Starbucks goes cold

starbucks iced coffee
Starbucks chills out, plans to add nitrogen-frothed drinks.

Starbucks revealed plans today to set up a “cold bar” within its U.S. stores by blowing out its iced coffee options.

The move will bring faster innovation in “flavor, craft and brewing innovation” than what customers have seen in the brand’s 40 years, vowed CEO Howard Schultz. 

Among those changes will be the rollout this summer of what the chain has branded as Nitro Cold Brew: cold-brewed coffees injected with nitrogen to provide what’s described as a creamy texture and a sweeter taste. Urban stores will be the first to get the necessary equipment and training, starting in Seattle, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland, Ore. 

The Nitro process is currently offered solely in Starbucks’ showcase facility in Seattle, Starbucks Reserve and Roastery, where it’s the second-best seller, headquarters said.

Available as of this morning in North American stores is cold brew with vanilla sweet cream, which features a top layer or “float” of vanilla cream made on premises.

Also added to the menu today is a double shot of espresso served over ice and lightly sweetened.

Starbucks added cold-brewing capabilities to U.S. stores during the second half of 2015. In the fourth quarter, sales of iced drinks jumped 20 percent, the chain said.

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