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Coffee On Tap

Cold brew coffee is hot right now. From Starbucks to local coffee houses, it seems like everyone is selling cold brew coffee.

Serving cold brew coffee on tap will make your establishment stand out from the crowd. Instead of pouring from messy pitchers, just fill a keg with your cold brew coffee and then serve your customers a delicious cup poured from your kegerator or draft system. Take that experience up a notch when you infuse it with nitrogen to create swirling, creamy pints that deliver a creamy treat they will love. Read on to find out how easy it is to start pouring coffee on tap using a draft system.

HOW DOES COFFEE ON TAP WORK?

Serving coffee on tap relies on the same draft technology as beer and wine. With the pull of a handle, kegged cold brew is forced by way of gas pressure through food-safe lines to a waiting glass.

BENEFITS OF COFFEE ON TAP

Freshness

Draft systems restrict coffee’s contact with air, thereby slowing the oxygenation process that degrades coffee’s volatile flavor compounds. Less exposure to oxygen means your coffee stays fresher, longer.

Efficiency

Kegging your cold brew allows you to make and serve large batches quickly and easily. With the simple pull of a tap handle, it goes from keg to glass to your thirsty customers’ hands.

The Nitro Option

With the right pressure and faucet, you can choose to serve your cold brew “nitro” style. When nitrogen is pushed into the coffee, it creates a rich, velvety texture and creamy head that is very much in demand among coffee consumers.

Wow Factor

A draft system that dispenses coffee generates buzz that attracts people to your business.

Coffee On Tap

SETTING UP YOUR SYSTEM

Required Equipment

  • Serving coffee on tap requires the use of all stainless steel metal contacts, including the faucet, shank, and beverage line connectors. Coffee is highly acidic and in short time will corrode chrome-plated components and cause off flavors.
  • Nitrogen gas tank (with a CGA 580 valve)
  • Dual-gauge nitrogen regulator to monitor the gas left in your nitrogen tank and control the pressure of the draft system.
  • Gas line jumper to allow the flow of gas from the nitrogen tank to the keg.
  • Barrier line jumper with stainless steel connectors to carry the coffee from the keg to the faucet. Barrier tubing is made of harder plastic that is resistant to flavor stain.
  • Ball lock disconnects or stainless steel sankey coupler to connect the gas and barrier line to the keg.
    • Ball lock disconnects (gas & liquid) are used for cornelius (corny) kegs.
    • Sankey couplers are used with commercial kegs.
  • Corny Keg or a commercial keg for kegging your brew.
    • Cornelius kegs are easier to fill and clean, so they tend to be more appropriate for cold brew coffee setups. Five gallon kegs are most commonly used for kegging coffee, but other sizes are available.
  • Stainless steel shank to connect your coffee line and faucet.
  • Stainless steel faucet to pour your coffee on tap.
    • Standard faucets are perfect for pouring flat cold brew.
    • Stout faucets are best if you want to serve nitro cold brew. They are designed with restrictor plates that agitate the nitrogen, causing the cascading effect and thick white head associated with nitro cold brew.

Optional Equipment

  • Keg Carbonation Lid is only required if you plan to serve nitro-style cold brew. This piece of equipment force infuses the coffee with nitrogen directly in the corny keg.
  • Dual-body Nitrogen Regulator allows you to set two different pressures, which is necessary if you plan to use the same nitrogen tank to serve both flat and nitro cold brew.

Setup

There are two primary setup options for serving coffee on tap.

  1. Most people’s coffee on tap needs are met by a simple and affordable kegerator outfitted with direct draw draft dispensing equipment. The short distance from keg to glass means you won’t need special insulated lines or cooling solutions.
  2. A short draw system is another viable solution for dispensing coffee in commercial settings. If your kegs are stored in a walk-in cooler within 15-20 feet from your taps air-cooled lines will ensure the coffee’s temperature is properly maintained from keg to faucet. A short-draw system may require specialty equipment, such as an inline nitrogenator. We recommend consulting with our experts on your exact needs.

Pressure

Nitrogen can be used under low pressure to serve standard cold brew or under high pressure to create the creamy head and texture of nitro coffee.

For low-pressure pours with a standard faucet, set the PSI in the 6-8 range. You might adjust slightly below or above this range to change the speed of your pour.

Higher pressure is required to serve nitro cold brew. Exact PSI can vary widely depending on your altitude, serving temperature, distance from keg to faucet, and desired effect, so you will have to experiment. Using a keg carbonation lid, slowly raise the pressure in 5 PSI increments (just around 20 minutes) until reaching a 35-45 PSI serving pressure to create a cascading effect and foamy head atop your glass of cold brew.

Gas Type

We recommend using 100% nitrogen for draft coffee. If you use carbon dioxide or a combination of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, it will carbonate the coffee over time, which is not ideal. Not only do bubbles change the mouthfeel, they also introduce carbonic acid to the coffee, which will alter its flavor. Nitrogen is not as soluble, so it will not affect coffee in the same way.

Coffee Conversion Kit

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Coffee On Tap

CONTACT US

Have questions about your unique program or setup? Give our draft specialists a call at 1.888.415.2803 or fill out the form below.


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