Nitro cold brew
Nitro cold brew

Nitro cold brew is a variation of cold brew coffee that uses the addition of nitrogen gas to create a smooth texture. It was created in the early 2010s.[1]


Production of Nitro cold brew coffee begins with the making of cold brew coffee.[2] Once the grounds are adequately steeped, the coffee is put into a room-temperature bottle or keg.[3] As the cold brew is poured, it is charged with nitrogen to give it a rich, creamy head of foam, similar to draft beer. Though most beers and soft drinks are infused with carbon dioxide, nitrogen is occasionally used in darker stouts, resulting in a smoother finish. Nitro cold brew is typically served chilled, as ice would damage the foamy top.[3]


Nitro cold brew was first offered at third wave coffee shops in the early 2010s, but the exact origin is disputed. The process is said by Men's Journal to have originated in 2013 at craft coffee houses Cuvee Coffee in Austin, Texas and Stumptown in Portland, Oregon.[4] However, Esquire gives credit to the draft coffee at The Queens Kickshaw in New York in 2011 as a predecessor.[5] Cuvee Coffee first offered nitro cold brew, on tap, at the Slow Food Quiz Bowl in Austin, Texas, August 14, 2011.[citation needed] The Ball Corporation issued a press release citing Cuvee as the first company to can cold brew in their widget cans, and BevNet awarded Cuvee the Best Packaging Innovation, calling them "the first cold brew brand to market a nitrogenated offering" Stumptown,[6] and Cuvee began offering canned beverages with a nitrogen disc, a hollow piece of plastic compressed with nitrogen in order to pressurize the can,[7] by 2015.[8][9] Starbucks introduced the beverage at 500 stores in the summer of 2016,[10][11] preceded in the Los Angeles market by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.[12] By 2020, Starbucks offered the beverage at more than half of its locations across the United States, making it a staple menu item.[13] Nitro cold brew is available from wholesalers in some markets in kegs. RISE Brewing Co. says it can fill up to 1,500 kegs a day of nitro cold brew coffee.[14]


  1. ^ "Nitrogenated Coffee Market Size, Share | Global Industry Report, 2025". Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  2. ^ "6 Common Mistakes You Are Making With Cold Brewed Coffee". HuffPost. 2016-06-23. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  3. ^ a b Mohrman, Eric (2019-10-10). "Read this before you order Starbucks' Nitro Cold Brew". Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  4. ^ Barnes, Shane, "Nitro Cold Brew is the Best Thing to Happen to Coffee Since Ice", Men's Journal, retrieved 2020-09-12
  5. ^ Krasny, Jill (2015-06-09), "This Is the Best Iced Coffee You Will Drink All Summer", Esquire, retrieved 2020-09-12
  6. ^ "Cuvée Coffee Wins Best Packaging Innovation at BevNET's Best of 2015". 14 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Nitrogen monitoring in breweries - keeping the bubbles in Britain". Gas Detectors and Sensors - The Analox Blog. 2018-07-30. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  8. ^ Rosen, Ali; McCarthy, Sky (2015-09-22). "Nitro coffee is the next big thing to happen to your morning brew". Fox News. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
  9. ^ Goldberg, Elyssa (2015-04-28), "Nitro, Our New Favorite Iced Coffee, Is Served on Tap and Tastes Like Beer", Bon Appetit, Conde Nast, retrieved 2020-09-12
  10. ^ Saelinger, Tracy (2016-06-27), "Starbucks' nitro coffee: Here's what you need to know before you order", Today, retrieved 2020-09-12
  11. ^ Fox News (2016-05-31). "Starbucks introduces nitro cold brew at 500 locations this summer". Fox News. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
  12. ^ Scherer, Josh (July 27, 2016), "Coffee Bean Strikes Critical Blow Against Starbucks! Victory Imminent!", Los Angeles, retrieved 2020-09-12
  13. ^ Nelson, Dustin. "Starbucks Is Finally Bringing One of Its Best Drinks Nationwide". Thrillist. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  14. ^ McGinnes, Meagan (2017-06-14). "Rise Brewing Wins New Beverage Showdown 13". Bevnet. Retrieved 2017-07-20.

Further reading