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What is Nitro Brew Coffee and How to Make it? Complete Buying Guide 2019

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What is Nitro Brew Coffee?

Turn the TV on and you’ll see an endless slew of cooking shows where chefs are armed with gloves and goggles.

You’ll see them lugging steel canisters that seem unfit for the kitchen; something more suited for a science laboratory.

What is inside the canister, most might ask? Two words: liquid nitrogen.

With the popularity of molecular gastronomy came about one of, if not the trendiest ingredient ever used in a kitchen.

What is Liquid Nitrogen?

As per the Wikipedia:

The air that we breathe is around 78% nitrogen in a gaseous state, 21% oxygen and 1% various other gases. In order to produce liquid nitrogen, the air is first liquefied. Nitrogen is then separated through distillation. Since nitrogen’s boiling point is -195.8°C (-320.5°F). Thus, liquid nitrogen is very cold; it is a liquid that is ‘cryogenic.’

The Role of Liquid Nitrogen in the Kitchen

Liquid nitrogen is extremely cold thereby its primary purpose is to quickly freeze food products. Although the speed at which liquid nitrogen can freeze food is quite astonishing, professional chefs are more interested in the way it freezes food.

Inside a standard freezer, large ice crystals are formed as food is frozen. These ice crystals have a tendency of affecting the product’s consistency. The beauty of liquid nitrogen is that the ice crystals formed during the freezing process are smaller — microscopic even.

As a result, the end-product is food that carries a velvety consistency. This is precisely the reason why nitrogen-frozen ice cream is all the rage these days.

Best Nitro Brew Coffee Makers

Royal Brew Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker Kit 64 Ounce Stainless Steel Keg Homebrew System 2.0

KEG STORM Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker 64 Ounce Mini Stainless Steel Keg Home Brew Coffee System

Lymor Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker 64 Ounce Mini Stainless Steel Homebrew Coffee Keg System Kit

Lamtor Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker 64 OZ Mini Stainless Steel Keg Home Brew Coffee System

The Wondrous Innovation That is Nitro Brew

Cold brewing is an old concept but a rather popular modern take on preparing coffee. It involves the prolonged steeping of coarsely-ground coffee beans in cold water; delivering a more powerful and flavorful cup of java without most of the acid content or bitter elements.

Although cold brew coffee has grown to be immensely popular, its counterpart, nitrogen-infused cold brew or nitro brew for short, is catching up quite fast. Nitro brew broke into the mainstream coffee market in 2013.

Nitro brew started as a niche coffee product that only a few coffee junkies knew about. Its success can be attributed to the efforts made by a commercial coffee chain to implement the product across hundreds of stores around the world.

It is a cold coffee drink that is served in a glass. Upon first look, you would think that you have just been served a cold, frosty glass of beer; but what you are getting is a creamy coffee drink with a hint of chocolate that hits the tongue in all the right places.

Unlike other coffee drinks, this is stronger in terms of its potency and caffeine content.

Infused with nitrogen, not only does the coffee look very much like a glass of Guinness beer but it also gives off an extra smooth and velvety consistency, much like a very fine milkshake but sans the milk or cream.

How is Nitro Brew Made?

To make the nitro brew, the barista starts with cold brewed coffee. Coarsely-ground beans are steeped for 24 hours and are diluted with water. A 50:50 ratio is applied. Canisters of nitrogen gas are connected to the draft system.

Upon serving, the coffee is released through a pressurized valve. As it is drawn from the tap, it is infused with the nitrogen gas. The coffee is forced out of the tap using a very high pressure creating the smooth, creamy, and stout-like consistency.

Those who have tried nitro brew can attest to its smooth and clean taste. Compared to other coffee beverages, the overall drinking sensation here is often described as silky.

When it is served, no ice is added as this will further dilute the drink. It is an ideal option for people who simply love black coffee as it is said that the best way to drink nitro brew is upfront black – no milk or sugar necessary.

What Makes Nitro Brew So Smooth and Velvety?

As the cold brew coffee passes through the draft tap, the infusion of nitrogen gas causes these very small ice crystals to form leading to the velvety consistency that nitro brew is famous for.

The minuscule ice crystals give the beverage it’s cool temperature and smooth texture; similar to how milk or cream works on a milkshake.

What people don’t realize is that it is the sensation of ice crystals that they are feeling and not any additional frothing ingredient.

Aside from the gas, the pressurized system also adds to the smoothness of nitro brew. Apart from the nitrogen, the air is also added as the cold brew passes through the tap.

It is comparable to how whipping cream is formed when a chef whisks it for several minutes.

The Booming Business of Nitro Brew

These days, it is not that easy to find a coffee shop that does not offer cold or nitro brew coffee on the premises. The product is truly something that can help any coffee place stand out from the competition.

The thing about nitro brew is that it does not only offer an alternative coffee drink for coffee lovers. What it provides is a completely different and truly unique coffee drinking experience that will keep people clamoring for more.

For one, nitro brew eliminates the need for milk and sugar in coffee. It carries a complex flavor that is able to compensate for the lack of these two additional ingredients resulting in a fuller-bodied yet somewhat healthier alternative to traditional coffee.

Although some people may be quick to judge it as a mere coffee trend, the rising popularity of and favor over nitro brew begs to differ.

And as the coffee industry continues to experiment with it, it is safe to say that people can expect the cold and nitro brew concepts to expand into other products that won’t only be available in neighborhood coffee shops.

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