What is nitro coffee?
To get straight to the point: nitro coffee is cold brew coffee to which nitrogen (nitrogen) has been added. The new creamy, silky and slightly sweet sister to your standard iced coffee! This coffee trend has gradually grown in America in recent years and is now also starting to blow over to Europe.
The basis of nitro coffee is cold brew. Cold brewing is a special way of making coffee. Where normal coffee is made with hot water (which can be cooled for iced coffee afterwards), cold brew is made with cold water (maximum at room temperature). The process to make cold brew coffee does take longer: the coffee must be steeped for at least 12 hours. Cold brew gives a milder, sweeter and less sour taste compared to regular coffee.
To make nitro coffee, nitrogen is then added to the cold brew under pressure. This creates a nice foam layer on your coffee.
First, the mouthfeel of nitro coffee is very different from normal coffee. There is a silky foam layer on the coffee, which is very pleasant to drink. Contrary to what you might expect, you don't really taste the coffee, because nitrogen gas produces much smaller bubbles than carbon dioxide. The coffee is a bit 'thicker' in terms of mouthfeel, which is due to the nitrogen bubbles. Furthermore, nitro coffee is less acidic and somewhat sweeter compared to normal coffee.
Can you make it yourself?
Normally, nitro coffee is served from the tap. Nitrogen is added via the tap. Now you probably have no nitrogen gas at home, let alone a tap. Can you still make your own nitro coffee? Well, this is probably going to be really tricky. At the very least, you need a way to add the nitrogen to your coffee. This could be done with the 'nitro whip', a small device with which you can get nitrogen in your coffee. Unfortunately, you have to buy this especially for it!
You can easily make cold brew yourself at home. Put ground coffee and cold water (ratio about 200 grams to 1 litre) in a pot or jug, and stir well. Cover the coffee and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Then filter the coffee, and you have cold brew! It can be that simple.
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