Black Nitro: The Guinness of iced coffee


18 Oct 2016

Very few people would argue with coffee on tap. Cape Town based coffee company Black Insomnia is offering just this, spearheading the ‘nitro’ trend in South Africa. #BlackNitro is the local brand’s ‘World’s Strongest Coffee’ served cold and infused with nitrogen to give it a smoother mouth feel and an extremely refreshing?

‘The idea that coffee can come out of a tap like draught beer is a new concept in South Africa,’ says Black Insomnia Coffee Company founder Sean Kristafor,‘ but the market is definitely ready for this to be the biggest coffee brew this Summer.’

‘We have been working on refining this concept since we launched the Black Insomnia Coffee Company eight weeks ago in July.  The #BlackNitro made its debut at the Johannesburg Coffee and Chocolate Expo on the 14th of July and has been a clear favourite ever since. Currently, our prototype unit has been available at Shift Espresso Bar in Green Point, Cape Town, but made an appearance at the Cape Town Homemakers Expo.

ALSO READ: The world's strongest coffee launches in South Africa

The Guinness of coffee

‘#BlackNitro’ is made with cold-brewed coffee, which is literally coffee ‘brewed’ cold. Coffee grounds are steeped in cool water for at least 12 hours, the processed through a filter. The resulting drink is then infused with nitrogen gas released through a pressurized valve with tiny holes. As the high pressure forces the cold-brewed coffee past a disc, a creamy and stout-like effect is created.

‘We make our version of nitro, #BlackNitro, with a powerfully caffeinated cold brew that’s been steeped for a minimum of 24 hours to make sure we extract as much ?avour as possible from our blend of beans,’ says Kristafor. ‘I think of it as the Guinness of coffee and it’s really just as as good as a cold beer on a hot day.’

Beyond craft

Far from being a ‘craft coffee’ phenomenon, nitro is fast headed into the mainstream. Starbucks this month announced that it plans to roll out its own nitro cold brew coffee to hundreds of outlets across the US and it seems South Africa is ready for it, too.

#BlackNitro is already available at Cape Town’s trendy Shift Espresso Bar in Green Point. Black Insomnia plan to make #BlackNitro available at night clubs, where it can served straight up or infused into cocktails like martinis or added to vodka. But does it taste good? ‘It’s smooth and clean on the palate,’ says Kristafor. ‘The nitrogen gives it a creamy feel and the beans we use have notes of caramel and hazelnut.’

Black Nitro is served straight up, never on ice, and without any sugar or milk. ‘It’s cool enough just as it is,’ he adds.

Have you ever tasted nitro coffee?


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