If you're a coffee enthusiast, chances are you've heard of nitro cold brew. This innovative way of serving coffee has taken the world by storm, with cafes and coffee shops everywhere offering their own versions of the popular drink. In the grocery aisle you'll even find cans advertising nitro cold brew as the combination of soda and coffee! However, there's a lot more to nitro cold brew than meets the eye.
In this guide, we'll take an in-depth look at what nitro cold brew is and isn't, how it's made and what makes it different from traditional iced coffee.
TLDR: If you want a coffee experience that feels like you're drinking a Guinness, nitro might be fore you!
WHAT IS NITRO COLD BREW?
Nitro cold brew is a type of coffee that is served cold and infused with nitrogen gas. This gives the coffee a creamy, smooth texture that is similar to that of a Guinness beer. The nitrogen gas also adds a slight sweetness to the coffee, which helps to balance out the bitterness of the coffee beans.
HOW IS NITRO COLD BREW MADE?
Nitro cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time, usually 12 to 24 hours. The resulting concentrate is then infused with nitrogen gas, which is what gives the coffee its unique texture and flavor.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COLD BREW AND NITRO COLD BREW?
While both nitro cold brew and traditional iced coffee are served cold, there are several key differences between the two. For one, nitro cold brew is typically brewed using a higher ratio of coffee to water, which results in a stronger, more concentrated coffee flavor. Additionally, the nitrogen gas infusion gives nitro cold brew its signature creamy texture, which is not present in traditional iced coffee.
BENEFITS OF NITRO BREW
In addition to its unique flavor and texture, nitro cold brew also has several other benefits. For one, the nitrogen gas infusion can help to reduce the acidity of the coffee, which makes it easier on the stomach for people who are sensitive to acidic foods and drinks. Nitro cold brew also tends to be less sweet than traditional iced coffee, which can be a plus for people who are watching their sugar intake.
HOW TO MAKE NITRO COLD BREW AT HOME
While nitro cold brew is widely available at cafes and coffee shops, it's also possible to make it at home. To make nitro cold brew at home, you'll need a few key pieces of equipment, including a cold brew coffee maker, a whipped cream dispenser, and nitro cartridges. Simply brew your coffee concentrate using the cold brew maker, then transfer it to the whipped cream dispenser and add a nitro cartridge. Shake the dispenser vigorously, then dispense the nitro cold brew into a glass and enjoy!
Using cold brew and either a nitro brew dispenser (also called a nitro cold brew maker) or a whipped cream dispenser, you can skip the coffee house altogether and enjoy delicious nitro coffee in the comfort of your home!
First, you’ll need to make some cold brew coffee…
Of course, the simplest way to make your own cold brew at home is with our Brew coffee packs. With these, the coffee is already measured and packaged for you, so you simply toss the cold brew packet into a pitcher of water, wait, and enjoy.
You can also make cold brew with a cold brew maker, in a mason jar, or even with your french press.
Without a cold brew maker, the french press method is likely the most simple way to make cold brew. You only need:
- French press (32 ounce)
- Coarsely ground Medium Roast coffee
- Filtered water
- Liquid and dry measuring cups
- Glass container to store finished cold brew
Note: You can use any roast of coffee you’d like, even flavored selections are wonderful when cold brewed.
With a 1:4 coffee to water ratio, use your dry measuring cup to add one cup of coarsely ground coffee to your empty 32 ounce french press.
Using the liquid measuring cup, add 4 cups of filtered water to the press, then very gently give the mixture a slight stir (nothing elaborate here).
Place the french press plunger just on the top to seal the opening, do not plunge.
Leave at room temperature for 18-24 hours, then press down the plunger to separate the grounds from the cold brew. Pour the cold brew into a glass jar or pitcher to store, and you’re ready to enjoy!
Cold brew should be stored in your refrigerator where it will last for 7-10 days, unless you decide to add water to dilute the mixture where it will then only remain fresh for roughly 3 days.
And, now that you’ve made a delicious batch of cold brew, we’re ready for a nitro coffee how-to:
To make nitro coffee in a nitro brew dispenser (or nitro coffee maker):
- Add cold brew to the keg of the nitro cold brew coffee maker.
- Nitrogenate the coffee maker, then shake the keg well for roughly 20 seconds.
- Let stand for one hour.
- Pour fresh nitro cold brew from the maker into a tall glass, and enjoy!
To make nitro coffee in a whipped cream dispenser:
- Add cold brew to the whipped cream dispenser.
- Add the nitrogen cartridge and shake the dispenser vigorously for 30 seconds.
- Dispense nitro coffee into a tall glass and let rest for roughly 30 seconds to allow the foam to rise to the top. Enjoy!
As we mentioned above, since nitro cold brew is less acidic and less bitter, with a sweeter flavor and a rich and creamy texture, many prefer to enjoy it without additives. But, if you’re looking to take your nitro coffee to the next level, give these recipes a try: one for your sweet tooth, and one to optimize your health.
RECIPE: NITRO AFFOGATO
Perfect for a summertime treat, beat the heat with nitro coffee and everyone’s favorite treat, ice cream!
Using your preferred method from the nitro coffee how-to information in our "The Guinness of Cold Brew" blog, prepare your nitro coffee prior to assembling this delicious, decadent, dessert.
- 1 large scoop vanilla bean ice cream
- Caramel sauce, for topping
- Nitro cold brewed coffee
- Add ice cream to a glass. *You can sub out the vanilla for any flavor of your choice.
- Pour nitro coffee over ice cream. **Typically an affogato is served with 1 shot of freshly pulled espresso, so you don’t want to overdo it with the nitro coffee. And, you don’t have to measure, as you’ll want to pour the nitro over the ice cream fresh from the nitro maker or whipped cream dispenser for the best effect. Just seek to add coffee until the scoop is almost covered.
- Drizzle with caramel sauce, and enjoy with a spoon or slowly sipped!
Is nitro cold brew high caffeine?
You bet it is! With higher caffeine levels than traditional coffee, nitro cold brew will give you the energy you need to tackle anything that comes your way.
What is so special about nitro cold brew?
The nitrogen infusion gives nitro cold brew its unique creamy texture and slightly sweet taste. Plus, it's just plain fun to watch the bubbles cascade down the side of your glass.
What is the difference between cold brew and nitro cold brew?
While both are served cold, nitro cold brew takes things to the next level with its smooth and velvety texture. It's like a treat for your taste buds and your senses.
Is nitro cold brew stronger than regular coffee?
Yes, it is! But don't worry - you won't get the jitters or the crash that comes with some other high-caffeine drinks.
Is nitro cold brew coffee healthy?
Moderation is key, but nitro cold brew is no worse for you than any other coffee drink. Plus, the nitrogen infusion can actually help to reduce the acidity of the coffee, making it easier on your stomach.
What are the side effects of nitro coffee?
Some people may experience a buzz that lasts longer than they're used to, but that's just a sign of how effective this drink is at getting you going.
Can nitro cold brew make you bloated?
With all that creamy goodness, it's possible that nitro cold brew could leave you feeling a little full. But that's just a sign that you're getting your money's worth.
What is the point of nitrogen-infused coffee?
Aside from the amazing texture and taste, nitrogen infusion can actually help to make the coffee easier on your stomach. It's like a little gift to your digestive system.
Does nitro cold brew hit you faster?
You bet it does! With its high caffeine levels and smooth texture, nitro cold brew is the perfect way to get a quick caffeine fix that will last all day.
Do you add milk to nitro cold brew?
We do! But again, it's all about personal preference. Some people like to keep it simple and drink it black, while others prefer to add a little milk or cream to balance out the bitterness.
How much caffeine is in nitro cold brew?
On average, you can expect about 330 milligrams of caffeine in a 16-ounce serving of nitro cold brew. That's more than enough to get you through even the toughest of days.
Why don't you put ice in nitro cold brew?
Because who needs ice when you've got that smooth and creamy texture? Plus, adding ice would just dilute the flavor and ruin the whole experience.
Nitro cold brew is a unique and innovative way of serving coffee. Its creamy texture and unique frothy flavor are a welcome spin on cold brew. It's not as carbonated as a soda or beer, but on a warm afternoon it might just replace your Guinness.