NITRO COLD BREW VS. COLD BREW VS. ICED COFFEE
Boom.Alarm Rings. Press Snooze. Riiiiiing--there it is again—time to get up.
We all have that one thing that kickstarts our morning and motivates us to get moving. For many, the enveloping flavor of coffee is the alluring solution to start our days with an uplifting boost of energy.
Any morning ritual can set the tone for the remainder of our day. So, isn't it important to get the best serving of coffee possible? With an ever-growing selection due to innovation in the coffee-making industry, there are more choices to make than ever.
Skyrocketing to popularity are nitro cold brew, regular cold brew, and iced coffee. But what is the difference between them? And how can you decide which to choose?
While caffeine content and flavor are crucial in choosing tantalizing coffee beverages, another sensory experience arrives on our palette: the texture. The texture is a game-changer when it comes to cold brew vs. nitro cold brew.
What is Cold Brew?
Unlike standard drip coffee brewed with hot water, cold brew is made with chilled water. To make cold brew, one must steep the coffee grounds, which is a lengthier process that typically takes around 12-24 hours. The long brewing duration is due to the cold water requiring more time to extract flavor from the coffee grounds. You can create your own cold brew set up using kitchen gadgets you already have on hand, but this can get messy and take up a lot of space.
It's also possible to make cold brew at home using a french press - it's good but not as good as it could be with a cold brewer. You need to get the parameters just right to achieve that delectable cold brew taste. Having a specialized device to assist in the cold brew process is the best way to ensure consistent, quality outcomes every time.
What is Nitro Cold Brew?
Nitro cold brew cranks the process up a notch by infusing it with nitrogen. Typically, making nitro cold brew coffee follows the same brewing procedures as regular cold brew but adds one additional, game-changing step: nitrogen infusion.
The coffee grounds utilize time and gravity to extract flavor from the coffee grounds and are then infused with nitrogen gas.Not only does nitrogen insert micro bubbles that enhance the drink's texture, but it also provides stability for bottling in large batches. For example, when served at a coffee shop, it is often maintained in a keg and poured from a tap like you would see at your local beer bar. The versatility of nitrogen-infused coffee is arguably one of the main reasons the drink has propelled far past“fad status” and into long-lasting a coffee shop staple.
With Brood, nitro cold brew is as easy, enjoyable, and offers endless creative additions to your beverage menu.
What is Iced Coffee?
Iced coffee is simple and straightforward: it is regularly brewed coffee served over ice. First, you make traditional coffee using hot water for the extraction process. Then, you chill it and serve it over ice.Cooling the coffee down for serving can be done by either pouring hot or warm coffee over ice or reducing the temperature by placing it in the fridge.
Iced coffee is lighter than cold brew and even more so when compared to nitro brewed coffee. It can fall into the territory of being watered down if it is poured over too much ice while still hot. Iced coffee is the most familiar and most found cold option served in coffee shops and restaurants. However, with the rise of technology and innovation, consumers are expanding their palettes and appear to be trending toward cold brew and nitro cold brew beverages to add interest and variety into their daily coffee rituals.
Main Differences: Nitro vs. Regular Cold Brew Coffee
Nitro brewed coffee and regular cold brew coffee deliver unique tasting experiences. While both offerings provide a chilled product with less acidic flavors than a standard cup of coffee, the differing brewing procedures offer up two products that stand on their own. Brewing begins the same in the cold brew vs. nitro brew debate, but the final steps most certainly separate them.
Cold brew has a faint aroma, minimally acidic flavoring, and a thin texture. Nitro brewed coffee provides a cup of joe that contains a bit more scientific love and attention. It has enhanced coffee flavor and aroma, a less acidic taste with a hint of sweetness, and a rich, creamy texture that offers an exciting new experience in the coffee world, thanks to the innovation of nitrogen infusion.
Texture: The most notable difference between nitro cold brew versus regular cold brew is texture. Nitrogen gas infuses bubbles into the coffee, creating a smooth and creamy texture, a frothy head, and a beautiful lasting cascade of swirling micro bubbles that delivers a wonderfully pleasant sensory experience.
The texture of cold brew is much thinner and is best compared to a standard serving of traditional drip coffee. Nitro-infused coffee is exceptionally unique and provides a rich body that contains a textural dream of frothy goodness. Like well-known draft beers, as the coffee cascades down the cup, the nitrogen settles in and pushes the foamy head to the top. The sensory occurrence delivered by the textural foam closely relates to frothed milk served up in cappuccinos. But with nitro cold brew, the process is streamlined by providing a well-rounded product that does not need a plethora of add-ons.
Taste: Another critical difference between nitro cold brew and regular cold brew coffee is taste.
Acidic flavors in coffee are more prominent when brewed with hot water. The extraction process can pull these flavors out of coffee grounds easier than when using cold water. Both regular cold brew and nitro cold brew offer less acidity in each cup, making them a bit sweeter than your standard cup of joe.
The aroma of regular cold brew is less intense than that of nitro cold brew. The brewing process that helps lessen the acidity also enhances the swirling coffee scent that is so enjoyable to wake up to in the morning. Did you know we first taste with our noses rather than our mouths?Aromas in beverages and food are a vital part of the tasting experience because your nose is the first out of the human body's five classic senses to pick upon what to expect in whatever you're about to consume. In comparison to regularly brewed coffee, the aroma of nitro brewed coffee is more pronounced, which further boosts the pleasant flavor experience and that sweet, nitro cold brew taste.
Nitro brewed coffee amps it up a notch in comparison to cold brew by decreasing acidity even further and providing an even less harsh drinking experience. The tiny nitrogen bubbles injected into the caffeine-riddled beverage offer a pleasant sweetness by cutting the coffee's natural acidity while maintaining those well-loved coffee aromas. Because nitro cold brew tastes sweeter and creamier, it decreases the need for added sweeteners and dairy products, making it a healthy option that also tastes delicious.
Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee
To put it in highly simplified terms, regularly brewed coffee—the traditional staple we a reall quite familiar with—is essentially coffee-flavored hot water that contains caffeine. Or, if it's iced coffee we're talking about, it is coffee-flavored water that contains caffeine and ice cubes.
Regular iced coffee packs a punch of sharp, acidic flavor, which leads most people to add sweeteners, creamers, and milk products to sweeten the taste. Iced coffee features a refreshing, light body that makes it a staple in warm-weather climes. That said, the high acidity of iced coffee (or any coffee brewed with hot water), can take a toll on your body by irritating your stomach and digestive tract.
To contrast, cold brew tastes naturally sweeter than traditional iced coffee. Cold brew is made without heat, which also lowers its acidity content. You can take it a step further an infuse nitrogen into your cold brew coffee, further amplifying the tasting experience while simultaneously delivering a higher potency of caffeine. Better taste and more caffeine sounds like a pretty good deal, right?
Let's face it: While flavor, aroma, and texture are all important factors when searching for that perfect cup of pick-me-up energy, the real kicker is caffeine. We could all use that extra boost of energy! The extraction process of brewing coffee can change the amount of caffeine contained in a serving. So, when it comes to weighing your options of cold brew vs nitro cold brew, or iced coffee vs cold brew, which one packs more of a punch to kickstart our day? Let's break it down so you can get the most bang for your buck (or cup).
A standard, 16-ounce cup of nitro cold brew contains 280 mg of caffeine. Many factors go into brewing coffee, such as the type of roast, brewing, serving size, and the number of actual coffee grounds used. Adding water to coffee beans is what starts the extraction process. Using hot water will be faster, but cold water takes longer for a good reason. Steeping cold brew over an extended period willleng then the amount of caffeine in your cup.
While the average amount in a serving is 280 mg, how much caffeine is in a nitro cold brew serving can sometimes be even higher. So, again, better flavor, better texture, and an increased amount of caffeine sound like a pretty good deal for those of us looking for a big energy boost by way of coffee.
The level of caffeine contained in a serving of cold brew can vary. Many influencing factors can change the makeup of a cup. Like we mentioned before, the length of steeping time and the number of coffee grounds used in the brewing process can result in a wide range of caffeine content.
That said, a standard 16-ounce serving of regular cold brew contains approximately 130 mg of caffeine but can reach up to 230 mg. Some coffee proprietors only steep their cold brew for eight hours, while others soak it for 24 hours. This wide range creates varying, inconsistent levels of energy-inducing caffeine.
While cold brew still offers higher levels than a standard cup of coffee (hot or iced), nitro-infused seems to pack more of a punch. Cold brew also lacks the enhanced smooth texture and creamier flavor found in nitro brews.
Between iced coffee, regular cold brew, and nitrogen-infused cold brew, iced coffee is most certainly the tamer one in the bunch. Because of the fast-brewing process, there is less time for caffeine extraction from the coffee grounds. Depending on how the iced coffee is chilled, the levels of caffeine can lessen even further. If hot or warm coffee is poured directly over ice, ice will inevitably melt and insert more water into the beverage. This additional water dilutes the drink and decreases the caffeine content.
Brewed coffee turned into iced coffee can be made in numerous ways. The average amount of caffeine in a standard serving of traditionally brewed coffee is approximately 95 mg for an eight to ounce pour and can reach up to 120 mg for sixteen ounces.
Nitrogen Brew Coffee Do's and Don'ts
Nitro brewed coffee offers a complete package of enhanced flavor, texture, aroma, and caffeine. There are a couple of tips and tricks to ensure an outstanding experience and get the most out of these amped-up qualities. Skip the ice, ditch the straw, try it black, and prepare for the caffeine. With a higher quality product, you can typically expect to pay higher prices, which is also a key factor to keep in mind.
Skip the Ice
Have you ever had an ice-cold draft beer from a tap? Would you want to put ice in it? Certainly not! This same thinking applies to consuming nitro cold brew. The drink must always be served chilled, via a tap system for the gas infusion to work. Inmost establishments, kegs are stored in large, walk-in refrigerators with gas lines connecting to a behind-the-counter tap system.
With BROOD’s tankless nitro-infusion system, all that fuss melts away to produce an instantly chilled, perfectly infused cold brew drink pour after pour. No matter what kind of establishment you integrate a BROOD into (home, bar, coffee shop, workplace kitchen—anything goes!), you will enjoy a streamlined infusion process that provides consistent frothy goodness.
Skip the Straw
When drinking from a straw, you are sipping from the bottom of the drink. However, when drinking nitro cold brew, it is essential to drink from the top to enjoy its full effects.
Remember the fun fact about tasting with your nose before your mouth? By skipping the straw, you will fully indulge yourself in savoring the flavor of the increasingly well-loved cold brew tasting experience.
Skipping the straw also opens avenues for you to enjoy the unique textural components of nitro cold brew. The rich, silky-smooth texture will envelop your mouth with the delectable flavor. After all, the frothy headrests at the top of your drink once the cascades settle. You do not want to miss out on that pleasure by sipping through a straw.
Try it Black First
If you're not already a black coffee drinker, nitro cold brew is your chance to broaden your horizons. There is no longer a need for syrups, sugars, or milk with added sweetness, lessened acidity, and extra frothy texture resulting from the nitro cold brew process. Try nitro cold brew served black with zero milk or sugar before you add any extras and see for yourself!You can always switch it up later.
After you try it black, give this Turkish Delight ColdBrew recipe a try -it's a classic with a twist! If you're more of a matcha lover, try this refreshing cold brewrecipe.
Expect to Pay More
Let’s be transparent: nitro cold brew costs more. There is a reason for this, and you will taste it in the final product. Nitro cold brew costs more because of the innovation, science, and equipment necessary to deliver a proper nitrogen infusion, not to mention the longer steeping process that ensures higher caffeine potency.
Infusing nitrogen gas into coffee is a labor of love. It requires patience, precision, and technical "know how" to do it right. When choosing the keg route, there is a high cost in purchasing and maintaining the necessary equipment. You need kegs, gas lines, gas tanks, line cleaning, and repair, and the list goes on and on.
However, with BROOD, this cost is decreased significantly. BROOD’s proprietary nitro infusion technology eliminates the needs for kegs, tanks, and other costly consumables.The initial investment is quickly covered by cutting out all those expensive extras. But whether the price is high or not, we assure you it is worth it.
Invite your Beer Enthusiasts
It should be said repeatedly: beer enthusiasts need to try nitro cold brew. The coffee industry is not the only sector enjoying the innovations of these techniques. Nitrogen gas infusion has existed in draft beer production for many years. One beer brand boasts a dark, rich color and a frothy white head that all beer lovers enjoy or at least appreciate. Over time, nitro beers have spanned a broad range of flavors from bitter, to sour, to sweet, and beyond. Coffee is undoubtedly on that list as well!
So even if the beer lovers in your life groan or roll their eyes at the invite to a coffee date, invite them along to try nitro coffee because even if they don’t tend to drink coffee, they're likely to like—if not love—this infused variation.
Prepare for the Caffeine
If you're a coffee lover, but can't handle the intensity of caffeine, proceed with caution. Nitro cold brew certainly ups the energy factor, with caffeine levels landing around 280 mg per serving. Nitro coffee is brewed with a higher ratio of coffee grounds to water, which makes for a buzzy, highly caffeinated product. Be sure to ease your way in by sipping on smaller portions the first time you taste—this is not your regular cup of coffee.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Nitro Cold Brew?
Nitro cold brew is a variety of chilled coffee made by steeping grounds in cold water for extended periods of time, reaching up to 24 hours. It is then infused with nitrogen gas to create a unique, frothy texture that delivers a smooth mouthfeel, a hint of sweetness, and pleasant coffee aromas. The brewing process makes high levels of caffeine, with a 16-ounce serving of nitro cold brew containing approximately280 milligrams. It is typically served chilled from a tap without ice and can also come in cans or bottles that release gas upon opening. It is a delicious concoction that takes your standard iced coffee up a notch (or three).
Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine?
Yes. Cold brew of any variety will contain higher levels of caffeine. The longer brewing process creates more time for the water to extract caffeine from the ground coffee beans. The nitro variation often contains even higher amounts when it comes to regular cold brew vs. nitro cold brew. Standard cold brew typically has around 130 mg to 230 mg of caffeine, while nitro cold brew will have about 280 mg.
All cold brews deliver a whopping amount of caffeine, so be sure to ease your way in if you are sensitive to the ingredient.
How is Cold Brew Made?
Cold brew is made with coffee, water, and gravity. Many cold brew machines will stream line this process and allow for consistent, easy-to-manage brewing methods.
Combine water and coffee grounds in a vessel and stir. Let this mixture sit at room temperature for any length of time between 12-24 hours. The longer it sits, the more potent it will become. After this time is up, strain the mixture using a cheese cloth, a large coffee filter, or a fine-mesh strainer. Transfer the concentrated cold brew into an airtight container and place it in the fridge until it is thoroughly chilled. Dilute the mixture with additional cold water when you're ready to serve.
How is Nitro Cold Brew Made?
Nitro brewed coffee is made similarly to regular cold brew but with additional science and equipment. Combine water and ground coffee beans and let it steep for an extended period. Then it's time to strain the mixture, add additional water, and infuse it with nitrogen.
Infusing cold brew with nitrogen can be done in several ways.
· First, you can use a whipped cream dispenser by charging the vessel with a nitrous oxide cartridge, letting it charge, and then dispensing it into a glass.
· Second, you can use a keg and tap system by filling a keg with your cold brew mixture, setting it up to a nitrogen gas line, and pouring from a tap.
· Lastly, you can useBROOD. BROOD’s tankless nitro technology erases the complicated infusion process. Simply set up the plug-and-play system (it takes less than 2 minutes!)and you will have tasty, cold-flashed nitro cold brew almost instantaneously.
Is Cold Brew Stronger?
Yes, cold brew is more potent than most other chilled coffee offerings. Cold brew and nitro cold brew have almost double the amount of caffeine found in a standard pour of hot drip coffee or iced coffee. Cold brew is the solution for someone looking to ramp up their morning and kickstart the day.
What Does Cold Brew Taste Like?
Cold brew is slightly sweeter than traditionally brewed coffee. Cold brew tastes like coffee minus the high acidic, bitter notes. This is great for those looking to decrease the amount of sugar added to coffee. The cold brewing process tames coffee's bitterness and offers a more rounded flavor on the palette. Additionally, nitro cold brew takes this further by infusing a rich texture that mimics frothy milk found in cappuccinos and other coffee concoctions. Cold brew removes the need for added sweeteners and milk products, which creates a healthier beverage overall.
What is a Nitro Cold Brew Going for at Starbucks?
Nitro cold brew at Starbucks has quickly become a popular menu item, but is it worth it?It depends on your location and market, but Starbucks charges an average of $3.95 for their nitrogen-infused offering. Why pay those prices day after day when you can have a better-tasting nitro brew at home? Making cold brew at home will taste better and allow you complete control over the brewing process and flavor outcomes. While cold brew lasts much longer than other coffee variations, its flavor inevitably changes over time. Brewing yours at home also means you have full knowledge of how long a batch has been sitting around on your fridge's shelf.
Making nitro-infused coffee can be more accessible (and easier!) than ever before withBROOD. Eliminate the fuss and mess by simply brewing, plugging, and pouring.BROOD provides an instantly cold, frothy beverage that takes minimal time and effort to set up and eliminates the daily $5 spent on a corporation's product.Whether you’re a coffee aficionado looking to elevate their at-home routine, ora cafe ready to take your coffee offerings to the next level, BROOD will get you there.