Strolling through my local Target on a random Sunday afternoon, I found myself pretty disappointed in the standard, humdrum items being offered within the big box. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a whole refrigerator case with full of coffee drinks. Oh dear.
There were options that I had never seen before including cold brews and nitros from a mix of small companies with the “big guys” being underrepresented. The choices were as numerous, but I had to know which was delicious. I opted for the Califia Nitro Cold Brew. In no way am I a nitro coffee expert, but I did get a solid education last year from the folks at Pittsburgh Nitro. It’s pretty easy really. Get your hands on some cold brew coffee and pressurize it with nitrogen. You get a drink that is half coffee, half soft drink, and half beer. Someone check my math on that.
The most appealing thing about Califia Nitro Cold Brew was the aluminum bottle that concealed the beverage, keeping its contents a complete mystery. I went with my standard taste test selection, The Mocha, and was out the door to snap a few pics before cracking the already chilled drink.
OWWWWWW! This is no twist off bottle cap, so my thumb and forefinger paid a hefty price. Why? Why? Why, Califia? Why require a bottle opener for a coffee drink? I mock and judge those with bottle openers on their keychains, but now I was extremely jealous.
This added an extra layer of desire between me and my drink. Take me to the nearest BOTTLEOPENER! Success!
Though the idea of sipping the drink straight from the silver bottle was ideal, the packaging seemed to imply the need of a strong pour into a glass. I complied and marveled at the product. Thick, milky, and chocolatey. You can’t see it, but when you bring the drink to your lips the nitro provides a thin foam head similar to a beer. I’ve had other nitros with a thicker head. I suspect that the added almond milk and chocolate break down some of the bubbliness.
The drink was wonderful. Creamy with a great balance between the chocolate and coffee flavors. Plus, there is no carrageenan to blow my bowels for the coming days. My regret is that I did not get the original variety without the milk and chocolate. Though this combo was delicious, it was hard to differentiate from any other iced mocha as the foam was less obvious. Plus, cold brews in general and nitros specifically tend to bring out a sweet and creamy flavor without the need for any milk or sugar.
My biggest gripe about the product was the price. $5 for a single-serve bottled coffee drink? Damn. The is a premium price. Luckily, Target’s cartwheel app offered 25% off bringing the drink under $4, which is the top price I would recommend for this innovative drink. Price aside …
Consume.Review.Repeat. gives Califia Nitro Cold Brew 8.5 foamy lips out of 1o.