Nitro Cold Brew vs. Cold Brew – What’s The Difference?

Cold coffee is a gem for hot summer days, no doubt about that. Most consumers switch their coffee from hot to cold in Summer for obvious reasons.

If you don’t know what is nitro brew type and cold brew type, my friends, you are missing some information. They are pretty much cold beverages that contain caffeine, but some features differentiate nitro brew from a cold brew.

The brewing of nitro and cold is done differently. However, both of them are fresh and delicious.

I would highly suggest trying both because everyone has a different taste when it comes to coffee, but an unwritten rule is consumers are divided into 2; the ones who love strong coffee and the other ones who love light coffee types.

Let’s find out which one are you

Nitro Cold Brew Vs. Cold Brew

Both of them belong in the category of iced coffee, the thing that differs them the most is the texture that the nitro brew has.

Nitrogen infusion in nitro brew coffees makes millions of bubbles, and this ingredient creates a creamy sensation.

Cold-brew in comparison is much lighter and has more flavor.

It also has higher caffeine content because it is served without ice. The size of coffee has a huge impact on caffeine content.

What Is Nitro Cold Brew Coffee?

Nitro Cold Brew took its name from the added nitrogen gas. Nitrogen Gas is mostly used in a distinct beverage like beer in order to create foam and thick texture.

The nitro coffee is served as an iced coffee. With a single sip, you can notice the feel of thickness produced by foam in your mouth.

However, nitro cold coffee is not all about foam, it has a stronger and more bold coffee taste.

Baristas are not adding ice to it for a reason, which is not to lose taste. When you add ice, it melts right? Considering the hot summer temperatures, it is more likely the ice to melt in a few minutes and release the water. As a result, after water melts, the coffee taste changes.

The only downside about nitro brew coffee is not being found nearby, only specific coffee shops like Starbucks serve the nitro brew type of ice coffee.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Regular cold brew coffees are going through simpler processes. It doesn’t contain frizz, and it’s not bubbly nor foamy.

Regular cold brew is less acidic, you may or may not want to add extra toppings to reduce bitterness. It has more of a sweet taste that fades over time because of ice. Ice melts and reduces the coffee taste (not caffeine) by making it watery.

I understand why people choose a coffee full of ice, but a real coffee lover would prefer strong hot coffee even on summer days. Not just cold brew coffee, every coffee in general that is iced has a lighter profile.

Cold Brew coffee usually has more flavor, so if you stand on the side of flavor, go for a cold regular brew.

Lastly, cold brew coffee needs more time when the brewing process is in question and normally is smooth textured.


The Difference Between Cold Brew And Nitro Cold Brew


The texture is the main difference between nitro and cold brew. Cold-brew has a more thick texture because of the longer steeping time in the water.
On the other hand, Nitrogen cold brew as can be guessed from the name is smoother because of the Nitrogen gas involvement. The frothed milk looks like a flat white coffee and has a smoother, richer texture.


Cold brew coffee is served with full ice and usually with a straw.

The glass size should be between 12 to 30 oz. Starbucks serves it in 4 sizes.

Nitro Cold Brew is served without ice. By using Nitrogen gas, it produces foam. To not harm the foam, baristas don’t add ice (If you ask, they will gladly add).

The glass size should be between 10 to 14 oz. The Collins glass or a tumbler is the right glass to serve nitro brew coffee.

Brewing Process

Cold brew is made by soaking coarse coffee beans in the water between 12 to 24 hours at room temperature.

The next thing you do is choose either cold water or milk, and in the end, add as much as ice you want.

Nitro cold brew goes through the same brewing process, you just have to add nitrogen infuse to create foam and creamy thick look. It is not soluble in water, so even after you finish your drink, the foam is not going anywhere.


Cold brew coffee is going through a brewing process in cold water. This pulls out the intensity and aroma by leaving a little bit of a sweet taste.

Cold brew coffee contains fewer acids and is slightly less bitter than hot brew.

Nitro Brew contains nitrogen infusion and is sweeter than cold brew. It is so hard to encounter any bitterness in taste. For that reason, you don’t have to add any extra sugar, creamer, or milk to your glass.

Starbucks offers a wide range of flavors, don’t worry, but I think it’s not necessary to add anything, neither ice nor extra additives. Everything is very well balanced

Calorie Count of Nitro Brew vs Cold Brew

The nitro beverage has a great benefit for your health and also has 5 calories. I know it may seem thick and rich in texture, but the truth about it is not adding extra additives like sugar, creamer, and other natural additives.

The cold brew does not have too many calories, there are 15 calories in a cup of 240 ml. If it is served in a 12 oz glass cup, there are 25 calories with 18% fat.

Cold Brew vs Nitro Cold Brew at Starbucks

Starbucks uses a two-tap system- one is for cold brew coffee where the beans don’t come in contact with hot water during the brewing process. Starbucks does this to keep most of the flavor inside. The other one is nitro brew, it has nothing special except adding nitrogen infusion and that creates the foamy look.