Starbucks’ coffee choice for cold brew

Marlin Dariel

If you’ve ever wondered about the coffee Starbucks uses to make their refreshing cold brew, you’re not alone. Cold brew coffee has become a popular choice for those seeking a cool and smooth pick-me-up, and Starbucks has perfected their own delicious version. But what exactly is the coffee behind this chilled treat? Let’s dive into the world of Starbucks’ cold brew and discover the beans that create its rich and distinctive flavor.

What Coffee Does Starbucks Use for Cold Brew?

When it comes to cold brew coffee, Starbucks has become a household name. Known for its smooth and refreshing taste, Starbucks Cold Brew has gained popularity among coffee lovers. But have you ever wondered what coffee beans Starbucks uses to create this delicious beverage? In this article, we will explore the answer to this question and delve into the world of Starbucks Cold Brew.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is a unique brewing method where coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for an extended period. Unlike traditional hot brewing methods, cold brew requires patience as the process can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. The result is a concentrated coffee extract that is less acidic and smoother in taste.

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Why Choose Cold Brew?

The popularity of cold brew stems from its distinct flavor profile and refreshing qualities. The slow extraction process brings out the coffee’s natural sweetness and reduces the bitterness often associated with hot brewing methods. Additionally, cold brew is less acidic, making it a gentler option for those with sensitive stomachs.

How to Make Cold Brew at Home?

If you want to try your hand at making cold brew coffee at home, here’s a simple recipe to get you started:

  1. Coarsely grind your favorite coffee beans.
  2. Add the ground coffee to a container.
  3. Pour cold water over the coffee, making sure all the grounds are soaked.
  4. Cover the container and let it steep in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
  5. After steeping, strain the liquid using a fine-mesh sieve or a coffee filter.
  6. Dilute the cold brew concentrate with water, milk, or your preferred choice of liquid.
  7. Serve over ice and enjoy!

Starbucks Coffee Beans for Cold Brew

Starbucks carefully selects the coffee beans used for their cold brew. Generally, they use a blend of Latin American and African coffee beans to create the perfect flavor profile. These beans are specifically chosen for their unique characteristics that can withstand the long extraction process.

Latin American Coffee Beans

Latin American coffee beans, such as those sourced from Colombia and Guatemala, are known for their mild and balanced flavors. These beans often exhibit notes of caramel, chocolate, and citrus, adding complexity to the cold brew’s taste profile.

African Coffee Beans

African coffee beans, like those from Ethiopia and Kenya, bring a vibrant and fruity element to Starbucks Cold Brew. These beans are prized for their bright acidity and distinct berry or floral undertones, enhancing the overall flavor experience.

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The Cold Brew Process at Starbucks

Starbucks takes great care in crafting their cold brew coffee. Here’s a closer look at the process they follow:

Sourcing and Roasting

Starbucks sources high-quality coffee beans from around the world, ensuring that they meet their rigorous standards. Once the beans arrive at the roasting facilities, they are carefully roasted to bring out their unique flavors while retaining the desired richness.

Grinding and Brewing

After roasting, the coffee beans are ground to a specific coarseness, optimizing them for the cold brew extraction. This consistent grind size allows for an even extraction and ensures a smooth cup of cold brew every time. The ground coffee is then combined with cold, filtered water in a large brewing vessel.

Time and Patience

The brewing vessel with the coffee and water mixture is left to steep for an extended period. This slow extraction allows the flavors and oils to be extracted gently, resulting in a smooth and low-acid cold brew.

Filtering and Storing

Once the steeping time is complete, the cold brew is meticulously filtered to remove any sediment or coffee grounds. Starbucks takes pride in ensuring a clean and consistent brew. The cold brew concentrate is then stored in refrigerated containers, ready to be served.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Starbucks Cold Brew


There are several advantages to choosing Starbucks Cold Brew:

  • Smooth and balanced flavor
  • Reduced acidity
  • Customizable with various milk options and flavors
  • Convenient to grab-and-go from Starbucks locations
  • Consistent quality and taste


While there aren’t many disadvantages to Starbucks Cold Brew, it’s essential to consider the following:

  • Higher price compared to homemade cold brew
  • Limited control over the brewing process
  • Availability may vary in certain locations

Comparison: Starbucks Cold Brew vs. Homemade Cold Brew

Let’s compare Starbucks Cold Brew with homemade cold brew to help you decide which is the better option for you:

Factors Starbucks Cold Brew Homemade Cold Brew
Flavor Smooth and consistent Customizable to personal taste
Cost Higher Lower
Convenience Readily available Requires preparation time
Control Limited Complete control over the brewing process
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In conclusion, Starbucks uses a carefully selected blend of Latin American and African coffee beans to create their delicious cold brew. The slow and meticulous brewing process ensures a smooth and less acidic cup of coffee. While Starbucks Cold Brew offers convenience and consistency, homemade cold brew provides the flexibility to customize the flavor according to personal preferences. Whichever option you choose, both offer a refreshing and delightful cold coffee experience. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a cold brew, consider exploring Starbucks or experimenting with your own cold brew techniques at home!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What type of coffee does Starbucks use for cold brew?

Starbucks uses a unique blend called “Cold Brew Blend” for their cold brew coffee. This blend is specifically crafted to enhance the flavor and characteristics of the cold brewing process. It is a combination of Latin American and African coffee beans, carefully selected and roasted to achieve a smooth and balanced taste.

2. Is the coffee used for cold brew different from regular drip coffee at Starbucks?

Yes, the coffee used for cold brew at Starbucks is different from the coffee used for regular drip coffee. Cold brew requires a specific blend that is created to optimize the flavors extracted during the extended steeping process. Regular drip coffee, on the other hand, is brewed with a different blend that suits the traditional hot brewing method.

3. Does Starbucks use any flavored coffee for their cold brew?

Starbucks offers flavored options for their cold brew, but the base coffee used remains the same. The flavors are added separately through syrups or sauces, allowing customers to personalize their cold brew with a variety of tastes like vanilla, caramel, or mocha. However, the original cold brew blend itself is not pre-flavored.

4. Can I purchase the Starbucks Cold Brew Blend to make it at home?

Absolutely! Starbucks sells the Cold Brew Blend in their stores and online, allowing customers to enjoy the same high-quality cold brew coffee at home. By purchasing the Cold Brew Blend, you can follow Starbucks’ recommended brewing instructions to recreate the refreshing cold brew experience in the comfort of your own kitchen.

5. Is the Cold Brew Blend available all year round at Starbucks?

Yes, the Cold Brew Blend is a regular offering at Starbucks and is available throughout the year. Starbucks recognizes the growing popularity and demand for cold brew coffee and ensures that customers can enjoy their favorite cold brew beverage consistently. Whether it’s the summer heat or the winter chill, the Cold Brew Blend is ready to be brewed and enjoyed.

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Marlin Dariel

A seasoned coffee connoisseur, reviews coffee shops, recommends unique places to enjoy a great cup of coffee. "Every coffee bean has an interesting story"


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