How Much Sweet Cream Does Starbucks Use

How Much Sweet Cream Does Starbucks Use?

Last updated on October 26th, 2023 at 16:48

When summer hits our shores at Latte Love Brew we get a flood of questions asking how much sweet cream does Starbucks use?

If you are in a rush we’ll get straight to it and give you the answer right of the bat. Approximately speaking, Starbucks will use between a quarter to a half cup of cold foam in your coffee.

There is no exact measurement, it is done visually and by the baristas skill. Both too much and too little will spoil your brew. Too little and it doesn’t drizzle down enough and mix sufficiently with your coffee, too much, and it will dilute the taste of the coffee.

What Is Starbucks Sweet Cream?

There are many sweet creams available in the coffee industry and the one that catches people’s attention and taste buds the most is by the world’s most famous coffee company – Starbucks.

Starbucks makes their sweet cream in batches and makes it creamer. There are no thickeners or gums, the result of this is a sweet cream that is rich, silky and with an amazing texture.  When blended in their bladeless blender it creates an outstanding cold foam that is thick and long-lasting.

It is made with only 3 ingredients: vanilla syrup, 2% milk and heavy cream.

If you want to make your own at home, I highly encourage you to make your own flavored milk using French vanilla pods for a more natural taste and reduced sugar content, since this is the downside of flavored syrups.

The heavy cream that Starbucks are keeping tight-lipped about I highly suspect, after running a few experiments, is condensed milk. Every heavy cream based version I tried did not work out well and often clumped. This is how they get the greater density and sweetness to the milk and a good quality vanilla flavor coming through.

The thick texture of condensed milk gives the thicker creamier body.

What Is Starbucks Sweet Cream
Starbucks Sweet Cream

Read: What is vanilla sweet cream cold foam?

How Much Sweet Cream Does Starbucks Use?

Starbucks uses approximately a quarter to a half cup of sweet cream cold foam per coffee drink, be it a nitro cold brew, regular cold brew or iced coffee. This is the perfect ratio to pour over your coffee and enjoy without too much of a dilution of the taste of the coffee.

Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Recipe

The principle of the champion barista is that the best ingredients will get you the best results. Naturally there is room for varying tastes, opinions and personal preferences.

It is entirely up to you if you want to use one, two or even three pumps of vanilla syrup or take the extra step and make vanilla flavored milk with French vanilla pods. In this case, simply chop up two French vanilla pods, place them in your milk and condensed milk mix and slowly stir, ensuring your milk heats up but never reaches simmering temperature.

Then let your milk cool overnight in the fridge.

Getting your milk to the right ratio, especially when personalizing it to your exact taste and preference as well as getting that perfect density and texture, is a matter of trial and error. I have found that using condensed milk and 2% fat milk in equal proportions yields the best results.

You can also stick with the 50/50 heavy cream and 2% milk and then add an equal amount of sweetened condensed milk. This also produces great results.

When your milk is ready and flavored, be it naturally or with vanilla syrup, the next step is to whisk it while it is perfectly cold to emulsify it.

There is no great difference between using an electric whisk or a manual one. Your milk is now ready to store or use as you desire.

If you want to create amazing cold foam you use what you have made, put it in your French press and pump on the plunger until your sweet cream gets aerated.

Starbucks Sweet Cream
Starbucks Sweet Cream Cold Brew

Read: Starbucks milk foamer

How To Serve Starbucks Sweet Cream

Starbucks sweet cream goes very well with cold brew coffee, iced coffee and nitro cold brew. Pour from a height of around 6 to 8 inches and pour slowly and watch as the sweet cream floats and drizzles down your coffee.

If you are initially having difficulty achieving the cascading look, you can pour over the back of a tablespoon to diffuse the milk.

Sprinkle chai, or chocolate for great effect. For amazing results, top with oat milk. The taste is lighter and matches well for layered coffee. It will sit on top of your sweet cream.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Much Sweet Cream Does Starbucks Use?

Starbucks sweet cream is a simple recipe that has only heavy cream, 2% milk and vanilla simple syrup. It’s easy to make at home. In fact, I advise learning how and making a healthier version that is sugar-free and with natural ingredients.

Usually there is only one pump of vanilla in Starbucks sweet cream. You can request additional pumps for a more pronounced flavor. I love the vanilla taste and request three pumps.

Read: How to make cold foam

Yes, and it is very tasty and outstanding. The cold-brewed coffee that is accentuated with vanilla-flavored sweet cream that floats and cascades through your cup of coffee. It is smooth, rich, tasty and has a great texture.

No, it is much more than simply just whipped cream. It is a cold frothed cream and milk blend with a dash or two of vanilla that is made while cold with no heat or steaming involved. It’s frothed using a custom-made bladeless blender.

Does Starbucks Use Sweet Cream?

Yes, while traditional sweet cream is very similar to half-and-half cream with an elevated fat content and no added sugar, Starbucks’ sweet cream is a little different as it is high fat and vanilla based with added sugar.

How Much Extra Is Sweet Cream At Starbucks?

Sweet cream at Starbucks will cost you US$1.35 extra, depending on the location of the store. Big city stores charge more than smaller, less popular stores.

Does Starbucks Put Sugar In Their Heavy Cream?

Yes, when Starbucks make their whipped cream sugar is added in the form of simple syrup. Straight, unflavored heavy cream no sugar is added as no flavored syrup is used. 

Does Starbucks Make Their Own Cream?

Yes, Starbucks makes their own whipped cream. If you are trying to work out what type of whipped cream is and if you can buy the brand they use, you can’t as they make it in house.

Final Thoughts – How Much Sweet Cream Does Starbucks Use?

If you missed the answer at the start of this article and are simply skimming down to find out how much sweet cream does Starbucks use, the answer is that it varies between quarter to half the volume of your cup of coffee depending on the barista, the coffee drink in question and the actual amount of coffee in your drink. 

It is not just an aesthetic thing – both too much and too little sweet cream is bad and too much and the coffee favor will not cut through the sweet cream and too little you will be missing that rich creamy texture.

Trust your barista – he or she has made coffee with sweet cream tens of thousands of times.

Join our fun and friendly coffee community where I and fellow members discuss everything about coffee from great beans to brewing tips. 

Derek Marshall is a coffee expert and a Specialty Coffee Association Certified barista holding the professional certification for coffee brewing and barista skills. He has 20+ years experience of working in specialty coffee shops. He has several authoritative books published about coffee covering topics of specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. His experience as a barista covers 2 decades and counting of working in specialty coffee shops in the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia. Indonesia and Vietnam. He has deep knowledge of the unique coffee culture in each of these nations and specialty beverages requested and brewing techniques and equipment. As a coffee consultant he commands US$50 per hour. Learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew by checking his About Me Page. If you have any questions about coffee, give him a call on +34-639-410-375 or drop him an email Please state your name and where you are from.

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