Nitro Cold Brew With Sweet Cream: Starbucks Coffee From The Tap

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It’s always served cold and straight from the tap. The Vanilla Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew is a unique drink experience compared to other caffeinated beverages at Starbucks. 

In the article below, we will go over why the Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream is so popular, what makes it special, and how to order it at the coffee shop.

Taste, caffeine, calories, making one at home? We’ve got you covered.

What is Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew

The Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew is a cold brew coffee drink infused with nitrogen. It’s a handcrafted, smooth, and slightly sweet beverage introduced in 2016. 

Since the look and the texture is often compared to a Guinness stout, you might be wondering if it contains alcohol? No, it doesn’t. Just cold brew with nitrogen.

Before you can enjoy a Nitro Cold Brew, the coffee is slowly steeped for 20 hours in a Toddy brewer.

Starbucks uses a two-tap system in every store. One keg is for the nitro, and another keg is for the regular cold brew. The only difference is that the nitro keg uses nitro cartridges to infuse the cold brew with nitrogen.

The infusion changes the drink’s characteristics. Even if you have had a fair share of iced coffees and cold brews before, the Nitro Cold Brew is unlike any other cold coffee you have tasted before.

The beverage pours slowly from the nitro keg, and you will get a dark coffee topped with a light-cream-colored rich crema. 

barista making nitro cold brew


The Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream has a sweet and exquisite taste, and the rich body lingers on the tongue.

Sure, that sounds great. But, how about the bitter and acidic compounds so prominent in traditionally brewed coffees? Due to the cold extraction process, these compounds are absent from the cold brew.

And what about the watery taste of the typical iced and cold coffee drinks? Not in the Nitro Cold Brew. This coffee drink is always served without ice, so it’s not watery.

Because the cold brew is already chilled, there is no need to add any ice. Besides, ice does not mix well and would disrupt the formation of the foam layer, which is the hallmark of the Nitro Cold Brew.

The rich body has a velvety smooth feel, and it’s the ideal pick-me-up for a slow coffee experience that you can enjoy, rather than a quick latte or espresso that you down for a quick caffeine fix. 


These are the main ingredients as we have seen them on the Starbucks website

  • Brewed Coffee (from an Arabica blend)
  • Vanilla Sweet Cream (Cream, Milk, Vanilla Syrup)

What Sizes are Available

Starbucks is always trying to upsell with a bigger and more complex cup. That is not the case with the Nitro Cold Brew, which you can only order in tall and grande sizes.

If you are a true Nitro Cold Brew coffee addict, your only option is to ask for two grande drinks because venti and trenta are not on the menu.

You might be asking: Can I get a nitro cold brew in a venti size? No, you can only order Nitro cold brew in a tall or grande size. 

A grande has plenty of caffeine already. Your barista needs to ensure that you always enjoy your drink the way it was intended: full-bodied, creamy, and settled, with a thick crown. 

The so-called “nitro cascade,” which shapes the creamy texture and the thick foam, is most effective in the smaller cup sizes. So it makes sense to limit the cup sizes. 


Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew is pricier than most other hot or cold coffee drinks at Starbucks. Why is that? Firstly, the coffee is steeped for 20 hours before it’s ready to be served.

Secondly, it’s all coffee and contains no ice, unlike iced coffee. And finally, cold brew needs to be infused with nitrogen, which is the trendiest thing in cold coffee and generally in cold drinks in recent years.

Caffeine in Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream

Caffeine in nitro cold brew with sweet cream

Cold brew contains more caffeine than regular brewed coffee due to the higher coffee to water ratio. But, it’s usually served diluted with cold water and ice.

In comparison, nitro cold brew is more concentrated because it is pure cold brew coffee without ice.

Nitro Cold Brew has more caffeine than regular Cold Brew. A grande Nitro Cold Brew has 265 mg of caffeine, and a grande cold brew has 205 mg.

Meanwhile, a grande iced coffee has 165 mg of caffeine, 100 mg less than what the Nitro Cold brew contains.

How many calories is a Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream?

A Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream contains 70 calories, 4 g of sugar, and 5 g of fat.

In comparison, a regular Nitro Cold Brew has 5 calories, zero sugar, and zero fat.

What pairs well with Nitro Cold Brew?

Nitro Cold Brew pairs well with rich, nutty, and earthy flavors and is best complemented with our funny Sunday coffee memes. We particularly recommend nitro cold brew with sweets and pastries filled with chocolate, butter, and cream that complement the notes of the coffee made from dark roast beans.

How do you make a Nitro Cold Brew at home?

You can prepare this drink in only 10 minutes if the cold brew concentrate is ready.

Cold brew coffee in mason jars


Cold Brew

  • Coarsely ground coffee 
  • Cool water

Vanilla Sweet Cream

  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 3 tsp vanilla syrup

Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream Recipe

  1. First, grind the coffee beans to coarse grind size. 
  2. Add the freshly grounded coffee to a cold brew maker or use a large container. We recommend one cup of coffee grounds to five cups of water.
  3. Add cold filtered water and put a lid on top.
  4. Let it steep for at least 12 hours in the fridge. (Starbucks lets the brew steep for 20 hours)
  5. Remove or filter out the coffee grounds when your cold brew is fully brewed. 
  6. Fill the nitro brewer, infuse the brew with nitro, and pour it into a glass.
  7. Top with vanilla sweet cream. Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream sweet?

Yes, it’s a sweet drink. Although the cold brew is unsweetened, the vanilla sweet cream contains sugar, making this pick-me-up a sweet one.

Is the Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream healthy?

Nitro Cold Brew offers the same potential help benefits associated with moderate coffee consumption. A grande Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream packs only 70 calories, 4 g of sugars, and zero trans fat. The beverage is suitable for Keto and Vegan diets as well.

Besides, cold brew coffee is low-acidity, and it is unlikely to cause heartburn or an upset stomach, which means a broader fan base can enjoy this coffee drink.

Can you add flavor to Nitro Cold Brew?

You could add flavor to Nitro Cold brew, even though it’s delightful without additional flavors. Besides the Vanilla-flavored sweet cream, other options such as the Salted Cream Cold Foam may be available for a limited time, and there could be new seasonal offers at Starbucks.

Can you add sweetener to Nitro Cold Brew?

It’s not recommended to add sweetener to Nitro Cold Brew. Nitro Cold Brew is served unsweetened, so you can enjoy the fullest flavors that have been extracted during the slow-steeping process. 

To increase the sweetness of your drink, ask for Vanilla Sweet Cream topping and an extra splash of Sweet Cream. If the standard Nitro cup isn’t sweet enough for you, this is an option.

Can you add creamer to Nitro Cold Brew?

Starbucks serves the drink without milk or creamer, and you should not add creamer to Nitro Cold Brew. It already has a smooth and creamy finish. Mixing Nitro Cold Brew with creamer would diminish the bubbles, the texture, and the foam layer, so it’s not recommended.

The Bottom Line

The Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream has a silky-smooth cold brew taste with the nitro cascade. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever tried before.

We particularly love the slightly sweet flavor with the rich and creamy foam, and sure, it tastes pretty damn good. Visual appeal, low calories, and high caffeine content are a bonus. 

Ready for more cold drinks at Starbucks?

Featured Image Credit: Starbucks

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