Gone are the days when a warm cup of coffee was the only thing you’d need after a long day. Thanks to Starbucks, now you can get a whole range of coffee beverages, not to forget their famous cold brew coffee.
Better than an espresso, latte, or tea, cold brew coffee is relaxing, soothing, and calms the mind and body. And when it comes to cold brew and Starbucks, the relation needs no explanation. You may be a Starbucks fan for their fantastic, frothy cold brew coffee with the smoothest, richest flavor, often a balance of sweetness and citrus.
But at times when Starbucks is not just around the corner away, or you are on the cost-cutting week, getting your favorite Starbucks coffee may not be the best idea. So, why not look for something else that has a taste just like Starbucks but is more easily accessible and reasonable on the pricier side?
To make things easy for you, here are the 7 best Starbucks cold brew alternatives and substitutes that you can invest in and enjoy your cold brew coffee anytime, anywhere! We have also covered why Starbucks’ cold brew coffee has the best flavor and makes it different from every other beverage in the market!
The best cold brew is where the coarsely ground coffee is soaked in chilled water for almost 12 hours, and Starbucks cold brew is made precisely that way. It makes its cold brew without using any source of heat, resulting in reduced acidity and more natural sweetness.
What’s more? It is served without any sugar to accentuate the coffee’s naturally sweet and strong taste. Starbucks has more than enough flavors to entertain its customers, from salted caramel to honey almond milk and sweet vanilla cream.
To know the best alternatives to Starbucks cold brew coffee, why not learn what exactly it is that makes the beverage so unique? From the very start, it is the coffee beans that are coarsely grounded, and Starbucks’ process of making a cold brew involves utilizing the highest-quality coffee beans and making an effort to appreciate their taste to the fullest.
A cooling temperature is the utmost essential step at the initial stage, but what’s even more critical is to brew the coffee. Starbucks’ cold brew won’t just require stirring, but the goal is to extract a stronger yet balanced concentration in both taste and texture. No flavors are added unless preferred by the customers, but again, the cold brew is not acidic and keeps the frothy caffeinated concentration.
Starbucks’ cold brew tastes exceptional, but it does come at a cost as well. Unless your wallet allows you to enjoy a cold brew every single day, chances are you’d like to find some cost-effective alternatives that taste just like Starbucks! And though Starbucks cafes are almost everywhere globally, there are still some countries that are yet to welcome them.
Whichever the case, the following are the 7 best alternatives and substitute Starbucks’ cold brew coffee available regardless of where you live!
1) Califia Farms Concentrated Cold Brew Coffee
Made from pure Arabica beans, Califia Farms Concentrated Cold Brew Coffee is the perfect alternative to Starbucks. As suggested by the name, the cold brew is obtained straight from East Africa and Central American farms, using no inorganic constituents.
There are no nuts, gluten, soy, sugar, dairy, or any kind of allergens or preservatives used – something that makes Califia Farms coffee one of the best cold brew options in the market.
Not to forget the nutritional value of15 calories per serving, which is significantly less than other alternatives with 30-70 calories for one dose. Not only does Califia Farms Cold Brew an excellent option for those on a low-cal diet, but also anyone conscious of their meals.
The taste is strongly caffeinated, incredibly rich, and chocolatey – a great bargain at such a reasonable price. However, we would recommend you go with the ratio of 3/4 coffee with 1/4 water or milk instead of directly sipping on the cold brew.
You can also go for a 1:1 percentage or add ice to take the whole cold brew experience to the next level. Once opened, the coffee can refrigerate it for up to a week or a maximum of 10 days.
Lastly, the beverage has 180mg of caffeine with 0g sugar per serving. You can dilute the cold brew as you like, whether make it hot, cold or even play with flavors of your taste!
2) Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee
Another substitute to Starbucks’ cold brew coffee, Stumptown is the name that keeps its game-high by delivering quality above anything else! First, the ground coffee is soaked thoroughly in chilled water at the lowest suitable room temperature, and then the coffee is filtered out as freshly brewed coffee.
No allergens, constituents, or harmful ingredients are added, and you can expect it to have a tart, sweet taste.
If we talk about the flavors, the list goes long. You can choose from orangy citrus to lavender and milk chocolate flavors to enjoy your cold brew. And the best thing is that you can drink it straight from the bottle, no need to mix any water, milk, or even ice.
Yet if you still want to make your perfect cold brew coffee, you can go with a 1:1 ratio of coffee and any plant-based milk of your choice, though it’s equally addictive otherwise as well.
If you prefer giving your coffee a nice dressing, try diluting the beverage with any milk of your choice in equal amounts and adding a teaspoon or two of organic honey, vanilla extract, maple, or any other sugar syrup. A cold brew made with different ingredients delivers a velvety smoothness, which you can also enhance using coconut or oats milk.
However, what’s most surprising is the number of calories you get with a single serving of Stumptown cold brew: only three calories in one shot! There is no sugar added, and the 26.57 mg of caffeine per dose makes it highly compatible with any calorie-restricted diet!
3) Wandering Bear Extra Strong Organic Cold Brew Coffee
Wandering Bear makes its coffee from organic Arabica coffee beans obtained by fresh means, one of the most delicious, ready-to-drink cold brew options out there. It is made with organic and natural flavors, and the beverage has a subtle, rich taste. If you prefer a natural rather than a flavored taste, this is the cold brew coffee you need.
What’s more? Also a healthy Starbucks alternative, the beverage contains no sugar, unfiltered constituents, dairy, or additives. You are welcome to enjoy it as much as you like as it is highly compatible with even the most restrictive diets, let it be keto, Paleo, or a Whole30 day diet.
Another great advantage you get with Wandering Bear cold brew is that, unlike other coffee options, you can preserve it in your refrigerator for almost a whole month! Even before you open the lid, you need not keep it in a cool place at all; a room temperature would do the job.
All of this makes it an excellent option for those who like to buy their cold brew coffee in bulk but don’t have enough space in their refrigerator. However, we recommend using an air-tight jar if you intend to store your cold brew for a few weeks.
One serving of Wandering Bear cold brew coffee gives ten calories and 150mg of caffeine. Fill the cup with a 1:1 ratio or 3/4 with coffee and 1/4 with water, top it up with ice or cream, and your cold brew is ready! Hazelnut, Vanilla, and Caramel; all three flavors are vegan.
4) Slingshot Cold Brew Concentrate Coffee
The secret behind Slingshot’s success is its exquisite taste. Without mixing anything, no toppings or dressings, it tastes extremely good with its crispy, tangy flavor with a bit of cocoa beans. The maximum of what you should add is any plant-based milk; otherwise, the taste is excellent. It’s purely a ready-to-drink beverage, and a great alternative to Starbucks’ cold brew coffee.
The manufacturing process of Slingshot cold brew coffee includes Ethiopian beans, which add to the freshness of the overall beverage. Slingshot’s cold brew also differs from the other options because of fresh, organic Ethiopian beans, which are soaked for more than 16 hours in cool water.
The filtration process is carried out with great care, for it is the Ethiopian beans responsible for its mild, tangy flavor.
No unnecessary preservatives or additives are included. Plus, it is dairy and gluten-free, and also vegan. Fully compatible with your go-to and low-cal, low-carbs, keto diet, you can easily integrate it into your daily life. For nutritional value, you get five calories and 150mg of caffeine per serving. After opening the bottle, it can be saved for up to 7 days.
5) La Colombe Cold Brew Coffee
Like the name sounds, La Colombe likes to shock its customers with its strong Brazilian taste. The Arabica beans are steeped and brewed with the utmost care until the result is a concentrated beverage in cold brew coffee. It’s the natural, organic flavors that bring in the mouth a taste slightly tangy yet strong and balanced.
What you would notice in La Colombe cold brew is the slightly thickest consistency compared to other options. It’s because of the use of nitrous oxide, which boosts the overall texture of the cold brew and enhances the taste. If Starbucks’ cold brew tastes fine, then La Colombe’s cold brew coffee tastes more than just excellent.
Also, if you are allergic to most of the cold brew coffee alternatives, La Colombe is a safer option to choose. It is made with all-natural ingredients, with almost no preservatives at all. It also means you cannot buy it in bulk, and it can only be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. What else? It is dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan.
One thing to note about La Colombe’s cold brew coffee is that it is not least acidic. It has a tangy taste that is a little more on the side of acid, and you might want to drink it with ice, milk, or water.
Also, since it has a thicker consistency, you can fill the cup 3/4 with the coffee and 1/4 with water or coconut milk. Add a few ice cubes, dress the beverage with your favorite toppings, let it be honey, maple syrup, or cream, and enjoy your La Colombe’s cold brew coffee!
6) SToK Cold-Brew Coffee
To all those looking for a budget-friendly Starbucks cold brew alternative, you can grab STok cold brew. Plus, if you are someone new to the world of cold brew and want to stay on the safer side without investing too much, then STok cold brew coffee will be a perfect choice for you. It is not too sweet, not too tangy, in between the spectrum, and thus you won’t find it highly acidic.
STok cold brew coffee has its brewing techniques. Instead of steeping the coarsely ground coffee in water at low temperature overnight, this beverage is prepared by soaking the coffee in chilled water for almost 24 hours. Such a long coffee brewing results in a balanced concentration perfect for anyone who loves cold brew coffee.
You can get STok cold brew coffee in three different flavors: Pumpkin, Vanilla, and Mocha – each within a budget range full of nutrients. It tastes incredible and contains 145mg of caffeine per serving. As for calories, you will get 15 calories. It’s less in price than a Starbucks cold brew but equal in taste and nutrition.
However, there is something you should be aware of before switching to STok cold brew coffee. Unlike other options in the market, which are made with no sugar at all, STok beverages are not sugar-free.
The cold brew may taste like it is not too sweet, but that is because the taste is balanced. Also, you can get it in both Un-Sweet and Not Too Sweet flavors, but the concentration of sugar is an essential part of STok cold brew coffee.
7) Jot Concentrated Coffee
Lastly, we have Jot Concentrated Coffee which is practically not cold brew but has a taste stronger than a cold brew coffee. Its taste is surprisingly extreme, just like Jot claims: 20 times stronger than a regular cold brew coffee! For those who love Starbucks’ cold brew coffee but are never satisfied, Jot Concentrated Coffee is your next best option.
Jot makes sure its top priorities include high quality, and for that, it uses fresh and organic coffee beans obtained for South and Central America. The cold brew is made with no harmful constituents, and the coffee beans are steeped in water for almost 12 hours. Later, the beverage is extracted and diluted with great caution to ensure you get the most of it.
An excellent glass of Jot’s cold brew would consist of one or two spoons of coffee with any plant-based milk, more preferably coconut or soy milk. You can either drink it straight from the bottle or dress your cup as you like. You can also add water and ice if that suits you more. The only thing to remember is to keep the right balance between the coffee and water/milk; otherwise, you may experience a too diluted cold brew.
If you are looking for a Starbucks cold brew alternative but have never tried an extremely strong coffee/cold brew, we would suggest going for some other substitute on the list. On a single serving of Jot’s concentrated coffee, you will get ten calories and 150mg of caffeine, while a 200mg bottle is likely to last 12-14 cups. However, since it is 20 times stronger than a regular cold brew, we recommend you take it in concise amounts.
Starbucks’ surely is one of the top leading beverage stores, but it is always exciting to try new things. Every option on the list of 7 Starbucks’ cold brew coffee alternatives and substitutes will give you the same experience as a Starbucks coffee.
While most Starbucks alternatives mentioned on the list have a mild taste, others are too strong. It is better to consider the number of calories and concentration of caffeine you’ll get from one serving of cold brew coffee, especially if you are following a diet. Just make sure to balance the ratio between water and coffee; let it be 1:1 or 3/4 coffee and 1/4 water.
You can drink them directly from the bottle or even dress your glass with water, ice, milk, honey, or any sugar syrup. Either way, it’s going to be your cold brew coffee, and what’s wrong with playing with flavors after all!