Right now, Starbucks is pretty pleased with itself over the nitro cold brew it’s pouring at select locations around the country.
Just don’t ask where those select locations are (hint: nowhere near you). I asked via their Twitter account and received possibly the most unhelpful tweet ever – in essence, call around and ask all 50 of your local Starbucks.
Now, if you know me, I don’t ordinarily go near a Starbucks. But I’m desperate for nitro cold brew. Since having my first taste of it in Portland, it’s been my holy-grail-white-whale of coffee beverages. With the creamy texture of a nitro-charged craft beer and the taste of super-smooth iced coffee, it’s hard to beat. It’s even spread into Costa Rica, where I recently had a super nitro cold brew.
But it’s not easy in Phoenix to find nitro cold brew. No sooner did Hazelrock launch theirs after months of delay did they go out of business. And not even Cartel Coffee Lab seems to be able to keep its nitro tap running. Where does that leave you in the Phoenix area if you yearn for a nitro cold brew? Here’s what I’ve found so far from independent coffee houses.
Chime in with your own leads!
Songbird Coffee & Tea House — This downtown Phoenix site pours nitro cold brew into a very nice glass similar to what you’d use for an imperial stout. The cold brew itself was a good example of the nitros I’ve sampled. It wasn’t the best, but it was far from the worst.
FiftyoneWest — This is an oddball coffeehouse that hasn’t decided whether to be a coffeehouse or a music venue … and it’s honestly hard to do both, as I can tell you from being a musician and a coffee drinker. Anyway, the barista here screwed this nitro brew royally by putting ice in it. I can’t give a fair evaluation of the taste. If you go there, say “no ice, ffs.”
Infusion Coffee and Tea — Here’s a terrific place to find nitro cold brew. All of the coffee drinks are excellent here, just as long as you don’t want them to use any alternative types of milk (sorry, anything but the cow just doesn’t work).
The Refuge Cafe — Here’s an interesting little spot. I understand it has some connections to a local Catholic church. Along with that, they also have a nice food menu. The nitro cold brew is solid here, though I’m not a huge fan of their espresso drinks. Very friendly place thanks to both staff and customers.
Press Coffee — Let me start by saying that Press totally violates one of my rules: They have more than one size of cappuccino. Yet the baristas largely know what they’re doing, so we’ll give them a pass. Press has multiple locations, too, and I believe all of them have nitro cold brew. I linked to the Apache location because one of their best baristas works there.
That’s all I have right now. Do you have any to add?
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