Falling asleep at your desk? Good news: It’s National Caffeine Awareness Month! While true coffee and tea enthusiasts don’t need any particular reason to sip their preferred form of happiness in a cup, this serendipitous celebration of buzz-inducing beverages gives us a perfect excuse to explore the delicious and energizing world of trending caffeinated drinks.
Sparkling beverages are currently soaking up the spotlight, and inspired coffee connoisseurs have found a delightful way to fizz up familiar coffee: nitrogen. This odorless, transparent gas transforms ordinary Joe into something velvety and complex—more what you’d expect from a stout craft beer than a cup of coffee. The experts at Cuvée Coffee in Austin, Texas, claim to be the first to serve nitro coffee from the tap in 2012. The trend caught on elsewhere in the coffee scene thanks to like-minded brewers, including Stumptown Coffee in Portland, Oregon, who recently debuted a nitro cold brew coffee in a can.
Manhattan-based Mighty Brew Bros. took the luxurious texture and flavor of nitro coffee in a dessert direction with sweet treats featuring ice cream and coffee popcicles as garnishes fit for an old-fashioned soda fountain.
Cold Brew Made Easy
Cold brew coffee has taken off in recent years as a refreshing alternative to a piping hot mug. This brewing method also creates a finished product with a bold flavor and lower acidity than traditionally brewed coffee. The problem? Allowing a coffee-grounds concoction to sit for hours in a fridge before it’s ready to drink is often too inconvenient for everyday coffee drinkers, and sometimes the resulting texture is marred by a silt-like grittiness. Thankfully, the cold-brew innovators of the world, such as the brains behind Grady’s Cold Brew, have come up with solutions. Grady’s handy “pour and store” pouch allows users to simply add water for a coffee-and-chicory cold brew blend that dispenses fresh from a tap for up to two weeks in their refrigerator—and yields 36 cups of New Orleans style coffee.
The all-in-one design brings together the delicious flavor of cold brew (without the silty texture) and the easy access of a dispenser. (It’s always nice to have the convenience factor covered by a pro—who wants to think too hard when seeking out morning coffee?) Grady’s recommends getting creative by adding elements beyond ice and milk like flavored syrups, liquors, sparkling water, or even ice cream.
The purported health benefits of various kinds of tea are their own best PR these days. As Emily Erb, co-founder of Leaves and Flowers, a small-batch tea and herbal infusions company based in California, explained it:
I’ve seen a lot more people become interested in tea in the past few years. I think people are now seeking to incorporate tea into their daily lives as a “wellness” aid, now that it’s widely known that tea is high in antioxidants and herbal infusions have a number of health benefits. I have spoken with so many people who are not drinking as much coffee and love the gentler stimulation that tea offers. Tea provides steadier energy levels throughout the day.
Whatever your preferred caffeinated beverage, do yourself a favor and enjoy a cup and a great conversation this weekend.
Happy Foodie Friday!
And, of course, for something a little weird…
If strange food products that are seemingly designed for astronauts interest you, perhaps it’s time to try switching up your usual cup of coffee or green tea with GO CUBES by Nootrobox.
Bottoms up…err, happy chewing!
(Sources: Eater, FOOD Navigator-USA.com, The Nibble Food Holidays, World of Tea)