It’s pretty new so it’s like, ’okay, let’s go figure this thing out,’ but it’s also here to stay.”