We’ve arrived at the pointy end of 2017, with the 30-degree days becoming increasingly frequent and the mornings already getting too hot for a warm latte, flat white or long black.
For those who can’t quite justify an iced coffee before midday, Jeff Wright has the answer: Diamond Nitro Cold Brew chilled canned coffee.
“I’ve always had a love for coffee,” he says.
“I was previously 15 years in the wine industry – in the wine industry we always drank beer, so then I wanted to get into beer. In the beer industry, long days, long shifts, we drink a lot of coffee.
“I’m always interested in big flavours. If I see a different product on a shelf, I’ll buy it because I just like different flavours and seeing what other people are doing, what they can do.”
After playing around with cold brew at home in the warmer months, Wright noticed there were not a lot of options in the cold brew market for takeaway, and so decided to create his own.
Working with coffee roaster Walter D’Addario of Red Berry Espresso in Glenside, he narrowed down a blend of three single-origin coffees, then made use of the facilities available to him at Vale Brewing.
The coffee is brewed by steeping the grounds in cold water, and nitrogen is added in the canning process, giving the final product a weighty mouth feel similar to Guinness.
The flavour is lighter than espresso-style coffee, but still rich and with a plentiful dose of caffeine.
“It’s like a cold long black in intensity, but because it’s steeped at cold temperatures for long times, you don’t get that harshness and acrid flavours that you sometimes get,” Wright says.
“The nitrogen just adds some mouth weight on the palate. So my analogy is when you get a good latte or white coffee from a barista where they’ve textured the milk properly, you get that fullness in the milk.”
Although the product is designed to have broad appeal, there is one particular market for which Wright expects it to prove popular.
“I’m a cyclist, I do triathlons as well, so I know it works well in that sort of scene,” he says.
“Cyclists go out, they’ll grab their gel pack, most of them are loaded with caffeine as well, and other energy drinks that don’t have the sugars and additives and salt. Caffeine is great for exercise, so it’s good for the gym scene as well.
“It’s sugar-free, lactose-free, no milk products in there, and there’s no requirement to add to it, because the flavours are nice and soft and rounded, so you don’t actually need those.”
Instructions on the side of the can suggest turning it upside down twice before opening to help create the proper nitrogen crema, and while Diamond Nitro Cold Brew can be consumed directly from the can, Wright demonstrates a rough pour into a tall glass for the optimum drinking experience.
To improve the experience even further, he has another suggestion.
“The other thing you can play around with that I’ve done at home is 30ml of Kahlua, 30ml of vodka, 15ml of maple syrup first, then pour it in there as a kind of espresso martini,” he says.
Nitro cold brew is a relatively new product in the Australian marketplace, but Wright says it is in a similar place to where the craft beer industry was 15 years ago and he believes it will catch on.
“It’s educating that there’s other things out there. So you get out there, do some tastings so people can actually try and experience the difference,” he says.
“I know that it’s a good product. It’s just a matter of time.”
Diamond Nitro Cold Brew is available at Red Berry Espresso, IGA and Foodland, and will be rolling out further soon. For updates, stay tuned to Diamond Drinks’ social media.
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