Nitrogen-infused fluff is the new unicorn frappucino
I was low-key crushed to learn that Starbucks' newest drink isn't an actually served as a vapor. I mean, with a name like Nitro Cascara Cloud, I was expecting a coffee drink that would basically float out of the glass. Unfortunately for me, the new Starbucks Nitro Cascara Cloud is actually a liquid, despite its lofty name and the fact its infused with nitrogen gas. The good news is that it'll be served on draft at select Starbucks Reserve bars across the United States starting on Tuesday. So what's in Starbucks' new Nitro Cascara Cloud if not fluff and foam? Well, according to a press release from Starbucks, it "starts with vanilla bean syrup, and then a long pour of the Nitro Cold Brew," which is cold brewed coffee that's infused with nitrogen to give it a bit of foam, kind of like a beer.
To finish off the Nitro Cascara Cloud, the vanilla syrup-and-coffee mixture is "topped with a velvety, merengue-like cold foam made with milk and cascara syrup, and finished with a strike of cascara sugar." Cascara is the dried skin of the coffee cherry, and though it's still a somewhat unfamiliar ingredient to many Americans, Starbucks has used it before, in a cascara-flavored latte. I assume the "cloud" part of this Nitro Cascara Cloud refers to both this fluffy topping and the aerated coffee, which isn't a gaseous cloud—but I guess it's better than no cloud at all.
Starbucks is also adding a second new drink to their Reserve Bar menus: a Nitro Dirty Chai. The "dirty" here refers to coffee, mixing in with the chai tea, and this Nitro Dirty Chai is made with the classic Starbucks chai blended with cream, then topped with Starbucks Reserve Nitro Cold Brew. According to Starbucks, "The result is a layered beverage with a creamy texture and a head of rich and airy chai foam."
If these airy, fluffy, nitrogen-infused cold coffee drinks sound appealing, you can find them at one of Starbucks 40 so-called Reserve Bars, which are located in cities including New York, Los Angeles, and Honolulu. If you don't live near a Starbucks Reserve Bar, unfortunately, you'll be stuck dreaming of coffee clouds, too.