Have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, this nitrogen-infused cold-brew coffee is spectacular, but I wish it were just a little more portable.”?
Us neither. But Mike Woitach and Terry Darcy have.
The longtime friends are the founders of Confluence Coffee Co., a D.C.-based line of bottled cold brews that launched in April.
Hopping on the ever-growing trend of nitrogen-infused cold brews, the two recently tapped a keg of their coffee and served it at Glen’s Garden Market in Dupont. “People are always like, ‘It’s too early for beer,’ and we’re like, ‘No, it’s coffee,’ ” Woitach says.
By the end of July, the duo hope to take the experimentation a step further and sell their nitrogenated coffees in cans. Working with River City Cannery, which is based in Laurel, Md., Woitach and Darcy developed a system that keeps their nitrogen-laced coffee as fresh and effervescent as those poured straight from the keg.
Their Kickstarter campaign was funded within nine days, and there’s still a week to go.
Though putting nitrogen coffee in cans is not necessarily new (Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Portland, Ore., sells a version), Confluence would be the first company to make such an elixir in the District, and maybe even the East Coast.
The nitrogen bubbles, Darcy says, enhance the natural flavors of coffee and add a subtle sweetness. “You’ll see the bubbles running up the side of the glass, and as they do they’re carrying desirable flavor compounds,” he says. It gives the coffee —which is served cold — a creamy, Guinness-like body.
Plus, the cold-brewed process — which requires grounds to steep for up to 24 hours — is hailed because it yields a smoother, less bitter cup of coffee. “When you brew with cold water over a longer period of time, you extract the fruity and chocolaty notes as well as the caffeine, but you don’t extract the bitter notes,” Darcy says.
Combine the two techniques, and you’re looking at perhaps one of the most perfectly engineered cups of joe, soon available in grab-and-go form.