What Is Nitro Coffee? – Beginners Guide

Nitro coffee is one of those incredible new inventions quickly becoming a game-changer. You start with a cup of regular cold brew and turn it into the creamiest, foamiest cup of coffee in the world.

But there are a few questions that we all have, so I’m here to answer the most basic ones.

What exactly is nitro coffee?

Nitro coffee is simply coffee that has been infused with Nitrogen (a colorless, odorless gas) via a process similar to that of carbonated soda or sparkling water.

Nitrogen bubbles are extremely small and create a foamy, creamy texture when drinking coffee.

If you look at a cup of nitro coffee, you’ll notice that it’s much lighter than regular coffee and looks almost like foam. Unfortunately, it looks like very thick, fuzzy beer foam. Some people compare it to microfoam milk.

Furthermore, because this type of coffee is made, it frequently has higher caffeine content, prompting more people to become new fans.

Nitro coffee is hailed as a sweeter, better version of regular cold brew coffee, and it is currently the most popular cup of coffee in most establishments.

Is nitro coffee safe to drink?

There is currently no evidence that nitro coffee is harmful to one’s health.

In terms of research into how healthy it is, the debate continues.

According to Healthline.com, there is no difference in health benefits between regular cold brew and nitro cold brew coffee.

But there is one thing we should talk about: nitro coffee, with its thickness due to bubbles, fools the tongue into detecting less bitterness. As a result, there is no need to add sweeteners or milk/creamer to the coffee.

This is due in part to the addition of Nitrogen, which produces so many bubbles that it alters our perception of taste and the fact that cold brew coffee is generally sweeter.

This is because less acidity and bitterness are extracted during a cold steep, and nitro coffee is made in this manner.

So, while nitro coffee isn’t any healthier or better than regular cold brew, it doesn’t have any added sugars.

So far, neither the FDA nor other organizations have deemed it ‘unsafe.’

Does the addition of Nitrogen affect caffeine?

No, it has nothing to do with the addition of Nitrogen.

There are three reasons for the extra caffeine in nitro coffee.

First, cold brew coffee naturally contains more caffeine because it is steeped for a longer period, allowing all caffeine to be released from the ground coffee beans.

Second, cold brew is almost like a coffee concentrate, and it requires more ground coffee than regular coffee. The difference between nitro cold brew and a regular double shot of espresso can be as much as 120 mg.

My article on Starbucks’ top 12 coffees examines the caffeine levels in their cups of coffee, and guess what comes in first? Nitro coffee. That’s your best friend if you’re looking for a caffeine boost.

Finally, keep in mind that nitro coffee is almost entirely foam. This means it needs to be extra-extra strong for you to taste it and get your caffeine fix properly. This produces a supercharged cold brew.

So it’s not the Nitrogen that’s increasing the caffeine content. Instead, it’s the fact that they need to make the coffee stronger to add Nitrogen at all.

Is it possible to add nitro to hot coffee?

No, at least not from what I’ve seen. I believe this is because warm/hot beverages do not keep gasses well. Instead, they speed up the release of gas from the liquid, which defeats the purpose of nitro coffee.

The difference between hot microfoam milk and hot nitro coffee is that microfoam is made of fats and protein, which require heat to keep air bubbles in place.

Hot Nitrogen would easily escape from a cup of hot coffee.

A few companies are currently attempting to provide hot nitro coffee, but research is ongoing. If they make a breakthrough, I’m sure it will be big news.

Is it possible to make nitro coffee at home?

Yes, nitro coffee can be made at home. Installations and stills are available online and in coffee shops (for purchase) to make your nitro coffee at home.

Please keep in mind that making your nitro coffee is a time-consuming process. Therefore, you must be cautious and mindful of what you are doing. In addition, there are several steps to preparing the keg, and everything must be completely chilled.

It’s also worth noting that the keg and the Nitrogen cartridges are usually sold separately.

I looked online and discovered a keg and cartridge set that work well together. So all you’re missing now is the cold brew coffee itself.

Let’s begin with the keg. This is the container you will add your cold brew and the Nitrogen cartridge. The nitro coffee will be dispensed through a tap, and the keg will need to be refrigerated.

Royal Brew makes an excellent keg. It’s a stainless steel keg with a capacity of 64 oz/1,900 ml of cold brew.

However, you’ll only need to fill it halfway, maybe a little more. This is because you need to make room for the Nitrogen to do its thing, which will increase the overall volume of the coffee.

If you want more nitro coffee, there’s also a 128 oz/4 liter option. Unfortunately, that one requires twice as many cartridges as the 64 ozone.

The keg (or any of them) comes with instructions, which you can also find on their Amazon listing. However, keep in mind that this is a pressure-sensitive device that should be used cautiously.

The Nitrogen cartridges required for this keg (and the most common) are these 2g ones. The 64 oz keg accepts two cartridges, while the 128 oz keg accepts four.

Keep in mind that when using cartridges, you must consider the weight of the gas. So, if you already have a nitro keg at home that requires an 8g cartridge, you’d need four of these.

You’re good as long as the cartridge’s actual dimensions match.

Also, keep in mind that making your nitro coffee at home requires some time and effort. You’ll need several boxes of cartridges to serve a large group of guests or several boxes for yourself if you drink them frequently.

And the keg cleaning routine is very specific and important.


So you’ve learned the fundamentals of nitro coffee. What is nitro coffee, why does it taste sweeter, and why is everyone crazy about it?

You can make it at home or get a fresh cup from your local coffee shop. I hope you have a great time with your nitro, no matter how you get it.

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