Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee Review (Ready to Drink)
What better way to start but with the “King of Coffee”, Starbucks. I went to Starbucks this weekend, while I was in Vancouver, and I was amazed to see that they started serving cold brew. It was $2.69 USD for a grande size, cheap for Starbucks standards and it is less expensive than what I have seen for cold brew at the store. When ordering the board says that it was limited availability throughout the day. I went around 2-3 in the afternoon anxious that they wouldn’t have any seeing as how cold brew is so popular now but they did have it available. I was asked if I wanted to add any flavors to it but I declined. I wanted to try out the cold brew straight up. They poured it from one of those plastic jugs into the Starbucks cup with ice.
I just want to lay out my rubric for these review scores. My 4 things I am basing it on are Price, Flavor, Body, and Acidity. I think price is pretty self explanatory. Flavor is how complex and bold the flavor is. Yes it shouldn’t be just a wisp of the coffee flavor and it also shouldn’t be hitting you like an 18 wheeler. It should have hints of other flavors in there if the coffee advertises as such. The body is a difficult thing to quantify but it is the density, I guess you would call it, of the drink, the more body the better, the more substantial it is. The last is acidity which is how much acid is in the cold brew. Since it is a cold brew the acidity is already cut in half, which is good because the acidity, is bad for your teeth, stomach and breath. But since cold brews still vary a lot in their acidity’s, that is what I will be judging on, the lower the acidity the better the score.
Now on to the actual taste of the coffee, which I am sure the real reason why you are reading this. The coffee was very watered down when I drank it. It had very slight hints of coffee. Then it hit you with the bitterness. I am not complaining about the bitterness but there should be more coffee flavor, especially a cold brew, and especially with no creamer or sugar. There could be many things that could have happened to come to this outcome. They could have steeped it for too little hours, they could have used too little coffee grinds. or they could have just used some terribly un-flavorful coffee beans. Whatever the case it just wasn’t very good. Although you can tell that this really is a cold brew and not just a regular cup of coffee they just poured into another pitcher was because of the low acidity when drinking it. You don’t get that sour after taste that everyone calls “coffee breath” after drinking coffee. The price of the coffee is $2.69 per 16 oz, however, they put so much ice in the cup I don’t know if it was really 16 oz in the cup. I have looked up things online and there is actually a lawsuit about this. In the lawsuit it says that in a 32 oz Venti there is only 16 oz of actual beverage in it. Well using that formula I will assume that there is only 10 oz (being a bit generous). Using that number in mind the price per oz is $0.27 which is trending towards the cheaper side of cold brew.
Overall a pretty disappointing showing by the “King of Coffee” Mr. Starbucks. It didn’t really excel in anything except that the acidity was fairly low. Again I am not sure if this is an outcome of super water down coffee or they have a superior method or bean. I did not expect much from them and they did not even meet that expectation. Do not waste your time or money on this unless it is your last alternative and you had to choose between this and actual hot brew coffee.
Here is a link to learn more about their cold brew: Starbucks Cold Brew
Price: $2.69 for 16 oz (more likely there is really only 10 oz in there, maybe even less), $0.27 oz (based on the 10 oz).