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What Is Nitro Cold Brew Coffee? (And How to Make One)

2 brewed coffee

Nitro cold brew coffee is a rising trend in the coffee industry. You may have noticed in some Starbucks stores, a beer-like tap – that is how Nitro Brew coffee is poured. It is also available to purchase in grocery stores, but it would taste better straight from the tap. Even some local cafés want in on the trend and serve fresh Nitro brew.

Nitro brew involves combining cold brew coffee with nitrogen to create a unique coffee. The coffee is passed through a pressured chamber and slowly poured into a cup. 

What makes this brewing method so different is that it produces a coffee that is less acidic and has a rich, smooth, and velvety taste. Some Nitro Brew fans have likened the coffee to a pint of Guinness due to its creamy texture. 

Nitro cold brew is like your regular iced coffee, but it goes through a few extra steps to make it unique. Let’s take a look at what is Nitro cold brew. 

What Is Nitro Cold Brew Coffee?

Nitro cold brew is a coffee-based drink made by infusing cold brew coffee with nitrogen gas. This creates a smooth and creamy cold brew coffee that can only be made using specialized equipment.

Nitro cold brew starts out with an infusion of four parts water and one part finely ground coffee beans. The grounds are infused in the cold water for 24 hours before filtering it to remove the grains of coffee. 

Once the cold brew coffee step has finished, the beverage is then passed through a nitrogen tap to create a creamy-looking foam on top of the drink. The nitrogen, combined with pressure in the tap, mixes with the coffee to produce a creamy/gassy liquid.

The taste of the nitro cold brew is smoother and lighter due to its lower acidity and more caffeine, compared to regular drip coffee. 

Nitrogen gas is another type of gas that is infused in some beers, just like the well-loved Guinness, which gives the drink a creamy, velvety texture. Thanks to the introduction of nitrogen gas to beers, the world is now gifted with creamy and velvety nitrogen-infused coffee, and the rest is history. 

What Makes Nitro Cold Brew Coffee So Popular? 

Nitro cold brew coffee is popular due to the smooth and creamy texture created from the nitrogen infusion. It has a sweeter taste and is lower in acidity, which makes it a popular choice for many coffee aficionados.

Some of the benefits of nitro cold brew include:

Sweet Taste and Smooth Texture 

Sugar is not actually needed for a nitro coffee. Due to the nitrogen infusion and long steeping process, the coffee is relatively sweeter than other black coffees. Not only is it sweeter, but it is also more flavorful as the coffee grounds are steeped in water for a long period of time, allowing more flavors to be extracted.

When the coffee is poured through the tap and combined with the nitrogen, it creates a smooth and creamy texture. This leaves a thicker consistency compared to regular coffee.

Fewer Calories Than Other Drinks

When comparing the nitro brew to a latte, cappuccino, or other milk-based coffee, the calorie content is considerably lower. As it is already sweet and creamy, there is no need to add sugar or milk/cream to the drink, unless you don’t like the flavor. Therefore, you will not consume as many calories compared to your regular coffee.

Less Acidity

One of the main reasons that nitro brew has less acidity is due to the temperature it is brewed. When regular coffee is brewed hot, it increases the acidity of the drink. At a low temperature, the caffeine is much less.

This is beneficial to those who have a high sensitivity to acidic foods and drinks. It also contributes to a significant change in flavor with the coffee, which is what gives cold brew and nitro coffee a unique taste.

Higher Caffeine

Depending on how you look at it, more caffeine can be a good or a bad thing. Nitro brew has a higher amount of coffee compared to water, which increases the caffeine content. If you enjoy a caffeine kick, want an increased metabolism and performance, then a nitro brew is very beneficial.

However, caffeine comes with addictive properties, can contribute to insomnia, and also lead to some health problems if consumed in high amounts.

Is Nitro Cold Brew Safe to Drink?

Nitro cold brew coffee is safe to drink and should not cause you any concern. Many beers have been made with nitrogen over the years and have not been liked to any issues. 

If you do recognize any effects of drinking nitro cold brew coffee, it will more than likely be linked to the caffeine content or coffee directly. You should always consult with a health professional, though.

How to Make the Perfect Cup of Nitro Cold Brew at Home?

nitro cold brew coffee being poured from tap

You might not believe it, but you can actually make nitro cold brew coffee at home, although, you do need to have the right equipment as it’s not as simple to make as a latte, for example.

Nitro cold brew is a coffee that is prepared by steeping coffee grounds in cold water over an extended period. A great way to make nitro cold brew is to use 16 ounces of cold water, 2 tablespoons of finely ground coffee, and steep for 12 hours.

Ingredients & Equipment

  • Fresh Coffee Beans
  • Grinder
  • Room Temperature Water
  • Cold Brew Container
  • Filter Screen
  • Mini Keg
  • Calorie Content: 5 calories
  • Caffeine Content: 200 milligrams
  • Brew Time: at least 24 hours 

How to Whip-Up a Nitro Coffee at Home

1. The first thing that you should keep in mind is the kind of coffee that you’ll use. Remember that before you can do nitro coffee, you will need to first make a cold brew which means steeping the coffee for at least 12 hours. When choosing the right kind of coffee beans, it will all depend on your preference but if you want a coffee cup that has fuller, chocolatey, and earthy flavor then it’s best to choose a darker roast coffee. 

2. Now that you have your chosen coffee bean with the perfect roast, let’s move on with the grind size. It’s highly recommended that you use freshly ground coffee instead of pre-ground store-bought coffee, and you’re probably aware of the reason why. The perfect grind size for cold brew is a coarse grind and not fine.

3. When you already have your freshly coarse ground coffee, get your cold brew container and pour your ground coffee into the container.

4. Next thing you need to do is add your water. Now, to get the best flavor of your cold brew coffee, use filtered water. The ratio stated above is 1:8 but if you want a stronger brew, use the ratio 1:4 or 1:2 which is 1-part coffee and 4 parts water. 

5. Mix the coffee and water properly and cover the container properly.

6. Let the coffee steep from 24 to 48 hours, depending on how strong you want your cold brew to be. Keep it refrigerated. 

7. After a day or two, you’re ready to make your nitro brew. The first thing you need to do is filter out the coffee grounds with a coffee filter. If you don’t have a coffee filter, you can always use a cheesecloth.

8. When you already have your filtered cold brew coffee, get your mini-keg and pour your coffee inside. Charge the mini-keg with two nitrous oxide charges and shake the mini-keg for about 30 seconds and let it stand for about 5 minutes.  

9. In case you can’t find any mini-keg, you can always use a whipped cream container. 

Important Notes When Making the Perfect Nitro Coffee

The most important factor in making the perfect cup of Nitro Cold Brew at home is the grind size. It should be coarse ground, so it can release all its flavor. The reason behind this is that water can easily filter through with and drip with a coarse grind, compared to a finer grind. Aside from this, you won’t have to worry about over-extraction and getting a bitter cup at the end. 

The second most important factor is the coffee-to-water ratio. For every 16 ounces of water you use, you should use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee beans. This will result in an average cup size that has about 8 fluid ounces per cup.

The third factor that contributes to making the perfect nitro cold brew at home is the roast factor. To get a fuller, chocolatey, and nutty flavor, then it’s highly recommended that you use a darker roast. 

The Final Sip

Nitro cold brew coffee is a coffee drink infused with nitrogen. It has a smooth and creamy texture, with lower acidity and a sweeter taste. You can purchase nitro brew from popular coffee chains such as Starbucks and you can also buy them in cans from grocery stores. 

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