Vancouverites will be among the first in Canada to taste Starbucks’ newest coffee innovation: nitrogen-infused cold-brew coffee dubbed Nitro Cold Brew, the company announced December 21.
The Seattle-based coffee giant said in a release that they have launched sales for the novel coffee at six Vancouver locations:
•1795 Davie Street, which is at the corner with Denman Street;
•600 Dunsmuir Street, which is at the corner with Seymour Street;
•1099 Robson Street, which is at the corner with Thurlow Street;
•930 Burrard Street, which is at the corner with Smithe Street;
•2906 Hebb Avenue, which is at the corner with Renfrew Street; and
•2193 West 41st Avenue, which is at the corner with West Boulevard.
One store in Toronto started selling the coffee in October and one store in Ottawa started selling the coffee in November.
The coffee is Starbucks’ newest twist on its signature cold brew coffee, which is made in small batches and slow-steeped in cold water for 20 hours.
Nitro Cold Brew is cold-brew coffee that is infused with nitrogen gas to create a smoother or creamier texture.
“We know that our customers are seeking flavour experiences that are unique,” said Caroline Ternes, who is vice-president of Starbucks for Western Canada.
“When we combine innovation with an engaging barista who is skilled in making handcrafted customized beverages, it produces something really special.”
Hot espresso-based beverages continue to be Starbucks’ biggest selling items although consumers are increasingly buying cold versions of those drinks, according to the chain.
Iced-beverage sales increased about 30% during the past two years. That makes them one of Starbucks’ fastest-growing revenue streams.
Starbucks’ connection with Vancouver goes back to 1987, when Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz bought Starbucks, which was then a company that sold coffee beans, dry teas and spices but not brewed beverages.
Schultz owned at the time a few coffee shops that he branded Il Giornale. That included stores in Seattle and a location in Vancouver at the SeaBus terminal.
When he bought Starbucks, he rebranded his small cluster of Il Giornale locations as Starbucks. He then rapidly expanded the chain in Vancouver when there were no locations elsewhere in Canada or in much of the U.S.
Schultz plans to step down as CEO of the company on April 3 and become executive chairman.
Starbucks’ current president and COO, Kevin Johnson, will then take the reigns as CEO.