Insider tips on making Starbucks cold brew – and a cold brew float

A pitcher of cold brew in the refrigerator makes everything a little better.

Arlene De La Cruz is a district manager in New York, who helped open the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in New York in 2018. From her own home kitchen in the Washington Heights neighborhood, she will show you how to make this smooth, delicious staple using a piece of brewing equipment you may already have – a coffee press.

“Cold brew is one of my favorite year-round beverages, I drink it all year,” she said. “I’ll show you an easy way to make it at home.”

Arlene De La Cruz, Starbucks district manager in New York

But wait, there’s more – she’ll also show you how to give your cold brew a sophisticated twist inspired by two favorites on the menu at Starbucks Reserve Roastery locations around the world.*

First, the cold brew

1. Get Ready

Here’s what you’ll need: coffee press, ground Starbucks® coffee (we love a medium roast) and water.  

2. Add coffee and water

Scoop 82 grams (about 1 cup or 8 coffee scoops) of coarse-ground coffee into an 8-cup coffee press. Pour 2 cups of cool water into press. Stir with a spoon or spatula to wet the coffee grounds.

3. Place plunger and brew

Cover, but don’t plunge, and place in refrigerator. Allow to steep in the refrigerator 16-20 hours.

4. Plunge and pour

Take finished cold brew out of the fridge and slowly plunge the coffee press. This yields about 8 cups of cold brew concentrate. Pour into another container (such as a pitcher or large jar) and store up to seven days in refrigerator. Fill a glass of ice halfway with cold brew concentrate and top with a few ounces of cold water to enjoy as is, or keep going to learn how to give your cold brew a tasty twist.

Short on time? You can always pick up Starbucks Cold Brew Concentrate at the grocery store.

Now, the (even more) fun part

Inspired by the coffee + ice cream beverages at the Starbucks Reserve Roasteries, the cold brew float features creamy swirls of vanilla ice cream mingling with the coffee’s smooth chocolate notes.

Cold Brew Float

Serves 1


  • 6 ounces cold brew concentrate (or 9 ounces regular-strength cold brew)
  • filtered water
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream


To serve, pour cold brew concentrate halfway into tall glass (about 6 ounces) and then add water until the glass is three-quarters full. Add two scoops of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Taking inspiration from the Roasteries’ Sparkling Citrus Espresso beverage which features espresso shaken with ice and poured over sparkling tonic and aromatic bitters, this is a fizzy and flavorful mocktail for whenever you’re feeling fancy.

Cold Brew Tonic

Serves 1


  • 6 ounces of cold brew concentrate
  • tonic water
  • garnish – try a sprig of mint, some preserved cherries or a slice of lemon or lime


To serve, pour cold brew concentrate into a tall glass with ice until it’s half full, then fill the rest of the way with tonic water. Add your favorite garnish to give your coffee and bubbles a twist of flavor and voila!

Cold brew float and cold brew tonic

-- By Heidi Peiper

* Select Starbucks Reserve® Roastery beverages, whole-bean coffee and merchandise are now available for delivery in Seattle, New York, and Chicago through Starbucks Delivers via the Uber Eats.