The Creamy New Drink That’s Delicious and Calorie-Free

The next time you feel thirsty and ask what’s on draft, the answer could be coffee. That’s because more and more baristas across Michigan are beginning to sell coffee “on nitro,” meaning it’s served out of a tap and carbonated using a mixture of nitrogen and carbon dioxide, the same stuff that’s used to give certain stout beers a creamy, thick consistency.

They start with cold-brewed coffee made by steeping ground beans in cold water for up to 12 hours. But instead of being served immediately, the coffee is then kegged. When it’s ready to be poured, the coffee is pushed out through a metal tube from the bottom of the keg using a nitrogen/carbon dioxide mixture. Like the beer Guinness, the coffee comes out cloudy, then separates into a darker brew with a lighter head. And the bubbles from the nitrogen give it a creamy, smooth flavor that makes it taste like it has milk in it even when you drink it black.

Not to be confused with bulletproof coffee, which has nearly 500 calories per cup, nitro coffee is calorie-free, just like regular black coffee. And it has all the same health benefits as regular cups of joe: the caffeine it contains may help prevent Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, speed up your metabolism, and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Plus it’s a good source of antioxidants, the healthy compounds found in fruits and vegetables. It also may help protect your liver, relieve pain, lower your chances of developing certain cancers and raise good cholesterol while lowering the bad kind.

Want to try nitro coffee for yourself? Find it at Craft & Mason in Lansing and Babo in Ann Arbor. Or look for it in the cold case: Cuvée Coffee has begun selling Black & Blue, their nitro coffee, in ready-to-drink cans.

If you’re interested in other ways to make healthier choices at the coffee shop, read these blogs:

 

 

Photo credit: Jun Seita

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