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Nitro Cold Brew vs Cold Brew – Is 1 Better Than The Other?

pint glass of intro cold brew on wooden table, nitro cold brew vs cold brew

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There’s no arguing that cold brew in any form is a supremely delicious iced coffee beverage. But what about nitro cold brew? 

What is the difference between nitro cold brew and cold brew? Is one better than the other?

There’s no clear winner in the nitro cold brew vs cold brew debate, but we’ll break down the differences to help you decide which to order for your next cold coffee kick.

Nitro Cold Brew vs Cold Brew

Let’s start by learning more about nitro cold brew and what makes this nitrogen-infused coffee different from regular cold brew.

tall glass of nitro cold brew on wooden table

Nitro Cold Brew: The Basics

What is Nitro Cold Brew?

We’re sure you’ve heard of cold brew coffee, but have you tried nitro cold brew? Nitro cold brew is a coffee drink infused with nitrogen gas, giving it a unique texture and flavor. 

The nitrogen infusion creates tiny bubbles that give the coffee a creamy, velvety texture like a Guinness beer (or any stout on nitro). Nitro cold brew is served cold, and it’s a refreshing drink that’s perfect for hot summer days.

crystal glass of cold brew on wooden table beside plant

Difference Between Nitro Cold Brew and Cold Brew

Nitro cold brew is different from regular cold brew in a few ways:

  1. The texture is different. Nitro cold brew has a creamy, velvety texture that regular cold brew doesn’t have.
  2. The flavor is different. Nitro cold brew has a slightly sweeter taste than regular cold brew.
  3. Nitro cold brew is often served without ice to allow the bubbles to properly work their magic.

The caffeine content is the same in nitro cold brew vs regular cold brew; both have more caffeine than regular coffee.

How is Nitro Cold Brew Made?

Nitro cold brew is made by infusing cold brew coffee with nitrogen gas. Cold brewing coffee involves using extra-coarse coffee grounds and cold water and leaving it to steep for 12 to 24 hours. 

fellow opus grinder
The Fellow Opus Grinder

Once the cold brew is ready, it’s poured into a keg and pressurized with nitrogen gas. The nitrogen infusion creates small bubbles that give the coffee its signature creamy texture and rich mouthfeel.

Nitro Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee

While Nitro cold brew and iced coffee are both cold coffee drinks, they differ in a few ways:

  1. The brewing process is different. Nitro cold brew is brewed using cold water steeped slowly, while iced coffee is brewed using hot water and minimal steeping and then cooled down to create iced coffee.
  2. The texture is different. Nitro cold brew has a creamy, viscous texture, while iced coffee is thinner like regular coffee.
  3. The flavor is different; while nitro cold brew has a rich, robust coffee flavor, iced coffee will taste watered down by comparison.

Nitro cold brew has a slightly sweeter taste than iced coffee and is less acidic. Because iced coffee is essentially just hot brewed coffee (aka drip coffee, pour over coffee, etc.) that’s poured over ice, it suffers from significant dilution as prepared.

glass of nitro cold brew on wooden table beside nitropress cold brew bottle

The Pros and Cons of Nitro Cold Brew

Nitro cold brew is a newer type of coffee that has been gaining popularity in recent years. While it has its benefits, it also has drawbacks. 

Pros of Nitro Cold Brew

One of the main benefits of nitro cold brew is its smooth and creamy texture. The nitrogen infusion creates tiny bubbles that give it a velvety texture, making it a unique experience compared to regular cold brew or iced coffee.

The smoothness of nitro cold brew also makes it an excellent base for adding flavor shots, sweeteners, or milk.

coffee scale, timemore coffee scale
Timemore Coffee Scale

Another advantage of nitro cold brew is its low acidity. While it may taste even less acidic than regular cold brew, there is no difference in acidity levels in nitro cold brew vs cold brew. 

Both make excellent options for those with sensitive stomachs or looking for a less acidic iced coffee option.

Nitro cold brew has a longer shelf life than regular cold brew. Since it is pressurized, you can store it longer than traditional cold brew without losing its flavor profile (anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months, depending on the keg). 

This makes it an excellent option for those wanting to keep a ready-to-serve cold coffee supply on hand.

Nitropress nitro cold brew valve

Cons of Nitro Cold Brew

One of the main drawbacks of nitro cold brew is its cost. It is generally more expensive than regular cold brew or iced coffee due to the equipment and required nitrogen gas, making it a less accessible option for some coffee drinkers.

Another downside of nitro cold brew is its caffeine content. Since it is a concentrate, it can have a higher caffeine content than traditional iced coffee. More caffeine can be a pro for some coffee drinkers but a con for those sensitive to caffeine.

1zpresso jx pro s with foldable handle
1Zpresso JX S Manual Coffee Grinder

Lastly, nitro cold brew is not as widely available as regular cold brew, iced coffee, or hot coffee. While you might be lucky enough to find it at your local coffee shop, it is less popular than other types of coffee, making it challenging to order regularly if you are a fan of nitro cold brew.

To sum it up, there are both benefits and drawbacks to choosing nitro cold brew vs cold brew. It has a unique flavor profile, smooth texture, and low acidity, but it can be expensive, have a higher caffeine content, and is less widely available than other types of coffee. Ultimately, whether or not you enjoy nitro cold brew comes down to personal preference and taste.

coffee shop menu on exposed brick wall

Which One Should You Choose?

When it comes to choosing between nitro cold brew vs cold brew, there are a few factors to consider before making a decision. Let’s look at some of the things to keep in mind.

Factors to Consider

First and foremost, consider your taste preferences. Nitro cold brew tends to have a smoother, creamier texture and a slightly sweeter taste due to the nitrogen infusion. It is often served without ice, as a stout beer would be.

On the other hand, cold brew may be the way to go if you prefer your coffee to be less sweet, have a more pronounced flavor, and be served ice cold. 

Equipment is also something to consider. While both Nitro cold brew and cold brew may be made at home, Nitro cold brew requires specialized equipment such as a keg, nitrogen, and a pressurized valve. 

Traditional cold brew, on the other hand, doesn’t require any special tools or equipment. Cold brew is super easy to make at home with tools you likely already have. It might be the better option if you’re not willing to invest in extra coffee brewing apparatus.

pouring nitro cold brew into glass from royal brew nitro cold brew maker

Personal Preference

Ultimately, choosing between Nitro cold brew vs cold brew comes down to personal preference. Nitro cold brew might be the way to go if you’re a fan of velvety textures and tiny nitrogen bubbles. If you prefer a more traditional, robust coffee flavor, cold brew might be more your style.

Nitro cold brew and cold brew have unique flavor profiles and brewing methods. We encourage you to try both to decide if you prefer nitro cold brew vs cold brew. You might even discover a new favorite way to enjoy your coffee.

Fellow Clara French press in black

Final Thoughts

Both Nitro Cold Brew and Cold Brew have their positives and negatives. It comes down to personal preference. 

For us, we can go for a nitro cold brew any day. We recommend ordering it any time you come across it on a coffee shop menu.

Nitro Cold Brew is the way to go if you’re looking for a smoother, creamier mouthfeel and a sweeter taste. But if you’re all about that classic, ice-cold, refreshing cold brew taste, then regular Cold Brew is the one for you.

We can all agree that both of these drinks are delicious and perfect for any coffee lover. Whether it be a hot summer day sipping on nitro cold brew vs cold brew on a lazy Sunday morning, you can’t go wrong. We’ll take one of each, please.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Calatrello

Heather Calatrello owner of ShedLight Coffee Roasters