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.
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.”