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‘Nitro’ Starbucks cold brew exciting, confusing

KIRO Radio's Jason Rantz says he is excited for the new Starbucks brew and will most likely add it into his coffee rotation because he is a "sheep that way." (MyNorthwest)

I don’t know what the new Starbucks drink is, but I want it.

I’m a big Starbucks fan. I go there at least once a day and, during warm weather months, my baristas know that I always order a grande Cold Brew with sugar-free vanilla and a half inch of heavy cream. Now, I’ll be adding the new ‘nitro’ cold brew to my rotation, a drink that sounds both exciting and confusing.

Starbucks is experiencing “explosive growth” in the ice coffee market. USA Today reveals “sales of iced coffees grew 20 percent in fiscal year 2015 and Starbucks expects cold coffee sales to double in the next three years.” With that, they’re introducing nitrogen-infused cold brew in select cities, including Seattle (it’s currently on sale at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Downtown Seattle).

What’s different about it? It’s served on tap like beer, with a creamier, richer taste than traditional cold brew, which is brewed with cold or room temperature water. The “nitro” cold brew will not be served over ice and will come in a vanilla flavor.

I’m not sure I need a nitro version of my favorite Starbucks beverage, but I’ll take it because, well, Starbucks tells me I want it. I’m a coffee sheep that way.

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