Pretty different, it turns out! Because I enjoy hipster foodie nonsense and live in a major city, I’ve had the pleasure of trying nitro iced coffee before, and it is way different from the plain stuff. The nitrogen infuses the coffee with minuscule bubbles, giving it a thicker, almost creamy mouthfeel and a foamy head akin to a Guinness.
Starbucks is actually being pretty legit by putting this drink on its menu. It was invented just four years ago, and even a lot of fancy coffee-snob java shops still don’t serve it.
Nitro Cold Brew will be rolled out this summer to 500-plus Starbucks locations across the country, but if you can’t wait to try it and your town has a dearth of specialty coffee shops, there’s still hope.
It turns out making your own Nitro Cold Brew at home is really easy, and you need only one special, relatively inexpensive piece of equipment to make it.
Make a batch of cold brew iced coffee, then pour the coffee into a whipped cream dispenser — the kind with a nitro charger, like what they use at Starbucks.
Then, just dispense the coffee into your glass as you would whipped cream. You’ll get a cup of perfect cold brew with a silky coffee crema on top, all without leaving the comfort of your home (aka… putting on pants).
I’m sure Starbucks’ new Nitro Cold Brew, which will be poured from a tap, is going to be delicious. But my guess is that once you’ve got your hands on a whipped cream dispenser, it’ll be a whole lot cheaper to just make it at home… though, if your family gets as annoyed by your caffeine hyperactivity as mine does, they might not be so enthusiastic about your newfound skills.