If you’ve never heard of Nitrogen cold brew coffee, today is the day.
This fascinating variety of coffee brew has a lot of great qualities than are easier on the system, has a sweeter taste, and has a much different texture and feel than the traditionally hot-brewed coffee you’ve been drinking for years. Nitro coffee is about to change your life.
What Is Nitro Coffee?
Nitrogen coffee, or Nitro Cold Brew Coffee or “NBC” as it’s commonly referred, is a cold brew coffee that is made using nitrogen infusion, which gives the coffee a creamy head. The bubbles in nitrogen are smaller than other things used to cold brew beverages, like carbon dioxide.
The smaller bubbles in nitrogen make it harder for coffee to dissolve in water, and gives the beverage a thicker feel in the mouth. Nitrogen is also said to cut the acidity in coffee, making it easier on the stomach and digestive system.
Because cold brewing results in a different chemical reaction from coffee beans than traditional brewing, nitro cold brew coffee is also lower in caffeine than traditionally brewed coffee. But ratios in the serving size of coffee to water are higher on the coffee side of cold brewed nitro coffee. Each serving of Nitro coffee actually winds up having just as much caffeine, or possibly a little bit more, as traditional brew, though.
Nitro cold brew coffee is served on tap at certain coffee houses, sold in kegs, or can be bought in individual serving sized cans from retailers. Starbucks introduced Nitro coffee to its offerings in 2016, but was preceded by both Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Portland, Oregon, and Caribou Coffee, which is based out of Minnesota. Starbucks is, of course, the largest distributor of Nitro Coffee, though other companies are trying to catch up with their own offerings.
District Roasters, Cuvee Coffee, and others are also offering their nitro brew in canned and bottled versions that are easier and easier to purchase at retailers and shops.
How to Drink Nitro Cold Brew?
Even if you’re one of those people who insists upon adding cream to your coffee, you may find that nitro cold brew doesn’t need it. The very process of making the brew with nitrogen adds a texture difference which has a creamier sensation in your mouth. That “mouthfeel” is fuller, as well, which may mean your need for cream may go by the way side.
And for those who insist on sugar, nitro brew is naturally sweeter and less acidic tasting than traditional coffee, so you might not need to add any sugar to this stuff, either.
How to DIY Your Own Nitro Coffee
If the idea of taking home a can of nitro brew coffee doesn’t appeal, you can always make your own at home. Just remember that it will take a while, so prepare in advance.
1. Gather your supplies. You’ll need:
- Course coffee grounds
- A large jar
- Filter paper
- A whipped cream dispenser
- Nitrogen cartridge
2. Get some course ground coffee and pour it into a jar.
3. Add 10 times the water volume as coffee to the jar. In other words, if you used a cup of grounds, add 10 cups of water.
4. Stir the coffee and water thoroughly.
5. Let the coffee sit for 12 to 18 hours.
6. Filter the coffee using some filter paper.
7. Put the filtered coffee into the whipped cream dispenser and put the lid on securely.
8. Attach the nitrogen cartridge.
9. Shake the dispenser until the coffee has all been shaken thoroughly.
10. Serve and enjoy!
Since this DIY method will take a while, we highly recommend it for parties or other gatherings, when multiple people can enjoy the time-intensive cold brewed coffee.
Or, Brew Up an Alternative
If you don’t want to wait 12 hours, or don’t have access to a nitrogen cartridge, a less time-consuming alternative can be done.
It’s more similar to a Japanese iced coffee than nitro brew, but it may be a good alternative until you can get out and try a real nitro brew.
Using a pour over coffee maker, brew your coffee like usual, but use half the water. The other half of the water will be replaced with ice cubes, which will produce a sort of flash pour-over effect. Generally, one normal sized ice cube is about one ounce of water.
You can go out and buy a can, get some from a local tap, or make your own Nitro Cold Brew Coffee at home. Enjoy the less acidic, sweeter coffee beverage for a quick, cold pick-me-up, or share a DIY version with friends at home.