Nitro Coffee is an American coffee specialty that was invented in Portland between 2013 and 2015: a freshly prepared cold brew, mixed with nitrogen.
- How does nitro coffee taste?
- How is Nitro Coffee made?
- What does a nitro coffee have to do with a Guinness beer?
- Can I make it at home?
Many questions arise about the American trend. In the following article, we want to give you information about this delicious coffee drink.
What is Nitro Coffee and how is it made?
Nitro Coffee is based on a cold brew to which nitrogen is added. This changes the mouthfeel and the taste of the coffee without any further additives. Oftentimes, nitro coffee is served in a small beer glass.
To get the creamy consistency, you have to put the extracted cold brew coffee in a pressure-resistant container and this is then mixed with nitrogen. This works with a suitable hose, so you can gradually add more nitrogen. Finally, the tap comes into play. The whole mixture is poured into a glass through the tap, this makes the nitro coffee creamy and smooth. Similar to the beer, even a topper of foam can be achieved in this way.
Cold brew is essential for Nitro Coffee
Perhaps more specifically, this type of coffee should be called Nitro Cold Brew or Nitro Cold Brew Coffee. To prepare the brew, you need to start with cold brew coffee. Hot coffee just doesn’t do it. No hot brew coffee.
In fact, cold broths are very different from bride hot, and they shouldn’t be confused with iced coffee (where coffee that has been brewed hot is poured over ice). A cold brew is created by brewing coffee beans in cold water. This process will take at least 12 hours to accomplish correctly.
The long, drawn-out brewing process results in a cold brew that is flavorful to hot coffee that you could prepare at home with a classic pour like that. Cold brews are much less acidic and much smoother than hot drinks.
The word “Nitro” is derived from the English “Nitrogen” and means nitrogen. In particularly exquisite cocktail bars, you may have seen a bartender add nitrogen to a cocktail. At least on your last visit to the Irish Pub, where you can get Irish Guinness beer straight from the tap and mixed with nitrogen.
To make nitro brew coffee, the cold brew coffee is infused with nitrogen (N2) bubbles. This, of course, requires specialized equipment, not too dissimilar to the equipment used to pump beer or carbonated soft drinks.
The nitrogen adds a new level of thickness to the cold brew, resulting in a deliciously creamy and smooth coffee that is often described as the Guinness of Coffee Brews. Nitro coffees are so creamy, in fact, there is no need to promise the brewing milk. It is just being enjoyed.
What does a dispensing system change in a conventionally prepared cold brew? A lot. It is an experience in itself that every coffee lover should experience for themselves. The flavor compositions are reminiscent of Irish Guinness, but of course, the taste of Nitro Coffee differs significantly from beer.
How does Nitro Coffee taste?
The nitrogen supply makes the coffee very creamy and soft on the palate. Well chilled it is wonderfully refreshing and tastes slightly bitter and sweet in the finish.
On hot summer days it is an ideal refreshment and, due to its voluminous consistency, is reminiscent of an Irish Guinness beer, but significantly more fruity, without alcohol and less bitter.
Well-chilled, Nitro Coffee is wonderfully refreshing and tastes slightly bitter and sweet in the finish. It has the same amount of caffeine as cold brew coffee.
Where does Nitro Coffee come from?
Nitro Coffee was developed in one of the hippest cities in the United States – Portland, Oregon! Portland is known as the city of hippies, cyclists, artists, and also beer breweries. Many young people and start-ups are settling in Portland and giving the city a new flair. So it is not surprising that this interesting type of coffee was developed in Portland.
Who exactly developed the nitro coffee for the first time remains debatable, but it can now be said that this creamy type of coffee has spread throughout the USA and around the world.
Nitro Coffee is now becoming more and more popular. Many large manufacturers have recognized this and are working to make nitro coffee more accessible.
The refreshing drink is now enjoying great popularity even with smaller and smaller roasters and cafés. By using their own coffees, these give each Nitro Coffee a personal taste.
The quality of coffee beans is crucial for Nitro Coffee
Every nitro coffee is based on a normal cold brew, alternatively, a cold drip could be used. For the cold brew, the ground coffee is dissolved in water at room temperature for at least 12, often up to 24 hours. The mildly tempered water removes its aromas from the coffee.
Since the coffee powder is not boiled or boiling water is poured over it, fewer flavor components are lost and the complexity increases. At the same time, fewer acids dissolve and the caffeine content of the end product is also reduced. The result is a taste explosion that is milder than many hot brewed varieties.
The quality of the beans is important for the cold brew and therefore also for the nitro coffee. A bad or too dark roasted bean tastes good in this pure product. Because possible weaknesses of the coffee are not later masked by sugar, flavored syrup or milk. The nitro coffee is “plain”, black and pure.
This explains the comparatively high price per cup. In addition, a relatively large number of beans are required for each cold brew. About 40 grams of coffee powder per 250 milliliters of water are necessary. This determines the price of the end product, especially with high-quality beans.
Tapped like a Guinness – creamy, like an iced coffee
What does nitrogen do to Guinness beer? With an Irish Guinness, the head remains constant and the consistency of the beer is significantly creamier. Imagine a fruity-fresh cold brew to which nitrogen is added by means of this dispensing system. The nitrogen makes the coffee bubble up and gives it a very creamy consistency. Furthermore, the nitrogen reacts with our taste buds on the tongue and lets us experience a sweet, harmonious, and round taste. Well chilled, the nitro coffee is reminiscent of a delicious iced coffee on a hot summer day.
The only difference here is the way the coffee is prepared. While baristas usually use a hot-brewed espresso with a conventional iced coffee, they only use cold-extracted coffee with a nitro coffee – cold brew for short.
Does Nitro Coffee taste like beer?
The answer is clear: no. An attempt on your part will still convince you of this delicious coffee specialty. A highly aromatic and sparkling pleasure in which sugar, milk, and other additives are superfluous. The decisive factor is the preparation of the cold brew, the basis of the nitro coffee.
Coffee beans, roasting, and the cold extraction time change and determine the final taste. Basically, a cold brew tastes much fruity and gentler than a traditionally brewed hot coffee. The reason: the bitter substances that remain in the coffee bean due to the cold extraction and do not pass into the drink. The result is a smooth, chocolaty taste.
Warning: Coffee that has been brewed hot is not very suitable for making Nitro Coffee. Cold coffee is just as unsuitable – unless you find a bitter taste appealing. If the cold brew tastes fruity, what does the nitrogen change? The difference is made by the fine nitrogen bubbles that refine the cold coffee with a golden crema.
Can I make Nitro Coffee myself at home?
Some people think that they need a nitrogen bottle for Nitro Coffee, which can pose some dangers in its use and a professional dispensing system is essential. But yes, you can do Nitro Coffee without an expensive dispenser. This requires a professional cream dispenser, also known as a cream siphon.
Pour cold brew coffee into the container, shake everything well and then spray the Nitro Coffee cream from the dispenser into a glass.
Although the head of foam disintegrates faster than with Nitro Coffee from the dispenser, the taste of Nitro Coffee from the cream dispenser is in no way inferior.
Conclusion: Nitro coffee is an exciting new trend
- Nitro coffee is a further development of the “cold brew”
- It is created by adding nitrogen and is similar to Guinness beer in many ways
- It tastes full-bodied, creamy, and sweet
- The quality of the beans is crucial
- Nitro coffee can also be prepared at home with a cream siphon
What season does Nitro Coffee taste best in?
A hotly brewed coffee can sometimes be too warm, especially on a sunny spring day. We would never say that a cold brew or a nitro coffee can replace the much-loved cappuccino of the classic coffee fan. Consider it an enrichment of your coffee enjoyment. Especially since even for a traditional coffee lover, a little variety in taste cannot be a bad thing. In winter a hot pumpkin spiced latte – in summer an ice-cold nitro coffee.