How To Make Cold Brew Coffee Like Starbucks

Cold brew coffee has become increasingly popular for its smooth, rich taste and lower acidity compared to hot brewed coffee. Starbucks, a well-known coffeehouse chain, has perfected the art of making cold brew coffee, and many coffee enthusiasts aspire to replicate their signature flavor at home. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on replicating Starbucks-style cold brew coffee, including the ingredients, equipment, and step-by-step process needed to achieve that smooth and flavorful beverage.

Quick Answer: How To Make Cold Brew Coffee Like Starbucks

To make cold brew coffee like Starbucks, you’ll need coarsely ground coffee beans, cold water, a large container, a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth, and time. Use a ratio of 1:8 (coffee to water), combine the coffee and water in a large container, let it steep for 12-24 hours at room temperature, then strain and store the cold brew concentrate in the refrigerator. When serving, dilute the concentrate with cold water/milk and enjoy over ice.

What Is Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee is a method of brewing coffee by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period, typically 12-24 hours. Unlike hot brewed coffee that uses hot water and results in a quicker extraction process, cold brew coffee uses time to slowly extract the flavors, oils, and caffeine from the coffee grounds, resulting in a smoother and less acidic flavor profile.

Why Choose Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee offers several advantages over hot brewed coffee. The extended steeping process leads to a coffee with a smoother, less acidic taste, making it more palatable for those with sensitive stomachs. Additionally, the lower acidity of cold brew coffee accentuates the natural flavors of the coffee beans, resulting in a richer and more aromatic beverage. Cold brew coffee is also highly versatile and can be enjoyed on its own, over ice, or mixed with milk and flavorings to create various beverages such as iced lattes and flavored cold brews.

Ingredients And Supplies Needed

To replicate the cold brew coffee from Starbucks, you will need the following ingredients and supplies:


  • Coarsely ground coffee beans: Opt for a medium to dark roast for a rich and bold flavor profile.
  • Cold water: Preferably filtered water to ensure the best taste and quality.


  • Large container: A container with a capacity of at least 1 gallon (3.8 liters) to accommodate the coffee grounds and water.
  • Fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth: For straining the cold brew concentrate.
  • Storage container: A sealed container to store the cold brew concentrate in the refrigerator.

Step-by-Step Guide To Making Cold Brew Coffee

Now, let’s delve into the detailed process of making cold brew coffee that emulates the quality and flavor characteristic of the Starbucks cold brew.

Step 1: Gather Your Equipment And Ingredients

Ensure you have all the necessary equipment and ingredients mentioned above.

Step 2: Measure The Coffee And Water

For the ideal cold brew coffee concentration, use a coffee to water ratio of 1:8. Depending on the quantity you wish to make, measure out the appropriate amount of coarsely ground coffee and cold water. For instance, to make a small batch, you might use 1 cup of coffee to 8 cups of water, or for a larger batch, 2 cups of coffee to 16 cups of water.

Step 3: Combine Coffee And Water

Pour the coarsely ground coffee into the large container, and then add the cold water. Stir the mixture gently to ensure that all the coffee grounds are saturated and evenly distributed in the water.

Step 4: Steep The Cold Brew

Once the coffee and water are combined, cover the container and let the mixture steep for 12-24 hours at room temperature. During this time, the flavors and caffeine from the coffee grounds will slowly infuse into the water, creating a concentrated cold brew coffee.

Step 5: Strain The Cold Brew Concentrate

After the steeping period, it’s time to strain the cold brew concentrate to separate the liquid from the coffee grounds. Place a fine-mesh sieve or a layer of cheesecloth over another container or pitcher, and carefully pour the steeped coffee mixture through the sieve or cheesecloth to remove the grounds. This process may need to be repeated to ensure the concentrate is free of any sediment.

Step 6: Store The Cold Brew Concentrate

Transfer the strained cold brew concentrate into a clean, sealed container for storage. The concentrate can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, allowing you to enjoy delicious cold brew coffee whenever the craving strikes.

Step 7: Serve And Enjoy

To serve the cold brew coffee, dilute the concentrate with cold water or milk to your desired strength, then pour it over ice. You can also customize your drink with sweeteners, flavored syrups, or cream to suit your taste preferences.

Replicating Starbucks-style cold brew coffee at home is an achievable and rewarding endeavor. By following the carefully curated steps and utilizing high-quality ingredients and equipment, you can savor the smooth, bold, and aromatic cold brew coffee that Starbucks is renowned for. Experiment with different coffee beans and brewing times to discover your perfect blend, and elevate your coffee experience with this cold brew preparation method.

Tips For The Best Cold Brew Experience

Cold brew coffee has gained popularity in recent years due to its smooth and rich flavor. If you’re a fan of Starbucks, you’ll be pleased to know that they offer their own version of cold brew coffee.

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To make the most out of your cold brew coffee experience, consider the following tips:

  1. Use freshly ground beans: Grinding your coffee beans just before brewing ensures maximum flavor and freshness. Choose a medium to coarse grind size specifically designed for cold brew.
  2. Use filtered water: The quality of water used in your cold brew can greatly affect the taste. Opt for filtered water to remove any impurities that may alter the flavor.
  3. Brew in a cool place: Cold brew requires a longer brewing time, usually around 12-24 hours, so it’s important to find a cool spot to steep your coffee. Avoid direct sunlight or warm areas as this can lead to over-extraction and a bitter taste.
  4. Experiment with ratios: The standard ratio for cold brew is 1 part coffee to 4 parts water by weight. However, feel free to adjust the ratio to suit your taste preferences. If you prefer a stronger brew, use more coffee; for a milder brew, use less.
  5. Steep in the refrigerator: While cold brew can be made at room temperature, brewing it in the refrigerator helps maintain a consistent and controlled temperature, which can lead to a smoother taste.
  6. Strain properly: Once your cold brew is ready, strain it using a fine-mesh sieve or a coffee filter to remove any sediment or grounds. This step is crucial for achieving a clean and smooth cup of coffee.
  7. Dilute to taste: Cold brew is usually served over ice and diluted with water or milk. Experiment with different dilution levels to find your preferred strength and flavor.
  8. Store in the refrigerator: Cold brew can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Transfer it to an airtight container to maintain its freshness.

Different Ways To Enjoy Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee offers versatility in how it can be enjoyed. Here are a few popular ways to savor your cold brew:

  1. Over ice: The classic way to enjoy cold brew is over a glass of ice. The ice melts slowly, gradually diluting the coffee and resulting in a refreshing and mellow cup.
  2. With milk: Cold brew pairs exceptionally well with milk, creating a creamy and smooth beverage. You can add any type of milk, such as dairy, almond, oat, or soy, depending on your preference.
  3. As a concentrate: Cold brew concentrate is a strong brew that can be diluted with water or milk. It’s perfect for those who prefer a bolder flavor or want to save time by having a ready-to-drink concentrate.
  4. In cocktails: Cold brew is a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into various alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. It adds depth and complexity to cocktails, such as espresso martinis, white Russians, or even a simple cold brew spritz.
  5. In desserts: You can use cold brew to enhance the flavor of desserts like ice cream, tiramisu, or coffee-flavored cakes. The robust and smooth taste of cold brew adds a delightful twist to these sweet treats.

The History Of Cold Brew Coffee At Starbucks

Starbucks introduced cold brew coffee to its menu in 2015, catering to the growing demand for this trendy drink. However, the history of cold brew coffee dates back much further.

Cold brew is believed to have originated in Japan in the 17th century, where it was known as “Mizudashi.” It was a slow and cold extraction method that resulted in a milder flavor compared to the traditional hot brewing techniques.

Fast forward to the 1960s, and Dutch coffee makers began exporting “Toddy,” a cold brew coffee concentrate, to the United States. This sparked interest among coffee enthusiasts, leading to the rise of cold brew’s popularity.

In response to the increasing demand, Starbucks decided to join the cold brew movement. They saw an opportunity to offer customers a different coffee experience, with a focus on the smoothness and naturally sweet flavor of cold brew.

Starbucks’ cold brew process involves steeping their custom blend of coffee beans in cool water for 20 hours. This slow extraction method results in a concentrated and less acidic brew, highlighting the coffee’s natural flavors. The cold brew is then diluted and served over ice.

How To Order Cold Brew Coffee At Starbucks

Ordering cold brew coffee at Starbucks is a simple process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose your cold brew size: Starbucks offers cold brew in three sizes – Tall (12 oz), Grande (16 oz), and Venti (24 oz). Select the size that suits your preference.
  2. Select any additional customization: Starbucks allows you to personalize your cold brew by adding milk, sweeteners, or flavors. If you prefer your cold brew black, you can skip this step.
  3. Decide on the type of milk: If you want to add milk to your cold brew, specify the type you prefer – dairy, almond, oat, or soy. Each milk option can add a unique flavor and texture to your drink.
  4. Specify the amount of ice: By default, Starbucks serves cold brew coffee over standard ice cubes. However, you can customize the amount of ice to your liking. If you prefer less ice, mention it when ordering.
  5. Optional sweetener: Starbucks offers a range of sweeteners, such as syrups or classic sugar, that can be added to your cold brew. If you have a preference, let the barista know.
  6. Place your order and enjoy: Once you’ve conveyed your preferences to the barista, they will prepare your cold brew according to your specifications. Pay for your order, find a cozy spot, and savor your cold brew coffee.
Cold brew coffee at Starbucks offers a smooth and refreshing way to enjoy your favorite beverage. By following the tips mentioned earlier, you can ensure the best possible cold brew experience. Whether you prefer it over ice, with milk, as a concentrate, in cocktails, or even in desserts, cold brew coffee offers versatility in how it can be enjoyed.

Starbucks has embraced the cold brew trend and introduced its own version to cater to customers' demands. The slow extraction process and the use of specific blends create a unique flavor profile that stands out from traditional hot brewed coffee.

Next time you visit Starbucks, don't hesitate to order a cup of their cold brew coffee. Experiment with different customizations to find your perfect blend. Sit back, relax, and savor the smooth, rich taste of cold brew.

Seasonal Cold Brew Options At Starbucks

Cold brew coffee has become increasingly popular in recent years for its smooth, rich flavor and lower acidity compared to traditional hot brewed coffee. Starbucks, one of the world’s largest coffee chains, offers several options for cold brew, including seasonal variations.

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Starbucks offers a variety of cold brew options throughout the year, including seasonal flavors and limited-time offerings. Some of their popular seasonal cold brew options include:

Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew

Starting in the fall, Starbucks introduces their infamous Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew. This delightful concoction combines the smoothness of cold brew coffee with the warm and aromatic flavors of pumpkin spice. It’s the perfect autumnal treat for coffee lovers who prefer something a little more festive.

Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew

During the winter holiday season, Starbucks offers the Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew. This seasonal favorite infuses the cold brew with the flavors of mint and chocolate, creating a refreshing and indulgent beverage that is sure to get you into the holiday spirit.

Iced Shaken Espresso

While not strictly cold brew, the Iced Shaken Espresso is a refreshing iced coffee option available at Starbucks year-round. Made by shaking espresso with ice, this beverage is a great choice for those who prefer a stronger and more intense coffee experience, with the added benefit of being slightly lower in acidity compared to hot brewed espresso.

These seasonal offerings provide customers with exciting alternatives to the classic cold brew, allowing them to enjoy different flavors and experiences throughout the year.

Sustainability And Cold Brew At Starbucks

Starbucks is committed to sustainability and has implemented various initiatives in their production and sourcing of coffee, including their cold brew offerings. Here are a few ways Starbucks promotes sustainability in its cold brew production:

Ethically Sourced Coffee

Starbucks takes pride in sourcing their coffee beans in a way that ensures fair trade practices and supports farmers’ well-being. They work with farmers around the world to promote responsible coffee-growing practices, protect biodiversity, and enhance the overall quality of the coffee.

Direct Trade Relationships

Starbucks also actively engages in direct trade relationships with coffee farmers. This approach allows them to establish long-term partnerships, ensure transparency, and provide support to farmers in terms of quality improvement and community development.

Resource Conservation

To minimize their environmental impact, Starbucks implements resource conservation measures in the production of their cold brew coffee. This includes water conservation and responsible waste management practices. By optimizing their processes, they strive to reduce water usage and minimize waste generation, therefore contributing to a more sustainable coffee industry.

By supporting Starbucks’ cold brew offerings, customers can feel confident that they are contributing to a more sustainable coffee industry and supporting ethical practices.

DIY Vs. Store-Bought Cold Brew: Pros And Cons

When it comes to cold brew coffee, you have the option of making it yourself at home or purchasing it from Starbucks or other coffee establishments. Here are the pros and cons of each:

DIY Cold Brew Coffee

Making your own cold brew coffee at home can be a rewarding and cost-effective experience. Here are the advantages and disadvantages:

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  1. Cost Savings: Making cold brew at home is generally cheaper than purchasing it from a coffee shop.
  2. Customization: You have complete control over the coffee beans, water-to-coffee ratio, brew time, and flavorings, allowing you to tailor the cold brew to your personal preference.
  3. Convenience: Once you have your cold brew concentrate, you can easily make yourself a cup of refreshing iced coffee whenever you desire.


  1. Time-consuming: Cold brew requires a longer brewing time compared to hot brewed coffee, usually ranging from 12 to 24 hours. This can be a drawback if you want your coffee quickly.
  2. Trial and error: Achieving the perfect balance of flavors and strength can take some experimentation and practice.
  3. Equipment: Making cold brew at home typically requires a specialized coffee maker or a mason jar and a filter for straining the coffee grounds.

Store-Bought Cold Brew Coffee

Purchasing cold brew coffee from Starbucks or other coffee shops provides convenience but comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages:


  1. Convenience: Cold brew is readily available at Starbucks and can save you time, especially if you’re in a hurry.
  2. Consistency: Coffee shops have perfected their cold brew recipes, ensuring you get the same great taste and quality with every purchase.
  3. Variety: Coffee shops often offer a range of flavors, allowing you to try different varieties without the hassle of brewing at home.


  1. Cost: Store-bought cold brew can be more expensive than making it at home, especially if you consume it frequently.
  2. Limited customization: While some coffee shops may offer a few options for sweetness or flavorings, you have less control over the final product compared to making it yourself.

Ultimately, the decision to make cold brew at home or purchase it from Starbucks depends on your personal preferences, time constraints, and budget.



Whether you choose to make cold brew coffee at home or opt for Starbucks’ seasonal offerings, cold brew provides a refreshing and flavorful alternative to hot brewed coffee. By supporting Starbucks’ cold brew options, you can also contribute to the company’s sustainability initiatives and enjoy ethically sourced coffee. Remember to experiment with different flavors, brewing techniques, and ratios to find your perfect cup of cold brew. Cheers to your delicious and refreshing cold brew coffee experience!

FAQS On How To Make Cold Brew Coffee Starbucks

What Is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is a brewing method where coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for an extended period of time. This results in a smoother, less acidic and less bitter coffee compared to traditional hot brewing methods.

How Does Starbucks Make Their Cold Brew Coffee?

Starbucks makes their cold brew coffee by steeping a special blend of coffee grounds in cold water for 20 hours. They then use a double filtration process to ensure a smooth and consistent coffee flavor.

Is Cold Brew Coffee Stronger Than Hot Brewed Coffee?

Yes, cold brew coffee has a higher concentration of caffeine than hot brewed coffee. This is due to the longer steeping time and the slower extraction process in cold brew.

Can I Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home?

Yes, you can make cold brew coffee at home using a variety of methods such as a French press, a mason jar, or a specialized cold brew coffee maker. Starbucks also offers pre-packaged cold brew coffee grounds for home brewing.

How Do I Make Cold Brew Coffee Taste Like Starbucks?

To make cold brew coffee taste like Starbucks, you can use their signature blend of coffee grounds or experiment with different blends to find one that suits your taste. You can also try adding a splash of cream or sugar to mimic the flavor of Starbucks’ cold brew.

How long does cold brew coffee last?

Cold brew coffee can usually be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks when kept in an airtight container.

Is cold brew stronger than hot brewed coffee?

Cold brew coffee is generally stronger in terms of caffeine content, but it has a smoother and less acidic flavor profile compared to hot brewed coffee.

Can I heat up cold brew coffee?

Yes, cold brew coffee can be heated up if you prefer a warm beverage. It can be enjoyed hot or added to hot water for a milder flavor.

Can I dilute cold brew coffee?

Yes, cold brew coffee can be diluted with water or milk according to your taste preferences. This is often done to adjust the strength of the coffee.

Can I use any coffee beans for cold brew?

While you can technically use any coffee beans for cold brew, medium to coarse ground beans are generally preferred for best results.