Bro, Do You Even Nitro?

by Josh Smith

Nitro coffee has been around for a couple of years now and has quickly become the specialty drink of today and tomorrow! By now I am sure you’ve realized that serving cold brew in your specialty shop is a MUST, but did you know…

You could be seriously upping your cold brew sales by offering nitro cold brew. Currently, nitro offers a couple of unique opportunities. First, no one in your area is serving it, currently giving you the opportunity to dominate the nitro market. People will drive for MILES to come get your nitro if you have it! For you higher-population shops, the key is to serve a CONSISTENT, quality cup of nitro that keeps customers coming back for more! Although, you less population-dense areas should be doing the same; by just adding nitro you may be the only shop within 100 miles selling it! Every customer within a 50 miles radius will make the trip (and be willing to pay a premium) for that velvety smooth nitro cold brew.

The air we breathe is about 78% nitrogen. It’s natural, organic, and healthy. Nitrogen can be used a couple different ways with cold brew but today let’s just focus on what makes nitro coffee special and why you should be serving it.

Nitro Cold Brew was sneakily introduced to the market around 2012-2013 as a niche item that only specialty coffee fanatics knew about. Over the past few years, thanks to the giants, Nitro Cold Brew has exploded onto the scene. It’s clear to see that (somewhat like your in-laws) nitro cold brew is here to stay!

According to an article written by Forbes, Starbucks has introduced nitro into more than 2800 locations with plans to expand that to 6000 by the end 2019 (Forbes, 2018). In fact, iced drinks like cold brew account for more than 50% of Starbucks revenue. From 2015-2017, Starbucks has jumped from $8.1 million in cold brew sales to $38.1 million. That’s a WHOPPING 370% INCREASE.

So, what is this majestic drink?

Nitro cold brew is a slow steeped, ultra-smooth, rich and velvety beverage from heaven. Similar to a stout beer, nitro cold brew offers an airy mouthfeel with decadent micro foam and a tantalizing cascading effect that is sure to leave your customers wanting more. Ok, now that all those fun descriptors are out of the way, here’s what nitro coffee really is: nitro coffee is essentially cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen to give it the effect of creamy, cascading beer. It’s designed to enhance the feel of cold brew and make a black coffee a little more palatable. Infusing coffee with nitrogen brings out natural, sweet flavors from within the beverage and allows for a smooth finish. Nitro cold brew has a much thicker mouth feel than still cold brew. This is the result of the tiny, tiny bubbles. Unlike carbon dioxide (used in sodas or regular beer), nitrogen bubbles are so small and compact, it makes it hard for them to dissolve in water. Thus, creating a thick, creamy, cascading beverage.

Similar to craft beer, nitro cold brew has traditionally been served in kegs, storage in a kegerator, and pulled through a tap handle. Although this set up has done a fine job, Brewista and Brood Refreshment have found ways to simplify the process. The future of cold brew nitro is counter-top units that are HUGE space savers. As we know space is a premium in most shops, we have found ways to eliminate kegerators and nitrogen tanks altogether!

Remember the 78% nitrogen in the air we talked about earlier? The Brewista® Cold Pro Nitro 2™ machine infuses your cold brew coffee with nitrogen and dispenses it without any additional tanks or components! Simply supply cold brew coffee from any container, keg, or bag and the machine does the rest. Brewista’s Cold Pro Nitro 2™ filters nitrogen from the atmosphere, so there is no need for a nitrogen tank! The compact design pumps the coffee from your container and then flash chills it to 35.6°F / 2°C before dispensing. The result is a beautiful cascading nitrogen infusion, a creamy mouth feel and the release of nitrogen gas brings out the natural aromas of your cold brewed coffee. Market your nitro beverages as a healthy alternative that need no additional milk or sweeteners since it is perceptibly creamier and sweeter! Offer nitro cold brew and still cold brew from the same machine with the Brewista® Cold Pro Nitro 2 Dual™. This machine has the same footprint as the single-tap model, but allows you to offer 2 types of cold brew at once! Set your cold brew apart from the crowd with the Brewista Cold Pro Nitro 2.

For an interactive return-on-investment (ROI) calculator on the Cold Pro Nitro 2, check this out: