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What is Nitro Cold Brew Coffee? Nitro Coffee Explained!

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Sasha Pavlovich

04/08/2022 · 10 min reading

Nitro cold brew coffee is quickly finding its way into the menus of most coffee shops, and it is not without reason. Since it was first invented in 2012 as a third-wave coffee shop trend, the nitro brew has made its way into the mainstream, with coffee retail giants like Starbucks including it on their menu.If you have been wondering what is nitro cold brew and how it differs from other coffee types, you are in the right page. This article offers a comprehensive guide into what nitro cold brew coffee is, how it is made, its pros and cons, and how it differs from the cold brew.

What is Nitro Coffee and How is it Made?

Nitro coffee is a cold brew coffee brewed at cold or room temperature water for 24 hours and later infused with colorless and odorless nitrogen gas. By cold brewing coffee beans, you lower their acidity and increase their sweetness. On the other hand, infusing nitrogen into the cold brew gives the coffee a frothy, milky layer that creates a foamy top.

Simply put, cold brew coffee is nitrogenated like most beverages like soda, giving it characteristic bubbles. However, nitrogen-infused coffee is smoother than carbonated beverages. This is because nitrogen bubbles are significantly smaller when compared to carbon dioxide bubbles found in sodas.

The nitrogenating nitro coffee is usually done through a pressurized valve with tiny holes. Hence, nitro brew coffee is mainly served through keg taps. Nevertheless, you can use a cream whipper to make your own nitro cold brew at home or buy cans of nitro coffee from the store.

What are the Differences Between Nitro Cold Brew Coffee and Regular Coffee

Nitro coffee differs from regular coffee in so many ways. Here are some of the major differences:

  • Texture
  • Unlike regular coffee, nitro cold brew coffee has a thick and creamy texture and a smoother mouthfeel. This is because tiny gas bubbles are added, unlike large gas bubbles found in other beverages.

  • Taste
  • Generally, coffee roasters help to enhance the taste and flavor of coffee beans. However, when compared to regular coffee, nitro cold brew tastes sweeter and eliminates the need for added sugar. Coffee brewed cold is naturally sweet and contains no dairy or sugar. This makes nitro cold brew coffee a favorite for those that want to live a healthy lifestyle by cutting down their sugar intake.

    Besides adding a hint of sweetness, ground and brewed cold coffee also has an enhanced flavor and aroma. Hence, it is a worthy investment for enjoying a quality cup of coffee.

  • Caffeine Content
  • The other difference between nitro cold brew coffee and regular coffee is the caffeine content. Ideally, the caffeine content in nitro cold brew coffee is significantly higher than regular coffee. This is because a higher ratio of coffee ground to water is used.

    Hence, nitro cold brew coffee can be an excellent choice for anyone that wants to boost their metabolism and athletic performance. However, the side effects of the same should not be ignored.

  • Less Acidic
  • Other than increasing sweetness, cold-brewed coffee has a low acidity level. Generally, regular coffee has high acidity levels because it is brewed at high temperatures of 90-96 degrees C. On the other, nitro cold brew coffee is brewed at low temperatures, which significantly lowers the acidity level.

    What’s more, this enhances the taste and makes nitro coffee less bitter. It has health benefits such as preventing stomach and digestive problems. On the downside, nitro compound lacks beneficial compounds like chlorogenic acid, with numerous health benefits.

Nitro Brew Cold Coffee vs. Cold Brew: How Do They Differ?

Both nitro brew cold coffee and cold brew are similar in how they are first made. They are both cold-brewed from cold or room-tempered water and allowed to steep for 12 to 24 hours in a cool, dark place.

However, the difference comes when nitro brew cold coffee is infused with nitrogen while the cold brew is not. As for cold brews, you need to strain the coffee grounds after steeping, and you are good to go. However, you need to charge the steeped mixture with nitrogen for nitro brew cold coffee before serving.

Is Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Healthy?

Although nitrogen gas has been used in most beverages for years, it is still normal to wonder whether nitro cold brew coffee is safe to drink. Nitrogen pumped into liquids is safe to drink, and a better alternative to carbon dioxide found in most beverages.

Here are some of the health benefits of drinking nitro coffee.

1. Boosts the Brain

The high concentration of coffee grounds in nitro coffee makes it an excellent choice for anyone that wants to boost their brain and metabolism. It promotes blood circulation in the brain, allowing your mind to work faster and more efficiently.

The concentration of caffeine in nitro coffee also boosts energy and can enhance your physical performance. However, you should note that the amount of caffeine differs from one coffee maker to another, and the effects may be different.

2. Boosts Antioxidants

Your body needs oxidants to protect your cells from oxidative stress and radical damage. Otherwise, you may be prone to cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The good news is that nitro cold brew coffee has high antioxidants since it is not exposed to air and high temperatures for extended periods.

The coffee beans are not constantly exposed to oxygen, which helps the coffee retain its oxidants. Hence, it is a good way to boost your antioxidants.

3. Enhances Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight, a low-calorie drink like nitro coffee is an excellent choice. Unlike other coffee beverages, this type of coffee has fewer calories because of its significantly lower sugar and cream content.

It also promotes weight loss by increasing the metabolic rate so that more food is processed and less fat is stored. Besides, it is a great pre and post-workout beverage, thanks to its high caffeine concentration. Not only does it boost an athlete’s metabolism before a workout, but it also promotes the burning of calories after a workout.

4. Prevents Different Types of Diseases

Nitro coffee can help reduce and manage diabetes since it has its natural sweetness and does not require added sugars. It is also a healthy way to prevent different cancers such as gastric and lung cancer. This is primarily because it is high in antioxidants.

By lowering the risks of severe diseases like type 2 diabetes and liver diseases, other studies have established that coffee can help prolong one’s life. Besides, it is also believed that regular intake of nitro coffee can lower the risk of deaths caused by accidents, cardiovascular diseases, infections, strokes, and respiratory diseases.

5. Lowers Depression

One cup of nitro coffee has been found to lower and reduce the risks of depression by approximately 20 percent. If you have depression, taking at least three cups of nitro coffee can be effective in lowering your depression.

6. Energy Booster

Taking a cup of nitro cold brew coffee in the market is a brilliant way to kickstart your day in high energy levels. Unlike other types of coffee, it has a high caffeine concentration that can boost your energy and prevent a sluggish and foggy mind. 

7. Natural Alternative

Some people are allergic to regular coffee, especially those that suffer from digestive issues such as reflux or hyperacidity. This is because other types of coffee may contain artificial creams and dairy that can lead to digestion complications.

On the other hand, nitro cold brew coffee is entirely natural and does not need artificial creams or dairy to achieve the desired taste. For this reason, it is a good coffee alternative for anyone that craves a natural and sweet creamy drink.

Drawbacks of Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

Everything that has benefits also has drawbacks, and the nitro cold brew coffee is no exception. Here are the adverse effects of nitro coffee:

1. High Caffeine Content

Although the high caffeine content is nitro brew coffee can be beneficial, it may have unhealthy effects on our bodies. Besides being addictive, the high caffeine content can cause cardiac issues, fatigue, loss of appetite, digestive issues, and headaches. It can also lead to insomnia, especially when you take elevated levels of caffeine late into the day.

2. Increases High Blood Pressure

The other major issue of taking elevated levels of nitro coffee is that it increases high blood pressure. Nitro coffee is responsible for boosting your heartbeat rate and metabolism, which can drastically increase your pressure.

3. Increases Anxiety Levels

Although nitro coffee can boost your energy, it may increase anxiety levels when taken continuously. The high caffeine concentration can affect your mood, hormones, and neurotransmitters, causing your anxiety levels to shoot.

4. It Can Cause Glaucoma

If you take nitro coffee regularly, you are likely to get Glaucoma. This is an eye condition that comes from increased pressure in the eyes. When you have this condition, you will feel tension in your eyes hours several minutes after having a cup of nitro brew.

Is Nitro Brew Coffee Vegan or Keto?

Vegans do not eat any animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs, and more. Nitro cold brew is a suitable alternative for artisan beverages since it does not contain dairy or other animal products. It is lactose friendly since it does not include any added dairy or artificial creams.

Nevertheless, you should be careful when ordering from certain restaurants and coffee shops since they add sweet milk or cream to their nitro coffees.

Nitro cold brew coffee is also okay if you observe a keto diet. Usually, a keto diet has high fat, moderate protein, and low carb. Nitro coffee has zero sugar, calories, and carbohydrates and can help to keep you in ketosis. However, you should be careful when buying from shops that add cream or sugar to their nitro coffees.

How to Make Nitro Cold Brew at Home

Nitro coffee has a high price tag and can cost as much as $5 or even more. This is also true for cold brew coffees that are sold at supermarkets. For this reason, most people prefer to make their own nitro cold brew coffee at home.

To make nitro brew coffee at home, you don’t need commercial-grade equipment like those found in coffee shops and restaurants. You can still do it with your coffee machine at home. Here is what you will need.

  • A cream whipper dispenser
  • Burr coffee grinder
  • Roasted whole coffee beans
  • Nitrogen cartridges (Alternatively, you can use at-home nitro brew systems)

If you are looking to make nitro brew coffee at home, here are steps to follow:

Step 1: Grind the Beans

Use a burr coffee grinder to roast whole coffee beans until they attain a medium-coarse texture. However, if you don’t have a burr coffee grinder, buy coffee grounds with a medium-coarse texture at a local coffee shop.

Step 2: Create a Mixture of the Coffee Grounds with Cold Water

In a jar or airtight container, mix 1/3 cup of coffee grounds and 1-1/2 cups of filtered cold or room temperature water. Make sure that the container used is airtight to prevent oxidization, making the coffee brew lose its flavor. Besides, a French pass works best to avoid excess air.

Let the mixture sit for about 12 hours at room temperature. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the mixture steep for about 24 hours.

Step 3: Filter Out the Coffee Grounds

Use a fine mesh filter with a paper coffee filter, cheesecloth, or nut milk bag lining, to filter out the coffee grounds. This will leave you with cold-brew coffee concentrate, which should be stored in an airtight container and placed in the refrigerator for about ten days.

Step 4: Dilute Cold-Brew Coffee Concentrate with Water

The next step is to combine the coffee concentrate with an equal part of water to dilute it. This means a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:1. Hence, if you have two cups of cold-brew coffee concentrate, you need 2 cups of water to dilute it.

Step 5: Infuse the Mixture with Nitrogen

Now that you have your cold-brew coffee, it is time to infuse it with nitrogen. Pour the cold brew into a whipped cream dispenser and ensure that it is sealed. Afterward, use one nitrogen cartridge to charge and shake the canister for about 30 seconds. Wait for another 30 seconds until the canister feels cold, as this means that your nitro cold coffee is ready.

Step 6: Serve

Serve your nitro coffee into a pint glass. Hold the glass at a slight angle and pour the coffee through the spout.

Conclusion

Now that you know what nitro cold brew coffee is, head down to a local coffee shop or make a cup at home. Whichever route you take, you will enjoy a smooth mouthfeel, iced cold, and delicious coffee unlike what you are used to in regular coffee.


Sasha Pavlovich

Hi, I'm Sasha, and this blog is about coffee!

I'm myself an experienced barista with a high passion for coffee. Love brewing, cupping, and talking coffee non-stop. I hope you enjoy my blog and feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.

View all posts by Sasha Pavlovich

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