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What Is Nitro Cold Brew? (Quick Guide)

With our ever-growing love for coffee, all kinds of different coffee drinks have popped up, most recently, nitro cold brew!

But what is nitro cold brew? Learn all about NCB in this article!

Coffee is no doubt one of the most popular brewed drinks ever developed for everyone's table.

It's a staple on our everyday breakfast and offers a lot of health benefits.

what is nitro cold brew coffee

Nitro cold brew is no exception and offers a delicious summer treat to rival that beer most people reach for on a hot summer day. 

​What Is Nitro Cold Brew Coffee?

If you are a fan of nitro beers, particularly dark stouts, you'll easily get a sense on what nitro cold brew coffee is.

Otherwise known as NCB, nitro coffee is a special type of cold brew that is infused with nitrogen for a new and delightful cold brew taste.

With the help of nitrogen, the creaminess and texture of regular cold brew coffee becomes heavenly.

Nitro cold brew coffee has a richer, creamy texture thanks to nitrogen infusion.

nitro cold brew coffee facts

​Nitro Cold Brew Coffee on Tap

NCB or nitro cold brew coffee is served fresh, straight from the tap.

Like a nice cold draught beer, base brew coffee is secured in a keg and infused with nitrogen through a pressurized valve with tiny holes called tap. 

In order to maintain the so called "Guinness effect" or the cool reverse cascading of the brew, baristas serve NCB coffees fresh from the tap and not on ice like any regular cold brew.  

Nitro cold brew tap

This method makes Nitro cold brew pleasant to the eyes with its nice, frothy, beer-like head and notoriously smooth with natural sweetness and significantly less acidity compared to other coffee drinks.

​Cold Brew VS Nitro Cold Brew

Nitro coffee is a special type of cold brew.

Both caffeinated concoctions have a base made of coffee beans or grains steeped in cool or room temperature water for 12 to 24 hours.

Both use a base brew that needs more coffee so cold brew and nitro brew are more expensive than your regular cup of joe by a dollar or so.

cold brew vs nitro cold brew

And since nitro coffee requires a specialized equipment for nitrogen infusion, NCB may cost as much as your lunch.

The main difference between nitro cold brew and regular cold brew is the NITROGEN. NCB is infused with nitrogen gas through a pressurized valve that makes all the delicious difference. 

Nitrogen has tiny bubbles, which gives the base brew a frothy and and beer-like head. It also gives the coffee its creamy thickness making the milk or creamer unnecessary for the brew.  

Finally, nitrogen infusion gives nitro cold brew a naturally sweet taste when compared to regular cold brew.

Take a look at how Starbucks brews nitro cold brew coffee:

How Much Caffeine Is In Nitro Cold Brew Coffee?

You may think that cold brew has less caffeine content compared to that of a traditional hot cup of joe. And that's right..

Why? Hot water steeping extracts more caffeine.

Caffeine is soluble in water, and the hotter the water used to brew coffee, the more caffeine you extract from your coffee beans.

By the way, there is such a thing as over-extracting your coffee beans with water that is too hot.

If you are using the same brew-to-water ratios, cold brew will definitely have less caffeine than hot coffee.

A 16-ounce cold brew from Starbucks has about 200 mg of caffeine, while a hot 16-ounce coffee ranges from 260 to 360 mg, depending on your coffee beans.

Is Nitro Cold Brew Safe?

​Nitro coffee and regular brew coffee are a very close match in terms of their nutritional benefits.

But is nitro coffee safe to drink?

Basically, nitro coffee is as safe as both cold brew and hot crew coffees could get. 

As an inert gas, nitrogen doesn't really react to other chemicals in its environment. Rather, it displaces oxygen, preventing the oxidation process on some of the chemicals present in your cup of joe resulting to longer shelf life.

Furthermore, nitrogen doesn't dissolve easily in water making the brew less acidic along with the formation of tiny bubbles resulting to a smoother texture and frothy top.

There haven't been any major studies to suggest that nitro cold brew is unsafe, although some studies have recalled regular cold brew processing. 

Harmful bacteria can grow in the low-acid environment of cold brew coffee if not properly bottled, stored and used while still fresh.

How To Drink Nitro Cold Brew

how to drink nitro cold brew

Straight from the tap, of course!

No but seriously, are you one of those coffee lovers who are about to try their first ntiro cold brew?

I have a couple of mouth-watering suggestions in store for you.

Although nitro cold brew is great straight-up, there are some pretty sweet ways to spice up your NCB...

Nitro Cold Brew Sweeteners

Nitro cold brew coffee is smoother in texture and naturally sweeter compared to regular coffee. It's delicious black because the infusion of nitrogen has provided the coffee a subtle sugary taste.

But I totally get having a sweet tooth sometimes, and wanting your coffee to be ice cream.

One suggestion: add cinnamon and maple syrup together to your nitro cold brew. Just add 2 teaspoons of maple syrup and half a teaspoon of cinnamon into your single serve nitro brew. Amazing.

These two sweet add-ons can help boost your nitro coffee's health benefits from fighting diabetes to improving heart health.

Other awesome sweeteners I love with nitro cold brew are raw honey, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla, and chocolate milk.

Flavoring Nitro Cold Brew

Another good thing about nitro coffee is that it can be versatile enough to accommodate a variety of flavors for a whole new nitro cold brew experience.

Any flavor syrup you use in your regular coffee, iced coffee or cold brew coffee, you can use in your nitro cold brew.

Besides, taking your nitro coffee experience to the next level doesn't have to be too complicated. Just add vanilla. 

flavoring nitro cold brew coffee

I recommend adding your flavor syrup into your mug first and  then infuse your nitro cold brew over it. The reverse pour of nitro cold brew will help blend your flavor syrup into your brew without having to stir. 

To spice things up, try cayenne pepper powder. It'll give your nitro cold brew some tang, and boost your drink's health benefits, including improved digestion, reduced acidity and increased immunity. 

Spices go great with nitro cold brew's rich, smooth taste. You can also experiment with other spicy alternatives such as cinnamon, chipotle, and peppercorn for a more sophisticated NCB.

Other popular ways of flavoring nitro cold brew are to top your mug with toasted coconut, infusing condensed milk and adding mint, nutmeg or shaved chocolate.


For coffeehouse enthusiasts, sweet cream is an all-time favorite to make nitro cold brew coffee thicker and more velvety. it's delicious, and easy to find.

You can also go for cinnamon vanilla creamer, my all-time fav.

How To Make Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

Nitro coffee is so popular nowadays that you can easily enjoy its rich and frothy taste from almost any coffee shop.

nitro cold brew coffee at home

But wouldn't you like to make your own? Yup! Me too!

Click here to check out my fast and easy recipe for how to make nitro cold brew at home.

Oh boy! You're friends are going to love this one! You're welcome...

Get brewing. 

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