How many calories in a sweet cream vanilla cold brew?

Cold brew coffee has become an increasingly popular menu item at coffee shops like Starbucks in recent years. Known for its smooth, less acidic taste compared to traditional iced coffee, cold brew is often flavored with sweeteners like vanilla and sweet cream. But how many calories are actually in a grande or venti sized Sweet Cream Vanilla Cold Brew from Starbucks?

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coarse-ground coffee beans in cold or room temperature water for an extended period of time, usually 12-24 hours. This lengthy brew time extracts the flavorful oils and caffeine from the beans without extracting bitter compounds that come out during a hot brew method. The final product is a concentrate that can be diluted with water or milk.

The main benefits of cold brew coffee are:

  • Smoother, less acidic taste
  • Higher caffeine content per fluid ounce
  • Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks

Cold brew has grown popular in recent years both for its flavor profile and for its flexibility to be mixed into coffee drinks like lattes, floats, and smoothies.

What is Sweet Cream?

Sweet cream is a dairy product Starbucks uses to add a touch of sweetness and creamy texture to their cold brew drinks. It is made by mixing heavy whipping cream with vanilla syrup. The fat content of the heavy cream helps balance out the bitter notes of the cold brew coffee.

Starbucks sweet cream ingredients are:

  • Heavy whipping cream
  • 2% reduced fat milk
  • Vanilla syrup

The vanilla syrup provides a hint of flavor without overpowering the natural taste of the coffee. Sweet cream can be added to the cold foam on top of cold brews for additional richness and sweetness.

Calorie and Nutrition Information for Starbucks Sweet Cream Vanilla Cold Brew

So how many calories are actually in a Sweet Cream Vanilla Cold Brew? The number of calories will depend on the size you order.

Here are the nutrition facts for a grande (16 oz) and venti (20 oz) Sweet Cream Vanilla Cold Brew from Starbucks:

Grande (16 oz) Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 250
  • Total Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 8g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 45mg
  • Sodium: 100mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 30g
  • Added Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 5g

Venti (20 oz) Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 310
  • Total Fat: 16g
  • Saturated Fat: 10g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 55mg
  • Sodium: 125mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 38g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 38g
  • Added Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 6g

As you can see, the calorie count jumps up significantly when you size up to a venti. The grande Sweet Cream Vanilla Cold Brew has 250 calories, while the venti has 310 calories.

Main Sources of Calories

So where do all those calories come from in a Sweet Cream Vanilla Cold Brew?

There are three key sources:

  1. Heavy cream – Heavy whipping cream has a high fat and calorie content. The heavy cream used in the sweet cream adds saturated fat and calories.
  2. Sugar – Sugar is another major calorie source. The vanilla syrup and added cane sugar contain plenty of calories from carbohydrates.
  3. Milk – The milk used also contributes calories from fat, carbs, and protein.

When you add the fat from the heavy cream, the natural lactose sugar in the milk, and the added vanilla syrup, the drink quickly adds up in calories. Going with a grande size instead of a venti is one easy way to cut down a bit on the calorie count if you want to make your cold brew more diet-friendly.

Comparing Calories to Black Cold Brew

To see the impact of the sweet cream and vanilla flavors, let’s compare the Sweet Cream Vanilla Cold Brew to Starbucks’ standard Cold Brew Black:

Grande Cold Brew Black

  • Calories: 5
  • Total Fat: 0g
  • Total Carbs: 1g
  • Protein: 1g

Grande Sweet Cream Vanilla Cold Brew

  • Calories: 250
  • Total Fat: 13g
  • Total Carbs: 30g
  • Protein: 5g

As you can see, the Sweet Cream Vanilla Cold Brew has significantly higher calories and fat compared to plain cold brew. The sweet cream and vanilla syrups add around 240 calories and 13 grams of fat per 16oz grande serving.

Ways to Lighten Up Your Cold Brew

If you want to enjoy a Sweet Cream Vanilla Cold Brew but make it more waistline-friendly, here are some tips for lightening it up:

  1. Ask for less pumps of vanilla syrup. Cutting back on the sugary syrup decreases the calorie count.
  2. Request low-fat or non-fat milk. Non-fat milk will have fewer calories than 2% or whole milk.
  3. Ask for light sweet cream. Getting light sweet cream uses less heavy cream.
  4. Size down. Stick to the 12 oz tall size for a lighter option.
  5. Leave room for cream. Getting room and adding your own splash of cream cuts back on calories.
  6. Skip the sweet cream entirely. Just stick with cold brew and vanilla syrup or flavoring.

You can also try asking your barista to make any custom modifications to cut calories, like using sugar-free vanilla and non-fat milk. With a few tweaks, you can still enjoy the yummy flavors with far fewer calories.

The Bottom Line

A Starbucks Sweet Cream Vanilla Cold Brew is a delicious, but high-calorie, treat. The grande 16oz size packs about 250 calories, while the venti 20oz has over 300 calories. Those calories come primarily from the heavy cream, vanilla syrup, and milk.

To lighten it up, go with a smaller size, skip the sweet cream, or ask your barista to modify the drink with lower calorie milks and less sugary syrups. That way, you can still sip on a creamy, dreamy cold brew more often while keeping your daily calorie intake in check.

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