In the world of coffee, no longer are you stuck with only two options; hot or iced. Today, there are so many different options for the way coffee is brewed both in temperature and style. These added styles make coffee more accessible to individuals with a wider range of tastes.
One of these new brewing styles is nitro cold brew. In this style of brewing coffee is brewed using cold water instead of hot, and is then infused with nitrogen.
The addition of nitrogen creates a unique-looking coffee, thanks to the cascade of foam. The nitrogen also gives your cold brewed coffee a smooth, creamy texture that almost seems like you’ve added milk or cream.
If you love nitro cold brew but don’t love the price of this tasty coffee drink from your local coffee shop, you may be ready to invest in a nitro cold brew coffee maker.
In this article, we’ll show you some of the best nitro cold brew coffee makers on the market and introduce you to some of the product features that make these great coffee makers, so that you can easily select the perfect nitro cold brew coffee maker for you.
How to Choose the Best Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Before you run out and buy a nitro cold brew coffee maker, you need to know which product features lead to a good quality machine.
The first thing you need to know is that nitro cold brew coffee is made in a nitrogen keg. Much like a keg for beer, the keg and coffee maker for nitro cold brew coffee allow you to store your brewed coffee, infuse it with nitrogen and then serve it properly. This method also comes with its own benefits other than a unique taste.
Follow along with us in our handy buying guide to learn more about how to select a great nitro cold brew coffee keg.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker
As with beer kegs, nitro kegs for coffee come in a wide range of sizes. You can find kegs that are large industrial size, mid-size kegs that you’d see in a coffee house, or even small size kegs that are perfect for nitro cold brew at home.
Like malt-beverage kegs, you’ll need to consider the space you have at home before you shop. If you have a large keg refrigerator, you can invest in a larger keg option that also allows you to hold more cold brew coffee.
This is a nice option because you don’t have to change the keg as often. If your home is small, or you don’t have the convenience of a keg refrigerator, there are smaller kegs that will fit nicely in your standard refrigerator.
One thing to keep in mind about larger nitro kegs is that if you don’t drink your cold brew coffee fast enough, it will go flat. Make sure you know how much coffee you drink and select your keg accordingly.
Don’t expect to find nitro kegs in a wide range of materials. Kegs for nitro cold brew, like kegs for beer, come in just two materials; aluminum and stainless steel.
We’ll start with stainless steel. This is the most common material that you will find nitro cold brew coffee kegs made from. Stainless steel is the ideal material because it is not prone to corrosion from high acid-content beverages.
You’ll find that stainless steel nitro kegs are also easier to clean and less expensive. Steel is also stronger, so it can handle more pressure from nitrogen gas cartridges.
The other material option is aluminum. Aluminum had been used for many years as the only option for kegs of all sorts. It is lightweight and easy for more people to handle. However, unless it is epoxy-lined, aluminum is prone to corrosion from coffee.
The epoxy coating adds to the price of aluminum kegs, so you’ll find that they are often more expensive than their stainless steel counterparts.
Like with size, you’ll want to think about how much coffee you want your nitro keg to hold. The easiest way to figure this out is to think about how many people you will serve. Is this nitro cold brew just for your daily enjoyment, or do you plan on entertaining a number of people? This will be the capacity-determining factor.
If you are going to entertain or if you just love to drink nitro cold brew, a larger size nitro keg will be a nice option. However, if you just like a cup of cold brew daily, you may want to go with a smaller capacity.
Sure, you may fill it more frequently, but you won’t have to worry about your nitro cold brew going flat.
Your nitro cold brew keg will come with one of two types of chargers.
The first type of charger is the nitrogen charger. This charger uses regular compressed nitrogen gas. The nitrogen charger will provide a more evenly infused coffee and create that smooth, creamy texture. It also produces that cascading foam that makes nitro cold brew coffee so interesting.
The other type of charger is a nitrous oxide charger. Nitrous oxide is the same thing that is used to charge cans of whipped cream. Nitrous oxide has a lot of pressure, but it doesn’t result in the same quality of cold brew coffee as nitrogen does.
We recommend that you use nitrogen chargers over nitrous oxide. It just works better. However, they are more expensive. If you are on a budget, you may need to decide that nitrous oxide is the better choice. Most kegs have the ability to use both, so if you want to switch between the two, that is an option as well.
With your home brew nitro coffee, you will use cartridges of nitrogen or nitrous oxide instead of a cylinder that is separate from your keg.
The cartridges usually have a place in the keg tap where they can infuse the coffee while also providing the pressure necessary to expel the coffee from the keg.
Ease of Use
You’ll want to consider the simplicity of operation when looking for a good nitro cold brew coffee maker and keg. Look for options that have wide openings for easy cleaning.
Some kegs have quick connect taps which are a good way to get up and running quicker. The other consideration is the way that you install the nitrogen cartridge. Some nitro cold brew kegs have very complicated cartridge holders.
These can make getting a good seal difficult. If you can’t get the cartridge in easily, you may find that you lose a lot of gas, and your keg doesn’t stay charged for a good amount of time.
There are positives and negatives to selecting a nitro cold brew keg that can be used for other things. On one hand, we like the idea of having a keg that can be used for nitro cold brew coffee but can also hold beer, tea, wine, or even make soda. Many of these kegs will allow you to switch between nitrogen and CO2 cartridges for a wider variety of beverages.
However, these general-style kegs for all sorts of beverages just don’t do as well as making a great cup of nitro cold brew coffee. We do like options that are specific for brewing and storing coffee.
They are designed to give you a consistent quality of nitro cold brew coffee. Be aware that these coffee-specific makers and kegs can be more expensive, but if you’re committed to a great coffee experience, the price may not be a deciding factor.
Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker
|Royal Brew Home Keg
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|HB Brewing Nitro Cold Brew
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|My Morning Brew Nitro Cold Brew
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|NitroPress Nitro Cold Brew
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The 5 Best Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Makers
1. Royal Brew Home Keg Coffee Maker
The Royal Brew home coffee keg is probably the best nitro cold brew keg for home use. This keg allows you to infuse up to 64 ounces of brewed coffee with nitrogen or nitrous oxide. The tap for this keg is made to easily accommodate and switch between the two gasses for a variety of coffee tastes and feel.
This keg comes with a nice tap handle that not only holds your gas cartridges but it also has a pressure relief valve, wrench, carrying bag, tap plug, hoses, and cleaning brushes.
We Like the Royal Brew because it is very easy to use and is made specifically for coffee. The tap easily installs on the keg and the larger opening for the keg makes it easy to fill and clean. The Royal Brew is made from high-quality food-grade stainless steel. It is a bit heavy, but it will last a long time even if you travel with it or use it for entertaining.
On a side note, we do like that this nitro cold brew keg looks like a tiny version of a standard keg. It adds a bit of charm to the product. The keg is small enough to fit in your standard refrigerator, even with the tap and tower installed.
- The stout beer-style faucet pours a perfectly creamy cup of nitro cold brew
- The Royal Brew gas cartridges allow for both the creamy feel and the cascading foam that makes cold brew so unique
- The keg and tap come with all the cleaning, maintenance, and travel accessories you need
- Lower price than some other options
- It would be nice if this keg came with a few nitrogen/nitrous oxide cartridges in the box. You have to buy them separately from the keg.
- This is just the keg. There is no coffee maker that brews the coffee into the keg, so you’ll either need to brew coffee or use concentrate to fill
- This keg takes some work to use properly. Can be frustrating to get started.
2. GrowlerWerks uKeg Coffee Maker
GrowlerWerks came onto the scene with their uKeg product as a way for beer lovers to enjoy carbonated beer from their favorite breweries, for much longer than traditional growlers allowed.
The uKeg coffee maker is a nice option if you would rather enjoy nitro cold brew coffee over a glass of cold beer. The uKeg is a fully integrated keg that allows you to infuse your coffee with nitrogen and then dispense it through a stout tap for a creamy and sweet taste and a perfect cascading foam.
The uKeg has double-walled insulated construction so even if you are on the road, this keg will do a good job of keeping your cold brew coffee cold. The nitrogen infuser is conveniently tucked into the cap of this keg so it is easy to access and is even adjustable to the perfect pressure for your particular coffee tastes.
The other great thing about the uKeg is that it is designed to brew and filter your coffee directly in the keg. This is a feature that you don’t find in a lot of nitro coffee kegs.
Use the included coffee ground bags and funnel for brewing your favorite coffee, instead of using coffee concentrate or brewing in a separate container. This adds to the portability and convenience of the GrowlerWerks product.
- All-in-one design allows for brewing and storage in the same container
- Has a nice sturdy handle for easy carrying and shaking for better infusion
- Double wall insulation to keep coffee cold even when traveling
- Compact design fits easily in your refrigerator.
- The price of this nitro cold brew keg is a bit much considering the size
- The uKeg nitrogen cartridges are not included with the keg
- You can only use the uKeg specific chargers, which are a bit more expensive than other products
3. HB Brewing Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker
This compact cold brew keg is the perfect combination of capacity and size. While it holds 4 to 6 glasses of cold brew, it is small enough to easily fit in the door bin of your refrigerator.
This is probably the easiest of the nitro cold brew kegs to use. From the box, it simply requires you to rinse the keg, fill it with coffee, install the nitrogen charger, put on the lid, shake, and in just a few minutes you have tasty nitro cold brew coffee.
This keg had some of the most consistent results as far as creaminess, taste, and foam. We found this surprising considering the price of this keg and the simplicity of its operation.
The kit comes with the keg, hoses, tap with a stout faucet, and pressure relief valve on the tap. The HB Brewing keg does not come with nitrogen cartridges, so you will need to purchase them separately before you can use the keg.
You will need to also keep in mind that this is just a container, and the HB Brewing nitro cold brew coffee keg does not have the ability to brew coffee in the container.
You will have to brew coffee in a separate container or utilize your favorite coffee concentrate in this nitro cold brew keg.
- 64-ounce keg holds enough coffee for 4 pints glasses
- HB Brew keg is easy to set up and start using
- Small enough keg to easily fit in your refrigerator door
- The keg comes with a few replacement parts so you can use this keg for a while before needing to order parts
- Tap can be fussy from time to time. May take a few tries to figure out how to make it work correctly
- Faucet seems to leak occasionally
- You cannot brew your coffee in this keg. Coffee will need to be brewed elsewhere.
- Nitrogen cartridges are not included.
4. My Morning Brew Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker
My Morning Brew nitro cold brew coffee maker, like many other kegs on our list, is a tool for infusing cold brewed coffee with nitrogen. This easy-to-use keg comes with everything you need to store your cold brew coffee and infuse it with nitrogen for a sweet and creamy flavor.
This cold brew coffee keg is made from attractive stainless steel. It looks great sitting on your counter or chilling in your refrigerator. The tap has an easy-to-use cartridge holder that perfectly infuses your coffee with nitrogen or nitrous oxide. The stout faucet and easy-to-use handle allow you to dispense your favorite cold brew coffee into a range of containers.
With sturdy handles, this nitro cold brew coffee keg is perfect for traveling or for entertaining. It comes with all of the items you’ll need to get started enjoying cold brew coffee at home. Additionally, this keg is easy to clean and maintain and comes with helpful instructions on how to set up and properly maintain the keg.
- Made from durable and attractive stainless steel for long-lasting enjoyment
- Stout style faucet provides a smooth and creamy pour
- Perfect for beginners
- Owner’s manual is easy to follow and has detailed instructions on care and maintenance.
- Faucet leaks from time to time. May need to release pressure occasionally
- Nitrogen or nitrous oxide cartridges are sold separately
5. NitroPress Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Perhaps you don’t really want to have a keg sitting in your refrigerator, but you still love the creaminess of nitro cold brew coffee.
Then, you may want to consider the NitroPress nitro cold brew coffee maker. This great nitro cold brew coffee maker is the perfect size for single-serve cold brew coffee without the bulk.
The NitroPress cold brew coffee maker uses a single nitrogen coffee to quickly infuse your single cup of coffee with nitrogen. It is very easy to use, and doesn’t require a lot of time or space.
Simply insert the nitrogen cartridge, fill the container with cold brew coffee, put the lid on, shake, and dispense. In just a few quick minutes you have sweet and creamy nitro cold brew coffee.
Some of our favorite conveniences of this nitro cold brew coffee maker are that it fits easily in our kitchen cabinet when not in use and the container is dishwasher safe for quick and easy clean-up.
This is only one of a couple of small-style nitro cold brew coffee makers we found, so we needed to add it to the list. This nitro cold brew coffee maker is very versatile and can be used for other beverages, as it can utilize both nitrogen and CO2 canisters.
Other than coffee, we really like using this nitro infuser for making fresh whipped cream without all of the hassles.
- Smaller size makes this nitro cold brew coffee maker easy to store and easy to travel with
- This is one of the easiest-to-use nitro cold brew coffee makers we found
- Can be used with nitrogen, nitrous oxide, or CO2
- Great for other beverages or whipped cream
- Container is dishwasher safe
- Only holds enough for about two cups of coffee
- Kind of expensive for the size
- Does not come with gas cartridges
Nitro cold brew coffee is quickly becoming a favorite of coffee drinkers. This style of coffee tastes and feels like dairy is added, without having to add milk or cream. Home nitro cold brew coffee makers allow you to brew your coffee and transfer it to a handy keg for infusing and storage.
Our favorite nitro cold brew coffee maker is the Royal Brew coffee keg. This great product is the original nitro cold brew coffee keg, so you know that it is of good quality and has been designed to last.
While it doesn’t brew your coffee the Royal Brew does give you an amazing nitro cold brew coffee and allows you to share your favorite drink with friends and family.