Starbucks has no shortage of java options to amaze its thousands of customers around the globe, but if you’re looking for a break from your usual mocha, the drink you absolutely need to check out is the Vanilla Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew.
It’s the coffee chain’s traditional Nitro Cold Brew but topped off with a delicious serving of in-house made Sweet Cream, and when made right, the cream drips into the coffee while the foam stays on top, creating a sight that even the most hardcore keto dietist won’t be able to resist.
The best part, though, is that you don’t necessarily have to head out to the nearest outlet to get one. This simple guide’s going to teach you everything you need to know, from making the Nitro Cold Brew to making your own Sweet Cream topping at home.
We’re going to start off with a question that’s driven everybody crazy for years: what makes this drink so good?!
Your normal cold brew coffee is prepared by steeping coffee grounds over an extended period (often up to 24 hours!). This brew is commonly used for iced coffee drinks (think lattes). Visit any Starbucks outlet, and you’ll see anywhere from three to six Cold Brews being handed out to people right there.
Nitro Cold Brew, on the other hand, is a step up from normal Cold Brew and has already captured the attention of thousands worldwide. A special machine is used to spike the drink with Nitrogen, creating a light foam on top and improving the drink’s texture.
Here’s a breakdown of what you’re going to need to make a cup of delicious Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream at home:
- Coffee Beans/Ground Coffee: Ground coffee can be used for everything, but for the best taste, you want to be using medium-roast coffee beans for this drink. Any standard food processor can be used to grind your coffee down yourself.
- Filtered Water: The filtered part is important because it removes the bitter taste of chlorine from your coffee. That’s crucial if you want to replicate the mildly sweet taste of the Starbucks version of the drink.
- A Nitro Brewer: This is the equipment that injects Nitrogen into the drink, and usually costs anywhere from $100 to $180 for really good ones. You’re going to need one of these. We’re going to include a recipe for a normal cold brew too, though, so it’s not an absolute necessity.
And with that said, here’s what you need for our sweet cream recipe:
- Vanilla Syrup: Everyday vanilla syrup, right off the supermarket shelf and into the shopping cart without a second thought.
- Heavy Cream: Any old brand of heavy cream will do, but make sure you don’t pick anything with too noticeable a flavour of its own.
- 2% Milk: Good old 2%, the king of milk. You’ve got to have some at home, right?
1. Start Preparing the Filter Bags
The first step is all about getting your coffee ready. Fill two of the filter bags (that come with the machine) with the coffee, and place them into the brewer. The ratio should be something around 1 ½ cups of ground coffee per filter bag.
2. Pour Cool Water Till the Brew Line
Next, pour cool water into the machine up to the brew line. Make sure the water’s slightly lower than room temperature so it doesn’t take as long to steep.
You might have a little difficulty seeing, so use your phone light to shed some light there (get it?). It usually comes up to about 2.5 cups of water on average.
3. Stick It In the Fridge To Steep
When that’s done, you want to stick the whole brewer in the fridge for a little more than 12 hours to steep. Yes, the whole thing. The time it’s going to spend in the fridge depends on how rich a flavour you want. For the best results, let it steep for at least a day before you take the machine out.
Remember, the fridge, not the freezer! The next day, carefully take the filter bags out of the machine and top off the cold brew with a little more cold water.
4. Making the Nitro Cold Brew
Now that’s done, what’s left is making the actual Nitro Cold Brew. Take the machine out of the fridge and tightly secure the cap, and charge it using the Nitro cartridge. Make sure you shake the bottle well and pour yourself a delicious cup of Nitro Cold Brew in your cute mug.
- Place cool water and coffee grounds into a large jar (about ½ cup of coarsely ground beans for every cup of cool water) or a filter bag, and shake it well to mix them.
- Close the jar (or the filter bag) and stick it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. For better taste, make it closer to 24.
- Once the brew has steeped, remove the coffee grounds using a fine-mesh sieve with a thin towel on top.
- Lastly, dilute the cold brew concentrate with cold water. The amount will determine the taste, so be careful. For the best taste, you generally want less than equal parts of water.
Making the sweet cream is actually one of the easiest steps. Here’s how you can do it:
- Mix cold heavy whipping cream and flavoured vanilla syrup in a blender until the mixture starts to thicken.
- It should be just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but there shouldn’t be lumps in the mixture.
- And voila, your sweet cream is made! Just spoon the amount you want onto your glass of Nitro Cold Brew, and watch it sink into the drink while the foam stays at the top.
- You should make sure to grind your coffee beans coarse. If you grind them finely, the resulting brew will be much, much bitter than you bargained for.
- This recipe takes some time (half a day to an entire day, depending on how long you steep) so it’s definitely worth making an advanced batch in time.
- Whether you’re making a Nitro Cold Brew or a normal Cold Brew, you definitely want to steep the brew for at least 12 hours. Ideally, 18 hours should be what you’re aiming for.
- If you’re worried about the drink being too rich, you can swap out the heavy cream for normal half-and-half. You won’t notice the difference.
- Your Nitro Cold Brew with Sweet Cream is going to stay good for about a week in the fridge, and sweet cream for about an extra couple of months.
- Want to go over the top? Crumble a vanilla wafer on top of the drink, and get your first view of heaven on earth.
- Growlerwerks Ukeg Nitro Cold Brew Keg
- Filter Bags or Nut Bags
- Water filter/ pre-filtered water
- Kitchen mixer for the sweet cream
- 1-2 cups Ethiopian or similar coffee beans
- 3 cups Filtered cold water
Ingredients For the Sweet Cream
- Heavy whipping cream
- Flavoured vanilla syrup
- Fill two filter bags (½ cup coffee for 1 cup cold filtered water) and place them into the brewer.
- Fill the machine with cold water up to the brew line, and stick the entire thing in the fridge for 12-24 hours to allow it to steep.
- After the allotted time, take the filter bags out of the machine and top them off with a little more cold water.
- Lastly, tighten the cap and charge with the provided Nitro Cold Brew cartridge.
- Shake the bottle well and pour your Nitro Cold Brew into your mug.
Instructions For the Sweet Cream
- Mix heavy cream and flavoured vanilla syrup (so you don’t need sugar) in a regular kitchen mixer until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Spoon the amount of sweet cream you want onto the top of your Nitro Cold Brew.
- Best stores for up to a week after making the cold brew.
- Heavy cream can be switched out with half and a half for a healthier drink.