What is Nitro Coffee?
Nitro Coffee or Nitro Cold Brew Coffee, in the simplest explanation is cold brew coffee that has been infused with nitrogen gas.
Adding gases to a drink might sound odd, but gases are added to drinks all the time. We add carbon dioxide to soda. That’s what gives it it’s bubbly and fizzy feel when we drink it.
This isn’t the first time nitrogen has been infused with a drink. A very popular drink that it’s incorporated in is beer. Guinness, a type of beer, is the most known for being infused with nitrogen. The effects of nitrogen are very similar in beer and coffee.
For those of us who don’t know what cold brew is, here is a simple explanation. Instead of brewing coffee with hot water, room temperature or cold water is used to brew the coffee. Coffee beans are steeped in the water for 12 to 16 hours.
There are several benefits to brewing coffee this way. The biggest benefit being that it’s low acid. If you’re like me, the acid in coffee has a noticeable effect on your stomach. Brewing coffee cold does not extract as many oils and acids from the coffee beans.
What does adding nitrous do?
Adding nitrous to cold brew does a few things to the drink to improve the already great drink.
Appearance & Texture
Tiny bubbles of nitrogen form when it gets infused with cold brew. Nitrogen bubbles are really small, even smaller than carbon dioxide bubbles in soda. These nitrogen bubbles are hard to dissolve. They give the nitro coffee an extremely rich and creamy mouthfeel. Since nitro coffee already has that natural creaminess, most people don’t add milk to the drink.
Nitro Coffee has a very unique appearance compared to other iced coffee beverages. It’s topped with a thick head of nitrogen foam. The nitrogen bubbles that float down the drink in cascading waves are the most noticeable feature in the drink.
Cold brew is already naturally sweeter than most other coffees without additives. It’s sweetness gets enhanced by the nitrogen. The natural sweetness that’s already in nitro coffee means that you won’t have to add too much sugar or any at all.
So it has the creamy-ness like milk has been added to it and it already tastes sweet enough. So what does that mean? It means this drink won’t have you reaching for milk or sugar. Not having to add in more thinks to your coffee means that it’ll have less calories in it.
Nitro coffee is often taken black. If you feel you need a little more creaminess or sweetness in your coffee go for it!
Making Nitro Coffee at Home
Buying a cup of nitro coffee feels expensive at $5 – $6 a cup. They usually come in one size only also. There are several at home methods to make nitro coffee. The pricier way is buying an infusion kettle system for the nitrogen, which isn’t for everyone. A more budget friendly method is using a whipped cream dispenser and nitrogen cartridges. The latter method is the one we’ll be using in this how to.
You can follow this video or follow the instructions below. The video does call for a few more ingredients, but they are just extras.
A few things you’ll need:
- Cold Brew
- Whipped Cream Dispenser
- Nitrogen Cartridges
You can either buy premade cold brew or if you want to make it yourself
- The first thing you’ll want to do is fill up your whipped cream canister about 2/3 of the way up with cold brew. This gives you enough room to add in the nitrogen and also leaves room for any foam that forms.
- Load a nitrogen cartridge into the part that twists into the canister. Give it a good shake for 12 – 14 seconds and then lay it down sideways. Let it sit for 30 seconds and then repeat the shaking process. This is just to make sure your nitrogen is being infused as much as it could be.
- Time to pour your nitro coffee. You’re going to want to tip your glass sideways so it’s at an angle. Squeeze gently on the trigger of the whipped cream canister so that your nitro coffee pours smoothly against the angled side of your cup. It’ll be very similar to pouring beer into a glass.
You’re ready to enjoy your nitro coffee! I would recommend trying it out all on it’s own first. Then add in small amounts of your favorite type of milk or sugar if you think it needs it.
You pretty much now know everything you need to know about nitro coffee. I’m sure this creamy and sweet drink will be one of your favorites whether you’re making it at home or if you’re ordering from a coffee shop. Comeback and tell us your thoughts on nitro coffee!