Nitro cold brew and cold brew coffee are both popular choices for coffee lovers, but it can be hard to distinguish the two if you’ve never tried them yourself.
Quick Answer: What’s the difference between nitro cold brew and cold brew?
The main difference between nitro cold brew and cold brew is that nitro cold brew is infused with nitrogen gas, which gives it a creamy, foamy head. Nitro cold brew also has a slightly more sweet taste than regular cold brew.
So, which one is better? That’s up for debate, but here’s a closer look at the two drinks to help you decide. Let’s get started.
Nitro cold brew vs. cold brew: the differences
Before going in-depth about each of the differences between nitro cold brew and cold brew, here’s a quick overview:
|Nitro cold brew:
|Rich body with a creamy texture
|Sweet flavor with a foamy top
|Smooth taste with slightly bitter notes
|250mg of caffeine
|250mg of caffeine
|How is it served?
|Nitrogen infused, over ice, optional sweetener
|Over ice, optional sweetener of choice
What is the difference in taste between these drinks?
Nitro cold brew has a creamier and sweeter taste than regular cold brew.
Cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, typically 12-24 hours:
This process produces a smooth, rich, and slightly acidic coffee that is perfect for serving over ice.
Nitro cold brew takes the smoothness and richness of regular cold brew and adds nitrogen gas, giving it the characteristic cascading effect you see in draft beer.
Is nitro cold brew stronger than cold brew?
Nitro cold brew coffee is not stronger than traditional cold brew coffee because the nitrous oxide infusion makes it sweeter. Regular cold brew has a more robust flavor.
The gas bubbles in nitro cold brew make it creamier and more like a stout beer.
Some people who don’t like the taste of black coffee may prefer nitro cold brew because of its sweet and creamy flavor.
Keep in mind that both drinks are made on the same regular cold brew basis. So if you’re using a cold brew basis that has steeped for 24 hours, you can expect both drinks to be more robust.
I usually steep my cold brew for 15 hours, as this is the sweet spot for me in terms of flavor and strength.
Which is sweeter? Nitro cold brew or cold brew?
Nitro cold brew is sweeter because nitrogen infusion gives a creamier, smoother mouthfeel and accentuates sweetness.
Nitro cold brew takes the smoothness and sweetness of cold brew to a whole new level by infusing it with nitrogen gas.
This process creates small bubbles that dissolve more quickly than CO2 bubbles, resulting in a creamier texture and enhanced sweetness.
So, if you’re looking for an ultra-smooth and sweet cup, nitro cold brew is your best pick.
How many calories are there in nitro cold brew vs. cold brew?
Nitro cold brew and cold brew have about the same number of calories per serving, roughly 5.
So, if you’re counting calories, both are good options. But nitro cold brew has the added benefit of being high in nitrogen, which gives it a richer, creamier flavor.
The sweeter taste of nitro cold brew will likely be enough for most without adding any sweeteners to it.
So it might be the better option if you like to sweeten your cold brew and are watching your weight.
When you start adding your favorite coffee syrups to the mix, both coffees will be higher in calories.
Does nitro cold brew have more caffeine?
Nitro cold brew has the same amount of caffeine as regular cold brew. Nitro cold brew just has a more subtle flavor and creamier texture than regular cold brew.
Cold brew has about 250mg of caffeine per serving, which means that nitro cold brew has around the same amount of caffeine. (Source)
The caffeine content can change from coffee shop to coffee shop, depending on how long the cold brew has steeped and how much is used per serving.
The coffee beans that are used to make cold brew make a difference in caffeine content as well.
Usually, the same amounts of cold brew are used to prepare both drinks, giving them equal amounts of caffeine.
Tip: Check out this list of the best coffee beans for cold brew coffee!
Which is better? Nitro cold brew or cold brew?
It depends on your palate. Nitro cold brew is smoother with a chocolatey flavor, while cold brew is more intense and has a slightly bitter aftertaste.
It really depends on what you’re looking for in a cup of coffee. If you’re not quite sure which would fit you better, I suggest the following:
- Go with nitro cold brew if you like a creamier mouthfeel and a slightly more sweet flavor.
- Stick to regular cold brew if you like a more classic taste with a more robust flavor.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. There’s a time and place for both drinks, and I love drinking both equally as much.
Switch things up and try both to see which better fits your palate.
Nitro cold brew and cold brew FAQs
Do you want to learn more about nitro cold brew? Here are some more frequently asked questions to check out:
Is nitro cold brew worth it?
Yes, nitro cold brew is worth it. The coffee has a creamier mouthfeel, and the nitrogen gives it a smooth finish. It also has a slightly sweet flavor that most will enjoy.
Why does nitro cold brew taste different?
Nitro cold brew is different because the nitrogen gas gives it a creamier, more velvety mouthfeel. It also slightly changes the flavor profile because of how nitrogen gas interacts with flavor compounds.
Do you add anything to nitro cold brew?
Many enjoy adding cream, milk, or even flavored syrups to their nitro cold brew. However, it’s also delicious, just as it is!
Related coffee comparison articles
Are you wondering how cold brew compares to other coffees?
Great! Check out the articles below for more in-depth coffee comparisons:
And to compare more coffees, visit the coffee comparison hub!
Now that you know the difference between nitro cold brew and cold brew, it’s up to you to decide which one you want to try!
If you’re looking for a more traditional coffee experience, go for cold brew. However, go for nitro cold brew if you want something different and exciting.
Whichever one you choose, I hope that you enjoy it! And if you’re looking for some delicious cold brew recipes to try, have a look below at some of my favorites: