It looks similar to a beer, while it tastes like a coffee. We are talking about Nitro Cold Brew Coffee, one of the coffee shop trends of 2019 which arrives in Europe directly from the United States to enrich the range of drinks on offer in Italian bars. Nitro Cold Brew Coffee is a type of nitrogen coffee, an evolution of the better-known Cold Brew; in this case though the drink is cold extracted and then the gas is added. Let’s take a closer look at what it really consists of and how it is prepared.
Nitro Cold Brew, the nitrogen coffee popular in the USA
Nitro Cold Brew Coffee was actually invented relatively recently: the first people to prepare this drink were the bartenders of some coffee shops in New York, between 2011 and 2015. The precise identity of the creators is not certain, but we do know something about the process that led to its discovery, seeing as gas, like, for example, the carbon dioxide in soda, has long been used to add to cold drinks.
In the case of Nitro Cold Brew, the same technique that is used for making some beers (such as the famous Guinness) was chosen to be used with Cold Brew coffee: in actual fact, a cold nitrogen infusion is used, released through a pressurized valve; this has small holes in it which allow it to create a frothy effect.
Decidedly taller than your classic espresso, Nitro Cold Brew is served exclusively on tap and very often in glasses similar to those used for serving beer.
How does cold extraction work?
The process used for cold extraction of the coffee is the same as that of classic Cold Brew . The beans are soaked in cold water for at least 12 hours to obtain a cold coffee with a strong flavor.
In the case of Nitro Cold Brew, the drink then simply has the nitrogen gas added to it.
Coffee on tap, just like beer
This type of coffee, then, looks very similar to a beer served on tap with a dark amber color. Nitrogen beer is cold, long and with a froth on top which is created, not by using milk, but by the effect of the hundreds of tiny gas bubbles.
Soft and silky, the flavor of Nitro Cold Brew Coffee
For now there are still very few bars in Italy where you can taste Nitrogen coffee, but it is however an extremely “soft” drink with a characteristic low acidity. The texture is unique and silky and this effect is achieved because, in contrast to carbon dioxide, nitrogen does not dissolve in liquids and does not create the quantity and density of bubbles that you would normally find, for example, in a fizzy mineral water.
Thus, Nitro Cold Brew is a cold creamy coffee with a natural frothy head, rather than a fizzy coffee-flavored drink. There is practically no effervescence which leaves way for a sensation of softness which is a part of the success of this coffee.
Are you curious to try Nitro Cold Brew? Try it out and let us know what you think!