Where to Find Nitro Cold Brew – Updated April 2019

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!

nitro cold brew costa rica
A terrific nitro cold brew from Downtown Coffee Roasters in San Jose, Costa Rica.

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?

Cool Stuff Roundup – Summer Edition

la compagnie
La Compagnie’s 757s look stylish inside and out.

I just realized that’s in been months since I’ve done a Cool Stuff Roundup. I aim to correct that today with a few very interesting tidbits I’ve culled from various locations online.

Let’s start with some air travel.

You know it’s a favorite of mine – and that I don’t love to hate airlines nearly as much as many people. And an airline like La Compagnie could make us both like airlines even better – it’s an all-business class airline operating between Charles de Gaulle Airport, London Luton Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey (which is the Paris of the Eastern Seaboard -- kind of. OK, not at all). La Compagnie also charges a barely even premium economy price.

La compagnie
Two of these seats for a $2,500 round trip for two? Yes, please.

For example, I priced a flight for one adult at less than $1,500. Word is a couple traveling together gets an even better price. Here’s what you get for that price: A Boeing 757-200 (previously owned by the excellent and meticulous Icelandair) holding less than 80 people; two by two seat layout with 180 degrees of recline; outlets at the seats; wifi; on-demand entertainment; seasonal menus; and a few other niceties I’d like to sample. The only downside I can see is that La Compagnie doesn’t seem to have airline alliances. So I’d have to book my flight to Newark separately, which creates a possible vector for problems. Still, I’d give La Compagnie a try next time I head to Europe. I’m sniffling and whinging a bit since I only found out about La Compagnie days – literally days! – after booking a trip to Europe on another airline for about the same price. In economy class. Grrrrr.

OK, let’s get a little closer to home with some coffee news.

If you’ve read this blog at all, you know that craft beer and top-quality coffee are my favorite beverages. When I was in Portland, I got hold of a super-delicious treat at Stumptown Coffee Roasters: a nitro-charged cold brew. It had the texture and look of a pint of Guinness, but tasted better (look, people, Guinness is mass-produced mediocrity – there are way better stouts out there).

Now, I no longer have to go to Portland for my nitro cold-brew fix: Songbird in downtown Phoenix is now pouring nitro cold brew. And soon, local newcomer Hazelrock will also be pouring nitro. This is a good time to be a coffee enthusiast in Phoenix!

Let’s shift gears back to transportation.

amtrak
Ready to roll on Amtrak? If you’re in business or first class, you might get free digital newspapers to pass the miles.
Sorry, but I have to mix my metaphors by bringing up trains. Amtrak clued me into a nice new feature for its business and first-class passenger service: They’ll be able to enjoy unlimited access to the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers via the trains’ free onboard wifi; previously, Amtrak had distributed paper copies. Amtrak views this as an environmentally friendly move that will save 25 tons of newspapers each year.

I’d recommend swinging a deal to get the Wall Street Journal – I love that paper for its mix of serious news from around the globe and its often snarky, sly humor. Still, from a green perspective, this seems like a very nice move. Let’s also not forget that the newspaper format is kind of an unwieldy pain to handle – I’ll take it in electronic format any day.

OK, I’ve mentioned planes and trains. Let’s get boats in here – or rather, container ships.

I piqued the curiosity of two of my good friends last night by mentioning that people travel around the world via container ships. Not as crew – just as self-loading cargo. This article makes it sound awfully interesting. I could see this being a very interesting way to pass some time to do some writing, exercising and sleeping without the distractions.

If you just graduated college and you’re looking for something oddball to do, this is your answer. Right here.

The Born Adventurer
Meet the Born Adventurer.

Let’s wrap this up with a look at TheBornAdventurer.com, a new blog I’m publishing.

This one is about a pretty big change in my life – being that dad to a new little girl who I hope will follow my interest in seeing the world. She’s not even 9 months old, and already has a passport and been camping. This story about her first milestones is really what the blog and my style of being a dad is all about. Give it a look, and spread the word -- I’m hoping to connect with like-minded parents to see what we can all learn from each other.