July 10, 2020
With so many different ways to get your coffee fix, from blended coffee with ice and endless options of flavored syrups to coffee drinks with a splash of this and a splash of that. You're probably thinking, when did coffee get so complicated, and what happened to good old black coffee?
We feel you and we're here to help you understand this coffee trend that seems to be taking over every coffee shop and local grocery store. Don't worry, black coffee isn't gone. It's just gone through a transformation and got a little makeover since you've last seen it.
What is Cold Brew?
Let's start with the basics, the base of this coffee trend is cold brew coffee. Often confused with iced coffee, cold brew coffee is actually coffee brewed with room temperature or cold water instead of hot water. What we know as iced coffee is brewed with hot water but poured over ice. This difference in the brewing process results in a very different end product and beverage.
The cold brewing process also takes significantly longer than coffee brewed with hot water. Using coarsely ground coffee beans, the coffee is steeped in cold water for 12 to 24 hours compared to the almost instant brewing of hot coffee. We go into details of the differences between the iced coffee and cold brew in this article.
The result of this long brewing process is a cold brew concentrate, which then can be mixed with water or milk to create a coffee beverage. This coffee concentrate can be used to customize your coffee beverage. To learn more about cold brew coffee and its brewing process read our article on cold brew coffee.
Why is it popular?
As you can now tell, cold brew coffee isn't a huge stretch from your traditional black coffee, it's just a different process but it essentially delivers the same result. Cold brew is so popular because it tastes different from traditionally brewed coffee and it provides some benefits.
Thanks to its slow and cold brewing process, cold brew coffee is less acidic and is more gentle on the stomach than hot brewed coffee. This also means that your teeth are less likely to be damaged and stained from drinking coffee regularly. Additionally, because the coffee is less acidic, it has a smoother taste and has less of the harsh bitter notes typically associated with coffee.
Cold brew also has a higher caffeine content than regular hot brewed coffee. This is because it is a concentrate that is diluted to create a beverage. Even when diluted, it typically creates a stronger and more potent overall drink.
What is Nitro Coffee?
Nitro cold brew coffee is simply carbonated cold brew but instead of using carbon dioxide, it is infused with nitrogen gas. Using a kegerator tap system, typically associated with draft beer, the cold brew coffee is first brewed then poured into a keg. Using a tap system, it is infused with nitrogen using a pressurized valve and dispensed through the draft system. Read our article on How A Kegerator Works for a detailed explanation of draft systems.
This infusion of nitrogen results in a smooth, rich, and flavorful coffee that lots of body and an almost creamy mouthfeel. Nitro cold brew coffee has an iconic foamy top layer of tiny nitrogen bubbles, similar to that of a draft beer and gives the coffee a silky texture. Nitro cold brew coffee is sweeter, significantly less bitter, and has delightfully creamy taste. It is so enjoyable on its own that many people don't feel the need to add anything extra to it.
For these reasons and more, nitro cold brew coffee has become popular among regular coffee drinkers and even non-coffee drinkers! The approachable sweet, smooth, and mild flavors of nitro coffee make this coffee style so drinkable and appealing to those who have never been a coffee-fan.
The Nitro Revolution
The future of coffee is closely tied in with beer and we couldn't be happier about it! This marriage of brewing technique and serving technology has created a better and more delicious beverage, revolutionizing the coffee industry. Nitro is becoming increasingly more accessible through canned and bottled versions at the grocery store and nitro cold brew dispensers with ready to drink coffee. Nitro only seems to be growing in popularity and it's time to join the revolution!