Iced coffee is one of the most popular drinks at Starbucks, with many customers opting for a chilled caffeinated beverage on a hot summer day. If you’re an iced coffee lover wondering exactly what coffee Starbucks uses to brew their cold coffee drinks, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Starbucks uses their Pike Place Roast coffee to brew iced coffee beverages like Cold Brew and Iced Coffee. This is a medium roast coffee blend that forms the base for many Starbucks hot and iced coffee drinks.

Starbucks Pike Place Roast

When it comes to their iced coffee, Starbucks relies on their popular Pike Place Roast. This specific blend of coffee has become a staple in the Starbucks lineup and is favored for its versatility and rich flavor.

What is Pike Place Roast?

Pike Place Roast is a medium-roast coffee blend that was specifically created for Starbucks’ original store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. It was introduced to celebrate the opening of the store and quickly gained popularity among coffee enthusiasts.

This blend is a combination of Latin American and East African beans, carefully selected for their unique flavors. The beans are roasted to bring out a balanced taste, with notes of chocolate and toasted nuts.

Pike Place Roast is known for its smooth and approachable profile, making it a favorite for both hot and iced coffee drinks.

Why Pike Place Roast Works Well for Iced Coffee

Pike Place Roast is an excellent choice for iced coffee due to its flavor profile and brewing method. The medium roast brings out the coffee’s natural sweetness and smoothness, which complements the addition of ice and other flavors.

It provides a well-rounded taste that is not overpowering, allowing the flavors of any added syrups or toppings to shine through.

The Pike Place Roast blend also works well with the brewing method used for iced coffee at Starbucks. The coffee is brewed double-strength and then poured over ice, which helps to maintain the coffee’s flavor as the ice slowly melts.

This method ensures that the iced coffee remains flavorful and does not become diluted.

How Starbucks Makes Iced Coffee

Starbucks is known for its wide variety of coffee options, and their iced coffee is no exception. They use different methods to create their refreshing and delicious iced coffee, including the brewed over ice method and the cold brew method.

Brewed Over Ice Method

The brewed over ice method is a popular way Starbucks prepares their iced coffee. It starts with freshly brewed hot coffee, which is then poured over a cup filled with ice. This method allows the hot coffee to melt the ice, creating a perfectly chilled beverage.

The result is a smooth and flavorful iced coffee that can be customized with syrups, milk, or cream to suit individual preferences.

Starbucks carefully selects the type of coffee beans they use for their brewed over ice method. They typically choose medium or dark roast coffee beans that have a bold and rich flavor profile. The specific coffee blend may vary depending on location and seasonal offerings, but some popular choices include their Pike Place Roast, Veranda Blend, and Guatemala Antigua Blend.

Pro Tip: If you want to recreate Starbucks’ brewed over ice method at home, brew your favorite coffee using a standard drip coffee maker or French press. Once brewed, pour it over a cup filled with ice and add any desired sweeteners or milk.

Cold Brew Method

Another method that Starbucks uses to make iced coffee is the cold brew method. Cold brew involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time, typically 12-24 hours. This slow extraction process results in a smooth and less acidic coffee concentrate that can be diluted with water or milk before serving.

Starbucks offers their own line of cold brew coffee, which is made using a blend of Latin American and African beans. This blend is specially crafted to create a balanced and flavorful cold brew experience.

The coffee grounds are steeped in cool water for an extended period of time, allowing the flavors to fully develop.

Fun Fact: Cold brew coffee is known for its naturally sweeter taste and lower acidity compared to traditional iced coffee. This makes it a popular choice for those with sensitive stomachs or who prefer a smoother coffee experience.

Whether you prefer the brewed over ice method or the cold brew method, Starbucks is committed to offering a variety of options to satisfy your iced coffee cravings. So the next time you visit a Starbucks, don’t hesitate to try their refreshing and expertly made iced coffee!

Other Iced Coffee Drinks at Starbucks

Aside from their popular iced coffee, Starbucks offers a variety of other refreshing and delicious iced coffee drinks. These drinks are perfect for those looking for a different flavor profile or a little something extra.

Iced Espresso Drinks

Starbucks offers a range of iced espresso drinks that are sure to satisfy any coffee lover’s cravings. These drinks are made with the same high-quality espresso that Starbucks is known for, combined with cold milk and ice. Some popular options include:

  • Iced Caramel Macchiato: A classic combination of espresso, milk, and caramel syrup, topped with a drizzle of caramel sauce.
  • Iced White Chocolate Mocha: A sweet and creamy blend of espresso, milk, and white chocolate sauce, finished with whipped cream.
  • Iced Americano: A refreshing drink made with shots of espresso and cold water, served over ice.
  • Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte: A flavorful combination of espresso, milk, and cinnamon dolce syrup, garnished with whipped cream and cinnamon dolce sprinkles.

Frozen Coffee Drinks

If you’re in the mood for a frozen treat, Starbucks has you covered with their selection of frozen coffee drinks. These icy beverages are blended with ice and milk to create a smooth and creamy texture. Some popular options include:

  • Mocha Frappuccino: A classic favorite, made with coffee, milk, and mocha sauce, blended with ice and topped with whipped cream.
  • Java Chip Frappuccino: A chocolaty delight, made with coffee, milk, chocolate chips, and a blend of mocha and java chip sauces, blended with ice and topped with whipped cream.
  • Green Tea Frappuccino: For those looking for a non-coffee option, this drink is made with matcha green tea, milk, and ice, blended to perfection and topped with whipped cream.

Secret Menu Favorites

Starbucks has a secret menu that is known among coffee enthusiasts. These drinks are not officially listed, but baristas are often familiar with them and can make them upon request. Some popular secret menu iced coffee drinks include:

  • Pink Drink: A combination of Starbucks’ Strawberry Acai Refresher and coconut milk, served over ice. This drink is known for its vibrant pink color and refreshing taste.
  • Butterbeer Frappuccino: Inspired by the famous drink from the Harry Potter series, this secret menu item is made with a blend of caramel and toffee nut syrup, topped with whipped cream and caramel drizzle.
  • Cotton Candy Frappuccino: A sweet and nostalgic treat, this drink is made with vanilla syrup, raspberry syrup, milk, and ice, blended together to create a cotton candy flavor.

Whether you’re a fan of iced espresso drinks, frozen coffee beverages, or secret menu favorites, Starbucks has something for everyone when it comes to iced coffee. So next time you visit, don’t be afraid to try something new and exciting!

Customizing Your Iced Coffee

When it comes to enjoying a refreshing iced coffee, customization is key. Starbucks offers a variety of options for you to tailor your beverage to your taste preferences. From selecting the size to choosing milk or non-dairy options, adding syrups and sweeteners, and even adding extras like whipped cream, the possibilities are endless.


Starbucks provides a range of sizes for their iced coffees, allowing you to choose the perfect amount to satisfy your caffeine cravings. Whether you want a tall, grande, venti, or even a trenta, Starbucks has got you covered. Remember, the larger the size, the more coffee you’ll get to enjoy!

So, if you’re a coffee enthusiast, why not go for the trenta and make the most out of your caffeine fix?

Milk or Non-Dairy Options

For those who prefer their iced coffee with some added creaminess, Starbucks offers a variety of milk and non-dairy options. You can choose from classic dairy milk, alternatives like soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk, or even opt for oat milk if it’s available in your region.

These choices allow you to personalize your iced coffee experience and cater to your dietary preferences.

Syrups and Sweeteners

To add some extra flavor to your iced coffee, Starbucks provides a wide range of syrups and sweeteners. Whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer a more subtle taste, you can choose from options like vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, or even seasonal flavors.

These syrups can be added to your iced coffee to enhance its taste and create a truly unique and enjoyable beverage.

Extras like Whipped Cream

For an indulgent touch, Starbucks offers various extras like whipped cream to top off your iced coffee. This creamy addition adds a delightful texture and can make your drink feel like a special treat.

Whether you’re enjoying your iced coffee on a hot summer day or simply want to treat yourself, adding some whipped cream can take your beverage to the next level.

It’s important to note that the availability of customization options may vary depending on the Starbucks location and regional preferences. To stay up to date with the latest offerings and options, be sure to check the official Starbucks website here.


So next time you order an iced coffee from Starbucks, you can be confident knowing it’s brewed from their signature Pike Place Roast beans. While Pike Place Roast forms the base, there are many ways to customize your iced coffee beverage to your liking with milk, sweeteners, and extras.

Understanding exactly what coffee Starbucks uses for their chilled coffee drinks will help you get your perfect iced coffee order each time.

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