CategoriesTastes

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?

CategoriesfeaturedFitness

Boost Your Mountain Bike Cred – 6 Easy Steps

mountain bike cred (Photo credit: Malingering)
This guy’s beard would get him major mountain bike cred. (Photo credit: Malingering)

Mountain biking can make you look cool. You don’t even have to be fast or even good at it. Just learn which style buttons to push. Follow this advice and trick everyone into thinking you’re a mountain bike Bodhisattva.

Ride an unsuspended single-speed 29er – Who needs fancy gadgets to soften the ride? Just roll over everything with your big wheels. And gears? Forget ‘em. They’re noisy, heavy, finicky. The older and more battered your ride, the better. I promise not to tell anyone that your usual ride only goes as far as Starbucks. Your secret is safe with me.

Grow a great big bushy beard – Nothing enhances mountain bike cred like rampant facial hair. It confers wisdom … and the requisite lack of personal hygiene. You’re no wage slave – but a man of the mountains. Bonus points for adding dreadlocks to the equation.

Live in your vehicle … which should be cheaper than your bike – A ratty old VW Minibus is the gold standard, naturally. But if you can shoehorn your bike and other worldly possessions into into an AMC Gremlin, so much the better.

mountain bike cred
1974 AMC Gremlin – a fly hoopty to build your mountain bike cred. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Speak in silly mountain biker lingo – "Wicked" must be your standard adjective. Pair it with words like "gnar-gnar" and "shred." Hell, make up your own words. If other mountain bikers can’t understand what you say, they’ll think you’re that much more plugged in. Instant mountain bike cred bonus!

Claim orphan status – You’ll be far less cool if people know mom and dad still have you hooked up to the cash tap. Claim you never knew your parents (which might be true, from a certain point of view). Deny your country club, gated-community roots or prepare to be forever shackled with the "Trustafarian" label.

Wear a roadie-style cycling cap everywhere – Under your helmet, over your dreads, in the shower, to bed at night. You’ll get bonus points if it’s from a defunct team from the last days of some breakaway ex-Soviet republic.

I originally wrote this for the Trailsedge.com blog. Since that blog is now kaput, I figured it would be a travesty if I failed to give newer readers a look at this fun content.

  • Have we reached peak beard?
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CategoriesUncategorized

Coffee Culture Showdown – Comparing Caffeine

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Coffee is a shape-shifting drink. No matter what country you’re in, that country has added something distinct to the coffee bean and the way people drink it. Each time I travel out of North America, I find a little learning curve waiting for me.

Imagine an Australian visiting a cafe in California and asking for a flat white. You can count on that traveler getting a blank stare from the barista. Same for an American visiting a non-Starbucks coffeehouse in Costa Rica asking for a Frappuccino, and so on.


My first experience abroad as a coffee drinker was in Costa Rica. I was expected some awesome coffee since Costa Rica is famous for exporting quality beans. I couldn’t wait to drink some coffee – even after checking into our hotel at about 9 p.m., I found a pot brewing in the lobby. I scoured the area looking for cream, only to find out Costa Ricans don’t take cream in their coffee. Better yet, I learned it doesn’t really need it. I also found that just about any place that serves coffee serves it well, from a roadside soda to a full-service coffee pillar like Cafe Milagro. Most of it is brewed rather than served espresso style.

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