Here’s the deal with nitro coffee. Yes, it’s as cool as it sounds. The secret behind this unique, trendy drink is nitrogen. Infused into coffee, it gives the drink the smallest bubbles, much smaller than what you get with CO2, and those bubbles translate as a smooth, addictive smoothness.
The question here is, we’ve all seen sophisticated coffee bars serving nitro cold brew, but can you make it at home? With the right equipment, which is not particularly special, you can. Here’s what you need to know.
Have you heard about cream whippers? These sturdy canisters come with a valve in which you insert special cartridges filled with different gases. CO2 cartridges, for example, can give a lovely fizz to any drink, and Nitrogen cartridges kind of do the same thing, these are the ones you need.
Professional bakers and pastry chefs use cream whippers to make whipped cream and other concoctions instead of using the canned whipped cream you and I use to top our coffee. Well, it turns out these cream whippers can do more than whipped cream; they can make instant infusions, and what’s cold brew but an infusion?
Traditionally, to make cold brew coffee, you need to steep ground coffee beans in water for between twelve and eighteen hours. Well, with a cream whipper, you’ll get comparable results in minutes.
And there’s a bonus. A nitrogen cartridge in a cream whipper will not only help you infuse water with coffee but will also give the drink the nicest nitrogen bubbles. There you have it, homemade nitro cold brew.
For best results, start with a batch of cold brew. The coffee will be more intense. Still, you can flash-infuse water with coffee in the cream whipper — you’ll need one of those, of course.
You’ll also need nitro cartridges, and they’re not all that inexpensive. The result is worth it, though. Some folks use up to four nitro charges for one canister of cold brew. I use two and love the results. Let’s check out the recipe!
Fill the cream whipper with the coffee and water. Close tightly and charge with two nitrogen cartridges.
Shake and store the cream whipper in the fridge for one hour.
Shake again and discharge the gas gently.
Once depressurized, open the canister and pour the instant nitro cold brew over ice.
Sweeten to taste, and optionally, add cream or milk.