Starbucks’ New Cold-Brew Coffee Will Carry Higher Price

(Chicago Tribune/TNS) -

Starbucks is bringing out a higher-priced, small-batch iced coffee, the coffee giant’s latest launch as it seeks to attract customers who want drinks that are a step up from a standard cup of joe.

The new cold-brew coffee is steeped using cool water. Typically, traditional iced coffee is made by brewing hot coffee at double strength and then pouring it over ice.

The cold-brew iced coffee involves a 20-hour steeping process, Starbucks said. Each store will make one batch per day, which means about 40 grande-size 16-ounce cups will be available per day, per store.

The more intense process means there will be a more, well, intense price.

The average price for a grande cold brew will be $3.25, Starbucks said. The average price for the company’s regular grande iced coffee is $2.65.

According to Michelle Sundquist, who works on Starbucks’ research-and-development team, the new coffee “is smooth and rich,” with “chocolate and light citrus notes,” while “iced coffee and espresso beverages have a stronger, roastier flavor with a bit of nuttiness that comes from brewing with hot water,” she said in a statement.

Starbucks cold brew will launch in more than 2,800 stores on March 31. The rollout comes after the company tested the product in Boston and San Francisco last year.

Starbucks’ latest effort comes as chains such as Blue Bottle, Intelligentsia and Peet’s have been promoting their coffees across the country. At the same time, grocery stores such as Whole Foods Market have opened their own coffee bars to entice shoppers to sip while they shop.

Starbucks has been expanding in higher-end coffee for home consumption, as well. In February, it began a subscription delivery service for its premium coffee.