Starbucks Gets in on the Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Trend

© Starbucks
The mega-chain will begin selling the trendy brew at 500 Starbucks locations from coast to coast by the end of summer 2016.

Nitro cold brew, the uber-hip choice of cold coffee-lovers everywhere, will soon be available nationwide at America's biggest coffee biz, Starbucks. The mega-chain will begin selling the trendy brew at 500 Starbucks locations from coast to coast by the end of summer 2016.

For those who haven't yet tried nitro joe, the beverage is created by infusing nitrogen gas into cold-brewed coffee, infusing it with a "smooth and creamy sweetness" while staying dairy- and sugar-free. The drink is served cold from a tap like beer, without ice—in contrast to Starbucks' standard iced coffee, made by serving hot brewed coffee over ice.

While this velvety variety of coffee has been available for some time at national chains like Caribou Coffee and Stumptown Coffee Roasters—which began canning its nitro brew after it attracted a devoted following—Starbucks is by far the biggest beast to enter the market for the popular drink.

Following the introduction of its original cold brew last year, the chain's sales of iced coffees grew 20 percent in the 2015 fiscal year, according to USA Today. Starbucks cited marketing research that shows iced coffee consumption has grown 75 percent in the past decade, and sales of cold brew have shot up 340 percent between 2010 and 2015 alone. The chain is anticipating that cold coffee sales will double in the next three years, and hopes that nitro cold brew will be a big contributor to that growth.

A grande (16 fl. oz.) nitro will cost between $3.25 and $3.95, depending on the location, about a dollar more than a standard Starbucks iced coffee. For now, the nitrogen-infused beverage will be available in a handful of cities including Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Chicago, Portland, and Seattle. For everyone else looking to get your caffeine fix, the chain also announced it will start serving a homemade vanilla sweet cream cold brew this summer across the U.S. and Canada.

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