Your barista just served you a nitro cold brew coffee. You’re mesmerized by those cascading bubbles gathering together to form a foamy head at the top. It feels like your falling in love. Wait. Are you? Ok. Yes, maybe.
And you ask yourself if it’s possible to replicate this unforgettable nitro cold brew coffee experience at home. The Good news? Yes, you can. Home nitro cold brew coffee makers are now more available and affordable than ever before.
Stay tuned, as we’re going to help you find the best nitro cold brew coffee maker for you below. But, if you’re in a rush, here’s our top pick:
Nitro vs Cold Brew
What do people love about nitro cold brew?
A freshly served brew is a visually seductive, mesmerizing sight of multilayered colors as the tiny bubbles make their slow rise to the top. It’s refreshing and cold, with an extra boost of caffeine. And the satiny smoothness is beyond compare.
You may be confused by the name. Someone might ask if a cold brew is actually one thing and a nitro coffee something different.
Yes, they are two different things. But the two can be combined.
Let’s take each one separately and then see how you can combine them – and why you should.
Cold brew is simply coffee brewed or steeped in cold water over a long stretch of time. Depending on the coffee, it may be brewed for 12 to 24 hours.
This long brewing time lowers the acidity and heightens the sweetness. It is definitely not the same as simply throwing some ice cubes into a cup of hot coffee (known as iced coffee).
After that extended brewing time, your brew needs to be gently strained. The result is a refreshing drink similar to iced tea – but made with coffee.
While making cold brew at home is relatively popular, it’s only recently that going the extra step with nitro has become possible for most.
The nitro step infuses nitrogen into the coffee with a pressurized valve. Nitrogen gas can be in the form of pure nitrogen or N2O nitrous oxide.
Actually, nitrogen can be added to a wide variety of drinks, including the popular Irish beer Guinness. When added to coffee, the bubbles from the gas instantly give the coffee a foamy look similar to beer.
Using A Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker At Home
Creating a beer-like coffee at home could sound complicated. And at one time it was. Many people left it up to their barista to wrangle with the fancy machines, tubes, and nitrogen canisters to whip up their beverage.
The good news is that these days you can make a decent coffee at home without all the fuss. If you’re a fan of nitro coffee, you no longer need to act like a crazy scientist and invent your own machinery or invest a large sum of money to infuse nitrogen into your coffee.
And making it at home means that in the long run, you save money. You don’t have to spend the $5 or $6 on each serving or take the trip over to your coffee shop.
Although, it’s important to note as canisters are not included with most nitro cold brew coffee makers. So, be sure to purchase them separately if needed.
Nonetheless, nitro coffee makers for home use are now easy to use, less expensive, and a great way to impress your friends.
Best Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Makers 2021
The flashy black chrome finish on this stainless-steel beauty makes it the sleekest and most elegant nitro cold brew coffee maker we’ve seen. Although it’s called a keg, it has less the look of a frat house party accessory than other models. And it still produces that cascading pour typical of nitro cold brew.
- Beautiful appearance
- Double-wall stainless steel vacuum insulation keeps the brew cold
- All-in-one keg kit system brews the coffee right in the keg
- More expensive than other nitro makers
- You must use GrowlerWerks brand nitro gas chargers
Great for: If you want a beautiful conversation piece on your kitchen counter or when you go to parties, this is the best nitro cold brew coffee maker for you.
Not so great for: Those on a budget. The price point makes this coffee maker more of an investment than some people may be willing to spend on a coffee maker.
A unique feature of this uKeg nitro cold brew coffee maker is that you can brew the coffee directly in the keg. That makes it more of a true coffee maker than other models.
Fill the long, slim coffee brewing bags with your favorite ground coffee and slip them into the coffee maker. You just add water and pop the stainless steel keg into your fridge. After the desired brewing time, take the filter out, and you have a fresh batch of cold brew coffee.
To infuse the brew with nitro, put the cartridge in the top, shake the whole keg for 2 minutes, and pour out your brew. You can also prepare your coffee separately or purchase brewed coffee and add it to the coffee maker.
The cap keeps the nitro fresh, and the double-wall vacuum insulation keeps your brew chilled. A handy sight tube lets you know how many cups of coffee you still have in the keg. While the pressure relief valve ensures your brew is foamy but not crazy bubbly.
This nitro cold brew coffee maker only works with the branded gas chargers, which are more expensive. On the other hand, you only need one canister to charge the batch. Each NO2 canister will charge a full keg (50 oz) of coffee. The brand also sells coffee filters that fit into the keg for easy replacement.
This slim, portable stainless steel nitrogen dispenser keeps things simple. With this nitro coffee maker, you don’t even need electricity to get good results.
Just pour in your brew, pop in a nitrogen cartridge, shake the dispenser, and press. You’ll get that desired cascade effect with a minimum of fuss.
- Simple to use
- Versatile & small
- Stainless steel construction
- Limited features
- Doesn’t brew the coffee
Great for: If you want a simple nitrogen dispenser without all the bells and whistles, this Nitropress nitro coffee maker is good for you.
Not so great for: If you’re looking for the craft-beer keg experience, this dispenser will seem overly basic.
Although it looks like a cream whipper, this food-grade stainless steel dispenser uses nitrogen and higher pressure to get a true nitro experience for home use. Think beyond just coffee to tea, cocktails, and even smoothies, and you’ll see why this versatile Nitropress nitro coffee maker is an ideal dispenser for a barista or home use.
This handheld nitrogen dispenser is ideal if you want more of a point-and-shoot type of machine to make nitro coffee at home. However, if you love the foam, this dispenser can be a bit disappointing.
Overall, this nitro cold brew maker is great for those looking for something that delivers on functionality while being highly portable.
The compact design of the 64 oz Royal Brew nitro cold brew coffee maker will appeal to craft beer lovers. It closely resembles a beer keg and serves up nitro cold brew in a similar on-tap way.
- Use either nitrogen or nitrous oxide cartridges
- Compatible with most brands of cartridges
- Less expensive price point
- You can’t brew coffee directly in this maker
- Simple, chunky design
Great for: If you want a great keg experience at a lower price point.
Not so great for: Those who are looking for a gorgeous design
The Royal Brew nitro cold coffee maker comes in either matte flat black or food-grade stainless steel, and both come in the 64 oz or the tall 128 oz size.
Just add brewed coffee that you prepare yourself (or purchase it at your local coffee shop). To infuse the brew, install the cartridge and then shake for 15-20 seconds.
You can use either two nitrogen cartridges or one n2o nitrous oxide cartridge per 64 oz keg. If you want to use two cartridges, wait 20 minutes before adding the second cartridge. Then put the keg in your fridge for an hour to chill.
Nitrogen cartridges are recommended, although nitrous oxide produces more foam and that cascading effect. You can use cartridges from a wide variety of companies. Shake the keg every 24 hours to extend how long the charge lasts.
As with every nitro coffee maker, don’t fill the keg all the way to the top with coffee. Leave enough room for the gas by only filling it to 50-75% capacity.
The Final Verdict
Which is the best nitro cold brew coffee maker for you? That depends on the experience you’re looking for.
If you want the most stylish, elegant, full-blown experience, the best nitro cold brew coffee maker for you would be the GrowlerWerks uKeg Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker. You can brew right in the coffee maker, and impress friends and family with both the design and the beverage.
On the flipside, If you’re the kind of person who wants a simple hand-held device that you can also use for other purposes, the Hatfields NitroPress Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker will give you that no-frills versatility and a delicious drink.
If you want the look of a keg without the higher price tag, the best nitro cold brew coffee maker for you may be the Royal Brew Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Nitro cold brew coffee bad for you?
One of the big attractions of nitro cold brew is that it’s a foamy, velvety, decadent type of beverage. Yet it has no dairy and no sugar.
That makes it ideal for people on keto, dairy-free, or vegan diets. It does have an added caffeine boost due to the long brewing time, so if you’re looking for lower caffeine, keep that in mind.
Is Nitro cold brew better than cold brew?
Cold brew by itself is a refreshing drink. Adding Nitro to it brings a luscious mouthfeel similar to beer.
If you love that velvety feel in your coffee, then nitro cold brew is best for you. If you prefer your drink simple, then stick with regular cold brew.