When the sun is beating down outside, hot coffee isn’t always our top priority. However, when all of the coffee lovers need to get a dose of their favorite caffeinated beverage, there is hope. Nitro Cold Brew Starbucks, made with cold water, offers a refreshingly smooth taste drink. If you ever have a nitro cold brew, you will notice that the drink resembles an equally refreshing glass of Guinness beer. In fact, the idea for the nitro cold brew came from bartenders that infused nitrogen gas with their lagers, stouts, and ales. Throughout this article, we will pick apart the cold brew and tell you about the Starbucks caffeine content nitro cold brew in a typical glass, as well as the lengths you can go to in order to make one at home.
What is Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew?
If you hadn’t guessed already, Starbucks nitro cold brew is coffee that’s brewed with cold water and infused with nitrogen. This process is achieved through the pump or with pressurized nitrous chargers. The bubbles from the nitrogen are responsible for its Guinness-like resemblance. Bubbles in nitrogen are tiny in comparison to carbon dioxide, which is why it’s used. You can pick up a refreshing nitro cold brew from many local stores. However, if you head down the coffee shops, you will typically see it being pulled from a keg. If you’re at home and craving the drink on a hot day, you can use a cream charger to emulate the process.
Cold Brew Vs. Nitro Cold Brew
If you’re still wondering what the difference is between your regular cup cold cup of joe and a nitro cold brew, the answer is nitrogen over ice. You won’t need to add ice into the nitro cold brew because it’s already cold - adding the ice would only damage the overall taste. Visually, you will see a foamy “head” on the nitro cold brew, which is created by the bubbles in the nitrogen. If you come down to the flavor level of the drink, the nitrogen in the nitro cold brew gives the drink a sweeter flavor in comparison to your regular cold brew. In your mouth, the nitro cold brew has a smooth texter as opposed to a watery feel. Cold-brew and nitro cold brew coffees both have lower acid levels than their espresso counterpart, which is responsible for the notable taste in iced coffees.
Why Is Nitrogen Added to Cold Brew?
There’s a hot question on a lot of peoples’ lips, and that is, “What’s the point in adding nitrogen to coffee in the first place?”. From an outside perspective, it may seem like a pretentious exercise to make more profit on coffee. However, if we take a look at the science behind nitrogen and the nitro cold brew tall caffeine, you will easily see the benefits.
Nitrogen gas is what the scientific community labels as inert, which means that it can’t react with anything else. As well as this, it’s impossible to dissolve nitrogen in water in the regular state. This is why it needs to be pressurized first. Adding nitrogen to the drink doesn’t change the taste significantly or cause damage to humans. The only change is that the drink feels creamier in the mouth than other coffee beverages.
You may be asking yourself if “Starbucks nitro cold brew caffeine grande has the same amount of caffeine as regular grande drinks?”. You have a valid question there, and the answer is that “yes it does”. The nitrogen doesn’t react with anything, and that includes the caffeine in the beverage. How much caffeine in a Starbucks nitro cold brew will always be determined by how strong you make your concentrate.
What Is the Nitro Cold Brew Caffeine Content?
We just mentioned above that nitrogen doesn’t make the cold brew stronger because it doesn’t react with anything. Although this is true, nitro cold brew coffee is stronger than some other coffee drinks. This isn’t because the nitrogen itself has increased the value. Instead, the nitrogen eliminates the oxygen within the beverage. This means that oxygenation isn’t taking place, and the caffeine isn’t deteriorating as it would usually.
At Starbucks, if you were to grab a grande nitro cold brew, you would find a caffeine content of around 280mg. Interestingly, Starbucks doesn't let people drink nitro cold brew in their venti (large) size. You would have thought the reason is the high caffeine content. However, the math simply doesn’t add up. In a venti Starbucks coffee, there are 20 ounces of your favorite beverage, which is 4 ounces more than their grande size. If you use the golden ratios that dictate that everything must be proportionately equal and consistent when brewing coffee, you can work out how much caffeine is in a venti. As a rough estimate, there will be around 350mg of caffeine in a venti coffee.
This feels like a lot of coffee when you take into account that the average 8-ounce cup contains around 100mg of coffee. However, by Starbucks standards, 350g doesn’t even touch their highest caffeinated drink. If you order a venti blonde roast coffee, you will find just shy of 500mg of caffeine in there. The most likely reason they don’t want you to have a venti-sized nitro cold brew coffee is the lack of ice. By pouring the same quantity of coffee without ice, they are using more coffee than they need to on other drinks.
How Much Caffeine In Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew Can?
As we told you previously, you can grab a nitro cold brew in a can from the store. Cans of nitro cold brew hold 21.36mg per ounce. This means that in a standard 11 ounce can, there will be 235mg of caffeine. This means you are having just under the amount found in a Starbucks grande nitro cold brew.
The cold brew is sold and considered to have higher caffeine content than other can-bought caffeinated drinks. The reason for this is discussed above - the nitrogen has eliminated the oxidation process. As nitrogen doesn’t react with anything, the flavor of the coffee stays intact.
When it comes to other canned caffeinated drinks, oxidation happens, and the flavor is altered over time. To try and preserve the caffeine content, manufacturers use citric acids. Although this works, oxidation still happens and the taste of the drink changes.
How to Do It Yourself!
Making nitro cold brew at home might sound like you need a chemistry degree and a home laboratory. However, the process is easier than you’d think. Once you’ve brewed your coffee concentrate, you just need to nitrogenate it with nitrogen cartridges in a whipped cream dispenser. Below, we will take you through the method step-by-step.
1.Grind your beans. The easiest way to grind your chosen coffee bean is to use a burr coffee grinder. Preferably, you will use whole-roasted beans and grind them to a medium-coarse level. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can always head to your nearest coffee shop and ask them for coarse ground coffee for nitro cold brew.
2.Combine with cold water. For this step, you can use cold water. To get the right ratios, you should mix 1.5 cups of water into a jar with ⅓ cup of coffee grinds. For this step, it’s important that you use an airtight container. If you skip this part, the taste of your nitro cold brew coffee will deteriorate.
Note: Room temperature water works just as well.
3.Steeping. Unfortunately, you can’t just brew your cold coffee and get to the nitro; you need to let your coffee steep. If you’re using a refrigerator, you need to allow 24-hours. However, if you’re leaving the jar at room temperature, you can cut this time in half to 12-hours.
4.Straining the grounds. Using a piece of filter paper filter and a fine-mesh strainer, you need to strain the coffee. After you’ve done this, you can discard the grinds, and you’re left with only your concentrate. Don’t get too excited at this point; you still need to wait around 10 days while your coffee sits in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
5.Add the water. When you’re brewing your cold brew coffee, you’re actually making the concentrate that needs to be mixed up with water. After the 10 days are up, you can mix in water at a 1:1 ratio.
6.Nitrogen time. Finally, the fun begins. After waiting patiently for around eleven days, you’re allowed to start the nitrogen process. You need to add your diluted cold brew coffee to your whipped cream dispenser. Charged with a 1x nitrogen can, you need to shake well for around 30 seconds. The dispenser will start to feel cold after a further 30 seconds. Now, you can dispense your cold brew coffee into your glass of choice - preferably a pint.
Starbucks nitro cold brew coffee is a creamy and delicious drink made by blasting cold brew concentrate with nitrogen. The caffeine content isn’t higher, but the nitrogen prevents oxidation. You can enjoy a sweeter-tasting drink with more caffeine content.