What Is Nitro Coffee? (Origin, Taste, How to Make)
While nitro coffee might still not be one of the items on your local coffee bar's menu, you can almost be certain that it will be soon as this relatively new type of coffee is slowly becoming more and more popular.
Nitro coffee is one of those star coffee beverages at coffee chains like Starbucks and you can also now get it many Dunkin Donuts outlets. But, what exactly is nitro coffee and why are more and more coffee lovers getting hooked on it?
To simply state it and as the name suggests, nitro coffee is coffee that has been infused with nitrogen gas, and it is more specifically cold-brewed coffee.
Whether you are on the hunt for a new and fresh way to get your daily caffeine dose or are looking for a healthier way of drinking coffee, nitro coffee is the way to go.
Overview and Origin
Nitro coffee provides an easy way to transform some boring cold brew coffee into a creamy and silky beverage that you will enjoy drinking. And besides the addition of nitrogen, there is nothing more added or done to this coffee as it is just a typical cold brew.
Like all other amazing coffee types, there does not seem to be consensus on the origins of this coffee as different coffee aficionados seem to have their accounts as to where the coffee comes from.
There are those that credit a New York Coffee bar, the Queens Kickshaw for being the first place to make and sell nitro coffee while others believe the coffee was first made in Texas at Cuvee Coffee.
However, most coffee enthusiasts and experts seem to agree the coffee came into the market around 2011 or 2012. And the chances are many coffee enthusiasts were already experimenting with carbonating and nitrogenizing their coffee long before this.
How Does It Taste?
Taste is always a subjective matter when it comes to coffee because what tastes amazing to you might not appeal to the next coffee lover's taste buds.
But, with nitro coffee, you can expect to get a smooth and low acidity beverage with an amazing silky mouthfeel much like the regular cold brew coffee.
Also unlike carbonated drinks, nitrogen gas will not dissolve in the liquid and hence the bubbles in the beverage will be very small and instead of changing the taste, nitrogen gas will alter the texture of the coffee by making it foamier.
What Is Its Caffeine Content?
Caffeine is always a factor for many coffee drinkers and often the reason why they opt for some types of coffee instead of others. Hence, most coffee aficionados that have not tried nitro cold brew coffee will want to know the caffeine dose they are getting before trying it out.
But like regular cold brew coffee, nitro coffee will typically contain more caffeine than most other types of coffee due to the longer steeping time when the coffee is being made. However, the nitrogen does not add any extra caffeine to the brew as it does not contain any.
An ounce of nitro coffee can contain as much as 30% more caffeine than regular coffee, but the actual amount of caffeine in the beverage will depend on how the cold brew coffee is made.
Is It Healthier Than Regular Coffee?
Given that nitro coffee is increasingly being marketed as the best coffee for those that workout or are watching their weight, it is clear that many people believe that it is healthier than regular coffee.
The reason why it is seen as a healthier option is that unlike regular coffee, it does not require the addition of lighteners and sweeteners like milk and sugar. And this is because nitrogen gas creates a nice foam that creates a perception of sweetness on the tongue and hence eliminating the need for sugar.
Also, because you will not need to add high-calorie components like cream and milk to your coffee, you will end up with a low-calorie cup of coffee but without compromising on the taste you get.
In addition to this, nitro coffee is also less acidic just like regular cold brew coffee, and this means it will be beneficial for coffee lower that are prone to acid reflux and heartburns and those with more sensitive stomachs.
How to Make Nitro Coffee at Home
While nitro coffee will take a lot of time and effort to make at home given the long cold brewing process and the relatively complicated nitrogen infusion process, it is still possible to do it. And below we explain what you will need and what to do.
What You Will Need
- Whipped cream dispenser with nitro charger
- Coarsely ground coffee
- Filtered water
- Large jar with lid
- Cheesecloth or filter paper
- Spoon for stirring
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Start by adding the coarsely ground coffee to the large jar
Step 2: Add water to the coffee at a ratio of about 10 times the quantity of coffee
Step 3: Stir thoroughly and leave your cold brew steeping for 6 to 24 hours
Step 4: Once the cold brew is ready, strain it using the cheesecloth or filter with the paper filter
Step 5: Pour the filtered coffee into your whipped cream dispenser
Step 6: Close the lid on the whipped cream dispenser and attach a nitrogen gas cartridge
Step 7: Shake it and then pull your cup of nitro coffee from the whipped cream dispenser
If the good old drip coffee and even bolder ones like espressos and cappuccinos no longer appeal to your taste buds, it is time to try out something new and more interesting like nitro coffee.
Besides the creamier and silkier texture that comes with the nitro coffee, it will also offer the advantage of being healthier and less acidic than regular coffee. Better yet, this coffee also provides a higher dose of caffeine to give you that extra punch you need to face the day ahead.
And although nitro coffee can be quite pricey given that a standard-size cup or can goes for at least $3, you can still make some at home cheaply. All you will need is to invest in a whipped cream dispenser with nitro charger and with a little practice, you should be making some amazing nitro coffee at home in no time.