Last month we got the opportunity to try and review the new Starbucks Cold Brew Coffees on Tap in probably the best way possible: on a beach vacation. Now I am a firm believer that even the coldest days are still iced coffee days, but I will freely admit there is an innate rightness to drinking iced coffee on a hot, humid day. Not to mention, the satisfaction that comes from pouring practically endless Starbucks Cold Brew on tap from your very own kitchen? It’s so convenient that maybe we shouldn’t even call it an indulgence anymore.
The Starbucks Coffee on Tap (made with Cold Brew) comes in two varieties. One is ‘Unsweetened Black Coffee,’ the other is ‘Coffee + a Splash of Milk.’ The Starbucks brand markets the black coffee variety as the most customizable. They say you can, “Simply enjoy this smooth classic as is, over ice, or be your own barista and add your favorite milk, flavor or sweetener.” It also has only 10 calories per serving. The second variety has 100 calories per serving and is described as ready to pour and enjoy straight away.
We tried both varieties while on our trip, and we fell completely in love — with one of them. The Unsweetened Black Coffee variety is the clear winner to us. It’s smooth and rich straight from the tap. It’s not too bitter, and it has that characteristic smoothness you want in a Cold Brew. The cold brew also holds up quite well to creamer (we used a plant-based one) as well as Oat Milk. The flavors also didn’t disappear when we poured the cold brew over ice like some coffees do.
In the end, we drank every last drop of this 2.12 L Bag-in-Box before the vacay was over. By the way, we saved over $25 that week by not going to Starbucks for our coffee at all.
Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the ‘Coffee + a Splash of Milk’ box. This one is “lightly sweetened” and doesn’t just contain milk, but also cream. We went into the tasting of this one expecting it to have a strong flavor like the other variety, but with an added slight creaminess.
What we didn’t expect was for the coffee flavor to be completely overpowered by the milk and cream. While I am someone who enjoys a little bit of milk in her coffee (typically oat or almond milk, though), I’m not exaggerating when I say there was no other flavor in this cold brew except for the milk. So, maybe if you blended it with some ice and sugar, we would call it a milkshake. But cold brew, this was not.
Fall is upon us (maybe? It’s very hot still with no signs of stopping). But as I already said, everyday is an iced coffee day. So, if you see me in Target or Kroger anytime soon, I’m just buying up the Starbucks Unsweetened Black Coffee on Tap in bulk.
dw about it.