Starbucks started selling nitro cold brew in 2016, but only in select stores around major cities like New York City, Boston, Chicago and LA. The demand for this trendy coffee grew immensely over the following years, and eventually it made way to nearly half of the chain's company-operated stores in the U.S. Fortunately for fans elsewhere, it's now coming to outposts nationwide.
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At Starbucks' 27th annual shareholders meeting on March 20, it was revealed that nitro cold brew would be made available in all U.S. company-operated stores by the end of 2019. Similar to regular cold brew, it's made by steeping ground coffee in cold water for for up to 24 hours at a time. The end result is often regarded as creamier, sweeter and smoother than traditional hot coffee. Adding nitrogen to the mix makes the coffee look and feel similar to a Guinness with cascading bubbles, velvety texture and nice frothy foam.
"It's all about the water temperature. With drip coffee, we use water that's between 195 and 205 degrees to really extract flavor. That's why it happens so fast. You know, you get it within four to five minutes," Chad Moore, manager of global coffee and tea education at Starbucks, previously told The Daily Meal. "With cold brew, we're using cold water. So the water that's cold takes a lot longer to extract flavor. It's usually around anywhere between 20 to 24 hours steep time. You have to really prepare ahead for cold brew."
Generally, nitro-infused coffees also contain more caffeine than their nitrogen-less counterparts. Starbucks' version has 280 milligrams of caffeine per 16 fluid ounces (a grande), while its regular cold brew has just 205. This is not the same as iced coffee, which is simply made by brewing hot coffee and then storing it in a fridge until its cold enough to pour over ice. This has even less caffeine content, ringing in at 165 milligrams per 16 ounces. No matter which way you slice it, coffee will be there to give you a burst of energy when you're tempted to take a long look at the inside of your eyelids. Little did you know, these 20 foods and drinks have caffeine, too.