Whether you’re a big city or small town coffee shop, it’s important to stay on-trend in order to keep the customers flowing like java. And one of the biggest trends in the world of coffee right now is cold brew, especially of the nitro variety. Since cold brews and nitro coffee are often prepared and poured using kegs, you might be uncertain of how that equipment works or could fit in your shop’s current setup. We’ll give you a quick overview of how to make nitro cold brew coffee using a keg and all the equipment you’ll need for a complete system. 

How is Nitro Coffee Made? 

To put it simply, nitro coffee is cold brew coffee that’s been infused with nitrogen for a creamier mouthfeel and sweeter taste without any add-ins — and it’s gorgeous in a glass, too. As for cold brew, this beverage is coffee that was steeped in cold water rather than hot water, usually over a longer period of time (12-24 hours). 

There are a number of reasons why cold brewing coffee is preferable for many people. First, it takes away some of the bitterness associated with hot coffee and replaces it with sweeter tones. It also reduces the acidity of coffee, which is great for coffee lovers with sensitive stomachs or conditions like acid reflux. As for coffee shops, cold brews are fantastic to have in stock because they keep much longer than hot coffee, which we all know tastes significantly less satisfying after it cools. Plus, nitro coffee looks amazing when it’s poured from a nitrogen infusing tap. This highly sought-after pour is called the cascade, or cascading effect: it describes the lava-like, cascading pour of millions of smooth nitro bubbles descending below the rich nitro head at the rim of the glass. 

Sound like an experience you want to bring to your coffee shop? We’ll give you some simple step-by-step tips for how to make nitro cold brew coffee for your customers’ refined taste. 

How to Nitro Brew Coffee

The moment we’ve all been waiting for! Even though it might come across as a complicated beverage to make, nitro cold brew coffee is actually fairly simple, especially if you’ve made other cold brews in the past.

  1. Sanitize all the equipment you’ll be using to avoid any contaminants that might affect the steeping process and leave you with a funky taste. Check out our nitro cold brew kits to buy everything you need for nitro coffee: a nitro cylinder, keg, regulator, nitrogen infusing tap, tower and all the necessary connections. Some of our cold brew keg kits even come with kegerators, too!  
  2. Coarsely grind your coffee beans in a coffee grinder or food processor.
  3. Place your coffee beans and water in a kettle or keg-sized temporary container that can fit inside a refrigerator to be chilled. Wait 12 to 24 hours (we recommend closer to 24) to make sure the coffee is nice and steeped. 
  4. Once the waiting is done, use a nitro coffee filter system to transfer your signature cold brew into your keg. The filter will catch both coarse and fine grounds floating around in the coffee mix and help prevent your hoses from clogging. 
  5. Close up your keg once all of the cold brew has filtered in, and toss it into the kegerator.
  6. Connect your nitrogen tank to begin the infusing process. We recommend nitrogen infusing keg lids to help keep your nitro coffee evenly diffused with bubbly nitrogen at all times. 
  7. Serve up delicious, frothy nitro cold brew coffee on draft the very next day! As a side note, it’s possible to serve both cold brew and nitro coffee from the same equipment — you just need a kegerator system with two separate taps. Simple as that!

Bring Nitro Coffee to Your Shop with Beverage Elements

Beverage Elements is always excited to help bars and coffee shops find the nitro coffee system they need to give their customers the beverages they crave — and it’s not just because we’re hopped up on cold brew. Check out all the cold brewing equipment we have in stock or shoot us an email at [email protected] with any questions. Our friendly experts are always ready to brew up a solution!