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How to Make Nitro Cold Brew at Home

Nitro cold brew might sound like one of those fancy cold coffees you’ll only get access to in a top tier coffee shop. However, making it at home in your kitchen is easier than you think. While nitro cold brew does require some specialized supplies to pull off, it’s not that hard to whip up.

Nitro cold brew coffee can be made at home by brewing regular cold brew coffee, then infusing it with nitrogen in a nitrogen-safe nitro coffee dispenser. Nitro cold brew coffee is usually served in a transparent glass to showcase its smooth texture and appearance.

Nitro cold brew coffee is a luxurious treat, but it’s not difficult to make at home as long as you have the right tools for the job. Read on to learn more about how nitro cold brew is different from other cold brew coffees and what you’ll need to make it at home.

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This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is sort of boring, but you can find it here.

nitro cold brew coffee

What Is Nitro Cold Brew Coffee?

Nitro cold brew coffee is cold brew coffee that has been charged with liquid nitrogen. This creates a thick, creamy foam head on the coffee that changes its texture and flavor. Nitro cold brew is generally preferred to iced coffee because nitrogen infusion allows it to get to a very cold temperature without being diluted by melted ice.

How Is Nitro Cold Brew Made?

Instead of being made with hot water like regular brewed coffee, cold brew coffee is brewed with either room temperature or cold water. 

Once the cold brew coffee is finished, it is placed inside a specialized nitro coffee dispenser and charged with liquid nitrogen. These dispensers, also known as mini keg brewers, are available commercially for in-home use. 

What Is Nitrogen in Nitro Cold Brew?

When used in coffee brewing, nitrogen is a cryogenic liquid that gets down to very cold temperatures even at ambient temperature. Many people may remember liquid nitrogen experiments in high school where an object dipped in liquid nitrogen would instantly freeze and shatter if removed from the liquid.

In bartending, bartenders replace the carbon dioxide in brewing dark draught beers like stouts with nitrogen. This dissolved nitrogen is one of the reasons dark beers like Guinness have such a thick, foamy head. This same process is used in nitro cold brew to create a foamy head on nitro coffee, too.

How Is Nitrogen Infusion Different Than Carbonation?

Using nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide in a drink leads to smaller bubbles. This is why in a beer or soda carbonated with carbon dioxide you will see effervescence and large bubble trails when the drink is poured.

With drinks that have been infused with nitrogen, these bubbles are much smaller and gather at the top of the glass, creating a frothy appearance and a smooth mouthfeel.

how to cold brew coffee in a carafe

Is Nitrogen Infused Coffee Bad for You?

Even though nitrogen can be somewhat dangerous in its raw liquid form because it’s so cold, it is harmless when it is consumed as part of a beverage. Dissolved nitrogen makes up a major part of the atmosphere anyway, so you’re always being exposed to it in one form or another.

Nitro Cold Brew Taste

Because a nitro cold brew starts with cold brew coffee, it will take on the characteristics of cold brew: strong, smooth and less acidic than hot brewed coffee.

The biggest difference you’ll notice is the texture of nitro cold brew: smoother and thicker than standard cold brew coffees, in the same way that Guinness beer is smoother and thicker than regular beer.

Nitro Cold Brew Ingredients

Even though a nitro cold brew can feel so creamy you’d swear that was some dairy in there, the only ingredients are cold brewed coffee and infused nitrogen.

Nitro Cold Brew vs. Cold Brew

Both nitro cold brew and cold brew are forms of iced coffee, so their taste is based on the type of coffee beans used to brew. Factors like origin and roast directly affect the taste of your cup of coffee.

The main difference between the two is texture and mouth feel. Because nitro cold brew is infused with jillions of super tiny nitrogen bubbles, you’ll get a creamier drink, even without adding any other additives like cream or half and half.

Is Nitro Cold Brew Stronger than Regular Cold Brew?

Nitro cold brew that you get in a coffee shop is usually stronger than regular cold brew coffee because the nitro cold brew is normally made with stronger brewed coffee.

Does Nitro Cold Brew Have More Caffeine than Regular Cold Brew?

Generally, nitro cold brew has more caffeine than regular cold brew. This isn’t because of the nitrogen infusing process, it’s because nitro cold brew is usually made with stronger brewed coffee for a richer, darker flavor.

Best Nitro Brew Kits for Homemade Nitro Cold Brew

Planning on making nitro home brew at home? If so, you need to have the right tools to do the job. Otherwise, you’re not going to get the same great texture, appearance, and flavor in your homemade nitro cold brew that you might be expecting based on the taste of nitro you’ve had in coffee shops.

Here are a few of the best nitro coffee dispensers you can buy to get started making cold brew nitro at home:

●  Royal Brew Home Keg Kit System: This stainless steel nitro brew dispenser is inspired by stout beer dispensing systems. The Royal Brew is compatible with most standard two-gram nitrogen canisters for easy use. The durable, food-safe design ensures that you’ll get to use this nitro cold brew system for years to come.

●  Nutrichef Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker: This nitro cold brew coffee maker holds 64 ounces, making it a perfect way to store some leftover cold brew coffee in the fridge. The sealed nitro cold brew system helps keep the coffee fresh whenever you’re ready to top off your cup.

●  GrowlerWerks uKeg Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker: This nitro brewer is a thing of beauty that I’d be proud to have in my kitchen. This stainless steel nitro coffee maker features double wall vacuum-insulation to help keep coffee fresh even when you store it in larger amounts than you can drink in a sitting. The system also features cascading tap technology that provides the super smooth texture nitro drinkers crave.

Once you have a nitro cold brew dispenser, all you need to create the perfect cup of nitro cold brew coffee at home are some nitrogen cartridges, a cold brewer, and your favorite coffee beans.

No Baristas Needed for Nitro Cold Brew

If you want to enjoy nitro cold brew every morning, there’s no need to resign yourself to the morning line at your local overpriced coffee shop. By investing in the tools and supplies you need to make nitro cold brew at home, you can make a cup of this delicious brew whenever you’re in the mood! If you’re not in the mood for a cold coffee drink, why not try a cortado, or a breve coffee instead?

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how to make nitro cold brew coffee at home