Nitro coffee is a different take on cold brew coffee though recently I’m seeing hot coffee mentions too. Which intrigued me to research the process and what impacts people say nitro infusion has. This process starts by creating a cold brew, which involves steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water over a period of 12 to 24 hours to produce a familiar smooth, rich concentrate.
The key transformation happens when this concentrate is infused with the nitrogen, typically using a pressurized valve or nitrogen tank in commercial settings, though at-home brewers might use nitrogen capsules or keg systems.
Most options found online use gas cartridges, requiring a subscription. A kickstarter project that doesn’t need the cartridges is what finally pushed me to dig in a bit. OK… maybe in the excitement of researching Nitro, I found this ‘pocket’ version that is calling my name.
The serving method also plays a crucial role. Nitro coffee is dispensed through a special tap that maintains high pressure, similar to those used for stout beers. This tap forces the coffee through a restrictor plate, creating tiny nitrogen bubbles that give the coffee a creamy texture and a frothy, sort of like a Guinness head.
This nitrogen infusion process has several effects on the coffee. It changes the beverage’s texture to a silky, smooth mouthfeel, distinct from both regular coffee and traditional cold brew. The tiny nitrogen bubbles create a less acidic drink with a smoother taste, often perceived as sweeter and less bitter, despite the absence of added sugars or sweeteners.
The visual aspect of nitro coffee is also notable, with a cascading effect of nitrogen bubbles as the coffee settles, adding to its appeal. The inherent creaminess and reduced acidity mean many people say they enjoy nitro coffee without any additional dairy or sweeteners.
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