Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew Review — It’s like a Cold Brew, But Good!

Alex Rowe
3 min readMay 24, 2017


That title is only a half-joke.

When Cold Brew first launched at Starbucks on I Don’t Remember The Date, I was excited. They talked a big game about how it would be iced coffee, but more. About how they put all this effort into brewing each small batch for a million hours. About how it would expose all these different little flavor notes you’ve never experienced before anywhere in your life.

So I tried one as soon as I could.

To my not-very-refined palette…it tasted like cold coffee.

It didn’t make angel trumpets sound in my head. It didn’t change my worldview. It just tasted like some okay cold coffee.

And so I forgot about it. I’m sorry if that makes you think I’m the worst.

In the months since, Starbucks has been experimenting, releasing a variety of new Cold Brew versions. I ignored them. Until the other day, when my friend Andy was trying the new coconut variety. He swears by Cold Brew, and his proclamations told me that maybe I was missing out.

So I decided to start over again at the top, with the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew TM.

It’s fantastic.

The vanilla cream adds just the right amount of punch, without stepping all over the flavor of the cold brew underneath. I can taste everything going on with both components, which is a big win in my book. I like it when I can taste all the things and they go well together.

Plus, if you’re going to order this, you should watch your barista make it. The way the cream is splashed in and mixed with a little shake is weirdly magical. The cream seeps into every corner of the drink and just kind of stays mixed in there.

Okay maybe I’m the only person that finds that fascinating? It looked cool.

I finally understand why people love Cold Brew. I know that the vanilla sweet cream is basically just a little sugary syrup and a little heavy cream, and I know that enjoying the Cold Brew this way makes me a lame noob who doesn’t understand coffee.

But I don’t really care. It’s good.

So if you had written off the Cold Brew (which I keep capitalizing…because), then I recommend trying this vanilla one. It still totally tastes like coffee, unlike most of the other Starbucks blended beverages. The vanilla cream really brings out the flavors in the coffee too, something I didn’t expect at all. I was hoping for, at the best, a nice blend of two distinct tastes, and I got much more.

I’m not a professional food reviewer, hence my weird lingo. Congrats you made it to the end! Go have some coffee!

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Alex Rowe

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