Cold Coffee isn’t the same thing anymore. People drink it by choice. And they like it. Even the big coffee company with the mermaid got this one.
As wouldn’t this be crazy enough (Cold coffee? Whaat??) a couple of forward thinking guys thought to themselves why not put it into a barrel, charge it with some nitro and serve it on tap? Saves time, money and looks cool. Et voila, Nitro Cold Brew Coffee was born.
In detail Nitro Cold Brew is basically cold extracted coffee which is filled in a tap system. The coffee filled barrel is set under pressure by charging it with nitrogen. More than this you need a special stout spout on your tap. This contains a very small perforated plate which causes very fine swirls what results in the nice frothy head and silky mouthfeel you know and love from your Guiness.
This results in a fruitier and fresher but also creamier and richer cup of coffee.
So far you only have been able to have a taste of nitro if you were the lucky owner of a tap system.
A small company from the US of A named, surprisingly suitable, “NitroBrew“ tried to solve this problem by inventing a way more handy tool. The result is a little gadget of the same name which allows you to prepare single serves of nitro brew by order while being less expensive and far more space-saving than every tap.
I had the chance to give it a try so here are my results.
Scope of supply
The home kit includes everything you need to get started. A kettle, a compressor with nitrogen filter and pressure control, a charging station, a flexible tube and some double sided sticky tape. You can get the set starting from 355,- $ but it’s also possible to buy all parts separately.
Compressor and the stainless steel kettle make a solid and good quality impression. Only the plastic handle of the kettle seems to quit its service if used too excessive. The instruction already mentions not to shake the kettle by holding the handle. The charging station is made out of plastic as well, but it doesn’t have to handle a lot of force so that shouldn’t be an issue.
A piece of cake. You can install everything without any additional tools. The tube connects charging station and compressor easily. If desired, you can apply the station with the sticky tape on top or underneath your counter. Or you leave it as it is and stay flexible. As soon as the compressor is plugged in you’re good to go!
The maximum pressure for the kettle is 45psig. If needed you can change the preset pressure setting with a twist of your hand. You can also plug it to a nitro gas container. But therefore some additional tools will be needed. Perfect for the next glamping trip in the middle of nowhere or a black out.
As easy as the setup. Fill up the kettle with the liquid of your choice, close the lid and load it with nitro by pushing the valve into the charging station. Shake it for a couple of seconds while remembering not to use the handle. Done with that you’re ready to pour your nitro liquid into whatever you want to drink it from.
If you fill the kettle with about 12 oz of liquid the charging process will take around 20 Sec. The more liquid is in the kettle the faster it will charge. You might have to recharge it to sustain the same quality of foaminess.
I had no problems operating the system so far. The only thing that needs some help from time to time is the lid. If it is not put on very accurate, you’ll need to push it down a little to help building up the pressure and forcing the sealing to close tightly.
…is also no issue. You can just nitro a little water to clean the valve and/or put it into the dishwasher.
One of Nitro Brews main arguments for a NitroBrew kettle is to nitro your favorite beer. Works perfectly fine! You only have to keep mind one little thing – If you force nitro in, you will force carbonation out. If you are the kind of drinker who likes a little sparkle you never should nitro your entire hoppy refresher. I preferred to keep 2/3 of my beer as it is and just using the rest to get the foamiliciousness. Same with everything else that bubbles.
Game maker number two – coffee. Nitro Cold Brew is, without any doubt, a great thing to do. Only little downside compared to a tap is the durability of foam and texture. The longer the coffee sits at the barrel and therefore is able to enrich itself with the nitro the better the result will get. We kept ours in for at least 24 hours to get satisfying results. This time is missing using the kettle. Even though the shaking speeds up the process.
For a quick shot of a single serve of nitro satisfaction it’s a great alternative though. Especially if you keep in mind the cost, space and maintenance issues that come along with a stationary tap.
If adding a little sugar or milk the durability of the foam already improves. A big advantage especially because milk beverages in a tap can be a pain. More than this you’re able to react on every customer request. Nitro Coldbrew? Here we go! Add a little Nitro Milk? Of course! Nitro Matcha Latte? Pfff…any challenges?
From the view of a bartender this was the most interesting and most potential category for me.
I tested it with short and long drinks and have to admit that a Nitro Manhattan is a dangerously quaffable sip of straight booze.
If you add a little egg white or other emulsifiers like Xanthan Gum or ProEspuma you get a crazy creaminess and texture into your drink without shaking your arms off! You should definitely try a Nitro Pisco Sour or Ramos Fizz!
If you want to you can build up your drinks directly in the kettle, add ice and use it instead of your shaker. You have to shake it anyway. The only thing you should be really dainty with is not to let any solids like pulp, herbs or spices into the kettle. They will clog the valve immediately.
Basically you can nitro anything that’s liquid and under 120°F (50°C). Milkshakes, juices, wines, spirits,… and to think one step ahead – why not trying a Nitro-Gazpacho?
The NitroBrew is a very versatile tool that only gives very few limitations to your creativity.
Even though it can’t reach a classic Nitro Tap in matter of durability and texture of the beverage and some small thinks that could be improved like the handle and the sealing mechanism its advantages are obvious if you look at costs, flexibility, space and handling.
Definitely an alternative tool that doesn’t has to hide!