If you’ve frequented a coffee shop over the past few years, you might know that cold brew is becoming a hot commodity.
Some might confuse cold brew with iced coffee, but the two have fundamentally different preparations, and connoisseurs will be quick to point out a vast difference in quality. Iced coffee is traditionally brewed hot coffee that’s been chilled with ice. In contrast, cold brew derives from grounds that have been soaked for an extended period of time in water at room temperature (or that’s been chilled).
So what’s the fuss about cold- versus hot-brewed coffee? In boiling water, the oils in coffee grounds tend to oxidize and the acids break down, which can result in a bitter tang and the loss of nuanced flavor notes. But in room-temperature/cool water, those processes are slowed down significantly, lending cold brew a smoother, deeper, richer, sweeter flavor.
Traditional cold brew is all well and good, but customers are beginning to notice how luxurious this coffee can be with the simple infusion of nitrogen bubbles.
Fans of craft beer are likely familiar with taps “on nitro.” Carbon dioxide creates the traditional head on beer, but a nitro brew is infused with nitrogen (or a nitrogen-CO2 combo) to create a creamier froth exemplified by the world-famous (and exactingly poured) Guinness stout. (Guinness pioneered nitrogen infusion.)
Technological innovation has allowed a similar method to boost cold-brewed coffee. Priming cold brew with tiny nitrogen bubbles, letting it sit one or two days, then pouring it through a restrictor plate to stimulate the gas, takes the libation to a whole new level and gives it a smooth, buttery, luscious mouthfeel. Some coffee drinkers accustomed to adding cream and sugar to their mugs find these ingredients unnecessary in nitrogen-stocked cold brew.
As with beer, either pure nitrogen or a blend of nitrogen and CO2 in varying proportions can be used depending on the desired flavor profile.
As java gourmands fall in love with the velvety charm of nitro coffee, more coffee shops (and amateur cold-brew fans) are integrating nitro capabilities into their operations. On Site Gas Systems recently debuted the Nitro-Blast setup, which is perfect for cranking up your cold brew.
The nitro makeover may be the most talked-about enhancement to cold brew these days, but there are plenty of other ways to tweak your cup. Common finishing ingredients to cold brew include salt and chocolate.
Ready to enhance your already delicious cold-brewed coffee? Turn to On Site Gas to take advantage of our state-of-the-art nitrogen generators, and embrace the creamy goodness that nitro coffee delivers. Contact us today to learn more about our offerings.
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