How Do You Make Nitro Coffee?

In short, there are 2 methods of turning cold brew coffee into nitro coffee. The first and more affordable method is to pre-infuse the kegs with high-pressure nitrogen. The second would be to use an inline infuser, which mixes the cold brew coffee and nitrogen on the fly as it is dispensed.

Before we get into how to make nitro coffee, it's helpful to know what nitro coffee is exactly. 

What is Nitro Coffee?

Nitro coffee is a cold coffee beverage that is infused with nitrogen gas, typically served on tap, similar to draft beer. What sets nitro coffee apart and makes it special are its unique characteristics and the way it's served:

Creamy Texture

The infusion of nitrogen gas into the coffee creates tiny nitrogen bubbles that give the coffee a creamy and velvety texture, almost like a stout beer. This texture is often described as "smooth" and "creamy," and it's different from traditional iced coffee or cold brew.

Cascading Effect

When nitro coffee is poured from a tap, it often exhibits a mesmerizing cascading effect, with the coffee appearing to flow down the glass in a visually appealing manner due to the rising nitrogen bubbles.

Creaminess Without Dairy

Nitro coffee achieves its creaminess without the need for dairy products like milk or cream. This makes it a popular choice for those looking for a dairy-free or vegan alternative to creamy coffee drinks.

Enhanced Flavor

The nitrogen infusion can also enhance the flavor of the coffee by giving it a slightly sweeter and less acidic taste. The nitrogen helps to mellow out the bitterness and acidity often found in hot or cold-brewed coffee.

Refreshing Coldness

Nitro coffee is typically served cold, making it a refreshing and thirst-quenching option, especially on a hot day.


Just like regular coffee, nitro coffee can come in various flavors and coffee bean varieties, allowing for a wide range of taste experiences. Some nitro coffee producers also experiment with flavor infusions and additives.

Popular in Coffee Shops

Nitro coffee has gained popularity in coffee shops, particularly those with a focus on craft coffee and unique beverages. Many coffee enthusiasts enjoy the novelty and sensory experience it offers.

Nitro coffee is special because it offers a unique sensory experience with its creamy texture, visually appealing pour, and enhanced flavor, all without the need for dairy products. It has become a favorite among coffee aficionados as well as coffee shop owners, due to its uniqueness as well as the ease of serving.  Simply pull the tap handle and within seconds you have a beautiful cascading ice-cold cup of nitro coffee to enjoy!

How Do You Make Nitro Coffee?

Pre-Infusing Kegs with Nitrogen 

This is a great and very affordable way of making nitro coffee.  Pre-infusing kegs involve pressurizing the kegs of cold brew coffee at high pressures (typically 35PSI or higher) for a period of time.  Like any gas, it can take days for a gas to infuse into a liquid, but there are ways to speed up this process when pre-infusing kegs because waiting days for your nitro coffee is not always an option.  When pre-infusing your kegs, you want to make sure the liquid is as cold as possible.  Gasses tend to absorb better into colder liquids than room temp or warm.  Also, agitating/shaking the keg will help force more gas into the keg and mix with the liquid, infusing it faster. 

And lastly, using a Quick Cascade Keg Lid to infuse the keg with nitrogen gas will allow you to serve nitro coffee in a matter of minutes and maintain those rich frothy pours for the life of the keg.  Note that the Quick Cascade Lid will only work with Cornelius Ball Lock Kegs, not Commercial Sanke D Kegs.  This lid has a gas in post on top that you will attach your nitrogen gas line to, and a hose on the underside will carry the nitrogen gas, down to the bottom of the keg and disperse through the diffusion stone, nitrogenating your keg from the bottom up.  This will allow you to start serving nitro coffee in minutes, and will also maintain frothy pours for the life of the keg, without having to constantly pick up the keg and shake it.  Every time you pour a nitro coffee, you remove some liquid from the keg, so more gas will be added to balance the pressure.  These bursts of gas are added through the diffusion stone at the bottom of the keg, so you are constantly infusing the keg from the bottom up with every pour. 

Inline Nitro Infusion

This method is more expensive up front, but greatly cuts down on time and the number of steps taken in producing nitro coffee.  The Inline Nitro Infuser mounts inside your existing draft system and turns a keg of flat cold brew coffee into nitro coffee inline as you pour.  No more pre-infusing kegs in order to achieve a rich froth nitro pour.  Just hook up your flat keg of cold brew and you are good to go!  This will save time and energy because you no longer need to take the extra time to pre-infuse the kegs.  Quick Cascade lids are not needed, so you have one less part to clean in between kegs.  This can also save you nitrogen gas as you only need to set the pressure with the nitrogen infuser to around 35PSI to achieve 

  1. The Nitro Infuser cleans inline with your draft system.  So as the steps already taken to clean and sanitize your draft beverage lines with a cold brew coffee cleaning & sanitizing kit will still apply here.  As you flush your draft lines, the cleaning solution will go through the inline nitro infuser and clean that as well.  

    Another great feature of the Nitro Infuser is the ability to easily control the amount of nitrogen that you introduce into your cold brew.  The lever on the infuser will increase or decrease the amount of nitrogen that gets mixed in, giving you control on exactly how much head you want, leaving you with the perfect nitro coffee pour every time.  

With these features in mind, you can better decide which method of making nitro coffee better suits your operation.  


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