Are you into iced or cold coffees? If so, you’ve probably heard of cold brew and nitro cold brew coffee.
You may have had one of these, but still wonder, what’s the difference between the two? Which one is better?
If you’re curious about these questions and want to know more about the differences between cold brew vs nitro cold brew coffee, then stick around because, in this article, we’ll talk about these coffees.
This article should also help you decide which coffee is right for you.
So without further ado, let’s get into it.
What is a regular cold brew coffee?
Before we start breaking down the differences between these coffees, we should first know about them separately.
So what really is a cold brew coffee?
It’s more than just iced coffee (which is hot coffee with ice). It’s brewed without the use of heat or hot water.
The key to the brewing process is cool water and an extended amount of time (at least 12 hours), which distinguishes it from other coffees brewed traditionally, where hot water is the norm.
Cold brew coffee is popular, especially for those looking for refreshment by drinking cold brew coffee during summer.
It was invented in Japan in the 1600s. It spread throughout the world and remains a popular cold brew to this day, becoming many people’s favorite go-to drink.
What is a nitro cold brew?
Nitro cold brew tastes very similar to the cold brew coffee we discussed above. They have the same brewing process and ingredients.
The only difference is that a cold brew nitro is also infused with nitrogen gas to make it more bubbly and creamy.
Nitro cold brew coffees were first available in coffee shops in the early 2010s.
Because of the type of the materials required to set up the nitrogen gas infusion, this coffee is rather difficult to make and marked with a more expensive price tag.
This is why it’s difficult to find, particularly in small coffee shop.
If you want to try this coffee, you can go to Starbucks or other large stores that may sell it.
Unlike cold brew coffee, nitrogen cold brew is challenging to replicate at home, but if you have the suitable materials, you might be able to make it.
Overall, a nitro cold brew is a cold brew coffee with nitrogen infusion.
True Differences and Similarities
Now that we’re familiar with both cold brew and nitrogen cold brew, let’s break down the key differences and similarities of these coffees to help you determine which one is right for you.
Coffee brewing process
When it comes to the brewing process, just like what was already said above, both coffees are almost the same. Ground coffee is steeped in cool room-temperature water for about 12-24 hours.
The brewing time should be long enough for the water to extract enough coffee flavors from the ground coffee without using hot water.
The cold brew process should:
- Use a coarse grind of coffee and place it in whatever container you have that can be used ideally for this manner.
- Now pour cold or room temperature water in a 1:8 ratio.
- Make sure to stir or shake it so that all coffee grounds will be wet.
- Cover it and store it for 12-24 hours.
After that, you can now have a concentrated cold brew coffee. Although this coffee can be consumed directly. Some prefer diluting it, which is what we recommend you to do.
To dilute it, you can add additional water, milk, or ice. (For a detailed explanation and step-by-step procedure, you can check out our article about how to make a cold brew coffee.)
When it comes to the coffee nitro cold brew, take the cold brew diluted or not, and infuse nitrogen gas to make it foamy with a creamy mouthfeel that you can enjoy.
Equipment for cold brew
The equipment used to make nitro coffee is a little complicated to set up.
Equipment is very important in making coffee. A regular brew coffee doesn’t require fancy materials to make.
A simple jar or container will suffice to make this coffee, so it’s really easy to be made even at home.
When it comes to nitro cold brewed coffee, the materials needed to make this coffee are quite expensive and a little complicated to use.
It requires the use of nitrogen gas and a keg, a container with a valve used to store beverages such as coffee and beers.
Setting these devices up is a little complicated, but here’s a quick instruction on how to:
- Prepare your kegerator and faucet tower. Because a tower will be attached above the kegerator, you should drill four holes around the hole at the top of your kegerator to make it easier to attach the faucet tower later on.
- Before connecting the faucet tower to the kegerator, you should first connect the fitting to the end of a liquid line.
- Install the tower to the leg by inserting the liquid line first, then screwing it in place. Secure it.
- Install the faucet into the tower.
- Prepare the nitrogen tank and install the nitrogen regulator, which will allow you to adjust the nitrogen pressure at any time.
- Place the tank on the harness at the side of the kegerator, then drop the gas line to the hole on the side.
- Install the keg by inserting the gas line into the post.
- Connect the liquid line to the keg’s outpost.
- Put the keg inside the kegerator and you’re done.
- Dispense a nitro coffee from the faucet tower.
Talking about the taste, both coffees have the same taste. Both are less acidic, rich, sweet, and concentrated.
But when it comes to the mouthfeel, the nitro cold brew is much creamier and foamier, and it also gives you a beer-like feeling when drinking it due to the nitrogen bubbles.
And that’s the best part about nitro cold brew! You can imagine drinking a coffee with milk, but you’re actually drinking just a black coffee.
Price is another important consideration when choosing a coffee in a coffee shop.
A regular coffee cold brew can also be considered an expensive drink due to the fact that it takes time and a lot of coffee grounds to make.
However, when compared to the nitro cold brew, the latter is much more expensive because of the materials needed to infuse nitrogen into the coffee drink.
There you have them – the differences and similarities between basically cold brew and nitro cold brew!
Both coffees are similar, but the nitro brew is a little extra. It’s also creamier and fizzy, but also extra pricey.
So which one should you choose?
The decision actually comes down to you. If you like a simple coffee that you can easily replicate at home, then cold brew is the one for you.
However, if you want something different, something extra special, then grab a nitro brew.
How do you make cold brew nitro coffee at home?
To make a nitro cold brew at home, you can use the whipper style with the NitroPress cold brew maker and nitrogen infuser. It’s the easiest one. This device is not hard to set up. However, compared to the keg, this can only hold a limited amount of water (1L/33 oz), so this can only make a few cups.
Is Nitrogen-Infused Coffee Safe to Drink?
Nitrogen is completely safe. For many years, it has been used to make a variety of beverages, such as beer and coffee. It is also said to reduce the acidity of the coffee, so there is no need to be concerned.
Is Nitro cold brew stronger than a cold brew?
No. The strength of nitro coffee depends on the cold brew in it. The nitrogen gas does not affect the strength of the coffee taste.