How Is Nitro Cold Brew Made
Coffee drinkers have long searched for ways to get their fix without having to wait in line at Starbucks or order an espresso drink from their local cafe. They’ve tried brewing it themselves, but that’s not always easy. Enter the world of nitro brew systems. These machines allow you to make a cup of coffee at home with only minutes of prep time. It also allows those who want to try something new to explore other flavors — such as creamier coffees and more caffeinated options — while still keeping things simple enough for anyone to enjoy.
The term “nitro” comes from how the process works. You can use any type of cold-brew method, whether it’s a French press, AeroPress or pour over system. However, when you take your coffee out of the brewer, it will be infused with nitrogen gas using pressurized nitrous oxide chargers. This creates a frothy layer on top of your coffee, giving it a thicker mouthfeel than regular drip methods. It also gives it a unique taste, which may surprise some people used to the standard black roasts most cafes offer.
To start, you’ll need a machine capable of creating a powerful charge. There are several models available, ranging from small handheld units to larger countertop appliances. For instance, there’s the popular BUNN iSi Duo Personal Coffee Brewer, which is about $100 and made by the company behind Keurig K-cups. Another option is the Keurig Vue Premium Home Brewing System ($200), which has a single button on its front panel that controls both the brewing and charging processes.
Keurig makes a product called the K360 Hot/Cold Water Dispenser, which features two separate chambers separated by a sliding door. One chamber contains your ground coffee; the other holds water and acts as a reservoir during the brewing process. When it’s ready, you open up the door and push down on the lever to dispense hot or cold water through the filter into the bottom of the pot.
Both of these devices work well for the average user looking to experiment with different types of beans, but they don’t provide much flexibility for people who aren’t interested in buying new products every few months. If you’re one of them, you might want to consider purchasing a standalone nitro maker instead. There are several brands worth considering, including Hario, Bonavita and Kalita Wave, all of which cost less than $100.
In this article, we’ll explain what happens during a typical nitro cold brew session, what kinds of flavor profiles result and why it’s so important to find the right blend of ingredients for your own tastes. We’ll also discuss where to buy great quality coffee beans, what techniques are best for extracting each bean’s full potential, and what equipment you’ll need to make the most delicious cup possible.
Getting Started With Nitro Cold Brew
So, let’s say you’ve decided to give nitro coffee a shot. First step? Pick a brand name you love! There are dozens of fantastic options, but here are just three favorites to help get you started:
Harold’s Black Coffee – Harold McGee founded his company in 1985 after he was frustrated with trying to figure out how to extract the maximum amount of flavor from his favorite coffees. His goal was to create a better tasting cup with fewer variables. He chose to do this by developing a proprietary technology for grinding his own coffee, rather than using preground blends. Since then, he’s expanded into even more innovative products, like flavored coffees and gourmet teas.
Bonavita – In 2012, Joe Spitz opened a coffee shop in New York City called Tonx in Chelsea Market. After selling hundreds of cups a day for years, he realized many customers were ordering drinks specifically because they wanted stronger, bolder coffees. So, he set out to develop a way to brew strong, flavorful coffee quickly and efficiently. That’s exactly what he did. At first, he developed a hand-crank device that allowed him to control the strength of the brew based on how hard he squeezed. Then, he created a machine that could produce consistent results every time, regardless of how tightly he cranked the handle. Now, he uses that design to power his entire lineup of machines and products.
Kalita Wave – Founded in 2010, this Seattle-based startup wants to bring high-quality coffees direct to consumers. Their mission is to ensure that everyone gets access to fresh roasted coffee beans, no matter where they live. To accomplish this, they cut out middlemen, allowing them to sell directly to consumers via subscription service. They also strive to source their coffee from farmers who grow organically and practice sustainable farming practices. Best of all, if you sign up for their program, you can choose between receiving either loose-leaf or bagged coffee.
Once you’ve chosen a brand, it’s time to pick a specific recipe. And although there are plenty of recipes to choose from, the perfect combination comes down to personal preference. But before you go off half cocked, remember that coffee isn’t just about caffeine anymore. Flavor is key.
What Makes Different Flavors Of Coffee Unique?
If you’ve ever tasted freshly brewed coffee, you know that it varies widely depending on the blend. Some coffees are lighter and mild, while others are darker and robust. In general, however, these differences come down to four major factors: extraction rate, roast level, processing and blending.
This refers to how deeply the oils in coffee beans are extracted during the drying process. The higher the percentage of oil in each bean, the deeper the resulting flavor. As a result, darker roasts tend to be richer and smoother, while light roasts usually taste cleaner and brighter.
When it comes to determining the intensity of a particular flavor, roasting plays a big role. Each type of bean offers a range of flavors. A medium roast will include a variety of subtle notes, whereas a dark roast will feature a wider spectrum of complex ones.
Processing & Blending
Some companies add chemical solvents to boost coffee’s flavor profile. Although this doesn’t affect the actual taste of the final product, it does change the perception of it. For example, adding vanilla essence to unsweetened green tea gives it a sweeter flavor. Meanwhile, adding sugar to the same tea would balance out its bitterness. Because coffee is a liquid, it tends to taste bitter unless balanced with another ingredient.
Now that you understand the basics of coffee, let’s talk about the best beans to purchase and how to prepare them.
Where Can I Find Great Quality Beans?
First, you should determine what kind of coffee you prefer. Do you prefer mild and sweet? Dark and rich? Or somewhere in between? Once you decide, it’s time to find the right place to buy them. Many retailers carry a wide selection of specialty coffees, and online stores often offer free shipping, which means you won’t have to worry about lugging bags around. Here are a few suggestions:
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
Blue Bottle Coffee
Just remember, you don’t necessarily need to buy organic beans to get amazing ones. Even non-organic coffees can have a lot going for them. Just make sure to check for pesticide residues. Also, don’t forget to consider the environmental impact of the harvesting process. Both Fair Trade Certified and Rainforest Alliance certified sources are good places to start.
Once you’ve found a retailer, make sure you read reviews and ratings carefully. Although online reviews are helpful, it’s best to visit a store and see the beans firsthand, since they typically smell stronger than online descriptions suggest. Also, pay attention to customer feedback. If a barista knows her stuff, chances are she’s been working with the same beans for awhile, and she can guide you toward the right blend for your palate. Finally, ask for a sample pack so you can try different varieties before committing to a larger order.
And now that you’ve got everything needed for a killer cup of coffee, it’s time to learn how to properly grind and measure your beans.
Grinding Your Own Grinds
There are lots of reasons to grind your own coffee, aside from saving money. Grinding your own ensures that you receive a consistently fine particle size, which leads to tastier beverages. Depending on your preferences, you may also end up producing a more intense flavor profile.
Start by selecting a grinder suitable for the job. Most common choices are burr grinders, conical mills and blade grinders. Burr grinders are the least expensive, but they can sometimes create inconsistent results due to variations in the density of coffee grounds. Conical mills are more accurate, but they’re also the priciest option. Blade grinders are the cheapest, but they require the most maintenance and upkeep.
Next, use coarsely ground coffee. Specialty shops like Café Imports, Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea and Blue Bottle Coffee all recommend starting with a coarse grind. This increases the surface area of the particles, which boosts extraction rates. Conversely, grinding finer will reduce the number of surfaces, leading to weaker flavor.
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