Nitro cold brew coffee

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16 ounce, nitro cold brew.

Nitro cold brew is a type of coffee served chilled. It is a variation of cold brewed coffee that uses the addition of nitrogen gas to create a smooth texture. Though recently[when?] created, the beverage has grown in popularity.[1]


Production of Nitro cold brew coffee begins with the making of cold brew coffee, a process that can take up to 24 hours.[2] Once the grounds are adequately steeped, the coffee is put into a room temperature bottle or keg.[3] As the cold brew is poured, it is charged with nitrogen to give it a rich, creamy head of foam, similar to draft beer. Though most beers and soft drinks are infused with carbon dioxide, nitrogen is occasionally used, for example in darker stouts, resulting in a smoother finish. This is a direct effect of nitrogen bubbles being smaller in size than those of carbon dioxide, resulting in a beverage with a thicker mouthfeel.[4] Nitro cold brew is typically served chilled, without ice as to not damage the foamy top.[3]


Nitro cold brew was first offered at third wave coffee shops in the early 2010's, but the exact origin is disputed. The process is said by Men's Journal to have originated in 2013 at craft coffee houses Cuvee Coffee in Austin, Texas and Stumptown in Portland, Oregon.[5] However, Esquire gives credit to the draft coffee at The Queens Kickshaw in New York in 2011 as a predecessor.[6] Stumptown and Cuvee began offering canned beverages with a nitrogen disc, a hollow piece of plastic compressed with nitrogen in order to pressurize the can,[7] by 2015.[8][9] Starbucks introduced the beverage at 500 stores in the summer of 2016,[10][11] preceded in the Los Angeles market by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.[12] Nitro cold brew is available from wholesalers in some markets in kegs. A New York company says it can fill up to 1,500 kegs a day of nitro cold brew coffee.[13]

Though cold brew has quickly risen in popularity, nitro cold brew's dispensing system has made widespread consumption difficult. Despite that, Dunkin Donuts’ and Tim Hortons have joined Starbucks in offering the beverage, allowing for access to mainstream consumers.[14] Along with the slow rise in popularity, many companies have begun to sell at-home nitrogen infusers such as mini-kegs or whipped cream nitrogen canisters.[15]

Nutritional Information[edit]

Nitro cold brew is less acidic due to the low brew temperatures. Acid appears when the coffee beans are brewed around 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit, but nitro cold brew is brewed at lower temperatures. The beans for nitro coffee also infuse for much longer, sometimes days.[16] [17] Though lower acidity levels found in cold brew coffee can be good for digestion, the acids found in hot coffee may cause higher activity of antioxidants. [18]

Nitro cold brew can be higher in caffeine than brewed coffee, but the two typically share a similar nutritional content.[19] Though caffeine is better produced in hotter temperatures, cold brew recipes often call for a higher bean to coffee ratio compensating for the lower temperature. [20] A 16-ounce cup of Nitro cold brew contains 280 mg of caffeine, not including cream or sugar.[21]


  1. ^ "Nitrogenated Coffee Market Size, Share | Global Industry Report, 2025". Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  2. ^ "6 Common Mistakes You Are Making With Cold Brewed Coffee". HuffPost. 2016-06-23. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  3. ^ a b Mohrman, Eric (2019-10-10). "Read this before you order Starbucks' Nitro Cold Brew". Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  4. ^ Calderone, Julia (2015-10-24). "A new trend in serving cold brew coffee uses science to make it more delicious". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  5. ^ Barnes, Shane, "Nitro Cold Brew is the Best Thing to Happen to Coffee Since Ice", Men's Journal, retrieved 2020-09-12
  6. ^ Krasny, Jill (2015-06-09), "This Is the Best Iced Coffee You Will Drink All Summer", Esquire, retrieved 2020-09-12
  7. ^ "Nitrogen monitoring in breweries - keeping the bubbles in Britain". Gas Detectors and Sensors - The Analox Blog. 2018-07-30. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  8. ^ Rosen, Ali; McCarthy, Sky (2015-09-22). "Nitro coffee is the next big thing to happen to your morning brew". Fox News. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
  9. ^ Goldberg, Elyssa (2015-04-28), "Nitro, Our New Favorite Iced Coffee, Is Served on Tap and Tastes Like Beer", Bon Appetit, Conde Nast, retrieved 2020-09-12
  10. ^ Saelinger, Tracy (2016-06-27), "Starbucks' nitro coffee: Here's what you need to know before you order", Today, retrieved 2020-09-12
  11. ^ Fox News (2016-05-31). "Starbucks introduces nitro cold brew at 500 locations this summer". Fox News. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
  12. ^ Scherer, Josh (July 27, 2016), "Coffee Bean Strikes Critical Blow Against Starbucks! Victory Imminent!", Los Angeles, retrieved 2020-09-12
  13. ^ McGinnes, Meagan (2017-06-14). "Rise Brewing Wins New Beverage Showdown 13". Bevnet. Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  14. ^ Portal, World Coffee (2019-10-29). "US iced beverage sales surge as cold brew becomes coffee shop mainstay". World Coffee Portal. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  15. ^ "How to Make Nitro Cold Brew at Home". Voltage Coffee - For the Love of Coffee. 2020-05-17. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  16. ^ Uman, Erol; Colonna-Dashwood, Maxwell; Colonna-Dashwood, Lesley; Perger, Matthew; Klatt, Christian; Leighton, Stephen; Miller, Brian; Butler, Keith T.; Melot, Brent C.; Speirs, Rory W.; Hendon, Christopher H. (2016-04-18). "The effect of bean origin and temperature on grinding roasted coffee". Scientific Reports. 6: 24483. Bibcode:2016NatSR...624483U. doi:10.1038/srep24483. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 4834475. PMID 27086837.
  17. ^ "Nitro Coffee: Is Cold Brew Better Than Regular?". Healthline. 2018-08-02. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  18. ^ Rao, Niny Z.; Fuller, Megan (2018-10-30). "Acidity and Antioxidant Activity of Cold Brew Coffee". Scientific Reports. 8 (1). doi:10.1038/s41598-018-34392-w. ISSN 2045-2322.
  19. ^ Link, Rachael (2018-10-02). "Nitro Coffee: Is Cold Brew Better Than Regular?". Healthline. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  20. ^ "The Truth About How Much Caffeine Is In Cold Brew Coffee". HuffPost. 2017-06-13. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  21. ^ "Caffeine in Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew Coffee". Caffeine Informer. Retrieved 2019-11-18.

Further reading[edit]