Tuesday’s debut of not one, but two new iced coffee drinks from Starbucks certainly made my little caffeine-loving heart go all a-flutter — and the feelings only intensified when I realized that the pair of delicious-sounding beverages was part of the new Starbucks Cold Bar. But what is the Starbucks Cold Bar, you ask? Good news: I have answers. They’re not terribly complicated answers, but they’re answers nonetheless, and they fill me with delight. Sometimes it’s the little things, you know?
The Starbucks Cold Bar is basically a fancy new name for the menu on which you can find all the iced coffee drinks you can get at Starbucks. Currently it’s a mix of old favorites and the aforementioned pair of new additions; what makes the Cold Bar stand out is that it assembles all your options in one easy-to-find spot. See? Uncomplicated, but magnificent all the same.
Iced drinks are obviously nothing new to Starbucks in and of themselves; one of the many, many customization options that have always been available is the ability to make pretty much whatever drink you like into an iced beverage. Starting with the addition of cold brew coffee, though, Starbucks has been stepping up their iced coffee game in recent years, and the Cold Bar menu highlights all the delightfully cool coffee treats of which we can now avail ourselves. Said Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz in a press release:
For over 40 years we have perfected the craft of roasting and brewing the finest hot coffee and while we have always offered our customers new options in cold coffee, nothing will compare to the pace of flavor, craft, and brewing innovation we will see in the next few years. The opportunity to create an entirely new cold coffee experience is limitless and our customers are already telling us that they want to meet us on this journey as cold coffee is now becoming a go-to drink.
So what kinds of things are on the Cold Bar menu? Right now, the core offerings consist of the following, although new innovations will almost certainly continue being developed:
- Traditional Iced Coffee: You know what this is. You’ve probably been drinking it for years. It’s hot-brewed coffee, chilled and then served over ice.
- Cold Brew: Starbucks slow-steeps its cold brew for 20 hours, yielding a smooth, rich iced beverage with hints of citrus and chocolate.
- Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew: Starbucks Cold Brew with a float of house-made vanilla sweet cream. It’s a brand new offering; it just made its debut on May 31.
- Nitro Cold Brew: Another new release, Nitro Cold Brew infuses Starbucks Cold Brew with nitrogen. Right now it’s just available at the Seattle Roastery, but there are plans to roll it out across 500 locations in the United States by the end of summer.
- Doubleshot On Ice: Chilled espresso, a dash of milk, and a hint of sweetness. It’s been available since 2008, but it hasn’t always been present on the printed menu; with the Cold Bar officially being a thing now, though, it’ll be hard to miss.
- Caramel Iced Macchiato: Espresso with vanilla syrup, milk, ice, and a caramel drizzle. Yum.
Summer is the perfect time for an ice cold pick-me-up, so the Cold Bar couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Bottoms up!
Images: Starbucks; Giphy