Wellness Foodie Trends: Nitro Coffee 101

Natural and holistic wellness is all the rage, and with it comes various food and drink trend, one of which is Nitro coffee.

Nitro coffee is all the rage right now. While “nitro” is nothing new, the whole idea of adding nitrogen to coffee grounds is taking the coffee world by storm.

Just to be clear, nitro coffee is not ‘iced coffee’. Another name for it is ‘cold brew coffee’ with added nitrogen to kick the taste up a few notches. ‘Cold brew’ refers to how the coffee is brewed. Using large or coarse coffee grounds, they are left to seep in cold water for anywhere from 12 – 16 hours is ideal.

Since the water is left at room temperature, the acids in the grounds are not released as they do when coffee is made with hot water. Instead, you are left with a smooth, sweet, deliciously aromatic cup of coffee, so much so that avid coffee lovers tend to forgo the sugar and creamer, and drink this stuff black because of its silkier, slightly sweeter taste.

It’s appealing to people more than traditional hot brewed coffee, which is made by running hot water over the coffee grounds. The advantage to hot coffee is that it takes a mere 5 minutes at the most to be brewed during which the hot water absorbs the coffee’s flavor and aromas.

Yet one of the disadvantages is that the oils and acids in the coffee grounds are only soluble at high temperatures. This is why black coffee usually has a bitter taste, which people try to camouflage with sugar and cream. Nitro coffee, on the other hand, is bubbly, creamy, delicious, and is, more often than not, served right from a stout faucet (which is the longer, pointy faucet used to serve beers).

These types of faucets require nitrogen due to their high serving pressure. Moreover, since the pressure can reach up to 35psi (pounds per square inch); stout faucets are equipped with a restrictor (“agitator”) plate on the inside.

It is this plate, combined with the nitrogen, which is insoluble in water, that gives beers, or in this case coffee, that rich, smooth, creamy texture. It has a frothy, bubbly head on top that feels thick and velvety.

Another trick that the restrictor plate can do is make the liquid flow smoothly onto the sides of the glass, like a cascading waterfall. This gives it a great look, but also augments the foamy, thick taste of the brew.

You have several choices when it comes to serving your cold brew. Remember that it can be stored for up to 2 weeks without sacrificing its original taste.

  • Over ice – Fill your glass with ice. Pour the concentrated cold brew to only about 1/3 of the cup (if you prefer a bolder version, fill it to about ½ of the cup). You can dilute your cold brew with milk, soymilk, or even water.
  • Hot –Even though it may sound like a contradiction in terms, drinking cold brew coffee hot is completely different from just drinking hot coffee. All you have to do is heat up some water, fill 1/3 of your glass with the cold brew concentrate. Pour hot water.

Simple, delicious, out of this world!

Straight from the faucet

With a little bit of sugar

With cream

Yet no matter how it’s served, it’s sure to impress and leave your palate singing in delight.

One of the considerations as far as health and diet go is that with Nitro Coffee you may be able to avoid adding milk and sugar, since it is naturally creamy, saving you potentially hundreds of calories a year.

Just a word to the wise, with nitro coffee you don’t need to wait for the caffeine rush to hit you. It is strong and you will feel the caffeine pumping through your veins faster than traditional coffee.

It could be because there is a boost in the coffee-to-water ratio, or it could be the nitrogen helping quicken the absorption process.

If you’re interested in cold brewing your own coffee, start small. You can use a mason jar, a bucket, or a Toddy® Maker, which is known for its low acidic coffee concentrate since it, extracts the oils and bitter acids.