Nitro Cold Brew Coffee vs. Iced Americano; Differences Explained

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Not sure of the difference between Nitro Cold Brew vs. Iced Americano? There are a few key factors that influence the taste profile, aroma, and mouthfeel of each drink.

One of the most refreshing ways to get your caffeine fix is in an iced coffee drink. Iced Americano and nitro cold brew are two types of iced coffee that a lot of people drink every day.

Both have their own appeal and merits, but which is superior? Let’s see how iced Americano compares to nitro cold brew.

Key Takeaways:

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee vs Iced Americano

  • Nitro cold brew coffee is a variation of cold-brewed coffee that is infused with nitrogen gas to create a smooth texture. Iced Americano, on the other hand, is made by diluting one or two shots of espresso with cold water and adding ice to it.
  • When nitrogen gas is pumped into a liquid, it has a different effect. Nitrogen makes bubbles that are smaller, and the drink as a whole feels creamy and smooth.
  • Nitrogen gas also gives the drink a little bit of sweetness.
  • An iced americano by combining two espresso shots with cold or room temperature water and then pouring the liquid into an ice-filled glass.

Although nitro cold brew coffee was concocted in the early 2010s, many cafes have begun featuring nitro cold brew as a regular menu item. 

Today, nitro cold brew competes with iced americanos, iced lattes, and other summer drinks like iced teas or blended coffees. The question now is, “What’s the difference?”

What’s the difference between Nitro cold brew coffee and Iced Americano?

Adding espresso to cold water and ice makes an iced Americano. As the coffee drains directly onto the ice and cold water while brewing, it becomes chilled as it seeps down.

The nitro cold brew method involves using cold water instead of hot water and brewing slowly over a period of 12-24 hours and then infusing it with nitrogen gas to give it a creamy texture.

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Iced Americano
IngredientsCoffee grounds, water & nitrogenEspresso, water & ice.
TasteRich, flavorful, creamy taste of coffee.Mild taste of espresso.
Caffeine140mg of caffeine in 8oz serving136mg of caffeine from 2 shots of espresso
CaloriesLow-calorie beverage.Low-calorie beverage.
Which is stronger?Stronger than Iced AmericanoMedium Strong flavor

What is Nitro Cold Brew Coffee?

The nitro cold brew coffee is simply cold-brewed coffee that has been infused/charged with nitrogen.

If you go to your favorite coffee shop and ask for a nitro cold brew coffee, the barista will probably give it to you from a tap, the same way a bartender would give you a beer. 

Drinks laced with nitrogen gas have been around for a very long time. It’s the same ingredient you’ll find in some of your favorite beers.

When nitrogen gas is pumped into a liquid, it has a different effect. Nitrogen makes bubbles that are smaller, and the drink as a whole feels creamy and smooth.

Nitrogen gas also gives the drink a little bit of sweetness. It works so well for coffee because of this. Coffee that has been infused with nitrogen tastes smooth and creamy even without milk, sugar, or their substitutes.

You can make your own Nitro Cold Brew Coffee at home using this amazing NitroPress Nitro Cold Brew Maker & Dispenser.

Since nitrogen bubbles are smaller than carbon dioxide bubbles (the gas used to make soda), nitrogen-infused coffee has a smoother mouthfeel than carbonated beverages. 

You can also find cans of cold-brew at grocery stores, and you can make your own nitro cold-brew at home using a cream whipper.

Nitro coffee also looks great in the glass. Nitro coffee has a dark color, a foamy top, and bubbles that flow down the sides of the glass. The way nitro brew coffee looks is part of the whole experience of drinking it.

What are the benefits of Nitro cold brew coffee?

Nitrogen coffee is becoming more and more popular because it can be a healthier way to get your caffeine fix.

Here are some of the benefits of nitro brew over regular coffee beverages:

  • It is lower in fat and sugar content than other coffees, such as lattes and cappuccinos.
  • It tastes sweet without any added sugar.
  • It’s safe for people who are allergic to milk.
  • It has a reduced acidity and is, therefore, gentler on the digestive system.

Nitrogen gives coffee more flavor and makes it sweet and creamy, so you don’t need to add milk or sugar to add calories. 

That makes it a dream for people who like caffeine but want to watch their calories.

It’s also good for people who can’t have milk because you don’t have to use dairy or milk substitutes to make it creamy.

The way you make nitro cold brew coffee has another benefit. Since cold brew is steeped slowly in cold water, less acidity is taken out of the coffee bean. 

This method makes a rich, highly caffeinated drink with less acidity than regular coffee. 

The end product which is the delicious nitro brew coffee is easier on your stomach because it has less acidity. 

We expect to see nitro coffee on more and more menus because of its health benefits and general popularity. As a result, a growing number of individuals are exploring ways to produce this caffeinated beverage at home.

What is Iced Americano?

One of America’s most popular coffee drinks is an Americano.

Even though it might seem different from a regular Americano, an iced Americano is just an Americano served over ice. This is why it is called an “iced Americano.”

Americano is a popular choice for coffee drinkers who like strong, bold flavors but don’t want as much bitterness from the espresso. It is also one of the healthiest coffee drinks because it doesn’t usually have sugar or milk in it.

A barista makes an iced americano by combining two espresso shots with cold or room temperature water and then pouring the liquid into an ice-filled glass.

There are a few conflicting opinions about where the Americano came from.

One is about American soldiers who were sent to Italy during World War II.

The way Italians drank coffee was different from what the soldiers were used to. They wanted big cups of what they thought was regular coffee, but Italians usually just had one shot of espresso in a shot glass.

Also, the Americans couldn’t get used to the bitter taste of Italian espresso, so they started to add hot water to it to make it less strong.

In the end, this became the standard way for Americans living abroad who were not used to the way Italians made coffee.

When Americans wanted their coffee to be stronger and more concentrated, they would just add an extra shot of espresso.

Because of this, the drink got the name “Americano.”

Nitro Cold Brew vs. Iced Americano; Caffeine

Nitro coffee is made using a higher ratio of coffee grounds to water than regular coffee or espresso, which can kick up its caffeine content.

A typical 8-ounce serving of nitro cold brew coffee has about 140mg of caffeine.

Even though the longer brewing process in making cold-brew draws less acidity, it actually also ends up drawing more caffeine. So, if you are sensitive to caffeine, you should limit how much nitro cold brew you drink.

Moreover,  strong coffee is used to make nitro cold brew because it makes the flavor darker and more intense. This means that there is more caffeine in each cup.

On the other hand, an iced Americano is made by combining two shots of espresso with ice and cold water; the two espresso shots make for 136 mg of caffeine.

Nitro Cold Brew vs. Iced Americano Calorie Difference

Both, nitro cold brew and iced Americano have virtually no calories, they both are a calorie-conscious caffeine lover’s dream.

In addition to improving the texture and mouthfeel of your cup of coffee, the nitrogen used in nitro coffee also adds a hint of sweetness.

This makes nitro a good alternative to regular coffee for many people, since it takes away the need for extra sugar.

Also, when ordering either coffee, you’ll get black coffee without any sweeteners or creamer in them.

As soon as you start adding sweeteners like honey, sugar, milk, or creamer to your coffee, you’re going to start piling on the calories.

Difference in Taste

While the iced Americano and nitro cold brew coffee are both cold coffee options, they differ in terms of taste and flavor.

What makes these coffees so different from each other is how they taste.

Iced Americano tastes weaker than cold brew. Iced Americano is made from espresso, while the nitro cold brew is made by steeping coffee beans in water for a very long time.

Iced Americano tastes like a cup of espresso coffee that has been a little watered down, but is very cold because ice cubes have been added. 

On the other hand, because more coffee is used, nitro cold brew coffee tastes much stronger, creamier, and richer.

One thing that makes nitro cold brew stand out from regular coffee is that it has a very different texture. It’s thick, rich, and creamy.

Is Nitro cold brew stronger than Iced Americano?

Nitro cold brew coffee is stronger than Americano coffee because more coffee beans are used and it takes longer to make. Also, there are more coffee beans used, which gives the coffee a stronger taste.

Both of these beverages are often made using coffee beans that have been dark roasted. As a result, there are some similarities in flavor.

While an Americano uses two shots of espresso, the flavor of the nitro cold brew coffee is intensified by steeping it for a longer period of time and then infusing it with nitrogen.

How To Make Nitro Cold Brew Coffee at Home

The first step to making nitro cold brew at home is to make cold-brew concentrate.

You’ll need a NitroPress Nitro Cold Brew Maker & Dispenser (Amazon link) to make your nitro brew at home.

1. Grind the beans.

Using a burr grinder, grind coffee beans to a medium to coarse grind. This should look like fine gravel or coarse sand. Once you have this you are ready to start a cold brew.

2. Mix coffee grounds in water in a container.

You put your coffee grounds into the container first. For any size container, you’ll measure at a 1 to 5 ratio for each batch. This is essentially one measuring cup of coffee grounds to 5 cups of water.

3. Let the mixture sit for a while

Let the coffee sit out for 12 hours at room temperature or put it in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

4. Filter the mixture.

After letting the coffee steep for a day, it’s ready to be filtered. Strain the coffee through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a paper coffee filter.

5. Infuse your coffee with nitrogen.

Pour the cold coffee into the NitroPress Nitro Cold Brew Maker and close it. Add one cartridge of nitrous oxide and shake for 30 seconds. 

Allow the canister to rest for another 30 seconds or more, or until it is cool to the touch. Holding a pint glass at an angle, pour the coffee into the glass through the spout.

Voila! Your nitro brew coffee is ready to be served.

How To Make an Iced Americano

It is very easy to make an iced Americano. You’ll need to brew 1-2 shots of espresso.

Ideally, you want to use an espresso machine. If you don’t, try using a type of coffee maker that makes strong coffee. You can use a Moka pot, a French Press, or AeroPress (Amazon links).

  • Pour 1-2 shots of espresso into an espresso cup. Transfer the shots into your drinking glass. 
  • Add about 6 oz of cold water to your drinking glass containing the espresso.
  • Add the ice cubes.

That’s it! Your Iced Americano is ready to be enjoyed.


So these were the major differences between the Nitro cold brew coffee vs Iced Americano.

You are now in a position to choose which of these two cold coffees is your favorite now that you are aware of the differences between the two. 

In my opinion, the best option is the nitro cold brew coffee. The flavor of cold brew coffee is so distinct and delicious that I just can’t seem to get enough of it.

I have demonstrated how to create both types of coffee, and I strongly advise you to brew both so that you may judge their individual flavors for yourself. It’s a fun and easy method to find out if you prefer nitro cold brew or the classic iced Americano.

Written by:
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Amit Gupta

Hi, my name is Amit Gupta, and I am the owner and contributor at Cafeish. My obsession with coffee started when I received my first French press as a gift almost ten years ago. Since then, my love of coffee – and the number of coffee gadgets I own – has grown considerably.

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