The answer I’ve given any time someone asks if I want something from New York is Cold Brew Nitro cans from Stumptown. In some attempt to make the magic of the summer days at the Brew Bar (RIP) with the best baristas in New York, I’ve been cherishing the 14 or so canned Nitros I’ve received. A few months ago I heard a cafe was making Nitro soon, which excited me in ways I should be embarrassed about.
The cafe in question is Starbucks. For all you Starbucks fanboys and fangirls, I’m not here to get on my high horse about anything as far as flavor, but the last time Starbucks jumped on a bandwagon, they bought out a manufacturing company and jacked up the price for anyone who wasn’t them. So please excuse me for my fear that I’ll hear about the price of the actual Nitro used in the coffee skyrocketing and having to go to an obscenely crowded cafe to get my fix of the Cafe De Pretention.
For a while it seemed like that was the only option I had, until I heard about another Columbusing (in this case Perrying) company in Shinjuku. This cafe is Verve in Shinjuku, and have some pretty great espresso as well as their Nitro.
I actually have no issue with American companies that have opened up here but don’t feel the need to write about them, at least in English, unless they do something special. If you think that between two cafes of equal standards, with the best equipment, using fresh beans, that the one from abroad is higher quality then you’re only fooling yourself. Of course taste is another question, and though I love the east coast the time comes when you want some of that west coast espresso. Verve brings that west coast flavor to the Far East just a minute or two from the behemoth of a store that did it first. On top of that, Verve offers the oh-so coveted Nitro that you won’t find in most parts of Japan. There’s also no contract that says you can’t just get a cookie from Blue Bottle on the first floor and go up to the third floor to enjoy some Nitro at Verve.
Flashback to the Brew Bar days, I surprisingly asked my barista “Oh there’s no ice?” To which she told me that it was already incredibly cold and the ice would just fuck up the mouthfeel. That’s coffee nerd talk for, it feels good when you drink it. At Verve I was a bit saddened to see that it was served with ice, something I’ll try asking to be left out next time I’m in Shinjuku. It is still delicious, but does ice really cut that smooth feeling down? Yes, it totally does. If this is a deal breaker for you, don’t worry because it turns out they’re not the only Nitro game in town. My Instagram followers already have the spoiler.