Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew Caffeine Packs a Strong Punch!

Updated on: April 12, 2023
Author: Nick
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Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew Caffeine

How much is too much caffeine?

The Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew caffeine content is worth investigating. Is it too much? Is it enough? Or is it just right?

This beverage got so popular that it is not only available at Starbucks coffee houses but also a ready-to-drink cold brew at your local grocery stores and online.

So grab yourself a tasty Nitro Cold Brew and let's dive into what this drink is and how much caffeine it contains.

History of the Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew

Nitro-brewed coffees are not new but they truly skyrocketed in popularity when Starbucks introduced their nitro cold brew in their coffee houses in 2016 and then nationwide in 2019 when it hit store shelves.

The Nitro Cold Brew was developed when Starbucks joined forces with PepsiCo to form the North American Coffee Partnership (N.A.C.P.) in 1994. The two companies worked together to bottle cold brew, multi-serve iced coffee, triple-shot beverages, and more. 

The ready availability of the caffeine-laden beverage makes it very popular. You can keep it in your refrigerator to enjoy it any time you want. 

Since then, many variations have come out, such as Vanilla Nitro Cold Brew Coffee and Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew Coffee.

Taste and Texture of the Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Beverage

The Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew is made through the infusion of nitrogen gas in Cold Brew Coffee which makes tiny bubbles.

The union forms a velvety froth which gives the drink a somewhat sweet flavor and a creamy texture that is rich in coffee flavor. The trend of using nitrogen gas has become common in the beverage industry and Starbucks is using it to its advantage. 

Do you Know Why Nitro Cold Brews are Served Without Ice?

Unlike the regular cold brew, Nitro Cold Brew is served without ice, and that's because the ice also ruins the "nitro cascade" and the drink loses what makes it so special: the creamy and frothy texture from the cascading bubbles!

So when you order this drink, don't be surprised that it doesn't come with ice...

Are you confused about the nitro cold brew vs cold brew? Make sure you check out our post explaining the differences and similarities.

Benefits of Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew

It’s hard to imagine that coffee has benefits but it does!

With Nitro Cold Brew, you can drink less than a regular cup of coffee and still receive an ample supply of caffeine! More on this in a bit...

And the smooth, creamy texture of the Nitro Cold Brew tantalizes the taste buds but there are additional reasons to enjoy this beverage.

Already Sweet and Creamy

Many coffee drinkers like to add sugar, milk, or cream to their java. However, with the nitro cold brew, you don’t have to add anything extra.

The nitrogen ensures that the beverage has a remarkably smooth texture. Also, the nitrogen bubbles impart a little natural sweetness so you don’t have to add anything else before enjoying it. 

So consuming less sugar and cream means a healthier beverage!

Acid Reduction

As you know, coffee can be quite acidic sometimes, which can upset your stomach and aggravate acid reflux for some people.

This is because one of the reasons that acid develops in coffee is when the brewing temperature is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nitro Cold Brew is brewed only at room temperature so there is less acidity in the drink.


Health Benefits

Yes, Nitro Cold Brew has health benefits. It can boost your metabolism so you burn off excess calories. Coffee is also loaded with antioxidants and micronutrients that are beneficial to your body.

Research has shown that coffee consumption can lower your risk of developing diabetes (1). Further studies also show that coffee consumption lowers the risk of dementia (2). 

Ready to Drink Starbucks Nitro Coffee

The Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew Caffeine Content

Now that we know what this drink is all about and what makes it so popular, less discuss what you came here for: The Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew Caffeine Content!

First and foremost, you can order your cold brew black or with sweet cream, which affects the caffeine content in the drink. Only slightly, but nonetheless... it does!

The Black Nitro Cold Brew contains 215 mg of caffeine in a Tall (12 oz/355 mL) Starbucks cup size, and 280 mg of caffeine in a Grande Nitro Cold Brew (16 oz/473 mL).

Unfortunately, if you haven't noticed yet, Starbucks doesn't offer a Venti Nitro Cold Brew...

Many thought that was because of the caffeine content, but in reality, it is because the drink will lose its "nitro cascade" in larger drink sizes.

Served with Sweet Cream, the Tall size contains 200 mg of caffeine, and the Grande size has 265 mg of caffeine

Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew Flavors & Caffeine Content

Starbucks has released a wide array of flavors and types of nitro cold brews that all contain varying levels of caffeine. 

Below is a chart that outlines the caffeine in each beverage type and size: 

Beverage Type Caffeine in a
Tall Size (12 oz)
Caffeine in a
Grande Size  (16 oz) 
Reserve Nitro Cold Brew 215 mg 280 mg 
Dark Mocha Nitro with Milk 225 mg 295 mg 
Nitro Freddo 215 mg 285 mg 
Torched Vanilla Nitro 210 mg 280 mg 
Salted Cream Nitro 200 mg 270 mg 
Cold Foam Cascara Nitro 200 mg 270 mg 
Nitro Latte 115 mg 155 mg 

Let’s put the caffeine levels of nitro brews in perspective by comparing them with other common caffeinated drinks. 

Below are a few popular caffeine-laden beverages and how much caffeine they each contain:

Beverage Caffeine Level
Black Coffee 95 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup
Coke 34 mg per 12 oz can 
Tea 26 mg per 8-ounce cup 
Red Bull 111 mg per 12 oz can 
Pepsi 37.5 mg per 12 oz can 

As can be seen, the nitro cold brew coffee packs quite the punch when it comes to the caffeine content. Drinking a 16-oz (473 mL) Dark Mocha Nitro with Milk is almost the same as chugging 3 Red Bull cans!


But don't worry, you can change the caffeine content in the Nitro Cold Brew if you feel like it’s too much.

For example, you can order one of the variants available at Starbucks like the 16-oz (473 mL) Vanilla Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew which has less caffeine: 265 mg instead of 280 mg. Alternatively, you can ask the barista to add milk or a non-dairy alternative, like oat milk.

RTD Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew Caffeine Content

The Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew is also available in 11 oz Ready to Drink (RTD) cans which contain 235 mg of caffeine

You can find these cans at your local grocery store or even buy them online from Amazon:

Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew Caffeine, Ingredients & Nutritional Info  

Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew contains a single ingredient: cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen gas. 

The Nutrition Information for a 16 fl oz (473 mL) size is: 

  • Calories: 5
  • Total fat: 0 g
  • Saturated fat: 0 g
  • Trans fat: 0 mg 
  • Sodium: 10 mg 
  • Total carbs: 0 g
  • Dietary fiber: 0 g
  • Sugars: 0 g (this will change with the type of Nitro because many do contain the sugar sweetener)
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Caffeine: 280 mg 

Different types of Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew will contain different ingredients and nutritional information.

How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?

Even though the Nitro brews have an alluring creamy taste, there is no doubt that they are loaded with caffeine. 

However, do they contain too much caffeine? How much caffeine is considered dangerous or too much? 

The United States Food and Drug Administration recommends that adults consume only 400 mg of caffeine per day.

However, it’s hard to actually determine how much caffeine you are ingesting per day because many drinks and foods that we consume on a daily basis contain caffeine such as chocolate bars or soda. 

Thankfully, Starbucks doesn't serve the Nitro Cold Brew in a Venti Cup or their gigantic Trenta Cup!

If they did, and using proportions to calculate this, a Venti (20-oz/591 mL) Dark Mocha Nitro with Milk would have contained a whopping 370 mg of caffeine!

Enjoying one Nitro Cold Brew and a few other things per day can easily put you over the limit recommended by the FDA. 

Try to keep the amount under the FDA-required amount. Some individuals might start to show caffeine sensitivity even at lower doses. Signs of caffeine sensitivity include headaches, jitteriness, shakes, and nausea. 

Nitro Cold Brew with Nitrogen Bubbles

Related Articles:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a lot of caffeine in a nitro cold brew?

Yes! The breakdown of caffeine in a Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew Coffee works out to 17.5 mg of caffeine per one fluid ounce. A single 16 fl. Oz (473 mL) cup contains 280 mg of caffeine. Remember, if you opt to ask the barista to add milk to your Nitro Cold Brew then it will slightly reduce the amount of caffeine.

How long does a Nitro cold brew last?

The Nitro Cold Brew can easily last up to three months with optimum freshness being at around two weeks. 

Why does Nitro Cold Brew make me feel weird?

If you are an infrequent coffee drinker and you do not ingest a high level of caffeine every day, then the Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew can upset your stomach and make you feel jittery due to its high caffeine content. If you suffer an upset tummy after drinking Nitro coffee then you’ll want a beverage with less caffeine. 

Does Nitro Cold Brew wake you up?

Do you want a quick pick-me-up in the morning or midafternoon? If so, then you are probably looking for more caffeine to wake up and energize yourself. The sweet taste and smooth texture of a Nitro Cold Brew make it a tasty choice but the ample caffeine in it will definitely be a wake-up call. 

Why can't you put ice in Nitro Cold Brew?

Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew is sold ice-free for one main reason: it's because the ice will ruin the "nitro cascade" and the drink loses what makes it so special and the drink's trademark, the frothy and creamy texture from the cascading bubbles!

Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew Caffeine

Bottom Line

Coffee aficionados love a strong brew, and the Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew caffeine content is no exception!

It is a sweet, smooth beverage that is packed with enough caffeine to do the trick, so you’ll fall in love with it at first sip. 

Plus it’s perfect for that after-lunch work meeting you are dreading!

Nick loves coffee... Actually, he NEEDS coffee! So, he has dedicated his time to learning all he can about this magical bean. He can make a mean latte, is obsessed with flat whites, and is always up for a cup of java!

This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Do not consume any type of coffee, tea or herbal infusion if you are allergic to it. The information in this article is not intended to treat serious medical conditions. Please seek professional medical advice before using home remedies.

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