Our mission in every newsletter will be to fuel your knowledge of coffee, food, art, music, and connect  you to the humans behind them. This week we’ll introduce our partnership with Twenty6 Productions & Buffalo Iron works, and hear from their Marketing Director Adrianne Salmon!

Every great adventure needs a great playlist. Music carries us through the highs and lows of life, serving as a soundtrack to our journey. In a coffee shop music (like art) wears many hats; it’s a conversation starter, a privacy provider, and most importantly (in our biased opinion) a lifeline for the baristas behind the counter as they choreograph your caffeine. 

Music doesn’t only live in our headphones and speakers, it also brings us together. We’re teaming up with our friends at Twenty6 Productions and Buffalo Iron works to dive into the local music scene and bring you your future soundtrack for adventures! As live events make their return we’ll be there with you to bring you the fuel you need for the dance floor.

Insider Access: Adrianne Salmon

Adrianne Salmon is the Marketing Director for Twenty6 Productions & Buffalo Iron Works, but that isn’t all she does. Read her contributor piece below!

I met current owner Josh Holtzman (he was the GM at the time) through a mutual friend and was brought on to do the marketing for the second annual Cobblestone Live. From there, Josh hired me to manage the marketing for Iron Works. When Josh and Grace founded Twenty6 Productions in 2020 and asked if I would work for them, it was a no brainer. Twenty6 was one of the pioneers of the drive-in shows in the country and the fact that they created a successful company in the middle of a pandemic is – let’s be honest – astonishing, and really says everything you need to know about the types of people they are. It’s been an honor to work with them thus far and we’re just getting started!

What upcoming shows and events are you most excited for?

I’m most excited to be bringing Cobblestone Live back this summer! After a two-year hiatus and now with the full force of Twenty6 behind it, it’s going to be truly special. Not to mention, we just locked in a couple amazing headliners for both nights! Save the date for July 15th & 16th and stay tuned for the lineup drop. I’m also thrilled that we’ll be bringing back Jam on the Lift at Kissing Bridge this summer (slated for late August). 2021 was the first year of it and it’s a stunning venue so close to the city, so I really see it blossoming into something extraordinary for our WNY music community. 

On the Iron Works side of things, I’m stoked for Mardi Gras Mambo on March 24th and The Soul Rebels on March 29th because NOLA brass is my weakness. I also can’t wait to see Armchair Boogie on March 15th and Kitchen Dwellers on May 18th because there’s really nothing more fun than a night of funky bluegrass. OH, and lespecial is coming back on May 6th & 7th with TAUK and I’ve been craving more of lespecial’s hip-swaying, headbanging Primus vibes since they were here this past fall!

Everyone’s first coffee tasting goes, more or less, the same way; a few folks standing around claiming they smell subtle notes of moss, licorice, or chocolate. Meanwhile you’re next to them thinking, “it just tastes like coffee, what the fuck are you talking about?”

It has the potential to be unapproachable and pretentious, but it doesn’t have to be. Behind the jargon, lip smacking, and subtle flavors exists the best aspect of coffee – the human element! It’s an opportunity to tell a story and connect, human to human, a chance to acknowledge and appreciate the complex history that went into the cup.

Simple elements of a coffee tasting

  • The coffee (duh); the best advice I ever received on learning about coffee came from a former District Manager at Starbucks when he asked me, “Have you even read the damn bag yet?” If you’re wondering, I had not. The point was that the people who make and love coffee are also fond of talking about it….
    • The best coffee you have around, ideally fresh ground
    • Look for small batch coffee if possible (coffee made in smaller quantities, leading to a higher level of sophistication and care from the roaster)
  • The food; a good pairing will completely transform the profile of either the food or the coffee, and a great pairing changes both in ways that are hard to understand (we’re baristas, not chemists)
    • If a coffee has undertones of flavor notes listed, pay attention to it and use that to work with the flavor of your food
  • The people
    • Don’t forget the reason we get into this world! Coffee is a cultural town square, use it to tell a story or break the ice

When it comes to the actual tasting, James Hoffman does a great intro video! Hoffman is a well known coffee consultant, author, and barista – if you have a few minutes and want to dive deeper he’s a good start!
Here are the steps to get started with your tasting:

  • Prep the food pairing first 
  • Brew your coffee
  • Walk everyone through the tasting steps (it may feel silly, but it really does help)
    • Smell the coffee; our noses can smell much more than we can taste, but they also inform each other
    • Take a sip
    • Describe what you taste
    • Try the coffee with a bite of the food and see how the coffee flavor changes
    • Discuss
    • Rinse and repeat

Another tool that can help you in your tasting adventure is the coffee taster’s flavor wheel! Counter Culture Coffee developed my favorite take on the flavor wheel and also have a blog with more great content we recommend checking out!

A Day in the Life of a Wandering Barista

After having some time to rest and recover from our first summer on the road, the first thing I noticed was the absence of something. Looking back at the chaos it’s easy to see why I missed it – for the first time in a decade, I’m without a café to call home! As liberating as the thought of shattering those walls and becoming a Wandering Barista are, there are things about that life I will sorely miss.

In an attempt to share what we find on our adventures we’re creating this newsletter, to start what we see as a virtual café! Buffalo is a unique city with a lot to offer in the way of art, food, coffee, and experiences. We’re going to start this new venture by sharing a day in the life of a wandering barista and what it’s like driving our nitro bike to caffeinate the city of good neighbors! 

It’s 645am and I have just finished loading the bike up with everything it will need for a full day of dodging potholes and testing the limits of disc brakes.  By 715am, I’m rolling over the skyway. Late. Run the Jewels distracts me as I bomb into the city of good neighbors. Thinking through my stops for the day while looking for a place to park, a kind cyclist suggests I learn to drive. He’s right, but I’m pulling a box trailer with a fucking Subaru, so give me a minute, damn.  It’s now 8am and Christopher meets me to help unload and get setup before he heads out to make deliveries

Riding down Elmwood and passing all the local coffee shops, I can’t help but think about how different and unique every café is. After ten years of consistency with the Siren it’s hard not to notice how many great options there are these days- all with their own unique vibe. 

Speaking of, that brings us to one of our biggest takeaways from our new venture and the inspiration for our newsletter!
Why do the folks that curate your caffeine collect this art, play that music, and support the causes on the wall?  These were all important questions we asked ourselves while founding Nickel City Nitro, but by setting out from behind the counter and ditching the traditional four-wall café, we weren’t sure how we would be able to share in that self-expression and dialogue.  In the absence of a physical location, we’ve adopted the Queen City as the art, our walls, and our stereo system (figuratively speaking, of course.  We are actually using Bluetooth speakers, but you get the point).  Our co-workers are the makers, the builders- people like YOU- who find their purpose in their craft. 

After spending some time with the community on the Elmwood Strip talking about new tattoos and meeting new folks with Ryan (@thatbarbercricket) and the crew at Hand of Doom (@handofdoomtattoos), I pedal on. I think I want to add to the dystopian Lorax scene tattoo on my left shoulder- that could be because it’s trash pickup day on Elmwood, but it’s hard to say.    I zigzag south around 9:45am and almost die crossing Delaware.  I know what it looks like folks, and no.  Obviously there wasn’t a thought out plan here…

10:03am, As I turn on Main, I’m welcomed by the Keep Buffalo A Secret mural, done by local muralist Ian De Beer, and my friends at KHaus and Oxford Pennant. How many murals are there in Buffalo? If there isn’t a list keeping track, there should be.  The more time I spend around Main Street, the more I appreciate art. There’s the big ass mural, the amazing rotating gallery in Khaus, and Oxford’s creative pennants – I’m thankful these people create, and show such patience for random questions about the art scene.

Onward.  It’s 11am and I need to get off the busy streets for a break.  I pull into a quiet neighborhood for a sip of water and a local gentleman manifests to tell me about the oldest tree in Buffalo.  To my surprise, he isn’t lying.  After an interesting conversation about other local old trees (this man knew a shocking amount on this topic) I continue toward my second to last stop and I get sidetracked by a delicious smell.  I spent more time than I should wondering what the smell coming out of the back of a building was before Fat Bob’s catering van pulled up.  I need to remember to pack a lunch.  What I really want is a good street taco.  Christopher and I are on a mission to appreciate every taco in Buffalo.  It’s our second purpose, only to caffeinating you.  It’s good karma to share good tacos. Send them our way!

Ok, now it’s 11:30a, I set up quick stop at Rick’s Cycle Shop on Allen.  I’m hot, hungry and my playlist has ended, so it’s time to start heading toward the trailer.  The absence of music leaves space for me to reminisce of all the shows I’ve seen as I ride past venues. Feeling guilty about my ignorance of the current local music scene and wondering how they did through covid, I sent out a few requests for recommendations as I packed the bike up in the trailer.

We’re amazed by what a big impact the simple act of people sharing our newsletter has had on our business.  If you enjoy our coffee or our content, the single most important thing you can do to help support is to recommend us to your friends. We’re also asking you and some of our friends to share your perspectives on local music, events, food, art and coffee house vibes.  Hit the reply button and help us build a virtual café community.

Cold brews are renowned for their high caffeine content, but it might surprise you to learn that nitro cold brew has more caffeine than its regular cold brew counterpart. In fact, nitro cold brew is one of the most caffeinated coffee beverages on a traditional coffeeshop menu. We all have those days where we need as much caffeination as possible, but you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for the ability to stay awake in your morning work meeting. Nitro cold brew is the perfect choice. Not only does it contain more than enough caffeine to get you through a Monday, but it also has a rich and creamy coffee flavor that will leave you craving more.

 For this article, consider all caffeine content to be taken from 16-ounce drink sizes, which is most commonly referred to as a medium. A 16-ounce latte contains 154 milligrams of caffeine. While lattes are a majority favorite due to their naturally creamy texture, on average, they contain less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee! Lattes are made with espresso shots and steamed milk. The milk gives the latte its signature creamy flavor but it also the reason why a latte is one of the least caffeinated beverages on a standard menu. Milk takes up too much space in the cup and adding more espresso shots can be pricy. Many complain that adding shots ruins the latte’s flavor because the espresso to milk ratio is compromised.

While a regular cup of drip coffee contains much more caffeine than a standard latte at 182 milligrams, many believe that it just does not taste as strong as some of the other beverages. A latte’s espresso shots make for a strongly coffee-flavored beverage that a regular drip cannot replicate. This can be said for both hot and iced coffees. Adding cream can dilute drip coffee’s flavor, leading to a disappointing morning coffee run.

 That leads us to the delicious cold brew. Cold brews have a reputation for a strong coffee flavor and a high caffeine content. This is because cold brews are made by soaking ground coffee beans in cold water for 20 hours. Due to the lower brewing temperature, the coffee grounds do not release tannins like they do during the drip coffee process. This makes cold brew coffee much less acidic and bitter than drip coffee. Because of its significantly longer brewing time, cold brew coffee has a big flavor. Its coffee flavor is so strong it makes iced coffee taste watered down. The average 16-ounce cold brew contains 200 milligrams of caffeine, so why does nitro cold brew have a higher caffeine content than regular cold brew coffee?

Nitro cold brew goes through an additional step before it is served. Once the coffee has brewed for 20 hours in low temperatures, it is charged with nitrogen gas. This gives the coffee a rich and silky texture. The nitrogen bubbles add a creamy foam topping which many consider to be the best part of the drink. The foam topping is why the nitro cold brew has more caffeine content than a regular cold brew coffee. Baristas do not add ice to nitro cold brews because the ice would ruin the creamy foam their customers love so much. This means they must fill up the entire 16-ounce cup solely with caffeine-rich, aromatic coffee. So next time you need a morning pick-me-up, you do not have to sacrifice caffeine for flavor. Give nitro cold brew a try.

Nitro cold brew is a deliciously mouth-watering beverage that is relatively new to the coffee community. Nitro cold brew has a silky smooth yet incredibly strong coffee flavor. It is topped with a creamy foam, making it resemble Guinness beer. Nitro cold brew is less acidic than traditional coffee, but a standard 16-ounce drink contains over 200 milligrams of caffeine. Many people are surprised to learn that they can make this Instagram worthy drink right at home when you can’t make it to your local coffee shop!

Some basic materials are needed to make nitro cold brew coffee right in your own kitchen. You will need a reusable whipped cream dispenser, nitrogen chargers, and cold brew of course! These products can all be found in most general retail stores or anywhere that sells coffee-related products. While pre-made cold brew can be used just as effectively in any nitro recipes, its incredibly easy to make a delicious batch of cold brew. This article gives detailed instructions for creating a homemade cold brew; however, it is just as easy to use a store-bought cold brew instead and jump straight to the whipped cream dispenser.

Making cold brew coffee is as easy as combining coarsely ground coffee beans and room temperature water. Yep, it is that simple. A ratio we recommend for cold brew is one ounce of coffee to one cup of water. This will make one strong serving of cold brew coffee that can be added to as needed. The next part is the hardest: waiting for the coffee to brew. Cold brew needs to sit for about 20 hours before the grounds can be strained. Cold brew takes much longer than regular drip coffee because it uses a much lower water temperature than traditional brewing methods. Hot temperatures allow the coffee flavors to be extracted more easily, so it takes a longer amount of time using lower brewing temperatures. The benefit of brewing coffee with lower temperature water is that the coffee beans don’t release tannins, which make the coffee acidic. Cold brew coffee is much less bitter and a lot more caffeinated.

Next, charge the cold brew with nitrogen or nitrous gas. Nitro cold brew is charged with nitrogen to give it that sweet and creamy consistency. Fill a standard half pint whipped cream dispenser with 250 milliliters of cold brew coffee and any additional flavorings you prefer. One favorite flavor is maple extract, but any type of syrup will work as well. Close the whipped cream dispenser’s cap and screw on the nitrogen charge. When the nitrogen charge is screwed in, it will give off a high-pitched sound, indicating the gas has been released into the container with the cold brew. Give the container a good shake and let it sit for about ten minutes and repeat. The dispenser should be cold to the touch because of the sudden pressure change.

To release the caffeinated goodness, slowly pull the lever. As the nitro cold brew fills up, it should look slightly fizzy and will start gathering a foam layer. Nitro cold brew is often compared to Guinness beer due to its creamy top layer of foam. For maximum foam, tilt the glass and pour slowly. Make sure to leave out the ice because it will disrupt the nitrogen bubbles and the sweet top layer will disappear!

This next step is optional but highly recommended. Take a picture of your beautiful coffee creation and tag @nickelcitynitro! Nitro cold brew is a stunning drink, and its aesthetic is bested only by its rich and creamy flavor. Now that you can make nitro cold brew without leaving the house, it might be best to make an extra batch or two.

Cold Brew Coffee + Nitrogen Gas = Nitro Cold Brew

…but what does that really mean when it comes to the coffee in your cup? The addition of nitrogen to the coffee elevates the ‘feel’ of your coffee. You’ll notice a smooth, creamy or velvety sensation with each sip. Think of nitro as the next level evolution of your every day cold brew. Sounds strange? You might be wondering what will be the effect of nitrogen gas. Well, the addition of nitrogen gas creates a smooth texture of the coffee. And besides the foamy texture, nitrogen gas also adds sweetness to the taste. Therefore, nitro cold brew is often regarded as superior to regular coffee due to its creamy taste and texture. Another great thing about nitro cold brew is that milk and cream are not necessary for it as the nitrogen automatically adds sweetness to the taste. Hence, you can rest assured that you’re having a healthy drink.

Origin Of Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

The exact origin of nitro cold brew is disputed, but some say that Queens Kickshaw in New York City started the trend of nitro coffee in 2011. And others say that Portland, Oregon’s Stumptown or Cuvee Coffee in Austin, Texas should receive the credit for the origin of nitro cold brew. Though no one is sure about its origin, one thing we know for sure is nitro cold brew is a must-try beverage if you are a coffee lover!

How Does Nitro Cold Brew Taste?

Nitro cold brew tastes creamy and fizzy. It is thicker and smoother in texture than regular coffee. The nitrogen used in coffee enhanced its flavor as well as the aroma. It is higher in caffeine and lesser in acidity. According to some people, nitro cold brew has a mouthfeel of a Guinness beer, of course, excluding the beer taste. Since nitro cold brew is sweeter in taste, you may not want to add sugar to it. Hence, the nitro cold brew also helps you to cut down your calories.

Nitro Coffee vs Cold Coffee

They both, nitro and cold, are iced coffee but the key difference lies in their tastes and texture. Nitro cold brew is a foamy drink whereas cold brew is much lighter. Below, we have discussed their differences in detail so that you can have a better idea of the nitro coffee and regular cold brew. And you can easily decide what suits you the best, a glass of nitro coffee or a cold brew. Let’s dive into it.

What Makes Nitro Cold Brew Different From Regular Cold Brew?

The few differences between nitro and cold brew are:

 1. Nitro Has A Creamy Texture. The thick and creamy texture of nitro is what makes it different from the cold brew. Nitro coffee is charged with small gas bubbles that give it a creamy and foam-like texture. Regular cold brew on the other hand is a fizz-free coffee that doesn’t contain any bubbles.

2. Nitro Coffee Has A Sweeter Taste. Despite the improved texture, the nitrogen used in nitro cold brew also adds sweetness to its taste. Due to this effect, many people find nitro coffee better than regular coffee as it doesn’t require unnecessary sugar.

3. Nitro Coffee Is Less Acidic. Nitro cold brew has less acidity than regular coffee. The less acidity makes the taste unique and also reduces the bitterness of coffee. If you are struggling with indigestion or if highly acidic coffee simply doesn’t appeal to you, nitro cold brew is the best option for you.

4. Nitro Cold Brew Is Higher In Caffeine. In the preparation of nitro coffee, coffee grounds are used in a higher ratio as compared to regular coffee, which increases its caffeine. Caffeine has several health benefits such as it boosts metabolism, lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes. But it can also cause side effects in caffeine-sensitive individuals such as anxiety and headache.


Q1. Is Nitro Cold Brew Healthy?

Ans. Yes, Nitro Cold Brew is a healthy drink due to the following reasons.

● It’s low in acid and hence easier on the stomach.

● It has fewer calories than other coffees.

● It is sweet without extra sugar or cream.

● It is safe for those who have sensitive stomach and milk sensitivities.

Q2. Is Nitro Coffee High In Caffeine?

Ans. Yes, nitro cold brew contains higher caffeine because it has less water.

Q3. Can You Add Milk In Your Nitro Coffee?

Ans. There is no need to add milk or cream in the nitro cold brew as it is naturally sweet and tasty. However, if you want it sweeter and milkier then yes go ahead, you can add milk to it.

So when are you going to try this sweet, smooth, and creamy cold brew? Let us know on Instagram @nickelcitynitro