Nitro Cold Brew: What's Behind The Hype? (and our Top 5 Brands)
Nitro Cold Brew
Nitro cold brew is all the rage these days. It’s popping up in trendy coffee shops, on your grocery shelves and online in a series of ready-to-drink brands launch their own versions.
So what’s behind this huge trend and what are the best nitro cold brew brands out there on the market to date? Let’s find out.
What is Nitro Cold Brew?
Nitro cold brew is a nitrogen infused version of your favorite cold brew coffee. It’s become a staple at countless coffee shops and is dispense from a stout tap - just like a beer - and the nitrogen infusion gives it a similar appearance to a stout drink or a Guinness.
Many people prefer this to regular cold brew as it has a nice, smooth finish and can cover up some of the bitterness that comes with regular cold brew.
What’s the Difference Between Cold Brew Coffee & Nitro Cold Brew Coffee?
The nitrogen infusion is the primary differential between old fashioned cold brews and the new nitros on the market.
While that’s the main predatory difference, this leads to a few notable differences you’ll see in taste and appearance:
Nitro cold brew is noticeably smoother than cold brew. While standard cold brew is a bit more watery (for lack of a better term), nitro cold brew has almost a velvety mouth feel to it that you won’t be able to not notice.
Again, because of the nitrogen, nitro will taste less acidic and go down smoother. So be careful not to drink it too quick.
Because of the lesser acidity and smoother texture, nitro may appear sweeter. This is a benefit because instead of adding a ton of sugar or milk to your awesome cold brew - you can drink it as is - without having to pollute it with a ton of sugary junk that you don’t really need.
Higher Caffeine Content
Because of the way it’s produced, a nitro cold brew coffee may have more caffeine than a regular cup of coffee or your standard cold brew.
How Much Caffeine is in Nitro Cold Brew
While the exact amount may differ between brands and methodologies, you can expect the average cup of nitro cold brew to contain 180-200mg of caffeine typically.
The Best Nitro Cold Brew Drinks (Ranked)
Here’s our favorite nitro cold brew coffee drinks - in order. Enjoy:
Caveman Cold Brew
Caveman is one of our favorite brands of all time. We order this stuff by the case. They figured out some unique way to infuse the nitro, bottle it up and ship it out that makes it the best stuff on the market.
Our only complaint is that they’re not in retail anywhere - so we gotta plan a couple days ahead of time before we run out to make sure it can ship to us in time.
That said - this stuff is good - and you’re not going to be able to go back to your normal coffee once you try it.
RISE Brewing Nitro Cold Brew
High Brew Nitro Cold Brew
Cost: $3/can (10oz)
New Mexico Pinon Coffee Nitro Cold Brew
Cost: $3.5/can (8oz)
Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew
Cost: $5.14 (12 oz)
Starbucks might have the most well known nitro cold brew on the market. And, we have to say - for a mass produced chain - it’s not half bad.
Say what you want about the rest of the Starbucks coffee - the nitro is pretty well done.
The vanilla sweet cream is a nice little treat if you’re wanting to sweeten things up, but you can also just have the regular nitro and it’s just as good.
FAQS on Nitro Cold Brew
Some common questions we get asked about cold brew:
Is Nitro Cold Brew Safe to Drink?
Generally speaking - nitro cold brew is safe to drink. Because of the higher caffeine content, you should be careful about how much exactly you do consume in order to not overdo it and feel jittery or upset your stomach.
Is Nitro Cold Brew Better for you?
Nitro cold brew has all the same benefits as normal coffee, but people may find it less acidic and therefore bothers their stomach less than other types of coffee. Depending on how it’s done - you may also find that some types of nitro make you less jittery than other cold brews.
Can you make Nitro Cold Brew at home?
Nitro cold brew at the store is more expensive than normal cold brew because of the equipment required to make it. Because of this, many people want
However, this is not that easy. You’ll need the right equipment - not to mention a nitrogen tank -
A home kit can run anywhere from $300-$600 while a more commercial style version you can outfit in your kitchen requires a custom quote.
Why Can’t You Get A Venti Nitro Cold Brew?
People often ask why you can’t order a venti or larger Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew. While some baristas might nonchalantly tell you that it’s “too much caffeine” to handle - it’s not the real story.
From a marketing standpoint - the "too much caffeine" angle makes it sound forbidden, but the truth is much more simple - vanity.
Starbucks is particular about the presentation of their nitro cold brew - as its appearance is one of the selling points. Therefore - if you have a larger container - it’s going to lose visual points - or as Starbucks calls it the “nitro cascade.” This is the appearance of the cascade of bubbles texture that the nitrogen create.
On top of this - a venti cup can’t be filled with nitro to the top unless you stick the spout in the drink - which is gross and unsanitary.
So sorry, you can’t get a venti nitro cold brew at Starbucks - you’ll have to settle for a tall or grande.
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