Go to any big supermarket in the USA and you'll find sleepy-eyed men and women lovingly gazing at the selection of canned coffees, espressos, cappuccinos, mochas, cold brews, cafe au laits, and doubleshot coffees with guarana and ginseng. There seems to be no end to the innovation in ready-to-drink java: Kickstarter hosted a campaign for hot coffee in a can last year, but it didn't get the funding. And in Japan, of course, you can even get non-alcoholic Irish coffee in a can. Are we done playing with joe yet? Of course not.
La Colombe, a third-wave coffee company, is introducing the world's first canned, draft latte with froth. The secret ingredient—in addition to the usual espresso, milk and sugar—is nitrous oxide, the stuff in laughing gas and Whip-Its. Using a patent-pending technology, liquid gas is added via a valve at the bottom of the can. When the container is opened, the gas expands, creating tiny bubbles and, voila, the frothy texture appears, presumably like the latte you're used to getting at a cafe.
- Guzzling Coffee is Good for You, Says Study
- Astronauts Can Finally Get a Decent Cup of Coffee in Space
- Coffee Could Help You Live Longer, Says Harvard
Each 9-ounce can contains 120 calories and 14 grams of sugar (2 grams from cane sugar and the rest from milk). The product does not require refrigeration and has a shelf life of 180 days. It's currently only available at La Colombe's website in 4-packs for $10. The packs should start making their first appearance in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. in the coming weeks. By July, the company expects single-serve cans to be widely available for between $2.79 and $2.99.