Starbucks Now Offering Cold Brew Coffee; What Is It? We'll Tell You

Starbucks is kind of like the Kim Kardashian of coffeeshops. It's a ubiquitous site in American culture and our obsession with it is surpassed only by our love to bash it. When it comes to Starbucks, everyone's a hipster. 

So, it is quite fitting that Starbucks is now offering that most hipsterish of coffee brewing methods (second only to the pour over), the cold brew.

The cold brew is a method particularly suited to South Florida. (Because it's cold, guys.)

Basically, cold-brewed coffee relies on time, rather than heat, to extract flavor from the grounds. You mix course grounds with water, cover the container, and stash it in the fridge for at least 12 hours. The hoopla surrounding cold brew is that, because no heat is involved, there's almost no bitterness or acidity, and instead has a bright, almost sweet flavor.

Leslie Wolford, senior coffee specialist at Starbucks, descried its version in a press release as “[featuring] high-quality varietals from Latin America and Africa. The blend delivers a flavor profile of chocolate balanced by citrus notes for a sweet, dense and smooth cup.”

There's an art to it of course, and coffee connoisseurs will argue (endlessly because they are well caffeinated) about the precise details such as whether the brew should be kept in the fridge or on the counter and over how long it should sit. (Starbucks brews its for 20 hours.)

All coffee snob teasing aside, however, it's quite good. You should try some. 

There are already a few spots around South Florida where you can get a cold brew, but these tend to be indie, third-wave shops like Subculture in Palm Beach County, Argyle and Brew Urban in Broward, and, of course, Panther in Miami-Dade.

So, Kardashian, er, Starbucks bringing cold brew to the masses is a bit of a shift in the coffee diaspora.

A grande cold brew at Starbucks will retail for $3.25 — that's 16 fluid ounces or a medium for the uninitiated. Sadly, the mason jar above is for advertising purposes only. They don't serve it that way in the store, according to the Starbucks on Linton Boulevard in Delray Beach, anyway.

CrazyJewishMom will be relieved at least.


A photo posted by Crazy Jewish Mom (@crazyjewishmom) on

If you are still confused, here's an info sheet from Starbucks explaining the differences between cold brew, iced coffee, and and iced latte.

You can contact Rebecca McBane, Arts & Culture Editor/Food Editor at [email protected]. Follow @cleanplatebpb on Twitter and like New Times Broward Palm Beach Food & Drink on Facebook to stay connected for all the local food news and events.
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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane