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How To Make Nitro Cold Brew: An Easy Recipe

A few years ago, cold brew seemed to be taking the coffee world by storm, popping up in just about every craft coffee shop you could find. 

Today, however, there’s a new kid in town: nitro cold brew coffee. 

But, what exactly is this drink and how do you make it?

Well, lucky for you I’m an ex-barista who happens to have all the details on this drink. So, grab some nitro gas, and let’s learn how to make nitro cold brew together!

What is a Nitro Cold Brew?

nitro cold brew

To really understand nitro cold brew coffee we have to first understand what cold brew itself is.

Cold brew is a method of preparing coffee by steeping the ground beans in cold water over the course of several hours. 

The result is a rich, dark, and potent coffee concentrate. 

Nitro cold brew, on the other hand, is just a cold brew with nitrogen gas added to it through a pressurized valve. 

The recipe was launched in Starbucks stores in 2016. Although, the original founder is said to have made it in a craft coffee shop in Oregon three years earlier. 

Once Starbucks started selling it, the drink took off like wildfire. 

It quickly spread outside of the US and became popular in Australia and New Zealand.

In other words, it quite literally made its way around the world!

How to Make a Nitro Cold Brew?

If you want to make nitro cold brew yourself, you might be in for a bit of trouble. 

That’s because you’ll need a way to inject nitrogen into the cold brew. 

However, while that might sound like you need to purchase a whole oxygen store, you can actually use a whipped cream pump or dispenser. These systems use nitrogen dioxide capsules to work, which is the same thing that gives nitro cold brew its silky texture. 

Sound simple? Then let’s check out the recipe!

Ingredients

First, you’ll need to gather your ingredients. To make nitro cold brew you’ll need: 

  • 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee bean
  • 5 cups of room temperature water
  • Nitrogen dioxide

With your ingredients in hand, you’re ready to get started!

Brewing Method

nitrogen infused cold brew coffee

To make nitro cold brew coffee, you’ll first have to make your cold brew concentrate. Here’s how to get started: 

  1. Take the coarsely ground coffee and add it to a coffee filter bag. If you don’t have a bag, you can use a regular coffee filter and tie it up with a string. 
  2. Next, place the coffee ground in a jug. Slowly pour the water over the coffee.
  3. Now, place the jug in the refrigerator and let the coffee rest for between 12 and 24 hours. Just remember, the darker the roast you use, the less time it will need to steep.  
  4. After the time is up, remove the jug from the refrigerator. 
  5. Remove the coffee filter from the jug and throw it away. 
  6. Finally, to make the nitro coffee from a cold brew, place a nitrogen cartridge in a cream whipper. 
  7. Place the tip of the dispenser in the jar of cold brew and press down to introduce the gas to the drink.

There you go! Just like that, you’ve made a jug of nitro cold brew!

Serving

Once you’ve made your nitro cold brew, it’s time to serve it. 

To serve the drink, pour it into a tall glass. You’ll be able to see the nitrogen bubbles cascade down the drink, making it look oh-so-tempting. 

If you like, you can add ice, sugar, or a splash of cream. 

However, if you want the full nitro cold brew experience, it’s best to just drink the beverage straight.

Nutrition

In terms of nutrition, nitro cold brew is a pretty healthy beverage. 

Since it’s made out of coffee concentrate, water, and nitrogen, there aren’t a whole lot of ingredients in it. As a result, there are only five calories in a serving!

In terms of caffeine, it’s a pretty powerful drink. Nitro cold brew has about 210mg of caffeine per cup. 

That’s because the coffee is prepared in cold water. Cold water extraction methods let you pull more caffeine out of the coffee, making this a good drink to wake you up in the morning. 

What’s The Difference Between Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew?

So, you’ve got nitro cold brew down pat. 

But what exactly makes nitro cold brew different from regular cold brewed coffee?

Well, the difference between a cold brew and a nitro cold brew lies in the addition of nitrogen.

A traditional cold brew, no matter how you choose to brew it, is served as soon as the coffee has finished steeping. 

In contrast, nitro cold brew has nitrogen oxide added to it before you serve it. 

That’s it! 

FAQ

Now, I know that nitro cold brew can be confusing stuff. 

If you’ve still got a couple of questions, don’t panic. 

Here are a few frequently asked questions to get those last mysteries cleared up.

How Does Starbucks Make Their Nitro Cold Brew?

To make nitro cold brew coffee, Starbucks starts by steeping the coffee for 20 hours.

Then, they connect the cold brew barrel to a nitrogen canister. This infuses nitrogen into the coffee as it pours from the tap.

The result is a thick, foamy, velvety Starbucks nitro cold brew. 

Is Nitro Cold Brew Stronger Than Regular Cold Brew?

In fact, no!

Most people find a nitro coffee to be less strong than a regular cold brew because of the silky smooth texture.

However, since both drinks are made from the same cold brew concentrate, neither one is technically stronger than the other. 

Is Nitro Cold Brew Stronger Than Espresso?

Yes.

Nitro cold brew is stronger than espresso since double or triple the number of coffee beans are used to make it.

If you find that it’s too strong, you can always add milk or sugar to help cut through the dark coffee flavor. 

Final Thoughts

With this guide on how to make nitro cold brew, you’re ready to try it at home!

Of course, you’ll need your favorite cold brew concentrate and a whipped cream canister to do so.

But, that smooth and velvety flavor is really worth it if you’re willing to get some special tools and put in the extra effort. 

Want to try another cold coffee that will get you that caffeine kick you need to face all the warm weather activities?

Check out the cold brew espresso, which is another twist on a regular cold brew coffee.

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Jessica Ruth Lee Fleming
Jessica is a seasoned caffeine-addict who spent 3 years behind the bar. Her early coffee days took her from the commercial Starbucks scene in urban DC all the way to helping launch a craft coffee shop in California. Today she prefers sharing her years of coffee capers through media, although you’ll find she does it with a trusty cup of coffee by her side.