Starbucks nitro cold brew vs reserve nitro cold brew: is there a real difference?

Nitro has become increasingly popular within the cold brew coffee category. I love nitro cold brew since the nitrogen gas gives it a velvety mouthfeel and natural sweetness. Some Starbucks customers may not know that there is both nitro cold brew and reserve nitro cold brew. So, I created this post to help you learn the differences between the two drinks. 

What are the differences between Starbucks nitro cold brew vs reserve nitro cold brew?

Features/Cold Brew

Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew

Starbucks Reserve Nitro Cold Brew

Ingredients

Cold brew, nitrogen

Reserve cold brew, nitrogen

Taste Profile

Velvety-smooth with a subtly sweet flavor

A naturally sweet flavor

Calories

5 in a standard size serving

5 in a standard size serving

Sugar

0 grams in a standard size serving

0 grams in a standard size serving

Fat

0 grams in a standard size serving

0 grams in a standard size serving

Caffeine Content

280 milligrams in a standard size serving

280 milligrams in a standard size serving

Availability/Accessibility

Easy to access every day in a Starbucks store near you all year round.

Easy to access every day in a Starbucks store near you all year round.

Roast level

Dark

Blonde

Starbucks nitro cold brew vs reserve nitro cold brew – How They Compare

Starbucks reserve nitro cold brew

Ingredients

A Starbucks nitro cold or reserve nitro cold brew’s taste and nutritional value are determined by its ingredients. 

A Starbucks barista creates the Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew by infusing the Starbucks signature Cold Brew (slowly steeped in cool water for around 20 hours) with nitrogen as the cold brew pours from the tap. As the cold brew infuses with nitrogen, micro-bubbles are created. The final product is a coffee with a cascading and frothy texture. The coffee is velvety-smooth and has a subtly sweet flavor and a bold, creamy head of foam.

On the other hand, a Starbucks barista creates the Starbucks Reserve Nitro Cold Brew by infusing the Starbucks Reserve Cold Brew with nitrogen. The outcome is a coffee with a naturally sweet flavor. Additionally, it has cascading, velvety crema you see and taste. 

The difference between the two Starbucks cold brews is the coffee that Starbucks uses to prepare the cold brew used to prepare each. When preparing its cold brew, Starbucks uses its signature espresso. On the other hand, when preparing its reserve cold brew, Starbucks uses its Reserve coffee. 

This category is a draw since both Starbucks cold brews use the same number of ingredients. 

Taste Profile 

As mentioned earlier, the Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew is velvety-smooth and has a subtly sweet flavor. On the other hand, the Starbucks Reserve Nitro Cold Brew has a naturally sweet flavor. 

What set the two apart in terms of taste are the coffees and the preparation methods Starbucks uses to create its cold brew and reserve cold brew. 

Starbucks uses a single or a blend of regular coffees when creating the cold brew. Additionally, the method Starbucks uses to prepare the cold brew is simple.

On the other hand, when creating the reserve cold brew, Starbucks uses a single or a blend of rare coffees it procures from small farms. Additionally, the method Starbucks uses to prepare the Reserve cold brew is sophisticated and different from those used when blending and roasting the regular Starbucks coffees. 

Therefore, the Starbucks reserve coffees are unique and taste better than its regular coffees. Similarly, the Starbucks nitro reserve cold brew tastes better than the Starbucks nitro cold brew.

The Starbucks nitro reserve nitro cold brew wins in this category because it tastes better than the Starbucks nitro cold brew. 

Calories 

You should pick the cold brew with fewer calories if you are on a weight loss mission. Both cold brews add the same number of calories to your body.

A standard size serving of Starbucks nitro cold brew and reserve nitro cold brew will each add 5 calories to your body. 

Therefore, this category is a draw. 

Sugar 

You should pick the cold brew with less sugar if you have diabetes or seeking to lose weight. Both cold brews add the same number of sugar to your body.

A standard size serving of Starbucks nitro cold brew and reserve nitro cold brew will each add 0 grams of sugar to your body. 

Therefore, this category is a draw. 

Fat 

You should pick the cold brew with less fat if you are on a weight loss mission or have a heart issue. Both cold brews add the same number of sugar to your body.

A standard size serving of Starbucks nitro cold brew and reserve nitro cold brew will each add 0 grams of fat to your body. 

Therefore, this category is a draw.

Caffeine Content

You should pick the cold brew with more caffeine if you are a strong coffee lover. Both cold brews contain the same amount of caffeine.

A standard size serving of Starbucks nitro cold brew and reserve nitro cold brew will each contains 280 milligrams of caffeine. 

Therefore, this category is a draw.

Availability/Accessibility

You can easily access the Starbucks nitro cold brew in all participating stores all year round. Similarly, you can easily access the Starbucks reserve nitro cold brew in all participating stores all year round.

Therefore, this category is a draw. 

Roast level

The signature espresso Starbucks uses to prepare its cold brew is a dark roast coffee. On the other hand, the reserve coffees Starbucks uses to prepare a reserve cold brew are blonde roast coffees.  

The Starbucks nitro cold brew wins in this category because dark roast coffees take more time to create than blonde roast coffees. 

Starbucks nitro cold brew vs reserve nitro cold brew: A comparison overview

Starbucks nitro cold brew – Overview

Starbucks nitro cold brew vs reserve nitro cold brew

You should order this cold brew if you crave a cold coffee with high caffeine content. It is an infusion of the Starbucks cold brew with nitrogen. 

I like the velvety-smooth mouth feel and subtly sweet flavor. I wouldn’t say I like the coffee’s extremely high caffeine content. It is suitable for strong coffee lovers during summer. 

What I liked;

  • Its velvety-smooth mouth feel
  • Its subtly sweet flavor 

What I didn’t like;

  • The coffee’s extremely high caffeine content. 

Who it’s best suited for.

  • Best suited for string coffee lovers during summer. 

Starbucks Reserve Nitro Cold Brew- Overview

Starbucks nitro cold brew

The Starbucks Reserve Nitro Cold Brew is the go-to option if you want a cold coffee with high caffeine content. Its infusion of the Starbucks reserve cold brew with nitrogen gives you a one-of-a-kind drink that will make you a regular customer at Starbucks. 

I like its natural flavor. I would not say I like its high caffeine content. The Starbucks Reserve Nitro Cold Brew is suitable if you are a strong coffee lover during summer. 

What I liked;

  • Its naturally sweet flavor

What I didn’t like;

  • The coffee’s extremely high caffeine content. 

Who it’s best suited for.

Final Verdict: So, Which is Better? – Starbucks nitro cold brew or reserve nitro cold brew

Starbucks reserve nitro cold brew is better. This is because it tastes better due to the small-lot coffee used to make the drink. 

FAQ Section

Is reserve nitro cold brew sweeter than regular nitro cold brew?

Both reserve nitro cold brew sweeter and nitro cold brew have 0g sugar, and they get their natural sweetness from nitrogen; thus, they are equally sweet.

Is reserve nitro cold brew stronger than regular nitro cold brew?

Both drinks have 280 mg of caffeine; thus, they are equally strong.

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