Nitro Brew; Writer's Fuel Guest Post by: Gary Buller

Coffee runs in the writers veins-- hasn't that always been the way? The sacred bean keeping the semi-pro writer awake to finish 1000 words before or after a long day at 'the real job.' Following a recommendation from William Marchese (well, more of a euphoric demand, actually) I
decided to take the plunge into the dark world of cold brew. 

I think the idea of us English being devout drinkers of tea is a bit of a lazy stereotype these days. Sure, I recall the ritual of 'making a brew' when my grandparents came to visit, but I'm far more likely to dig out the Tassimo machine these days than the kettle, and I know plenty of English friends who do the same. Cold coffee however sounds bloody awful if I'm honest-- even when Will sent me pictures of the milkshake looking substance filled with ice-cubes I wasn't convinced.

I'm more of a hot, sweet-coffee drinker. I like my specialty coffee's with lots of unusual syrups. I look forward to a Chai Tea Latte of a morning, and the seasonal cups of Egg-Nog or Pumpkin Spiced Latte. I am even known to partake in a Mocha on the odd occasion. I would much rather have one decent cuppa as a treat than drink mug upon mug of mediocre coffee throughout the day-- so it took a lot for me to swap one for a Nitro Cold Brew from Starbucks.

Nitro Cold brew is basically the cold coffee equivalent of Guiness and is poured from a tap like beer. It is chilled
to get the best flavour out of the bean (or so they tell me) and then tiny bubbles are introduced to give a smooth, silky consistency and white head--not dissimilar to the famous Irish stout.

I picked mine up from Manchester Arndale Centre. One of only four places in Britain outside of London that sell it and it cost me £3.50 for a Grande sized cup. I picked up two Candarel because Will assured me that cold brew wasn't for the sweet of tooth and as recommended, I requested a splash of milk because it is usually served black.

Taste-wise I was surprised at how smooth it was. It really was like drinking on tap Guiness. It wasn't as bitter as I expected, with hints of cocoa and a slight undertone of burned wood-- it manipulated my palette like no other coffee I tried. Adding the sweetener opened it up a little in my opinion and it became something that I enjoyed a little more. It definitely missed ice, and wasn't as cold as I'd have liked it to be-- though I'm not sure if this would have an effect on the body of the drink.

I drank it all, which surprised me- but would I swap my Pumpkin Spice for this? Probably not- especially in this autumnal time of year when the nights are drawing in, and it's getting chilly. In the summer, maybe. It's the most unique coffee I've ever experienced, though and I do agree that it brings out the best flavour of the bean. Give it a blast.

Jesse Dedman would like this because he likes cream all over his face.

Gary Buller 09/10/17

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