Both nitro cold brew and regular cold brew are popular coffee beverages that have gained a lot of attention in recent years. But what exactly is the difference between the two?
Cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, usually 12-24 hours. This results in a smooth, less acidic coffee that can be enjoyed over ice or mixed with milk.
Nitro cold brew is simply regular cold brew coffee that has been infused with nitrogen gas. This process creates a creamy, frothy texture and a unique taste that many coffee enthusiasts love.
What is Cold Brew?
Cold brew is a popular coffee preparation method that involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time, usually 12-24 hours. The result is a smooth, less acidic coffee concentrate that can be diluted with water or milk to create a refreshing and satisfying beverage.
Cold brew is often preferred by those who find traditional hot coffee too acidic or bitter. Because the coffee is brewed with cold water instead of hot, it has a lower acidity level and a smoother taste. The slow extraction process also results in a less bitter and more balanced flavor profile.
Another benefit of cold brew is its versatility. It can be enjoyed hot or cold, and can be customized with a variety of flavors and add-ins, such as syrups, spices, and creamers. Plus, it has a longer shelf life than traditional hot coffee, making it a convenient option for busy coffee drinkers.
What is Nitro Cold Brew?
Nitro cold brew is a newer variation of cold brew that’s infused with nitrogen gas.
The nitrogen infusion is what sets nitro cold brew apart from regular cold brew. The nitrogen is added to the cold brew coffee, which creates a creamy, velvety texture and a thick, foamy head. The result is a unique drinking experience that’s different from regular cold brew coffee.
Nitro cold brew is typically served on tap, just like beer, and it’s becoming increasingly popular in coffee shops and cafes around the world. The nitrogen infusion gives the coffee a smooth, rich taste and a creamy mouthfeel, which is why it’s often compared to stout beer.
Differences between Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew
Texture and Mouthfeel
Cold brew coffee has a smooth, syrupy texture that is less acidic than traditional hot coffee. Cold brew coffee is typically served over ice and diluted with water or milk.
Nitro cold brew coffee has a creamy, velvety texture and a thick, frothy head, similar to a Guinness beer. Nitro cold brew coffee is typically served on tap and without ice.
The taste of cold brew coffee is less acidic and smoother than traditional hot coffee. The long steeping process extracts less of the bitter compounds found in coffee, resulting in a sweeter, more mellow flavor. Cold brew coffee is often described as having a chocolatey, nutty, or caramel flavor.
Nitro cold brew coffee has a similar flavor profile to cold brew coffee, but the nitrogen infusion creates a creamier, smoother mouthfeel that enhances the flavor. The nitrogen also gives nitro cold brew coffee a slightly sweeter taste and a hint of vanilla or caramel notes.
The caffeine content of cold brew coffee and nitro cold brew coffee can vary depending on the type of coffee beans used and the brewing process.
Cold brew coffee is generally more caffeinated than traditional hot coffee because of the longer steeping process. On average, an 8-ounce (240ml) serving of cold brew coffee can contain about 100 to 200 milligrams of caffeine.
Nitro cold brew coffee has a similar caffeine content to cold brew coffee.
Preparation and Serving
Cold brew coffee is typically made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 12-24 hours and then straining the mixture to remove the grounds. The resulting concentrate can be diluted with water or milk and served over ice.
Nitro cold brew coffee is made by infusing cold brew coffee with nitrogen gas using a specialized tap system. The nitrogen creates a creamy, frothy texture and a thick head, similar to a Guinness beer. Nitro cold brew coffee is typically served on tap, without ice, and in a special glass that showcases the frothy head.
Can I make nitro cold brew at home?
It is possible to make nitro cold brew at home with the right equipment.
However, it can be more difficult and time-consuming than making regular cold brew, and it requires a nitro cold brew system or a nitro cold brew keg.
If you’re interested in making nitro cold brew at home then check out the GrowlerWerks uKeg Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker on Amazon.
Which One to Choose?
When it comes to choosing between nitro cold brew and cold brew, it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
Nitro cold brew has a creamier and smoother texture, while cold brew has a more traditional coffee taste. If you prefer a stronger coffee flavor, cold brew may be the way to go whereas if you enjoy a creamier and smoother coffee, nitro cold brew might be the better option.
The occasion can also play a role in whether to choose nitro or regular cold brew.
If you’re looking for a refreshing and energizing drink on a hot summer day, nitro cold brew might be the perfect choice bit if you want a traditional coffee taste to start your day, cold brew might be the better option.
Availability is another factor to consider when choosing between nitro cold brew and cold brew.
Nitro cold brew is not as widely available as cold brew, as it requires special equipment to make which not every coffee shop will have.
Regular cold brew can be found in most coffee shops and even grocery stores.
Price is also a consideration when choosing between nitro cold brew and cold brew. Nitro cold brew tends to be more expensive due to the additional equipment and process required to make it.
Cold brew, on the other hand, is usually priced similarly to traditional hot coffee. If you’re on a budget, cold brew might be the more affordable option.
Here are some frequently asked questions about nitro cold brew and cold brew:
Is nitro cold brew stronger than regular cold brew?
Nitro cold brew typically has a similar caffeine content to regular cold brew.
What is the difference between cold brew and iced coffee?
While both are served cold, cold brew and iced coffee are made differently. Cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time, while iced coffee is made by brewing hot coffee and then cooling it down with ice. Cold brew is generally smoother and less acidic than iced coffee.
What does nitro cold brew taste like?
Nitro cold brew has a creamy texture and a slightly sweeter taste than regular cold brew due to the nitrogen infusion. The nitrogen bubbles also give it a unique mouthfeel, similar to that of a Guinness beer.
Is nitro cold brew more expensive than regular cold brew?
Yes, nitro cold brew is typically more expensive than regular cold brew. This is because it requires special equipment to infuse the coffee with nitrogen, which can be costly for coffee shops to install and maintain. However, the exact price difference can vary depending on the location and the specific coffee shop.
Find out about all the different types of coffee drinks in our complete guide.
My name is Dana Dupree and I am an avid coffee lover. Since I began college and realized what a heavy load writing majors took on, I have been a fan of the bean juice.
My job took me all over the US on book tours and press conferences, and my favorite part about the trip was exploring the best places to grab my cup of Joe.