Cold Brew 101

Everything you need to know to order cold brew like a pro

July 5, 2017
HOME Taste & Drinks Cold Brew 101

You know the old adage “slow and steady wins the race?” In coffee terms, making cold brew is an example of how taking your time can lead to great results.

Wondering what gives Starbucks® Nariño 70 Cold Brew its distinctive flavor? To begin, there are two basic elements behind that super-smooth sip.

1. The Right Beans

Delicious coffee always begins with quality beans and expert roasting. Starbucks created a custom blend for cold brew. Our roasters work to get the flavor profile just right.

2. Slow & Cold

Unlike other coffee drinks that pull flavor from coffee beans with hot water, cold brew is made with cold water from start to finish. Using a coarse grind, we slow steep our cold brew blend in cold water. Both hot and cold-water methods produce delicious coffee, but a slow-and-cold method makes cold brew unique. Relying on time instead of heat gives cold brew its naturally sweet flavor, mellow acidity, and smooth texture.

Pro tip: Cold vs. Iced

Cold brew is not the same thing as iced coffee. For starters, cold brew is made with cold water, while iced coffee is brewed double-strength with hot water and cooled with ice. Check out our quick guide to learn the key differences before ordering these refreshing drinks.

Cold Brew Many Ways

On the Menu: There are several cold brew options to choose from on the Starbucks menu. Go for the classic Nariño 70 Cold Brew, or try a Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew for an extra flavor twist. And, for the ultimate smooth texture, keep an eye out for Nitro Cold Brew in select stores.

Customize It: Our baristas recommend customizing a tall cold brew with a splash of almondmilk, coconutmilk, or soymilk, or even lemonade. A grande cold brew with one pump of caramel syrup and float of sweet cream is a special treat if you’re craving an extra touch of sweetness.

DIY: You can make cold brew coffee at home, too! We recommend using Guatemala or Antigua coffees, or try our convenient Cold Brew Pitcher Packs.

Now you are something of a cold brew expert. Congrats!

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