If you're a fan of the Starbucks salted caramel cold brew, you have to try this at-home version. It's made with caramel coffee beans that have been steeped in the refrigerator to make a homemade cold brew, then topped with a salted version of sweet cream cold foam.
I'm obsessed with making cold brew at home. It's a much cheaper option than running to Starbucks every day!
Here's the thing, cold brew coffee is super easy to make. All you need is some coarsely ground coffee beans and time. It takes 18 hours to brew the coffee in the refrigerator. But trust me, it's totally worth the wait.
In this recipe, we will be making some flavored cold brew that tastes like caramel. It's been my new go-to coffee in the morning.
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
I love teaching you new skills in the kitchen. By making this recipe you'll learn:
- The only three tools you'll need to make cold brew.
- Why it's important to use coarse ground coffee beans in cold brew.
- What can happen if you brew the coffee too long in the refrigerator.
If you enjoy coffee, be sure to check out all my coffee-related videos on YouTube!
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make this coffee recipe.
For the caramel cold brew coffee:
The flavor of this recipe comes directly from the beans!
- Coarsely ground caramel-flavored coffee beans: It's important to find a high-quality coffee bean that has flavors and notes of caramel. Be sure to coarsely grind the coffee beans. You can read more about the science of this below.
- Cool water: Cold brew is made by brewing the beans in cold water in the refrigerator (or at room temperature). Be sure to start with cold water for the best results.
For the salted foam:
This is a version of the Starbucks sweet cream cold foam, but with an addition of some sea salt to give it a salted caramel taste when combined with the coffee.
- Heavy cream: Sometimes this is labeled as whipping cream at the grocery store.
- 2% milk: This ingredient helps lighten up the cream and make a delicious flavor and texture for the salted cold foam.
- Simple syrup: Add simple syrup to the salted sweet cream cold foam and in the caramel cold coffee for a layer of sweetness.
- Fine sea salt: This is an essential ingredient, so don't skip it! I found fine sea salt works best because it blends well with the heavy cream and milk so the texture is smooth.
How To Make This Recipe
Here's how to make caramel cold brew at home.
1. Add coarsely ground caramel-flavored coffee beans to a 32-ounce mason jar. Then top with 3 cups of cool water and shake until all of the grounds are wet.
Next, screw on the lid and pop the mason jar in the refrigerator for 18 hours. This is how we will steep the coffee. Since the temperature in the refrigerator is cold, it needs more time to steep than a traditional cup of coffee or espresso.
I like to write a sticky note with the time the coffee will be finished steeping and place it on the lid of the mason jar. This helps me remember what time I need to move on to the next step.
2. Once the coffee has finished steeping, place a mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter on top of a bowl or measuring cup.
Pour the coffee into the filter to separate the grounds from the cold brew. The coffee will strain out slowly, so this process can take up to 15 minutes.
Finally, discard the coffee grounds in the trash can (not down the garbage disposal as that can clog your sink). This iced salted caramel cold brew recipe yields 2 ⅓ cups, you can transfer some of the mixture to a container to use later, and then transfer 8 ounces into a serving glass.
3. Now it's time to make the salted sweet cream cold foam. To a blender add the heavy cream, 2% milk, ¼ ounce simple syrup, and fine sea salt.
4. Blend on high for a full 45 seconds to allow the mixture to homogenize. This should result in a thick foam.
5. Once you've made both elements of this coffee drink, it's time to assemble the salted caramel cream cold brew.
Add 8 ounces of cold brew to a serving glass, along with 1 ounce of simple syrup and a handful of ice. You can add more or less simple syrup to sweeten the drink to your liking.
Finally, spoon the salted cold foam on top and enjoy!
Cold brew coffee is known for its sweet, smooth taste. The less bitter and acidic taste of cold brew coffee is one of the reasons it has become so popular. To make a high-quality cold brew at home, follow these tips:
- Always use coarse ground coffee beans. With a fine grind, the coffee is more likely to experience over-extraction (when too many soluble flavors are removed from the coffee resulting in undesirable tastes). Plus, it can be difficult to strain the fine ground coffee without getting graininess in the final cold brew.
- Start with a high-quality coffee bean. The flavor of your final cold brew is directly related to the coffee bean you start with. Spend some time sourcing good, quality beans!
- Don't brew the coffee for too long. When brewing your coffee in the refrigerator, the ideal brew length is around 12 - 24 hours (I prefer 18 hours). Don't allow the coffee to brew for too long, otherwise, you risk having a bitter-tasting coffee.
Any caramel-flavored coffee beans will work for this recipe. Make sure they have been coarsely ground.
Each brand of caramel coffee beans is going to vary in taste. Experiment and try different brands to see which one is your favorite.
Sure, you can use whatever flavor of simple syrup you prefer! Personally, I like to use non-flavored simple syrup so the flavor of the caramel cold brew coffee can shine through.
Since cold brew is made differently than other hot brewed coffees, it's important to grind the coffee beans so they are coarse. Finely ground coffee beans used in cold brew risk over-extraction.
More Coffee Recipes
Be sure to check out some of my other favorite coffee recipes including:
Salted Caramel Cold Brew
- Add ground caramel flavored coffee beans and water to a 32 ounce (1 liter) glass jar. Stir or shake to combine until all the grounds are fully submerged in water. Screw on the glass jar lid.
- Set glass jar in the refrigerator to steep for 18 hours.
- Place a mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter over a medium-sized bowl. Pour the brewed coffee into the coffee filter and allow it to slowly strain. This may take up to 15 minutes. Discard the coffee grounds in the trash can (not down a garbage disposal).
- Add heavy cream, 2% milk, ¼ ounce simple syrup, and fine sea salt to a high powdered blender. Blend for 45 seconds until a thick foam has formed.
- To serve, add 8 ounces of cold brew coffee, the remaining 1 ounce simple syrup, and ice to a serving glass. Top with cold foam mixture.
Other Helpful Resources
Check out these other fun resources to learn even more about cold brew coffee: