Fire Department Coffee
Nitro cold brew coffee

How to Make Nitro Cold Brew Coffee at Home

November 18, 2020

You’ve read about it online and tried it in third-wave coffee shops, but did you know that you can actually learn how to make nitro cold brew coffee at home? 

This quirky and refreshing coffee drink is ideal to spice up your caffeinated routine with a carbonated twist.

What is nitro cold brew coffee?

Coffee shop menu showing a nitro cold brew coffee

Nitro cold brew coffee is a cold brew charged with nitrogen, which makes it smoother and even a bit sweeter than traditional java, unlocking different flavors. 

It was invented in 2013 by entrepreneur and food scientist Nate Armbrust from Portland, not until after some trial and error. 

And by 'trial and error' we mean attempting it with CO2 instead (we’re not surprised that it killed the coffee’s flavor). 

Still, the final result was pretty awesome and it quickly spread across the country and beyond.

The next place? Your kitchen, of course!

When you make it at home, nitro cold brew coffee tastes just as special as when you drink it in coffee shops… except you won’t be overcharged for it, this time!

How to make nitro cold brew at home in 4 easy steps

You’ll need:

  • Fire Dept. Coffee beans, ground coarse
  • Water
  • 2 large mason jars
  • Cheesecloth or paper filter
  • Nitrogen gas cartridge
  • Mini keg or whipped cream dispenser

1. Have the right coffee and water

The first three steps are just like making a traditional cold brew coffee

Because this method relies on a much longer extraction time and cold water (duh), you need coarse grounds for the best results. We also recommend using filtered water.

As for quantities, it really depends on how many people you’re brewing it for. What’s important is that the ratio stays consistent: 1:5.

The easiest way to respect it is to add a cup of water for every cup of ground coffee.

Then, stir them together in the first mason jar.

2. Let them steep

Cover the container, place it in the fridge, and let your cold brew steep for 15-24 hours. 

Don’t forget to stir it or shake it halfway through.

3. Filter your cold brew

Once it’s nitro o’clock (finally!), take your first mason jar out of the fridge and filter the coffee into the second one. 

You can do so using a cheesecloth or a traditional paper filter for pour overs.

4. Add nitrogen to turn it into a nitro cold brew coffee

A fresh glass of nitro cold brew coffee

Now, the fun part. Depending on whether or not you want to invest in specific equipment, you can complete this step with either a nitro mini-keg or a whipped cream dispenser.

- How to make nitro cold brew with a whipped cream dispenser

Pour your cold brew into the dispenser, add a nitrogen cartridge to it, and squeeze it out like you would with whipped cream.

- How to make nitro cold brew with a mini-keg

Just like with the other method, all you need to do is pour the cold brew into the keg, add the cartridge, and pour it like a beer. 

The main difference, as well as the fact that it obviously translates into a superior result, is that it keeps it nice and cold for a few days. Basically, you can use the same cartridge for a lot more coffee and you don’t need to rush it when it comes to drinking it.

Now that you know how to make nitro cold brew at home, you can say buy to paying so much more money for it and you can also surprise your guests with a tasty, unusual caffeinated drink.

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