Nitro Cold Brew Coffee: Coffee on Tap

Photo by Kody Gautier

What in the world is nitro cold brew coffee?

Nitro cold brew coffee is a quickly growing trend in gourmet coffee that started out in 2012 at Cuvée Coffee in Austin, Texas and gives coffee drinkers the creamy smooth experience that you would expect from drinking a nice cold Guiness. Nitrogen bubbles are smaller than the bubbles you may be used to in your favorite carbonated beverage. These tiny bubbles give the coffee a thicker, smoother, richer feel in your mouth and a nice foamy head like you would see on a draught beer.

How is nitro cold brew made?

Nitro cold brew coffee starts with a cold brew coffee. Cold brewing extracts flavor from coffee beans using long steep times and cold water rather than hot water, yielding a smooth, low acidity drink that many find more pleasing to the palate than the traditional hot coffee.

From there the cold brew is “nitrogenated” (sounds like a made up word to me), which means infusing the cold brew with nitrogen gas. These super small bubble give the coffee a foamy, creamy mouthfeel, much like you would expect from your favorite on-tap beverages. In fact, coffee shops are installing taps and kegs for the very purpose of offering nitro cold brew!

Photo by Jun Seita

If you are a DIY’er or adventurous coffee brewer, you can try your hand at making nitro cold brew at home with this top rated kit. If $200 is a little much for your experience, you can also pick up a whipped cream dispenser (with nitrogen cartridges) to froth up your coffee for about $75.

Why nitro cold brew?

  1. Smooth – Nitro cold brew advocates love the creamy, smooth experience.
  2. Sugar free sweetness – even black the nitro offers a sweet treat without the addition of sweeteners, but if you need something extra, there are plenty of sweet treats out there that feature nitro cold brew.
  3. Low acidity – one of the benefits of cold brews, not only nitro cold brews, is that the cold beverage is lower in acidity, which many claim is easier on sensitive stomachs or those experiencing coffee related heartburn and reflux.
  4. More caffeine (per oz) – the drink is made with less water, and typically less cream, sugar, and other additives, so you end up getting a very strong cup for your morning routine.

Ready to give it a shot?

Take a look around at your local gourmet coffee shops and you may be surprised at how many nitro options you have. If you want to give nitro cold brew a try from your own kitchen, there are a few canned options worth trying as well:

Unaltered nitro cold brew – no sugar or sweeteners added, just velvety coffee goodness.

Want the variety pack? Check out this 6 pack of nitro cold brews that include vanilla, caramel, and “dirty chai” options.

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