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The Best Cold Brew Nitro Coffee Systems for Home

By Connor Wilson

October 7, 2020

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In the mood for come cold brew coffee? What about cold brew nitro coffee?

Think it's too complicated or too expensive to enjoy at home?

Think again, because we've curated our best nitro cold brew coffee makers list and we couldn't be more excited about it.

Not sure what nitro coffee or nitro cold brew is? We'll cover everything you need to know before we jump into the meat of our list.

Imagine a slightly sweet, smooth, yet full-bodied foamy beverage swimming in your mouth, tangling with all the right taste buds. We love it so much! We're hooked on nitro coffee.

Just like us, many have fallen in love with nitro coffee, its irresistibly refreshing flavor and we can't get enough.

Like the kids back in the 80's who dropped piggy banks of quarters into their favorite pinball machine, we too have lost many a fiver to Starbucks and our favorite coffee shop that carries nitro cold brew.

For the longest time we enjoyed nitro coffee while simultaneously watching our bank accounts drain, but it no longer has to be this way, because there are now nitro cold brew coffee makers you can use at home on the cheap!

Does this idea spark any interest? Let's dive in!

What is Nitro Cold Brew Coffee?

Nitro coffee is cold brew coffee that has been infused with nitrogen gas similar to how certain draft beers are dispensed. Think Guinness, and you'd be spot on!

In any case, it adds this smooth creamy texture that delights so many of us cold brew fanatics, that we spend tons every month to feed the habit.

Nitrogen requires less pressure to sit in a liquid than your favorite soda, which has a sharp feeling as it flows down your throat.

The difference with nitrogen-infusion is the bubbles are much smaller, creating a foamy texture that tricks the tongue into thinking it has encountered something sweet. You don't need creamer for nitro coffee!

To learn more, check out our article all about nitro cold brew coffee. Let's get into why we've made this list.

Benefits of At Home Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

If you've done any research into homebrewing with nitro coffee you already know how expensive the hobby can be. You'll spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on kegging equipment, kegerators and dispensers. 

Now, I get it... Some of you are willing to go ALL OUT for their nitro coffee hobby, and I don't blame you. In fact, I've done this myself and created a helpful guide to assist you in picking out the best nitrogen coffee kegerator for your home brew project.

For the rest of you, the sensible ones, I present to you the best nitro cold brew coffee systems for home that don't cost a fortune, and fit in practically any refrigerator. Let's get to it!


Best Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Systems for Home

In order to make the list for the best cold brew nitro coffee systems for home, the product has to pass  a few important tests.

  1. It has to be worth it, financially. We are on a budget with these, after all.
  2. It be compact enough to fit in most standard refrigerator units
  3. It must provide a consistent pressure to keep that frothy appearance we all enjoy gawking at.

Other than this, we take a look at how easy to use it is, and how much capacity it can hold.

To determine if any of these nitro coffee dispensers are the right fit for your cold brew, ask yourself how much you spend on a monthly basis on nitro cold brew at your favorite coffee shop. Now imagine being able to enjoy it for years at a fraction of that cost.

So if you are planning to make cold brew nitro coffee, you can rest assured we have spent hours looking into each one of these products to provide you with an honest look at what you can actually expect when you use it for yourself.

The uKeg Nitro coffee portable kegging system is the ideal cold brew nitro coffee maker. It holds a whopping 1.5 liters but is only 10.9" tall, so it easily fits in most refrigerators. In most cases, I've been able to rely on fresh, consistently frothy nitro cold brew for up to a week at a time without thinking much about it.

Sometimes, I get a bit antsy and want more, so if you're a fiend like me, you might find that 1.5 liters isn't enough for more than one pour per day. However, it provides that picturesque cascading foam every time with little fuss for maintenance or cleanup.

It is easy to dial in the pressure from "infuse" to "pour" after waiting over night for it to fully infuse. Sometimes the nitrogen cartridge provides too much pressure and the last bit of cold brew is too frothy. I find that pulsating the nitro tap prevents too much mess, but it's one thing to look out for.

The container is made of double-walled stainless steel, for a durable and rugged exterior. This technology also makes sure your cold brew nitro coffee stays cold for the entire day. This is a great feature because I can take the uKeg Nitro to work and the whole crew can drink from it for the day.

It's ideal for small gatherings and is a statement piece that will garner a lot of attention at a pot luck, especially when people might be drinking alcohol .

Installing and using the 16 gram nitrogen cartridge is easy and self-explanatory, but their instructions also provide clear guidance on what to do each step of the way.

One thing I really like about the uKeg nitro is how you can brew your cold brew concentrate in the included filter sleeves prior to the nitro coffee infusion process. So if you want an immersion cold brew without nitro coffee, you can also brew 1.5 liters of cold brew in this thing. Pretty sweet!

Should you buy this one? Absolutely yes! I love the uKeg nitro and it works the most consistently of all the products in our list. Get it now!

Key Features

  • Stainless Steel - Double Walled Vacuum Seal
  • Easy to use Infuser Cap
  • User Friendly Design
  • Compact and Portable Size
  • Requires 16 gram Nitro Cartridges
  • 1.5 liters (50 fl oz) Brewing Capacity
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 10.9 inches
  • Weight: 5.29 lbs (2.4 kg)

PROS

  • Fits into Most Refrigerators
  • Easy to Clean
  • Portable & Rugged
  • All-in-one Cold Brew Maker
  • Easy to Use Consistently

CONS

  • Tap leaks
  • Cartridge Pressure Sometimes Too Much
  • Proprietary Nitro Cartridges 16g
  • No Ability to use NO2 Chargers

This stainless steel 64 oz mini keg nitro coffee cold brew infusion system by Morning Brew is very compact, fitting wherever a gallon of milk will fit. It is essentially a keg with a nitro tap connected to the top, allowing for 8 gram nitro cartridges. 

The 8 gram nitro cartridges are not proprietary, so you can test both nitrogen and nitrous oxide cartridges in this system to make unique recipes with your cold brew. While we only used nitrogen while testing this unit, I find the willingness to adapt to industry standards to be more refreshing than the nitro coffee itself.

The company recommends using N2O cartridges, but I find there is less of that cascading foam when you mix in oxygen. Still, the price is much cheaper for N2O cartridges in general, so I recommend picking up both after following the brand's instructions.

This cold brew nitro coffee system does not come with any infusion indicators on it, so you have to guess how infused it is. We filled ours with cold brew beforehand, screwed on the tap and 8 gram cartridge and left it overnight in the fridge before consuming it.

It helps to shake it up right after screwing in the cartridge to get the bubbles to evenly spread throughout the cold brew inside. The goal is to make the gases evenly spread throughout the mixture so that your brew remains consistent throughout.

In order to get this nitro coffee cold brew kit to work right, we had to use much less than the 64oz it promises. To get a consistent pour from it, we had to adjust it down to around 48-50oz.

Should you buy this one? Perhaps, but there are better options available for the price point. I'd probably skip out on buying it again, personally.

Key Features

  • Steel - Mini Keg
  • Stainless Steel Spout with Pressure Release Valve
  • Compact Size
  • Requires 8 gram non-threaded NO2 or 2 gram Nitrogen(x2) Cartridges
  • 64 fl oz Brewing Capacity
  • Dimensions: 9.96 x 9.65 x 5.87 inches
  • Weight: 4.93 lbs (2.24 kg)

PROS

  • Large capacity – 50oz
  • Very Easy to Clean
  • Easy to Follow Instructions
  • Non-proprietary Cartridge Fittings
  • N2O or Nitrogen Capable

CONS

  • Tap Leaks
  • Not Very Portable
  • Sharp Edges on Handle Insides
  • Plastic Charger Cap 

The HB Brewing at home nitro coffee cold brew maker is one of our favorites here at cold brew hub. Unlike much of the competition, it comes with an upgraded nitro tap, which helps with leaking. 

However, we find that in order to get it to work properly and consistently, we had to use much less than 64 oz of coffee. It seems to work just fine at around 48-50oz, making it pretty competitive with the uKeg Nitro.

You can use either 8 gram NO2 cartridges or pure Nitrogen, but you need to charge it twice with 2 gram nitro chargers. One thing we found disappointing about this nitro coffee brewer is that the charger cap is made from plastic, which has a tendency to warping and cross-threading. Gas may leak if the seal isn't perfect...

Other than this the design looks great and the system feels very high quality. I wish it had a pivot handle to make it easier to pick up and move around, but I find myself dispensing nitro coffee from the fridge anyway, since it does not keep your cold brew cool outside of the fridge.

One thing I really like about this product is how "giftable" it is. It comes in premium packaging, with easy to follow instructions. We were setup in less than 3 minutes after unboxing. This nitro coffee cold brew dispenser definitely deserves a spot on this list for that reason alone.

Should you by this one? Maybe. I think there are better options on this list, but it definitely won us over and we don't regret the purchase at all.

Key Features

  • Stainless Steel - Choose between Single and Double Walled Designs
  • Easy to Setup
  • Compact Design fits in most Refrigerators
  • Requires 8 gram Nitrous Oxide (NO2) Cartridges or 2 gram Nitrogen cartridges (2x)
  • 64oz Brewing Capacity
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 8.6 x 5.8 inches
  • Weight: 4.89 lbs (2.22 kg)

PROS

  • Large capacity – 50oz
  • Very Easy to Clean
  • Premium Look and Feel
  • N2O or Nitrogen Capable
  • Upgraded Dispensing Tap

CONS

  • Plastic Cartridge Holder Cross-threading
  • Prone to Leaking Gas
  • Leaking Tap without Plug

This is by far the least expensive unit we tried. The VBENLEM Nitro Coffee Cold Brew Maker is a budget option and not without its quirks. At first glance, it appears to be a great deal! You get what you pay for, however.

We put this product on the list to suggest that if you are ok with a little DIY, you can turn this into a worthwhile product for yourself, but if you are going to rely on it right out of the box, you may be disappointed.

For one, we noticed that in order to prevent gas leaks, you need to go in where the ball valve is and make sure to air spray the joint and brush out any metal shavings left there from manufacturing. It almost seems like there is no QA department to check these things, but that could just be our experience.

The listing claims it can make 2 liters of nitro coffee cold brew, but also in the listing it suggests that you should only brew 34oz at a time to prevent infusion issues.

Look, you shouldn't buy this one. Don't do it unless you want a DIY project. It is pretty inexpensive, so you might make something cool from it. If you want something that looks premium, works well, and is consistent with high quality parts, choose a different model from this list.

Key Features

  • 304 Stainless Steel
  • Compact and Portable Size
  • Requires 8 gram Nitrous Oxide (NO2) Cartridges
  • 1 liters (34 fl oz) Brewing Capacity
  • Dimensions: 5.3 x 7.7 x 13.1 inches
  • Weight: 3.9 lbs (1.77 kg)
  • Comes with a Cleaning Kit

PROS

  • Fits into Most Refrigerators
  • Portable

CONS

  • Tap leaks
  • Inferior Build Quality
  • Gas Leaks
  • Inconsistent Pour
  • Cheap China Crap (my opinion)

The Royal Brew Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Kit is our favorite keg-style nitro brewer. There are many variations of styles and sizes that you are bound to find one that fits your needs with Royal Brew Nitro products.

We tried the Stainless Steel 128oz version and were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to use. Since we had a bunch of nitrogen cartridges to test, we infused 4 nitrogen whip chargers (2 grams each) and noticed a beautiful cascade of nitro every single time, with the exception of the last few taps.

No matter which system we tried, the last few pours were inconsistent. However, since it can hold 128oz, we were able to get so much more out of the consistent pours that I didn't mind so much, the slag at the end.

While this size won't fit in some smaller refrigerators, you can always opt into one of the smaller units if you are short on space. It comes in a 64oz version and a portable 64oz growler style, which we think is an answer to uKeg's growler.

One thing I really like about Royal Brew Nitro is that they offer a lifetime warranty on their products. Since we know these nitro coffee keg systems are sometimes finicky, there is real piece of mind knowing that if there is ever an issue with the seals or attachments, that Royal Brew Nitro has us covered.

Should you buy this one? Absolutely yes! You can't beat a lifetime warranty.

Key Features

  • Stainless Steel - Lots of variations, including Double-walled
  • Superior Tap System
  • Stainless Steel Charger Cap
  • Compact and Portable Size
  • Requires 8 gram Nitrous Oxide (NO2) Cartridges (2x) or 2 gram Nitrogen chargers (4x)
  • 128 fl oz Brewing Capacity (fill up to 75% capacity for best results)
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Replacement O-ring seals included
  • Dimensions: 19.5 x 7 x 5.31 inches
  • Weight: 5.45 lbs (2.47 kg)

PROS

  • Size and Style Variations
  • Easy to Clean
  • Premium Quality Product
  • Stainless Steel Charger Cap
  • Easy to Use Consistently

CONS

  • Tap leaks
  • Have to use multiple chargers
  • the 128oz is a bit too tall for the fridge

The Nutrichef Cold Brew Nitro Coffee Keg appears to be a clone of the Morning Brew Keg as it was nearly identical when it came to the keg itself. The edges were a bit sharp on the interior of the handle.

There is one thing that really sets it apart from the Morning Brew Keg and that is the stainless steel charger cap. Unlike the competition, the charger sleeve isn't made of plastic, so there is no chance of accidentally cross-threading the unit when putting it together.

To get it to work properly, we had to make adjustments to the contents and filled it to about 48-50oz. We noticed some leaking from the steel spear and faucet joints and had to clean them and replace the o-rings before it functioned properly.

I cannot say everyone will experience this, but we did, so it goes in the review. Fortunately, it comes with extra o-rings so it wasn't too much of a problem. I wish companies took more care into their quality assurance testing before releasing their products to market, though.

Should you buy this one? Probably not. There are better options available at a similar price point.

Key Features

  • 304 Stainless Steel Keg
  • Superior Tap System
  • Stainless Steel Charger Cap
  • Compact and Portable Size
  • Requires 8 gram NO2 Cartridges or 2 gram Nitrogen chargers (2x)
  • 64 fl oz Brewing Capacity
  • Dimensions: 7.3 x 7.5 x 14.2 inches
  • Weight: 5.45 lbs (2.47 kg)

PROS

  • Available in 64oz and 128oz
  • Fits into Most Refrigerators
  • Easy to Clean
  • Stainless Steel Charger Cap
  • Upgraded Nitro Tap

CONS

  • Tap leaks
  • No Insulated Versions Available
  • Inferior Seals Sometimes Leak Gas
  • Sharp Edges on Interior Handles

Final Verdict

There are two clear winners in our reviews list. The uKeg Nitro and The Royal Brew Nitro line of portable cold brew nitro coffee dispensers are clearly superior to all of the others, based on our careful review of each of the 6 in this list.

Budget

You get what you pay for. We learned that you should not cut corners when it comes to devices that rely on pressure. You may pay more for these two units, but you will save more in the long run with piece of mind and costly replacement units down the road.

When it comes to portable infusers with any capacity, do your due diligence and stick with what works.

Size

Both units meet or exceed expectations with their fill capacity and storage ability. While the Royal Brew Nitro we tested is a bit larger, they offer the same product in smaller variations, so we'll give them a pass.

Consistency

Dispensing consistency is key here with these portable units. We found that of all the products we tested, the uKeg Nitro and Royal Brew Nitro coffee products outshined the rest.

Now you might be wondering if it is even a good idea to spend the money on one of these systems. Will it pay off for you? Let's explore that next.


Is Owning a Cold Brew Nitro Coffee System at Home a Cost-Effective Solution?

Depending on whether or not you plan to brew with nitro for every batch of cold brew you make and how often you drink it will determine how cost-effective owning a cold brew nitro coffee system will be for you.

Let's break down the costs for owning the most convenient option at home versus buying premade:

If you decide to own your own nitro system, you may find the convenience and sheer novelty of it is worth the cost, but is it really a better deal? Let's see:

  • uKeg Nitro ($199.00) Can brew 50oz per charge

This is a one-time cost, so this would need to be calculated over time and uses to determine the value. We'll get to this calculation last.

  • Nitro chargers 16g ($15.00) includes 5 chargers

You only need 1 charger per 50oz brew, so each brew will cost you $3.

  • Average Coffee Beans ($18.00) 1 lb of coffee beans or 1134 grams

The recipe on uKeg's website calls for 60g of ground coffee per 50oz brew. You can prepare 19 brews with a single 1lb bag when you do the math, and it costs about $.95 per batch in coffee bean costs.

As you can see, the uKeg Nitro produces a 50oz batch every time, so we really need to look at costs based on this number, since you'd be wasting cartridges with anything less. When you calculate a per brew cost, you'll spend $3.95 per 50oz batch.

If you decide to buy premade options, you'll pay on average ~$3.50 per 16 fl oz or $10.90 per 50 fl oz

$3.95 is obviously lower than $10.90 but in order to make this worth it, you'd have to make nearly 29 batches with the uKeg Nitro or approximately 91 cups of nitro (16oz size) to break even.

Is it worth it for you to own a nitro cold brew coffee maker after we break down the costs?


Final Thoughts

As is with most things you buy, you get what you pay for. After purchasing all of these units and testing them out individually, we think the $150-$200 price point is perfect for portable cold brew nitro coffee solutions.

There will be a learning curve to getting it right, but once you figure it out, you'll be hooked just like we are.

Are there any cold brew nitro coffee dispensers we should add to this list? Let us know in the comments where we can buy one and we'll do just that.

Connor Wilson

About the Author

A cold brew coffee enthusiast and blogger, Connor was fresh out of college with a ton of student debt when he realized that a normal corporate job wouldn't cut it for him. He worked his tail off building an online business and now is fortunate enough to blog for a living.

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