Posted on by Barista Life

Just in time for the heat of summer, Starbucks is expanding its popular small-batch Cold Brew iced coffee as a core menu item in participating stores across the U.S. and Canada.

Cold Brew is the latest in a series of new coffee experiences at Starbucks that showcase the passion baristas have for coffee, and allow customers to learn more about the craft of roasting and brewing Starbucks beverages.

How to Make Starbucks Cold Brew

Starbucks baristas freshly grind Starbucks® Cold Brew Blend coffee, created specifically for the cold brewing method, and then steep it in a container of cool water for 20 hours. This artisanal process results in cold coffee concentrate that baristas measure and top with water and ice and serve unsweetened.

Traditional iced coffee is made by brewing hot coffee at double-strength and pouring over ice, while iced espresso beverages such as an Iced Americano are made by combining espresso shots with water and ice. The Cold Brew crafting method – which never comes in contact with heat – creates a naturally sweet, smooth iced coffee.

Aubrey Hensley, a shift supervisor and Coffee Master at the Starbucks store at 45th & Broadway in New York, has been crafting Cold Brew for customers in her store since its regional launch in March in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest United States and parts of Canada.

“I love introducing my customers to new coffee experiences, especially when I can really show off the craft that goes into each cup,” said Hensely. “There’s a lot of time and passion that goes into brewing each batch of Cold Brew, so it’s been especially rewarding to see my customers enjoying it. A lot of them have made it their new go-to drink.”

To create the recipe for Cold Brew, Starbucks® coffee and research and development teams tasted hundreds of cups of coffee to develop a blend that would heighten the smooth, full-bodied flavor created during the brewing process. The team also experimented with the brewing time, settling on 20 hours to get the full spectrum of flavor.

“Cold Brew Blend features high-quality varietals from Latin America and Africa,” said Leslie Wolford, senior coffee specialist at Starbucks. “The blend delivers a flavor profile of chocolate balanced by citrus notes for a sweet, dense and smooth cup.”