Noscafé: Make Quick, Strong Coffee with Nitrous Oxide


A few years ago, I remember hearing about someone using a nitrous-charged whipped cream maker to make e.g. cordials very quickly. They’d put the fruit or the herb in the whipped cream maker along with some grain alcohol, pressurize it with a canister of N2O, and shake it. Due to the increased pressure, the extraction which would normally take weeks of steeping was taken care of in minutes.

This week, I decided to apply the idea to coffee. I am pleased to report that it is possible to produce excellent, wonderfully strong coffee at room temperature in about one minute with a whipped cream maker.

Noscafé coffee

My usual way of brewing coffee is to grind the coffee very fine, between espresso and turkish grind, and pour in boiling water. In about two minutes, I stir; two minutes later I stir again. After another several minutes, I decant the coffee into a mug, leaving the grounds (mostly) behind.

For this experiment, I used my usual amount of ground coffee — about three fluid ounces when measured in a jar — and eight ounces of water. I added the coffee and water, pressurized with one nitrous oxide canister, and shook it all up for about one minute. I then released all the pressure, being extremely careful not to inhale any of it, extremely careful indeed.

Scribbling some gibberish onto the back of an envelope, I figure that using my 0.5L charger with a standard 8g nitrous oxide cartridge, the coffee was brewed at a pressure of eight times atmospheric pressure, or about 120 psi.

Once the pressure was blown off safely and responsibly, I opened the whipped cream maker and poured the foamy brew into a jar to settle. A stir here, a stir there, and I poured it off into a glass with ice, trying to leave most of the grounds behind but failing somewhat.

I am left with delicious iced coffee, strong and sweet without a hint of acid. It’s as good as any 24-hour cold water brew I’ve made, and this in the time it takes to make a cup of instant. Makes great tea too!

Noscafé tea