I am not surprised at all that you want to learn how to make Starbucks cold brew coffee!
Starbucks cold brew is outstanding! If you are a regular reader here, you will know that is quite a statement for me to make as I am highly critical of the company that makes “liquid cakes”. Credit where it is due: they do make great cold brewed coffee.
(Yes, I confess, I am prone to visiting the ‘bucks for a cold one! – Father, please forgive me for I have sinned….)
Recipe Highlights – All About Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee!
Cold Brew Coffee is one of the best summer drinks for coffee lovers and coffee enthusiasts. It is what you think it is. It’s coffee that is brewed with cold water and served chillingly cold with ice. For best results, you should be brewing your cold-brewed coffee in the fridge.
The objective of brewing coffee in such a cold environment and with water that is as close to freezing but not actually freezing, is to extract all the low temperature flavor compounds.
A cold brew is very unlike other coffees which are brewed while hot; even iced coffee is brewed with hot water. The other big difference is the extraction time.
A hot coffee can be made in minutes and even seconds, a cold brew takes hours, as long as all day! It’s slow, it is beautiful and it is delicious. There is nothing to it as you just keep it in your refrigerator for hours as it brews away!
Starbucks cold brew coffee is brewed for 20 hours in small batches. They brew up a fresh batch daily, ensuring you enjoy it fresh. Despite their “crimes against coffee, “Starbucks, to their credit, do ensure this drink is served fresh.
Due to the way in which it is brewed, this style of coffee is a little sweeter and less acidic when it is coffee brewed than regular hot brewed coffee. The exact blend of beans used by Starbucks is a trade secret. What I can tell you is that Starbucks cold brew coffee is brewed using Colombian coffee beans from Nariño.
You can get close, very close to the same when making your own Starbucks style cold brew coffee when you use their pitcher packs which use the same South American coffee beans from the same region and country.
One of the characteristics of Colombian coffee is a nutty taste, and is known for medium acidity and medium body.
Read: Does cold brew go bad?
Why Make Starbucks Cold Brew At Home?
There are a bunch of reasons as to why you would want to and why you should make a copycat Starbucks cold brew coffee at home. The standout reason for me is that it is a delightful change from the hot Cuppa Joe that warms me up in the winter and is rather refreshing; a cold one just goes down great on a hot day!
It is easy to make and saves me from going to the nearest outlet to buy one. There is also that cool freshness of enjoying a great coffee that is cold, stimulating and very smooth. It is also cheaper to make your own at home working out at only a touch more than 50 cents per cup.
Step-by-Step Instructions For Brewing The Perfect Starbucks Style Cold Brew Coffee
This Cuppa Joe is so easy to make and requires very little equipment. But it does require a lot of patience!
- A coffee grinder.
- A good-sized glass pitcher of at least one or two liters (32 to 64 ounces).
- A filter cloth, a cheese cloth is fine or a metal strainer.
- Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee Pitcher Packs.
Starbucks sells their cold brew packs in packs of 44, which is enough to make 3 cups per pack. Worthy of note is that Starbucks triple filter their water and, thus to at least replicate their taste, they use the best possible water and triple filter it.
You should always filter your water for whatever coffee you are brewing. If you are using a machine, using filtered water is a good preventative maintenance technique also.
Step 1: Add A Little Water To Your Glass Pitcher
Use cold triple filtered water if possible. 1 Starbucks pitcher pack will make 3 cups of coffee, double or triple the number of packs if you are making 6 or 9 cups of cold brew.
Step 2: Add The Remainder Of The Water
Measure carefully and add the remainder of your water. Ensure it is filtered. If you can triple filter it and chill your water using water that is as cold as possible. Ensure your pitcher pack is submerged completely. Cover your pitcher with a lid.
Step 3: Store Your Pitcher In The Fridge
Store your pitcher with your cold brew in your fridge for 20 to 24 hours. Check up on it after 8 hours and taste test every 4 to 6 hours. When it hits the spot taste wise, move to step 4.
Step 4: Remove The Pitcher Packs
Remove the cold brew packs from your brew, if necessary, filter and string using a metal mesh filter or cheese cloth. Mostly, this is not required. It is only required if you accidentally break the coffee pitcher pack.
If the taste is too strong, you can add a glass or two of cool water. It is not uncommon for staff at Starbucks to add a glass or two of cool water at this point.
Step 5: Pour and Enjoy
The best step of all. Simply pour and enjoy. If you want to enjoy it fresher and cooler, add Ice and serve in a tall glass.
Personally, I like to make cold brew ice cubes and serve my drink this way. When you do that, you will not experience a watering down effect of your drink as the ice melts.
Expert Barista Tips For Making A Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
The benefit of making a cold brew concentrate is that it can last a lot longer before it goes off. Making a concentrate is super simple. You use more of the pitcher packs with the same amount of water. The result of which is a more focused and concentrated brew that when serving you need to water it down.
If you want to make a 3:1 Cold brew concentrate, use 3x as many pitcher packs with the same amount of water and follow the same steps as above – except when you serve it be certain to pour it as a 1/3 cold brew concentrate with 2/3rd cold water.
When you are removing the pitcher packs don’t be tempted to squeeze them as this can lead you to ripping them and have wet coffee grounds spilling everywhere.
It is worth noting that each pitcher pack makes 3 cups, and will absorb about half a cup of water. So, a concentrate made with a single pack would require you to use half a cup of water (that will get absorbed) and one full glass of water.
For 3 packs, use 4.5 glasses of water as 1.5 glasses will be absorbed by the pitcher packs. Once ready, dilute with 3x as much water when you are serving.
If you want to make it delightfully delicious, then top it up with your own home-made or store-bought vanilla sweet cream cold foam. Instead of using sugar, sweeten up your cold brew with honey or maple syrup. It will taste so much better.
Regular Starbucks cold brew can stay fresh for 7 to 10 days in your fridge. As a concentrate it will stay fresh for 2 to 3 weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions How To Make Starbucks Cold Brew
What Does Starbucks Use For Their Cold Brew?
Starbucks uses a blend of 100% Arabica coffee beans from Nariño in Colombia. The exact blend is unknown and is a trade secret. All that is released is a mix of beans from Nariño and Africa. The blend produces a citric flavor and sweet chocolate and nutty notes.
What Ratio Does Starbucks Use For Cold Brew?
It is said that Starbucks uses a 2:1 to a 3:1 concentrate to water ratio and uses triple filtered water for making their cold brew. To get your homemade cold brew exactly like Starbucks, you will need to brew it as a concentrate and then dilute it with triple filtered water and copy exactly what they do in their stores.
Why Is Starbucks Cold Brew So Good?
Simply because we often love and enjoy things that are different and on a hot summer’s day it has a very refreshing taste and effect. Plus, it is less acidic than iced coffee and is very smooth and full-bodied.
It is not a drink that I enjoy at all during a cold winter – which must be said!
Do You Add Milk To Cold Brew?
Yes, you can add milk to cold brew coffee if you want to. The choice to do so depends on your own taste preference. Almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk and regular dairy milk all go well with cold brew coffee.
Is Cold Brew Just Iced Coffee?
No, cold brew coffee is a specific brewing method that uses cold water extraction and a very long brewing time to extract the low temperature compounds.
Iced coffee is brewed with hot water and is chilled with ice. Iced coffee extracts the high temperature compounds.
Is Iced Americano Same As Cold Brew?
No, iced Americano and cold brew coffee are two different coffee beverages. An iced Americano is brewed with a single shot or a double shot of espresso as the base with cold water added to it. Ice is used to chill the drink.
Cold brew coffee is brewed using cold water to extract the low temperature compounds.
Frappé-Ing It All Up! – How To Make Starbucks Cold Brew
Making your own copycat Starbucks cold brew is super easy, and you barely even need to be asking that question! Just follow the instructions that I have laid out, use their pitcher packs, and it is as simple as just adding triple filtered water and brewing it in your fridge for 20 hours!
And now that you know how to make Starbucks cold brew, I double dare you to go right ahead and make it!
Join our cool coffee community and join in sharing your awesome coffee creations, recipes and don’t forget to share those hilarious memes and coffee jokes. Find us on Facebook/Meta.