Inspiration for a new Starbucks beverage can come from anywhere. A flavour, a feeling, a flicker of memory.
For Erin Marinan, product developer for Starbucks R&D, it was a bit of all three. Tasked with concepting a new beverage for Starbucks, she drew from memories of making homemade Irish cream with her family, blending up creamy batches to add to coffee or give to loved ones as a gift. It sparked the idea for a beverage with classic Irish cream flavours perfect for a time of celebration and giving.
Starting Dec. 3, customers at participating stores in Canada can enjoy Starbucks newest holiday beverages: The Starbucks® Irish Cream Cold Brew and Canadian exclusive Starbucks® Irish Cream Americano. The Starbucks® Irish Cream Cold Brew is made with Starbucks Cold Brew coffee and Irish cream syrup, topped with a frothy cap of vanilla sweet cream cold foam like a layer of fresh snow and a dusting of cocoa powder. The flavours of vanilla and cocoa perfectly complement the smooth cold brew to create a deliciously festive beverage.
The flavours of vanilla and cocoa perfectly complement the smooth cold brew to create a deliciously festive beverage
“It pairs so well with cold brew because of the chocolate flavour in the Irish cream and the cocoa notes from the coffee,” Marinan said. “I think about that customer who’s in the middle of work or shopping, and this will help get them into the holiday spirit for the rest of the day.”
The Starbucks® Irish Cream Americano – available only in Canada – is made with rich, caramelly espresso, flavoured with Irish Cream syrup, topped with vanilla sweet cream cold foam and finished with a strike of cocoa powder topping.
The hottest trend in cold coffee
Cold coffee continues to be a hot trend, even in the most wintry weather, part of a cold beverage lineup that now makes up more than half of North American Starbucks beverage sales. And cold foam, first introduced in Starbucks Roastery locations in 2014, has been an inventive addition atop beverages in Starbucks stores since April 2018, starting with Cold Foam Cascara Cold Brew, and followed by the sweet and savory Salted Cream Cold Brew that July. This fall brought the new Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, the first new pumpkin coffee beverage since Pumpkin Spice Latte launched in 2003, and an instant hit with customers.
“Cold foam has been key for us from the innovation side of product development,” Marinan said. “It highlights our coffee craft with a great creamy texture and those beautiful layers. It’s adding a little bit of flavour in a way that’s unique to Starbucks.”
Get in the spirit with Happy Hour
Starbucks is celebrating the season of giving in December with weekly Happy Hours in participating stores in Canada. Customers who buy one grande or larger handcrafted beverage (including holiday beverages) can get one free on Thursdays in December between 2-7 p.m. To participate, download the Starbucks App.