It’s always fun to learn about surprises on the road. On my recent Northern California swing, L.A. friend Caroline on Crack enlightened me about the wonders of Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters. Her hometown coffee bar and roastery in East Sacramento from native New Zealanders Edie and Andy Baker is clearly at the cutting-edge, complete with custom wood and steel furniture from local artisan Marc Foster, premium equipment from La Marzocco and Mazzer, a Diedrich roaster, and one seriously fun addition to their menu: Nitro Coffee ($4).
The kegged ice coffee luxuriates in nitrogen for several days before pouring from a tap with a chic. CHCLT.fsh tap handle. A barista pours the brew into a tulip-shaped glass with frothy white head and ombré shading, which transitions from tan to brown at the base. Silky sips are similar to Guinness, minus the alcohol and plus caffeine. They brewed Finca La Merced beans from Guatemala, which the owners chose for natural sweetness. Overall, the nitro coffee was surprisingly refreshing, and wholly satisfying. Chocolate Fish only sells their nitro coffee in-house, but that’s no problem given the sleek, inviting setting.