Cold-brew coffee is taking off from coast to coast, but not everyone is sold on the brewing process. At Taproom Coffee & Beer in Atlanta, owner Jonathan Pascual prefers a Japanese brewing method, where extra-strength hot coffee is immediately diluted over ice to make what he calls a “more complex, brighter, arguably more flavorful cup since many soluble flavor components of the coffee grounds can only be extracted using heat.”
Taproom’s iced coffee is served by the glass year-round, and recently, the café (which also serves beer) also started serving a “Nitro Beerspresso.” The coffee is dry-hopped immediately after it’s brewed hot and just before it’s iced in a keg, which is then sealed and cooled. Within a couple of hours (as opposed to a 1-2 days for cold brew) the hop-infused iced coffee is born. The crew charges it with nitrogen and places it on tap next to the full house beer lineup. “Beerspresso is bright, floral, aromatic and has a velvety mouthfeel from the nitro,” Pascual says. “It looks like a Guinness but has hints of an IPA. It has zero alcohol and packs the caffeine punch of a regular cup of coffee.”
To date, they’ve experimented with several different kinds of hops to find the perfect match—the current batch uses Amarillo hops. Going forward, the Beerspresso will be a permanent feature on the tap wall. To keep things fresh, they’ll roll out different versions throughout the year, featuring different single-origin coffees and blends, adding seasonal spices and syrups, and incorporating malt extracts.