What Coffee Does Starbucks Use For Cold Brew?

What Coffee Does Starbucks Use For Cold Brew?

It is hard to resist an ice-filled cold brew especially in hot weather. Perhaps you have always wanted to make your version of cold brew at home that replicates the ones offered by popular coffee shops. Confused about how to go about it? Hop on and let us get to know the secrets of a satisfying cold brew. 

What coffee does Starbucks use for cold brew?

Starbucks uses 100% Arabica coffee beans from various coffee-growing regions for cold brew. The cold brew blend is a balance of washed African Arabica coffee beans with a citrus flavor along with Latin American Arabica coffee beans which are responsible for the sweet and chocolate notes of the drink. 

The coffee beans are medium roasted to bring out their full flavor and aroma. The ground coffee is steeped in cool filtered water for almost 48 hours and brewed in small batches.

Unlike traditional iced coffee where coffee is brewed hot and then cooled, with cold brew blend, the ground coffee is kept in contact with plain water for a long period. The purpose is to bring out the coffee’s naturally rich and balanced flavors. 

Cold brew is made at room temperature or lower, more or less 70 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to the lower temperatures, the brew time should be lengthened and the coarseness of the grind must be adjusted appropriately for proper extraction. This will however affect the flavor minimally. 

How to make Starbucks -style cold brew coffee at home?

These are the ingredients and equipment/materials that you need for makin Starbucks -style cold brew::

  • Eight ounces of whole Arabica coffee beans
  • Eight cups or two quarts of filtered water
  • Coffee grinder
  • Two (three-quart) jars or pitchers with lids
  • Cheesecloth
  • Fine-mesh strainer 
  • Rubber band 

These are the steps:

  1. First, grind the coffee beans until they are coarsely ground. The size should be that of raw sugar or demerara. 
  2. Put the ground coffee in water in the jar. Place the ground coffee in the 3-quart jar or pitcher and add the water.
  3. Stir to blend well. 
  4. Steep the coffee in the refrigerator for at least 18 to 24 hours.
  5. Strain the coffee concentrate with a cheesecloth. You may also opt to strain in batches. Do not squeeze or press the coffee grounds against the cheesecloth. 
  6. Transfer the cold brew blend to a clean and airtight jar for future use. You can place it in the refrigerator for up to 14 days. Undiluted cold brew could last for two weeks while diluted cold brew can last for up to three days if refrigerated.
  7. Finally, enjoy your iced coffee or cold brew by filling a glass with one cup of ice cubes. Pour a half cup of the brew over the ice, add a half-cup of cold water and stir to combine. Add sweet cream if desired. Enjoy your cold brew!

Recommended coffee beans for cold brew 

These are our recommended brands of coffee beans for cold brew:

Starbucks Ethiopia 

It is a medium roast brand manufactured by Starbucks. Its flavors are chocolate and cocoa. The tasting notes are citrus and dark cocoa. 

Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve Colombian Supremo Whole Bean Coffee, 1 LB Bag, Dark Roast

It is crafted for cold brewing and its roast level is dark roasted. This brand is made of 100% Colombian Supremo beans.

Coffee Bros. Cold Brew Blend

This medium roasted brand has deep notes of chocolate, crisp berry and hints of brown sugar. The coffee beans are from Brazil and Ethiopia. The tasting notes are mixed berry and chocolate with a smooth and sweet finish.


A cold brew blend on a hot and humid day energizes the spirit. Starbucks is popular worldwide and the cold brew blend is one of their most requested concoctions. The chain uses 100% Arabica coffee beans from various coffee-growing regions like Latin America and Africa. 

Image: istockphoto.com / garett_mosher