What's In Starbucks Spiced Sweet Cream Cold Brew?

Is there a better way to kick off a lovely and still somewhat warm November weekend than with a festive drink clutched in your delighted little hands? I’m going to go with a "no" on that one — and now that I know what’s in Starbucks Spiced Sweet Cream Narino 70 Cold Brew, I’ve got my Saturday all planned out. Like last year’s Holiday Spice Flat White, this new seasonal beverage puts a holiday spin on a permanent menu item, kicking it up juuuust enough to make it something new and exciting.

Available starting on Nov. 3, 2016 for Starbucks Rewards members and joining the ranks of the complete Starbucks holiday drink lineup later in the month, Starbucks Spice Sweet Cream Narino 70 Cold Brew takes the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew that hit the coffee giant's menu earlier in the year and adds the flavors many of us associate with holiday baked goods to the mix. Said Starbucks beverage development team member Yoke Wong in a press release, “The spices complement the cold brew and bring out the cocoa notes in the coffee. It’s a flavor reminiscent of the holiday season. What’s more, the drink breaks new ground, as well: Noted Wong, “Although we’ve offered iced and blended versions of our holiday espresso beverages before, this is our first time creating a cold coffee holiday beverage.” Important information for people who live in places that don't get cold during the winter holidays.

Here's what this extra-special cold brew concoction looks like:

Heck. And yes.

So what exactly are those spices? And what, for that matter, makes up the rest of the drink? Here’s a closer look at the exact breakdown:


Of course. Specifically, we’re talking about Starbucks’ custom Narino 70 Cold Brew blend, which consists of 70 percent Colombia Narino and 30 percent African coffee beans slow-steeped for 20 hours. If you’re not wild about the acidic nature of coffee brewed with hot water, you’ll probably dig cold brew; the process by which it’s made results in a much less acidic cup of joe. (Thanks, chemistry.) For the curious, a 12-ounce Tall has about 140 mg of caffeine.


While pumpkin spice (or pumpkin pie spice, if you prefer) — usually made of some combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and/or allspice — undoubtedly reigns supreme once the weather starts to get colder, I think there’s also something to be said for what's known as “holiday spice.” In the case of the Spiced Sweet Cream Narino 70 Cold Brew, we get a dose of cinnamon and nutmeg — similar to pumpkin spice — but minus the ginger, cloves, and allspice, and plus the addition of anise instead. Anise tastes somewhat like licorice, which I realize can be a bit of a divisive flavor (I happen to love it, but that's just me); even if you’re not a huge licorice fan, though, it’s still worth giving a shot. Blended up with all the other things in this festive beverage, it’s unlikely to be overpowering.

For what it’s worth, the spices in Spiced Sweet Cream Cold Brew also differ a little bit from the ones found in last year’s Holiday Spice Flat White; the 2015 special edition drink got its kick from cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, and two types of sugar (ground and tangerine).


Vanilla is good in everything. Don't argue with me on this.

Sweet Cream

The finishing touch for this cup of holiday cheer is a float of house-made sweet cream — just as it is for the straight-up Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew that can be found on the permanent menu.

Starbucks Spiced Sweet Cream Narino 70 Cold Brew will be available at participating locations in the United States and Canada throughout the holiday season while supplies last; a 12-ounce Tall will set you back about $3.25 to $4.25, depending on the market.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a coffee run to make.

Images: Getty Images; Starbucks; Giphy (4)