Hot Coffee Trends From a Local Coffee Fanatic

Jen Ekblad

In my world, coffee is not just a beverage – it is a way of life. My go-to is an iced caramel macchiato with nonfat milk. But lately I have been intrigued by a few hot trends popping up on social media and at our local coffee shops. These trends include super coffee, nitrogen infused coffee and cold brew.

Super Coffee

Super coffee is coffee infused with ingredients like butter, coconut oil, protein powder, chia seeds, oats, spices, etc. I have tried cold brew infused with protein powder. While this is not my favorite way to consume cold brew, it is one of my favorite ways to consume protein powder. I have seen many at-home baristas on social media trying their hand at creating these super coffees, but I have not had much luck locating them in the Chippewa Valley. Perhaps we will see this trend make its way into the Chippewa Valley in 2019.

Where can I find one? Starbucks offers a plant-based protein-blended cold brew.

Nitrogen Infused Coffee

Nitro coffee is just that – coffee that is kegged, pressurized and infused with 100 percent nitrogen. “When the coffee is poured out of a tap, a creamy, foamy cascade of rich coffee fills the glass,” explained Katy Stevens, owner of N7 Café, a mobile café in the Chippewa Valley. “The nitrogen changes the texture of the drink and feels like you are drinking a beer,” she added. So, for those of you who enjoy a refreshing draft beer, nitro coffee is calling your name! Stevens describes the cascade effect of the coffee like “art in a glass.” I want my coffee to look like art in a glass – sign me up!

Where can I find one? Local shops now serving nitro coffee include N7 Café (mobile café), SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Bar (Eau Claire), The Coffee Grounds (Eau Claire), and Bridge Street Brew Coffee Shop (Chippewa Falls).

Cold Brew

Cold brew has been around for quite some time, but it finally making its way into the spotlight in the Chippewa Valley. It is much like steeping a tea bag, except you use cold water and a much longer steeping time. “A 24-hour brew time is essential,” noted Leigh Yakaites, manager of Eau Claire Downtown Coffee (ECDC). This brewing time creates the flavor profile that Yakaites described as a “sweet, silky richness with subtle bright fruit and floral tones infused in a cocoa like body.” Cold brew is offered year-round at the ECDC, but it is often a seasonal summer item at many coffee shops, so get it before the snow starts flying!

Where can I find one? You can find cold brew at many chain coffee shops and locally in Eau Claire at Acoustic Café, Grand Avenue Café, SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Bar, The Coffee Grounds, The Five & Two Café (inside Down to Earth Garden Center), The French Press, and ECDC; in Chippewa Falls at Bridge Street Brew Coffee Shop; and in Menomonie at Acoustic Café and Raw Deal.