What Coffee Does Starbucks Use for Cold Brew?


What is a Cold Brew?

Brewing coffee for cold brew is different than brewing it like hot coffee, except that no heat is involved. Therefore, the process of making a cold brew at home differs from brewing a cup of hot coffee.

What Kind of Coffee Beans Does Starbucks Use for Making Cold Brew?

Starbucks cold brew coffee is made from a blend of Latin American coffees. They specifically use a fine grind coffee because it helps the water extract more flavor from the beans.

Starbucks is one of the most well-known companies making iced coffee. Their cold brew formula is based on using high-quality Arabica beans and brewing them with filtered water to create a “bold and smooth” flavor profile.

Starbucks uses Arabica beans which are sustainably grown. Arabica beans are coffee beans. They are beans that you drink in coffee.

You can also roast them or cook until they are brown and crispy. There are also chocolate-covered coffee beans that have been roasted and then covered in chocolate.

However, Starbucks uses high-quality Arabica beans for their cold brew coffee. The recommended roast is a dark roast, but the brand doesn’t specify the exact type or origin of the beans they use in the cold brew recipe.

What Does Starbucks Put in Their Cold Brew?

Starbucks uses filtered water, finely ground coffee, and several other ingredients to make its cold brew recipe. They also use some additional ingredients to make everything blend smoothly.

Starbucks has different cold brew recipes based on what is available, so the exact amounts of the ingredients used are not listed online or anywhere else. For example, they have a vanilla sweet cream cold brew and a raspberry sweet cream cold brew.

They also have a nitro cold brew which is available all the time and has the following ingredients: Steamed milk, 3 espresso shots, ice, and 1-2% sugar (optional).

A Step by Step Guide for Making Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee

Making Starbucks cold brew is very simple. You can either make this Starbucks cold brew blend in a mason jar or in an iced coffee maker. Using the mason jar is easy, but you might need to strain it before serving while using an iced coffee maker will be faster and won’t require straining.

– The first step of making a Starbucks cold brew is to grind the coffee beans, which should be coarse. The coarse ground makes it easier for the flavor to get trapped inside the filter.

– You will also need a container when making a Starbucks cold brew like glass, stainless steel, or plastic (no metal) that can hold about 2 liters of liquid and has a lid. The container needs to have enough room to hold this much liquid without overflowing.

-You can also use a French press for making Starbucks cold brew if you don’t have any of the already mentioned containers.

-Add the coarse ground coffee to your container, then pour cold filtered water. The ratio should be 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every cup of cold water. Stir the mixture until all the coffee grounds are wet.

-Cover this cold brew liquid with a lid and refrigerate for around 18 hours or longer.

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A Perfect Cold Coffee Blend is Ready!

The coffee grounds will slowly release all of their flavors into the cold water during this time. After you have let it sit long enough, gently press down on the plunger if using a French press. You can also pour out all of the liquid through a strainer with cheesecloth into another container to separate the coffee grounds.

-Apply the Starbucks cold brew immediately or store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

-Serve over ice and garnish with cream and/or sugar if you’d like.

So, basically, you would need to do the following steps when making a Starbucks cold brew:

Coffee Grinds

Grind around 20 oz or 4 heaping tablespoons of coffee beans, preferably using a coarse setting. You can use pre-ground coffee, but it may not taste as good due to oxidation.


Pour 10 or 20 oz of cold filtered water into your container, depending on how much cold brew that you want.

Storage Container

This needs to be a non-metal container because carbonate can leach from the metal into the concentrate, which may make it bitter.

Serve with Ice

When serving your Starbucks cold brew, pour over ice if you prefer it cold, or just drink as is if you like it hot.

Some Great Tips for Making Cold Brew Just Like Starbucks:

Here are some tips that you should follow when making a Starbucks cold brew:

Using Fresh Coffee Beans

Use coffee beans that are as fresh as possible. Coffee releases CO2 over time, so the amount of carbonation in your beans can affect how much flavor is infused into them.

Grinding Beans

There are a few things you can do to make your cold coffee even better than Starbucks cold brew. The key is really in the grind of the beans because it’s what determines how much flavor is extracted during brewing. If the grind is too coarse, it will over-extract and make the coffee bitter.

Grind the coffee yourself instead of buying pre-ground coffee. Because its flavor will be less pure, and it may also contain more harmful chemicals and bacteria than freshly ground coffee.

Straining Out Grounds

You’ll also want to be sure that you’re using a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to strain out the grounds instead of another type of strainer because they will get through them and end up in your drink.

Using More Quantity of Coffee Beans

If you want your Starbucks cold brew to be as strong as the one served at Starbucks, use more coffee beans than usual. This is because it might take 12 hours or more before the caffeine is completely infused into the water. But that’s what makes it stronger-tasting compared to regular iced coffee.

Steeping Cold Brew at Room Temperature

Steep the coffee at room temperature instead of in a refrigerator because cold brew tastes better when it’s not super cold. If you want to make a stronger brew, steep the beans longer and use more grounds than usual.

Do Not Add Dairy before Serving

Don’t add dairy before serving because it will separate from the water and sink to the bottom of the jar.

Using Only Filtered Water in Cold Brew

Use only filtered water because it provides a cleaner taste by removing any impurities.

Steeping Coffee Beans for a Longer Time

Remove the coffee beans after 12 hours or when you’re satisfied with the strength of your cold brew. Of course, you can always steep them longer if you want a stronger taste.

Adding Water in Cold Brew Coffee

Add five ounces of water to your cold brew after you’ve strained it. This reduces the strength of the brew without having to add ice, which can water down your coffee instead of making it cold and refreshing.

Using High-Quality Sweet Cream in Cold Brew Coffee

Use only high-quality sweet cream when making cold brew that contains dairy because it will affect your final results if you use cheap or ultra-pasteurized creamer. It’s also best to substitute the water with milk when making your cold brew if you want an even more unique taste.

Adding Flavoring or Syrups

Add flavoring or syrups after brewing because they won’t mix in well before that point, which can change the flavor of your cold brew coffee and make it too sweet.

Storing Your Cold Brew

Store your cold brew in a mason jar for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. It can easily separate after being left out at room temperature, so you want to be sure that it is cold before serving.

Wrapping Up – Cold Brew

Starbucks is one of the largest coffee chains in the world. Their cold brew coffee recipe is simple. You can brew coffee at home, so you don’t have to wait until you’re near a Starbucks store before enjoying it.

You can also try different Starbucks cold brew coffee methods and learn more about the different types of coffee beans available if you want to create your own cold brew blend.

Making Starbucks cold brew at home is easy and can save you some money. You can also brew it stronger or weaker, depending on your preference.

If you’re trying to make cold coffee like Starbucks, follow the above guide, and you’ll end up with delicious cold brew coffee that tastes just like the original.