NEW YORK CITY — Amidst the chaos of Times Square, the worst anxiety-inducing amusement park in the northeast, there is Starbucks‘ flagship store, a safe haven for locals and tourists alike.
The summer rush is in full force and the massive store is bustling with thirsty tourists. But even though we’re in the center of one of the busiest intersections in the city, there’s still a relaxed atmosphere that you can find in any coffee shop. There’s also a bathroom, so it’s definitely a safe haven.
Although the flagship store has been offering cold crew iced coffee since March, Starbucks has decided to permanently offer cold brew iced coffee to all of its stores in the U.S. and Canada, during the heart of iced coffee season.
Cold brew, a slower method of brewing iced coffee that delivers a smoother flavor, is the latest of many moves by the company to remind the public, “Hey! We love coffee and we still take it seriously.” Starting Tuesday, the company will be offering cold brew iced coffee to all 12,223 locations in the US and Canada. Previously, cold brew was only available in about 2,800 stores.
Much like the name suggests, cold brew iced coffee is brewed with cold water instead of hot, which takes 20 hours for the coffee to steep, instead of the 5-minute method for its regular iced coffee. The process is somewhat similar to brewing a massive batch of tea, in that the filter with fresh ground coffee rests directly in the water until it’s finished.
As someone who loves coffee but wouldn’t call myself a coffee snob, the difference in taste was instantaneous. I’m a cream and sugar coffee drinker (judge me all you want, Internet) but I was able to drink a black Starbucks’ cold brew without wincing, meaning drinkers will need less dairy and sweetener than usual. The coffee is lighter and brighter than its normal iced coffee, and is served unsweetened by default, “to highlight a naturally sweet, rich coffee flavor.”
Next to the cold brew, a regular iced coffee tasted bitter and a latte tasted too much like milk, so for coffee enthusiasts, preference between the three is going to come down to taste. Taste and availability.
Although cold brew will be offered at every store in the US and Canada, it won’t always be available. Depending on the store, they’ll only brew one or two batches of cold brew a day, using a Toddy Brewer, which only yields 60 grande cups.
The price is also slightly higher than the regular iced coffee. A grande cold brew iced coffee will cost US customers $3.25.