Sweet vanilla cold brew coffee

Do you enjoy drinking cold brew drinks? Then this refreshing sweet cream cold brew recipe is for you. If you follow this recipe properly, you’d be able to create a delicious drink at home. You can save the money spent every day in coffee shops.

The vanilla sweet cream cold brew is an iced coffee that is made sweet vanilla cream as the name implies. You just need 4 important ingredients and within 5 minutes, you are done. The cold brew concentrate and sweet cream can be made from scratch. Yes, you read that right, in your kitchen.


To Make The Cold Brew

Filtered water: You should avoid using tap water to brew coffee as it may contain sediments that may change the taste of your coffee. Filtered water will bring out the best flavors from your coffee. You'll be needing 8 cups of water for this recipe.

Freshly roasted coffee beans: You'll need 2 cups of coffee beans for this recipe. Always use high-quality beans for your coffee, using stale ones could ruin the taste of your brew. To get a taste that is as close to that of Starbucks cold brew, use a medium or dark roast. 

To Make The Vanilla Syrup

  • Water - 1 cup
  • Granulated sugar- 1 cup
  • Whole vanilla bean or vanilla extract

To Make Sweet Cream

  • Milk (any milk of your choice)1/2 cup of milk 
  • Whipped cream Vanilla syrup - 1 tablespoon (we’d show you how to make it or buy one from a store)


There is an option of buying pre-made cold brew coffee but we encourage you to experiment and make it yourself. There are different brewers to use for the cold brew coffee, a French press or Aeropress is perfect but what you need is a container, like a mason jar and a filter to strain the cold brew concentrate. 

  • Grind your coffee in a burr grinder using a coarse setting. This is because it is much easier to filter the coarse grinds. It makes strong coffee without over extracting or mixing the grounds with the brew. 
  • Put the grinds in a jar, add the water and allow it to steep for 12 to 24 hours based on how strong you want the concentrate to be. It is a good idea to steep for 12 hours first, then you can increase it the next time if the concentration was not so strong. The French press has an inbuilt filter (that is the plunger) so you may not need to worry about filtering unless you want a clean cup of coffee. If you are using a jar, you need to use a good filter or a cheesecloth.
  • You can also use the same grinds you use for a drip coffee maker, but the brewing time has to be reduced to about 8 or 9 hours, note that the flavor won't be so strong.


If you want homemade vanilla syrup, follow this recipe

  • Place a saucepan overheat and add water.
  • When the water has boiled, remove it from heat.
  • Add the granulated sugar, keep stirring as you do this till it dissolves. You can use a kettle instead, allow the water to boil, then mix the sugar.
  • Then add vanilla bean to the syrup. 
  • After the mixture has cooled properly, remove the vanilla beans from the mixture and store your syrup. 


  • Pour the milk, vanilla extract, and cream inside a mason jar, then whisk the ingredients or cover the jar with a lid and shake vigorously till all the ingredients are well combined.
  • You can try something new, try blending or frothing the sweet cream till it becomes foamy. When it is foamy enough, add the cold brew, so it doesn't collapse. 


By now all your ingredients should be ready. It is time to put it all together.

  • Pour ice into a glass, add the vanilla syrup, the coffee and then put the sweet cream on top.
  • Serve your drink and enjoy.


Use vanilla beans: If you didn't find whole vanilla beans at a supermarket, you could use ½ teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or 1 ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Milk: The original Starbucks vanilla cold brew recipe is made with 2% milk, but using whole milk will make it creamier. You can also substitute and use whipped cream. If you are vegan, you can use nonfat milk, but the sweet cream texture will be lost. 

For the whipped cream: If you are cutting down on calories, you can go for a vegan version. As you are using plant-based milk, also use vegan whipped cream. Some people like to use coconut cream instead of whipped cream, knowing that it may affect the flavor.

Sugar: You can use the cup to cup sugar instead of the usual granulated sugar. It will help to cut down calories as well 


  1. The vanilla syrup and cold brew concentrate can be made earlier but don't mix it yet, keep them separate until it is time to assemble the drinks.
  2. You can add as much sweet cream as you like to the drink.
  3. You can make cold brews with any type of coffee, single-origin beans, or coffee blends. You could also use any type of roast, medium or dark roast. 
  4. Note that you can store the vanilla syrup for a longer time in your refrigerator. It could last for up to 5 weeks. This recipe will make up to 15 servings of the extract, you can use it as you want. The sweet cream can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. Did we mention that you can switch the vanilla syrup for another kind of syrup?

Coffee making is all about experimenting, keep trying different syrups till you find something that suits your preference if you don't like vanilla flavor.

What Is Sweet Cream?

Sweet cream is a popular addition that most coffee shops add to their drinks. It is creamy, it is very sweet, and it flavors the drinks.

Is There Any Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee?

Cold brew is made when coarsely ground coffee is steeped in cold water from 12 to 24 hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator. While iced coffee is made when hot coffee (espresso or drip coffee) and allowed to cool.  Cold-brew is a stronger concentrate and contains more caffeine.

How Is The Vanilla Sweet  Cream Cold Brew Made in Starbucks?

At Starbucks, this drink is made in grand size. It is made with cold brew, ice, a splash or two of sweet cream, and 3 pumps of vanilla syrup.

Is The Sweet Vanilla Cold Brew Healthy?

When the cold brew is taken on its own, it has lower calories but if you want to enjoy the sweet cream version, then there will be calories and fat. The good thing about preparing your coffee at home is that you can control the amount of milk and sugar used.

Is The Cold Brew Extra Sweet?

Although this drink is delicious and has some sugar in the vanilla syrup, it is not extra sweet at all. If you want to reduce the sweetness use less vanilla syrup.

How Much Caffeine Does It Contain?

The amount of caffeine varies depending on the roast use and the brewing method (the cold brew method has more caffeine). Lighter roasts have more caffeine while darker roasts have less caffeine.  If you are trying to reduce your caffeine intake, decaf coffee is the way to go. Also, allowing your coffee to steep for more hours will increase the amount of caffeine in the cold brew.

Is There A Difference Between Sweet Cream And Vanilla?

Vanilla has a different flavor profile, while the cream is just sweetened cream. But in this recipe, we used sweetened the cream with vanilla syrup so that transformed it to vanilla sweet cream.

Is Regular Coffee The Same Thing As Cold brew?

No. Regular coffee is not prepared the same way cold brew is made. Regular coffee is made when hot water passes through coffee grounds and drips to a mug. While cold brew as you saw is made when coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for a minimum of 12 hours.

Now that you know how to make this delicious drink, it is time to get high-quality coffee beans for your cold brew. As we mentioned, the beans have to be freshly roasted as it brews perfect coffee. Buy some here and get started!

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