Does Nitro Cold Brew Have More Caffeine Than Espresso - Nitro Cold Brew Vs Espresso

Does Nitro Cold Brew Have More Caffeine Than Espresso? – Nitro Cold Brew Vs Espresso

Last updated on November 22nd, 2023 at 12:55

It is important to know and to be aware of the caffeine content in your drinks which is why many people are asking us “Does nitro cold brew have more caffeine than espresso?

If you are in a rush, here is your answer – nitro cold brew has more caffeine than espresso. Curiously, it also had more of a caffeine kick than regular cold brew.

Keep reading to find out how much more caffeine this beverage has than espresso and regular cold brew coffee.

Does Nitro Cold Brew Have More Caffeine Than Espresso?

Yes, and a lot more too. Let’s take a closer look at these two drinks and the caffeine in nitro cold-brewed coffee in comparison to an espresso shot.

There is only a slight caffeine discrepancy between a regular coffee shop and Starbucks for their shots of espresso.

A regular coffee shop has 65 mg per shot while at Starbucks it is 75 mg of caffeine per shot of espresso.

A doppio, a double shot, has 130 mg at a regular coffee shop and 150 mg at Starbucks.

Comparing this directly to nitrogen-infused coffee, which is a rarity and simply not seen at run-of-the-mill coffee places and only at high-end specialty coffee shops.

Starbucks and their Nitro Cold Brew coffee comes in only two serving sizes – 12 Oz (360 ml) Tall and their 16 Oz (480 ml) Grande.

Since their Venti is 24 Oz (720 ml) and their Trenta 31 Oz (930 ml), you could, if you really wanted to, order two tall nitro cold brew to be served in a venti cup, or two Grande and have them served in a Trenta cup – you will only be missing 1 Oz (30 ml less).

The amount of caffeine in a nitro cold brew coffee at Starbucks is as follows:

  • Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) 215 mg of caffeine (415 mg for the “creative” venti size).
  • Grande 16 Oz (360 ml) 280 mg of caffeine (560 mg approximately for the “creative” Trenta size).

Clearly, and demonstrably, there is more caffeine in nitro infused cold brew coffee than even a double shot of espresso. If it is a caffeine kick that you need, cast your coffee-loving eyes to nitrogen-infused coffee!

It is still worthy of noting that the caffeine concentration in espresso shots is much greater as a shot of espresso contains 65 mg to 75 mg of caffeine per ounce. where the concentration in nitro cold brew is significantly reduced at 17.5 mg per ounce.

When it comes to the amount of caffeine per volume, the clear winner by a long shot (pun intended).

Does Nitro Cold Brew Have More Caffeine Than Espresso
Nitro Cold Brew Has More Caffeine

Read: Cold brew Vs Hot coffee

Nitro Cold Brew Vs Espresso

These two beverages are very different in many ways and not just in the caffeine department.

They are different in many ways.

Nitro Cold Brew Vs Espresso Taste

An espresso is a strong, dense and potent taste of coffee with a rich, lingering taste from the rich thick crema on top.

The perfect shot of espresso will have a balance of bitterness and tartness with a sweet creamy finish. If your espresso shot is overtly bitter, it is most likely over extracted. If it is overtly sour, your shot is probably under extracted.

Nitro cold brew coffee has a taste that is very different from an espresso. The first notable difference is the creamy, sweet, rich flavor that is less acidic. It is very subtle and sweet without the addition of sugar or any sweetener. Like an espresso, it is rich and creamy without the addition of milk.

The Brewing Process For Both Beverages

Both these beverages have completely different brewing methods, for a start one uses hot water while the other uses cold water.

An espresso requires the use of an espresso machine to create both the ideal temperature of 92C to 96C (195F to 205F) and 9 bar (130 PSI) of pressure to force the hot water through the very finely ground coffee grounds.

Without both freshly roasted oily coffee beans and the water pressure you will not get that rich, thick creama on your shot.

Ideally, the brew time is 25 seconds +/- 5 seconds.

A nitro cold brew coffee requires the use of cold water for brewing. The best results are obtained when you use ice-cold coffee and brew it in your fridge.

This brewing technique requires a coarse grind size and can even be brewed with whole beans using a 1:8 coffee to water ratio, which is notably less focused than the 1:2 of a shot of espresso.

Brewing time can take as long as 24 hours and is best checked after 12 hours and taste tested every 2 to 3 hours.

Getting the nitrogen gas to infuse with the cold brewed coffee is done with a special nitrogen cold brew coffee maker, which is much more convenient than using a whipped cream dispenser for the nitrogen infusion.

Nitro Cold Brew Dispenser
Nitro Cold Brew Dispenser

Read: Starbucks cold brew concentrate caffeine content

Appearance And Presentation

An espresso, the world’s most popular and distinctive black coffee, is a short shot of black coffee with approximately a finger or two of thick brownish crema on top.

Nitro cold brew, when served, looks like a stout beer with the cascading effect.

Versatility Of The Drinks

An espresso is much more versatile and is used as the base for many different cups of coffee, including mocha, flat white, cappuccino, macchiato, latte, cortado and many more. The one question with the different beverage is a single shot or double shot, often optional.

Nitro cold brew is very versatile and can only be used for one type of coffee drink – making a nitro cold brew! You can add vanilla sweet cream or vanilla sweet cream cold foam, but this is quite pointless as the drink is rich and creamy without the addition of milk or cream.

Cold Brew Vs Nitro Cold Brew Starbucks

Obviously there are two drinks that are very similar. Nitro cold brew has a similar taste to regular cold brew coffee and is not too different, but from the very first sip you will notice the texture and richer, smoother and is peculiarly creamy and sweet without the addition of milk or sugar.

Nitro cold with the foamy head looks a lot like a draft stout beer.

Is Nitro Cold Brew Stronger Than Cold Brew?

In terms of flavor and strength of taste both are very similar and one is not any stronger in taste than the other in terms of the prominent coffee taste.

Let’s take a look at the caffeine content.

Drink Size Cold Brew Nitro Cold Brew
Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) 155 mg 215 mg
Grande 16 Oz (480 ml) 310 mg 280 mg

It is clear that there is more caffeine in nitro cold brew than there is in cold brew coffee.

Note: Nitro cold brew is only available in the two drink sizes indicated, and thus I have not indicated the caffeine content in the other two sizes.

Read: Does cold brew have more caffeine?

Frequently Asked Questions About Does Nitro Cold Brew Have More Caffeine Than Espresso

Nitro cold brew has a greater caffeine content than a shot or double shot of espresso. An espresso has 75 mg in a single shot and 150 mg for a doppio (double shot). Nitro cold brew, which is available in only 2 sizes, Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) and Grande 16 Oz (480 ml) and contains 215 mg and 280 mg of caffeine respectively.

Is Nitro Cold Brew High Caffeine?

Nitro cold brew does not have excessively high caffeine levels with 215 milligrams of caffeine in a tall 12 Oz (360 ml) serving and 280 milligrams in a 16 Oz (480 ml) Grande serving. It is on the high side in terms of the levels of caffeine; it is just not an excessively caffeinated coffee drink

As a warning, two cups of either size will put you over the 400 milligrams of caffeine per day recommended limit suggested by the FDA. 

Yes, nitro cold brew has more caffeine than caffe Americano as nitro cold brew was 215 milligrams of caffeine in a tall 12 Oz (360 ml) serving and 280 mg of caffeine in a Grande 16 Oz (480 ml) serving size.

Comparing this to a caffe Americano of the same drink sizes, there are 150 mg and 225 mg of caffeine respectively, which is approximately the equivalent of a shot of espresso at a regular coffee shop.

There are some studies that indicate that due to the presence and infusion of nitrogen gas your body may process the caffeine content quicker which means the caffeine boost would hit you faster.

It would be fair to say that, yes, nitro cold brew hits you faster.

The point of nitrogen-infused coffee is the silky smooth, creamy and sweet rich texture and flavor. Enjoying that creamy and sweet taste is great since no milk or sugar is added.

Coffee, when it is brewed in the regular way, even when it is cold brewed, loses these characteristics.

The point is, at the heart of it, to enjoy a great tasting cup of coffee.

Do Nitro Cold Brews Have More Caffeine?

Yes, nitro cold brew coffees tend to have a little more caffeine than other popular coffee beverages.

Is Cold Brew More Caffeinated Than Espresso?

Yes, cold brew coffee has from 155 mg to 360 mg of caffeine, depending on which drink size you get. A single shot of espresso has 75 mg of caffeine and thus even the smallest drink size has a little more than double the caffeine content of an espresso.

Is Nitro Cold Brew Better Than Espresso?

These are two very different drinks, completely different and which is better for you is very subjective. If you enjoy small strong coffee coffee an espresso is what you will like. If you prefer a larger, smooth coffee with a rich silky smooth and creamy taste then a nitro cold brew coffee is what you will have a preference for.

Final Thoughts – Does Nitro Cold Brew Have More Caffeine Than Espresso?

You no longer need to have that question “does nitro cold brew have more caffeine than espresso” as now know that it most certainly does, and how much more.

Curiously, not only is this beverage highly caffeinated and having more than a regular cold brew, the caffeine is faster acting due to the presence of nitrogen.


if you need a good, quick caffeine hit, then this is the drink for you!

Have you tried nitro cold brew?

Did you make it at home?

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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