New coffee extraction methods such as Cold Brew and curious drinks such as Bubble Tea are just some of the trends that are grabbing attention on the Italian coffee shop scene. If you want to find out more, in this article we will be talking about the main novelties in the industry and a few trends coming from abroad as yet little known in Italy, such as the Nitro Cold Brew and Bulletproof Coffee.
Cold Brew Coffee: the cold extraction coffee
As we have already explained, Cold Brew Coffee is a cold extracted coffee, without the use of heat. Tasty and refreshing, the drink is made using a particular extraction method and must absolutely not be confused with other cold preparations such as the shaken coffee, for example, where the coffee is extracted with hot water and only cooled later. It was the United States that made Cold Brew Coffee famous, but it seems that already in Japan in the 1600s they were drinking coffee prepared in this way. The extraction requires a lot of time (up to 12 hours) and can be done using one of two different methods, Cold Brew or Cold Drip.
Why try a Cold Brew Coffee? Because the cold extraction process gives you a different sensory experience from the classic espresso experience. The drink obtained in this way, is in fact characterized by a soft and sweet flavor, it has a highly rich blend of aromas and is more easily digestible, in that with this cold method it is possible to avoid the release of certain oils and fatty acids. Particularly appreciated when the weather is hot, Cold Brew Coffee is also an excellent basis for creating delicious coffee cocktails.
Nitro Cold Brew Coffee: coffee with nitrogen
It looks like a beer, but it isn’t. It’s called Nitro Cold Brew Coffee and it is one of the final frontiers as far as coffee extraction methods are concerned. This drink was invented in the United States between 2011 and 2015 and is not yet well-known in Italy: it can be defined as a sort of evolution of the classic Cold Brew. In fact this cold extraction coffee is blended with nitrogen and served on tap, exactly like a beer. The result is a long coffee, with a sweet flavor and velvety consistence created by the presence of small bubbles of nitrogen which, contrary to what you might think, do not actually give the drink a fizzy effect.
Coffee and mixology: the (re)discovery of coffee-based cocktails
A trend that is spreading though the world of mixology, the art of mixed drinking, is the use of coffee to create cocktails. Thus making room for new ways of drinking coffee, which moves away from the comfort zone of the classic espresso to become a precious ingredient of after dinner drinks, such as for example the Espresso Martini or the Irish Coffee. Alongside timeless drinks like these, there are new proposals around today with the both the classic espresso or the above-mentioned Cold Brew as the starring ingredient.
Bubble Tea: tea with bubbles
Let’s leave the world of coffee for a moment to take a trip into the world of tea. Have you ever heard of Bubble Tea? This is a very unusual drink which is becoming widespread also in Italy. Let’s take a closer look at what it is and its recipe.
Bubble Tea: what is it?
If you’re wondering what Bubble Tea is, let’s start by clarifying that it is not a fizzy tea. The really unusual feature of this drink is that it contains small sweet gummy balls, the tapioca pearls (starch extracted from the manioc root, used especially in the cuisine of tropical countries). Bubble Tea is generally based on tea and milk, but it can also be enriched with other ingredients, such as fruit juices and syrups, while the tapioca pearls can be substituted with popping boba (transparent balls full of juice) or pieces of fruit. All of which should be sipped through a large straw. Contrary to what you might think, tea with bubbles is not actually a recent invention. The drink was in fact invented in Taiwan in the 1980s and then spread throughout Asia, and then also reached the U.S. and Europe.
Bubble tea: the recipe
Now we have understood what Bubble Tea is, let’s look at how to prepare it. Actually, there is not one single recipe for preparing this drink. As we have said, actually there are many possible variations and allow you to create not only delicious drinks but also fun and colorful (on Instagram, the hashtag #bubbletea has more than 1.2 million posts). Here’s the recipe for Bubble Tea that we have for you, using tea, rice milk and tapioca pearls.
- Put 1,76 oz of tapioca pearls to soak in cold water for about 1 hour (you can choose either white tapioca pearls or black ones).
- Rinse the pearls and cook them for 10 minutes in 16.91 fl oz of water.
- Leave the pearls to cool, then drain them and put them in the hot sugared tea (you can choose whichever tea you prefer; the most popular are Earl Grey, jasmine, matcha, black tea or green tea).
- Add some rice milk and enjoy your drink with a straw.
- For a more summery and refreshing Bubble Tea recipe, you can add some ice or some freshly squeezed fruit juices.
Bulletproof Coffee: coffee with butter
Staying with the theme of curious drinks, let’s close with a widespread trend in the U.S. and, probably less well known in Italy: the Bulletproof Coffee, or in other words coffee with butter. Some people may turn up their noses at hearing of such a strange combination, and yet this drink seems to have been quite a success with sports people and celebrities. The Bulletproof Coffee (which means “resistant to bullets”) is the invention of an American, Dave Asprey, creator of the Bulletproof Diet, a dietary regime with a high fat content. Asprey suggests substituting your normal breakfast with a cup of coffee with butter, saying that this drink should help burn calories and boost mental concentration, abating your hunger until lunchtime. The drink, which according to Asprey should contain specific selected ingredients, if on the one hand has become popular among famous people, on the other has met with more skepticism from dieticians and nutritionists.
What do you think of these trends? Have you had the opportunity to taste a Cold Brew Coffee, a Bubble Tea or a Bulletproof Coffee yet?