Cuvée’s Nitro Coffee in a Can

by Steve Wilson

If a beer snob can learn to like brew in a can, why can’t a coffee drinker? That’s what Cuvée Coffee Founder Mike McKim bet on when he launched his new Black & Blue as a cold and canned coffee last November. “Several years ago, the idea of craft beer in a can was crazy,” says McKim, who launched Cuvée in 1998. “Then Oskar Blues Brewery started canning and people were like, ‘Holy shit! It’s so much better!’”

The craft beer industry inspired more than Black & Blue’s container. McKim liked what the injection of nitrogen did for Left Hand Brewing’s Milk Stout Nitro and thought it would bring the same zip to coffee. “It adds texture, mouthfeel, tactility,” he says. It’s not a bad visual effect either—cascading as thick and creamy as a Guinness when poured.

McKim spent time at Oskar Blues learning the ins and outs of canning and nitrogenation, but to arrive at Black & Blue’s distinctive flavor profile, he applied the artistry of “variable temperature brewing”—adding just the right combination of hot and cold water at just the right moments. But what about the can itself? What’s the advantage? According to advocates, cans cool faster and protect what’s inside from the ill effects of UV light. They’re also friendlier than glass for both the environment and an active lifestyle. “When I go camping, I’m not going to bring glass anything with me,” says McKim. “If I can roll over in my tent in the morning and pop open a can of coffee, that’s magic for me.”

For more information, visit cuveecoffee.com