Best Starbucks Cold Brew Coffees

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A ranked list of all the cold brew coffees on the Starbucks menu, including nitro cold brews. See the difference between iced coffee, cold brew, and nitro cold brew.

Photo collage grid showing five different Starbucks cold brews.
Photo Credit: Starbucks

Cold Brew & Nitro Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee is a cold drink made without hot water. Ground coffee is left to steep in cold water for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator. Starbucks steeps cold brews for 20 hours, making small batches every day.

Nitro cold brew is cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen gas. It’s smooth, slightly sweet without any sugar added, and has a velvety, creamy texture from the microfoam created by the nitrogen.

Cold brew and nitro cold brew are different from iced coffee in how it’s made. Iced coffee is ground coffee and hot water, not cold, made in a few minutes, then cooled down.

Love cold brew? Make these at home: Starbucks Cold Brew Copycat, Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew, Irish Cream Cold Brew, Salted Caramel Cold Brew, Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, and Cold Brew Coffee Coke Float.

Cold Brew at Starbucks

  • Cold brew and nitro cold brew is made at each Starbucks location. Cold brew is made, then stored in 2 airtight kegs. One keg is for regular cold brew and the other keg has a nitrogen tank attached to it and it dispenses nitro cold brew.
  • Starbucks cold brews are made from a Nariño blend, from Nariño, Colombia. Coffee from Colombia are known for their medium body, medium acidity, and are fruity and nutty. Starbucks Reserve locations use Reserve Cold Brew blend (African/Latin American coffee blend).
  • Nitro cold brew is meant to be served without a straw. The drink should be consumed from the top, drinking in the smooth foam, instead of from the bottom when you use a straw.
  • Cold brew is served with ice but nitro cold brew is served without ice.
  • Cold brew can be ordered in 4 different drink sizes: tall (12 ounces), grande (16 ounces), venti (24 ounces), and trenta (30 ounces).
  • Nitro cold brew can only be ordered in 2 drink sizes: tall (12 ounces) and grande (16 ounces).

Cold Brews at Starbucks, Ranked

9. Salted Caramel Cream Nitro Cold Brew
Nitro Cold Brew + Salted Vanilla Sweet Cream + Caramel Syrup
Caffeine in a grande: 270 mg
Calories in a grande: 230
Sugar in a grande: 23 g

This one is the least popular out of all the cold brews.

8. Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew
Ice + Cold Brew + Salted Vanilla Sweet Cream + Caramel Syrup
Caffeine in a grande: 185 mg
Calories in a grande: 230
Sugar in a grande: 23 g

7. Honey Almondmilk Nitro Cold Brew
Nitro Cold Brew + Almondmilk + Honey Blend
Caffeine in a grande: 290 mg
Calories in a grande: 50
Sugar in a grande: 10 g

This drink is popular with vegan customers.

6. Honey Almondmilk Cold Brew
Ice + Cold Brew + Almondmilk + Honey Blend
Caffeine in a grande: 205 mg
Calories in a grande: 50
Sugar in a grande: 10 g

5. Nitro Cold Brew
Nitro Cold Brew (nothing else added)
Caffeine in a grande: 280 mg
Calories in a grande: 5
Sugar in a grande: 0 g

Nitro cold brew is creamy and sweet, even without added milk or sugar.

4. Cold Brew
Ice + Cold Brew
Caffeine in a grande: 205 mg
Calories in a grande: 5
Sugar in a grande: 0 g

This drink is often ordered with classic syrup or vanilla syrup.

3. Vanilla Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew
Nitro Cold Brew + Vanilla Sweet Cream
Caffeine in a grande: 265 mg
Calories in a grande: 70
Sugar in a grande: 4 g

This is the most popular of the nitro cold brews.

2. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew
Ice + Cold Brew + Vanilla Sweet Cream + Vanilla Syrup 
Caffeine in a grande: 185 mg
Calories in a grande: 110
Sugar in a grande: 14 g

This is a very close second to regular Cold Brew with Milk.

1. Cold Brew with Milk
Ice + Cold Brew + Milk
Caffeine in a grande: 205 mg
Calories in a grande: 35
Sugar in a grande: 3 g

The most popular cold brew at Starbucks! This can be ordered with any kind of milk or syrup. Caramel and hazelnut syrups are often swapped out with the vanilla syrup.

Questions You May Have

Is there more caffeine in cold brew or nitro cold brew?

Nitro cold brew packs a lot of caffeine, more than regular cold brew. Nitro cold brew has 280 mg of caffeine and cold brew has 205 mg.

Can I get nitro cold brew in a venti size?

Nope. Nitro cold brew can only be ordered in a tall or grande. It has been rumored that they don’t offer nitro cold brew in larger drink sizes than a grande because it would have more caffeine than allowed by law.

Why shouldn’t I drink nitro cold brew with a straw?

Starbucks encourages customers to drink nitros without a straw so that you can enjoy the smooth foam sitting on top of the drink with every sip. You should drink it the same way you drink a beer and you definitely wouldn’t drink beer using a straw.

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