What is the difference between Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew?

Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew have become increasingly popular among coffee enthusiasts seeking a refreshing alternative to hot coffee. These two cold coffee options offer unique characteristics that set them apart from each other. In this article, we will explore the difference between Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew, helping you understand their distinct flavors, brewing processes, and more. Whether you’re a fan of smoothness or crave a velvety texture, we’ll help you make an informed decision based on your preferences.

Key Takeaways

  • Cold Brew is smooth and slightly sweeter, while Nitro Cold Brew has a creamy texture and unique flavor profile.
  • Cold Brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, while Nitro Cold Brew is infused with nitrogen gas for a velvety texture.
  • Cold Brew has lower acidity levels and a longer shelf life compared to hot coffee.
  • Both Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew have higher caffeine content than hot coffee.
  • Cold Brew is a popular choice for making at home, with specialized kits available for convenience.

The Brewing Process

Understanding how cold brew and nitro cold brew are made is key to appreciating their unique qualities. Let’s dive into the brewing process of each.

How is Cold Brew Made?

Cold brew is crafted through a slow and patient steeping method that involves coarse ground coffee beans and cold water. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

  1. Coarse ground coffee beans are placed in a container.
  2. Cold water is poured over the coffee grounds.
  3. The mixture is left to steep for a significant period, usually between 12 to 24 hours.
  4. After steeping, the coffee is filtered to remove the grounds.
  5. The resulting coffee concentrate is then diluted with water or milk to achieve the desired flavor and strength.

Cold brew’s long brewing time allows for a smooth and less acidic cup, making it an excellent choice for those looking for a milder and less bitter coffee experience.

How is Nitro Cold Brew Made?

Nitro cold brew is a variation of cold brew that undergoes an additional step to infuse it with nitrogen gas. Let’s explore the process:

  1. The first step in making nitro cold brew is to create a cold brew concentrate following the same process as traditional cold brew.
  2. Once the cold brew concentrate is ready, it is transferred to a keg or container.
  3. Nitrogen gas is pressurized and infused into the container, creating tiny bubbles that give the coffee its signature foamy head and creamy texture.

The nitrogen infusion adds a velvety smoothness to the coffee, elevating the drinking experience. Nitro cold brew is often enjoyed straight from the tap, enhancing its unique presentation and texture.

Now that you understand the brewing process behind cold brew and nitro cold brew, let’s explore their distinct flavor profiles in the next section.

Flavor Profile

Cold Brew is known for its smooth, mellow, and slightly sweet taste, making it an excellent alternative to hot coffee. Its long steeping process extracts the subtle flavors of the coffee beans, resulting in a deliciously refreshing drink. With lower acidity levels than traditional hot coffee, cold brew offers a gentler flavor profile that many find appealing.

Nitro Cold Brew takes the flavor experience to another level with its unique characteristics. The infusion of nitrogen gas adds a creamy and smooth texture, giving this beverage a velvety mouthfeel. Alongside the delightful texture, nitro cold brew offers hints of sweetness that complement the coffee’s natural flavors. Each sip is a decadent treat for the taste buds.

“Cold Brew has a smooth, mellow, and slightly sweet flavor, while Nitro Cold Brew offers a unique and creamy profile with hints of sweetness.”

Health Benefits

Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew offer potential health benefits along with their refreshing flavors. Let’s explore some of the reasons why these cold coffee drinks could be a great addition to your daily routine:

  1. Less Acidity: Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew have lower acidity levels compared to hot coffee, making them gentler on the stomach. If you have a sensitive stomach or acid reflux, these cold brew options could be a better choice for you.
  2. Extended Shelf Life: Unlike hot coffee, which can lose its flavor and freshness within a few hours, cold brew has an extended shelf life. You can prepare a batch of cold brew and enjoy it over several days without compromising on taste.
  3. Lower Temperature: The cooling effect of cold brew and nitro cold brew makes them ideal for hot summer days. You can savor the refreshing qualities of these cold drinks while staying hydrated.

By opting for cold brew or nitro cold brew, you can enjoy a delicious beverage that offers potential health benefits and a unique coffee experience. Now, let’s take a closer look at the caffeine content of these cold coffee options.

Caffeine Content

When it comes to caffeine content, both Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew pack a punch compared to regular hot coffee. The unique brewing methods of these cold coffee drinks result in higher caffeine concentrations, making them a popular choice for those seeking an extra boost.

On average, an 8-ounce serving of Cold Brew contains about 100-200 mg of caffeine. The slow extraction process and longer steeping time of Cold Brew contribute to its higher caffeine content compared to hot coffee.

On the other hand, a 12-ounce serving of Nitro Cold Brew from Starbucks has approximately 215 mg of caffeine. The nitrogen infusion not only adds a creamy texture and foamy head to Nitro Cold Brew but also enhances its caffeine content.

Coffee DrinkCaffeine Content (per serving)
Cold Brew100-200 mg
Nitro Cold Brew (Starbucks)215 mg

It’s important to note that caffeine levels can vary depending on the brand, size of the serving, and brewing methods. If you’re looking for a high caffeine content in your cold coffee, Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew are excellent options.

Presentation and Availability

When it comes to presentation, Nitro Cold Brew takes the spotlight. Its mesmerizing cascading effect and foamy head make it a visually appealing choice at coffee shops. For those who appreciate a well-presented beverage, Nitro Cold Brew certainly delivers.

But it’s not just about looks—Nitro Cold Brew also offers a smooth and velvety texture that sets it apart from regular Cold Brew. The infusion of nitrogen gas creates tiny bubbles, resulting in a creamy mouthfeel that coffee enthusiasts love.

While Nitro Cold Brew is a crowd-pleaser, it’s important to note that its availability may vary. Due to the specialized equipment required for its preparation, not all coffee shops offer Nitro Cold Brew on their menu. However, you can often find it in specialty coffee establishments or larger chain cafes.

Nitro Cold BrewSmooth and velvetyVaries, more common in specialty coffee establishments
Cold BrewSmoothWidely available at coffee shops

Cold Brew on Tap

Cold Brew on tap offers a convenient and consistent way to enjoy this refreshing cold coffee beverage. Similar to how draft beer is served, Cold Brew is available directly from a tap, ensuring a readily accessible supply for coffee shops and establishments specializing in cold coffee.

This method allows for a seamless experience, providing customers with a quick and hassle-free way to enjoy their favorite cold brew. The availability of Cold Brew on tap ensures that coffee enthusiasts can indulge in their preferred beverage without the need for extensive preparation time.

Nitrogen-infused Cold Brew is often served on tap, adding a unique twist to the traditional cold coffee experience. The infusion of nitrogen gas enhances the creaminess and texture of the Cold Brew, creating a velvety mouthfeel and a visually appealing cascading effect.

Having Cold Brew on tap brings the convenience of a consistent and easily accessible supply, ensuring that customers can satisfy their cravings for this beloved cold coffee beverage. Whether it’s a morning pick-me-up or an afternoon treat, Cold Brew on tap offers a delightful and refreshing option.

Iced Coffee Comparison

While Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew are both popular options for cold coffee, it’s important to understand the distinction between these drinks and traditional iced coffee. Iced coffee is typically made by brewing hot coffee using methods like drip coffee or French press, and then chilling it by adding ice. It offers a familiar taste similar to hot coffee, but with a refreshing cold temperature. On the other hand, Cold Brew has its unique brewing process and a distinct flavor profile.

Cold Brew is made by steeping coarse ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period of time, usually 12-24 hours. This slow extraction method produces a smooth and milder flavor compared to traditional iced coffee. The result is a refreshing and less acidic drink that can be enjoyed straight or with a splash of water or milk.

In contrast, traditional iced coffee undergoes a hot brewing process, which can result in a slightly bitter or acidic flavor. After brewing, it is cooled down by adding ice, offering a chilled version of the classic coffee taste. While the brewing methods between Cold Brew and iced coffee differ, both options provide a deliciously refreshing way to enjoy coffee on a hot day.

To summarize the key differences:

Cold BrewIced Coffee
Coarse ground coffee steeped in cold water for 12-24 hoursHot coffee brewed using various methods and cooled with ice
Smooth and milder flavor with less acidityFamiliar coffee taste with a colder temperature

Both Cold Brew and iced coffee offer unique experiences and flavors. Choosing between them depends on personal preference and desired taste profile. Cold Brew provides a smoother, milder flavor, while iced coffee retains the familiar taste of hot coffee in a cold form.

Next, we’ll explore the process of making Cold Brew at home, allowing you to enjoy this refreshing drink anytime.

Making Cold Brew at Home

Making Cold Brew at home is a popular choice for coffee enthusiasts. It allows you to enjoy a smooth and refreshing cup of cold coffee right from the comfort of your own kitchen. With just a few simple steps, you can create your own DIY cold brew that rivals the taste of your favorite coffee shop.

To make homemade cold brew, you will need:

  • Coarse ground coffee beans
  • Cold water
  • A container or jar
  • A fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth
  • Optional: water or milk for dilution

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make cold brew:

  1. Measure out your desired amount of coffee grounds. A good starting ratio is 1 cup of coffee grounds to 4 cups of water, but feel free to adjust based on your taste preferences.
  2. Grind your coffee beans to a coarse consistency. This helps with the extraction process and prevents the final brew from becoming bitter.
  3. In a container or jar, combine the coffee grounds and cold water. Stir gently to ensure all the grounds are saturated.
  4. Cover the container and let it steep in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. The longer you steep, the stronger the coffee concentrate will be.
  5. After steeping, strain the cold brew using a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the coffee grounds. This will give you a smooth and clean liquid.
  6. If desired, dilute the concentrate with water or milk to your preferred taste and strength.
  7. Serve your homemade cold brew over ice and enjoy!

Making cold brew at home allows you to customize the strength and flavor of your coffee. You can experiment with different coffee beans, water ratios, and steeping times to find the perfect balance for your taste buds.

If you’re new to making cold brew or prefer a convenient solution, there are also cold brew kits available in the market. These kits often include everything you need to make cold brew at home, including pre-measured coffee grounds, a brewing container, and step-by-step instructions.


Choosing between Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew comes down to personal preference. Cold Brew offers a smooth and slightly sweeter taste, while Nitro Cold Brew adds a creamy texture and unique flavor profile. When making your decision, consider your preferred taste and texture, as well as the availability of each option.

Both Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew provide a refreshing cold coffee experience with potential health benefits. Cold Brew’s lower acidity makes it a better choice for those with sensitive stomachs or acid reflux. Additionally, the extended shelf life of these cold drinks allows you to enjoy them over several days. The lower temperature of these cold drinks also makes them a refreshing option on hot summer days.

Whether you prefer the smoothness of Cold Brew or the creamy mouthfeel of Nitro Cold Brew, both options offer a delightful coffee experience. Explore the world of cold coffee and find your perfect cup. Cheers to enjoying the refreshing, flavorful, and healthful benefits of Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew!