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In This Post
- What kind of coffee is it?
- Caffeine & nutrition info
- Creative ways to order
- Why is it so good?
- Quick word on Nitro
We feel obligated to begin this deep dive with a few notes. One; we LOVE cold brew. We love making our own and trying it everywhere we go. We drink it all year around. Two; Anytime there is a new cold brew at the grocery store, we have to try it right away. RIGHT AWAY!
Over the years, cold brew coffee has become a canvas for baristas, coffee drinkers and even bartenders to express their creativity and individuality. Look no further than the latest creation from Starbucks, the Pistachio Cream Cold Brew. From Salted Caramel to Irish Cream, Vanilla and everything in between, cold brew is a glorious foundation upon which all these magnificent drinks are built. No longer just a simple beverage, cold brew has become an art form, allowing coffee lovers and coffee curious alike to personalize their drinks to their liking. From adding creams, milks, syrups and spices, the possibilities are endless with this ice cold refreshing drink. Let’s dive into the world of Starbucks Cold Brew and discover how strong it is, what type of coffee beans it’s made from and much more!
Cold Brew at Starbucks
Starbucks Cold Brew is crafted in small batches each day. Unlike most other coffee brewing methods, cold brew is made without the use of heat. The coffee is slow-steeped in cool water for 20 hours, allowing the flavors and natural sweetness of the coffee to fully infuse with the water. We agree that this results in a smooth, balanced and delicious coffee drink. The secret to the delicious taste of Starbucks Cold Brew is the custom blend of coffee beans that are grown and roasted specifically for this brewing method. According to their website, these beans are carefully selected for their ability to steep long and cold. So, if you’re looking for a coffee drink that’s not only delicious, but also unique, look no further than Starbucks Cold Brew.
What kind of coffee is Starbucks cold brew?
From our extensive research, there is no clear answer for what exact kind of beans Starbucks uses for their in-store cold brew. We’ve seen everything from beans from Nariño, Colombia to washed African Arabica coffee beans. Our best estimate is that they use a similar blend as advertised on their at home brew kits, which is made with a blend of 100% percent arabica Latin American and African ground coffees. The most recent reference we could find was this Starbucks Story from 2016 that talks about how at least 70% of their cold brew beans come from the Nariño region of Columbia. The rest is part of the mystery that makes their cold brew so delicious.
Is Starbucks cold brew stronger than regular coffee? (And how much caffeine is in it?)
Yes! Starbucks cold brew is generally stronger than regular hot coffee and iced coffee in terms of caffeine content AND flavor. Although it contains more caffeine, their cold brew has a smoother, less acidic taste. This is because cold brew is “handcrafted in small batches” by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 20 hours, which results in a concentrated coffee extract.
|Hot or Cold||Size||Caffeine (mg)|
|Cold||Trenta (30 oz)||360 mg|
|Cold||Venti (24 oz)||310 mg|
|Cold||Grande (16 oz)||205 mg|
|Cold||Tall (12 oz)||155 mg|
Does Starbucks make a cold brew coffee?
Yes, Starbucks offers cold brew coffee on their menu and in many other stores around the world. Cold brew has become an incredibly popular choice for coffee lovers who prefer a smooth, less acidic taste with a stronger caffeine kick. After steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 20 hours, it is then diluted with water and served over ice. Starbucks has developed a ton of flagship and rotating, seasonally flavored cold brew options, such as the Pistachio mention earlier, the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew or the Nitro Cold Brew.
How do you drink Starbucks cold brew coffee?
Cold brew is fantastic over ice and/or mixed with your personally crafted concoction of milks, sweeteners or other flavorful add-ins. The possibilities seem endless. We did a bunch of digging to see if we could determine the most common and the most out there cold brew drinks and this is what we came up with:
- Straight Up: Simply without any added milk or sweeteners. This is a good option for those who want to taste the full flavor of the coffee.
- With Milk: Add a splash of milk or cream to your cold brew to create a creamier texture and mellow out the acidity. You can choose from a TON of milk options depending on your preference. Seriously, there are 10 different milk choices!
- Sweetened: If you like your coffee on the sweeter side, you can add sugar, honey, or flavored syrups or sauces to your cold brew. Starbucks offers a ton of flavor options, some of which are seasonal.
- Wild card: Ok. This was tougher than we estimated. We found everything from a Secret Menu Chocolate Mousse to Snickerdoodle. You get the idea. 😉
Starbucks Cold Brew Ingredients
This is what we love about cold brew. It’s just beans and water. Of course you can always add (a lot) more. It’s worth noting that the cold brew seems to have a bit more sodium in it’s base than hot brewed coffee. It’s not much more, just 5-10 mg depending on the size.
Why is Starbucks Cold Brew Is So Good?
Great cold brew starts with great beans. Starbucks cold brew is so good because they source fantastic beans that are a perfect match for cold water brew method. Not all beans and roasting methods are good for cold brewing. The second thing that makes it so good is the refinement of the ratio of beans to water in the brewing method and the amount of water added after the concentrate is made. If you’re making cold brew at home and it’s not tasting quite as good, it’s likely that you haven’t found the most optimal ratio of beans to water for brewing and the amount of water (or milk) to add afterwards to create that perfect blend.
Beyond that, it really comes down to consistency. Starbucks has a standardized cold brew recipe and brewing process, which ensures that every customer at each location can enjoy the same great taste and quality every time they order a cold brew.
Cold Brew & Nitro Cold Brew
A quick word on regular cold brew versus nitro cold brew. Though we’ve covered nitro vs cold brew in the past, as best we can decipher, the nitro cold brew is made from the regular cold brew. Thanks to the nitrogen infusion, the nitro version of the cold brew becomes a very creamy and frothy beverage without any additives. It is usually served without ice and has a very smooth and velvety texture. One of our good friends and fellow Starbucks enthusiasts is only drinking the Nitro Cold Brew with Vanilla Sweet Cream right now. Talk about a sweet, smooooooooth and velvety texture! We still prefer to brew our nitro at home.
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