Independent coffee shops have yet another reason to fear the green mermaid: She's serving cold brew!
Starbucks debuted its small-batch cold brew in all NYC stores on Tuesday.
The small-batch cold brew was previously only available at select markets including the Williamsburg location on North Seventh Street. Stores will now serve up to 60 cups a day of the richer, more labor-intensive iced coffee, all made in-house.
In a taste test comparing Starbucks regular iced coffee (originally brewed hot and then served cold), with the new cold brew, the cold brew had a much more full-bodied, richer flavor. Not as bitter as a regular iced coffee, the cold brew is ideally enjoyed black, without sweetner or milk. As a consistent iced soy latte drinker, this reporter was notably impressed by the intensity (and tastiness) of the cold brew flavor. The cold brew is made from a special blend of dark Latin American and African coffee beans.
But this new-and-improved iced coffee comes with a higher price: a Grande (16oz) Starbucks cold brew will run you $3.25, while a regular Grande iced coffee costs $2.65 (and comes with free refills for Gold Card holders enjoying them in-store!).
And while the East Coast is enjoying its first sips of Starbucks cold brew, West Coast Starbucks locations enjoyed new menu item as well: kale smoothies.
Though New Yorkers can't yet enjoy these "vegetable forward" Starbucks drinks, the cold brew brings yet another level of coffee competition between Starbucks and independent coffee shops.