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best coffee for cold brew

Best Coffee For Cold Brew: Beans Meant To Be Served Cool

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Cold brew coffee seems to be everywhere nowadays. Walk into any busy, bustling high street coffee shop, and you’ll see a multitude of different cold brew concoctions on the menu.

This brew is definitely gaining traction with the hip crowd, and for good reason.

It’s known for its smooth and mild flavors combined with minimal acidity and low bitterness. Cold brewing can be a great method to release a coffee bean’s most subtle flavors.

Plus, nothing beats it on a hot summer’s day when the sun is out – it’s the perfect beverage and far better than soda!

Any coffee enthusiast owes it to themselves to try and make a batch of cold brew at home, if only once.

Our Top Pick: Best Tasting

cooper's cask coffee cold brew coffee box set

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But before you run out to buy some coffee beans, you need to know that all are not perfect for cold brew coffee.

Luckily for you, Bean Ground has your back. We’ve taken a caffeine-infused trip this past week and tried a vast selection of coffee, and handpicked the beans that we believe make the best cold brew coffee.

What Is Cold Brew?

We have already written a lengthy post on the ins and outs of this style of coffee, which you can find here, so definitely check that out.

To briefly summarize.

Cold brew coffee is made without any heat at all. The brewing process more often than not requires that the coffee beans are steeped in cold water for a more extended period, typically over 12 hours, to extract as much flavor from the beans as possible.

Compared to regular hot coffee, cold brew is very different, and it shouldn’t be confused with iced coffee, which is made from regular brewed coffee that’s then poured over ice.

There is a downside to cold coffee brewing. The process calls for twice the amount of grounds you would use for regular hot coffee, so the costs can stack up.

Not only that, this method needs a type of coffee that can endure the long steeping process, and not every bean is up to that job.

But rest assured, all of the coffee varieties we have listed below make a great-tasting cup of coffee with robust flavors – we’re still buzzing from our taste tests.

Best Beans For Cold Brew Coffee

I’m sure you’re eager to discover our favorite types of beans for this cold brewing process.

So without further ado, below, we have listed our top eight, starting with our best recommendations at the top.

Cooper’s Cask Coffee Cold Brew Coffee Box Set

cooper's cask coffee cold brew coffee box set

This coffee was definitely made for cold brew – yum! The guys over at Cooper’s Cask Coffee Company know a thing or two when it comes to procuring the finest coffee they can.

Each handpicked selection in this box set has been sourced from various regions and then roasted to a profile they believe is the best for cold brewing coffee.

This box set contains 1.5 lb coarsely ground coffee bags of Guatemalan Reserve, Colombian and Peruvian coffee. As a bonus, they have thrown in six coffee filter bags so you can start brewing your cold brew straight away.

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Volcanica Cold Brew Coffee Blend

volcanica cold brew coffee blendHere at Bean Ground, we love the selection of high-quality coffee beans the team over at Volcanica coffee offers.

Their coffee bean blend is another winner you must try if you want a guaranteed full-flavored cold brew.

This blend is a bold, dark Sumatra coffee that is both low in acidity and high in flavor. The smooth chocolatey rich flavor is perfect for cold coffee brewing, and it will tickle your taste buds for sure – we promise.

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Civilized Coffee: African Cold Brew Blend

civilized coffee african cold brew blend

Another favorite of ours is this African cold brew blend from the team over at Civilized Coffee.

The beans have been sourced from the highlands of Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania and roasted to perfection.

These regions are renowned for producing some of the best-tasting Arabica beans, so you’re in for a treat for sure.

When used for cold brew, you can expect to discover a sweet floral flavor profile that’s smooth, well balanced, and comes with subtle hints of dark chocolate, hints of nougat, and cinnamon.

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Bean Box Cold Brew Pre-Mix Ready To Drink

bean box cold brew

Okay, so this recommendation isn’t coffee beans, we get that, but after sampling a box, we just had to include it in our round-up.

Seriously, this stuff tastes out of this world.

The boxes of cold brew coffee come well packaged, and they’re just the right size to fit inside of your refrigerator. The pop-out tap makes pouring a glass super easy – it’s the perfect companion for the office.

Each box holds 1.5 liters of cold brew, and it’s ready to drink, so no dilution is needed – also, each box is vacuum packed, meaning it will stay fresh longer.

Over at their website, you have two flavors to choose from, either rich and creamy or smooth and bright. The coffee used in each has been sourced from 100% organic and fair trade farms.

We think we brew some great-tasting cold brew, but this prepackaged offering from Bean Box is strong competition.

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Coffee Bros. Cold Brew Blend

Coffee Bros., Cold Brew Blend

Coffee Bros. was founded by two brothers who are passionate about coffee. They distinguish themselves from the tough competition by only sourcing high-quality beans, which are then roasted in small manageable batches.

The small-batch coffee tasting ensures that each roast gets the hands-on attention it deserves.

Coffee Bros. cold brew blend has everything you want in the flavor department for a refreshingly sweet and juicy cold brew.

Each bag contains 100% Arabica beans sourced from farms in Ethiopia, Brazil, and Ethiopia.

Each whole bean has been naturally processed to help lock in the natural sweetness found in the berries. The resulting cold brew is smooth with subtle hints of brown sugar, berries, and sweet chocolate.

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Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee

Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee

Bizzy Coffee’s cold brew blend is smooth and sweet. The medium roast Arabica beans are loaded with notes of hazelnut and caramel.

Bizzy takes pride in their small batches of coffee, and they’re so passionate they even go as far as doing additional micro-sifts of each batch to make sure you’ve got a consistent grind size for your cold brew.

In fact, each 2lb bag has gone through vigorous taste tests and has then been custom ground to a size that they believe works best in cold brew – the results speak for themselves, and you can expect a consistent, smooth brew each time you use Bizzy.

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Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve

Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee, Strong & Smooth Blend, Coarse Ground Coffee

Another American operated coffee roastery is Stone Street. They are known for their specialty coffee, and like many of the others listed, they only roast in small batches – this particular blend has a roast profile specifically for cold brew.

Stone Street Coffee pride themselves on their coffee sourcing and only purchase from small farms that are ethical and fair trade.

This blend contains premium single original Colombian Supremo beans that have been roasted dark, producing a sweet, well-balanced, smooth, and distinct bold coffee flavor profile.

Expect to taste chocolate, sweet caramel, with hints of fruit. Colombian Supremo beans are widely considered among the best in the world, so you’re in for a treat.

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Metropolis Coffee Cold Brew Blend

Metropolis Coffee Company - Cold Brew Blend, Dark Roast

Our final recommendation is a Chicago based coffee company committed to sourcing high-quality coffee from small family owned farms.

Metropolis coffee develops long-lasting relationships with these farmers, unlike big corporations, and they get only the best coffee bean yields.

Small batch roasting is done from Monday through to Thursday, and each bag of coffee beans has been roasted to order to ensure that you are getting the freshest coffee possible.

Metropolis’ commitment to high-quality coffee sourcing and small-batch roasting shows how much they appreciate fine coffee, which, let’s be honest, is lacking among many other coffee companies.

This dark roast cold brew coffee blend has been hand-selected and roasted with cold brew coffee in mind.

It comes packed full of flavor, and you’ll definitely be able to pick out notes of walnut and dark melted chocolate.

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Best Coffee Roast For Cold Brew

A question that often crops up in conversation is what’s the best type of roast for cold brew.

To be honest, this isn’t an easy question to answer, and many coffee enthusiasts are divided with their take on it.

But in truth, all coffee roasts will work well in cold brew. Some may taste better than others, but it’s all subjective and varies depending on who’s drinking the coffee.

If you’ve tried to make cold brew concentrate at home and didn’t enjoy the taste, it could very well be due to the roast, grind, or the amount of brew time you left the coffee steeping.

Let’s take a closer look at each roast type in more detail.

Dark Roasted Beans

Dark roast and cold coffee brewing go hand in hand, and this type is often touted as one of the best for cold brew coffee, especially if you add a splash of milk to your final brew.

Dark roast cold brew will give you a rich and earthy tasting coffee. If you add milk, the chocolatey, spicy, and nutty flavors tend to come through better when compared to a lighter roast.

💡 Top Tip: Dark roast coffee will require less steeping time than lighter roasts. If left for too long, you may find that the flavors will become too overpowering.

Medium Roasted Beans

Just like dark roasts, medium roast coffee is also a fan favorite for using in the cold brew process. You can expect to find a balanced flavor with pleasing aromas but less bitterness often found in dark coffee roasts.

💡 Top Tip: For a cold brewing method, try to use an extra coarse grind to maximize your beans’ full flavor.

Light Roasted Beans

Light roast coffee tends to offer slightly more delicate citrusy notes that can be hit or miss in cold brew, and it’s also pretty tricky to pull the flavors out from the beans.

Thus a longer steeping time is required to extract these more nuanced flavors found in lighter roasted beans.

best beans for cold brew coffee

How to Serve Cold Brewed Coffee

The best way to serve this syle of cold coffee is to fill a glass with ice and fill it halfway with cold water. Take your cold brew contrate and fill the rest of the glass to the top.

Another method is to replace water with milk and top up with your cold brew concentrate – you’ll get an impressive swirling effect as the milk and coffee combine.

Cold coffee concentrate can keep fresh in the refrigerator for around two weeks, although the flavor does start to deteriorate after the first week.

Soulhand Cold Coffee Dripper

Soulhand Japanese-Style Cold Slow Dripper

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Tips For Success

We suggest that you grind your coffee relatively coarse somewhere between a medium and coarse grind is perfect.

Any finer than that, and the coffee can become over-infused and have a gritty or muddy mouthfeel.

Just like regular coffee brewing, always try to use fresh filtered water whenever possible. Believe it or not but just using good quality water can elevate the taste of your brewed coffee.

Most recipes call for a minimum of 12 hours of steeping time.

If you’re in a hurry, it’s okay to cut that time a little short but remember the ground coffee needs time to extract all of the flavors and nuisance from the coffee, so longer steeping is going to reward you with a better-tasting cup.

FAQs

📌 Can I Make Cold Brew With Whole Beans

While it is possible to use whole beans for cold brew, we don’t recommend doing it. Extracting the flavors out from the whole bean coffee will take a considerably long time.

With your cold brew maker, you should be aiming for a coarse grind for the best results, with a steeping time of around 12 hours or more.

📌 Can You Use Steeped Coffee Bags For Cold Brew?

You certainly can use steeping bags to make cold brews. The fabric bags that come with a drawstring are perfect and reduce the clean-up afterward.

Once your cold brew has been done, simply throw the bag into the trash – you don’t have to worry about straining any coffee grounds.

📌 How Long Will Cold Brewed Coffee Stay Fresh?

Cold brew will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to two weeks. However, after the first week, you will start to notice that the clean, fresh taste of your coffee will begin to deteriorate, but it’s still drinkable.

If you have already diluted your cold brew concentrate with water, you will only have a shelf life of around 2 to 3 days.

📌 What Gives Cold Brew Its Distinctive Flavor?

The cold extraction brewing process is very different from hot. With cold brew, many of the compounds extracted with hot water won’t be pulled out of the coffee with the cold water steeping process.

In fact, cold brewed coffee has up to 66% less acidity and bitterness than hot brewed coffee.

Mark Morphew

Mark is the editor and writer of the popular coffee blog Bean Ground. He's been active in the catering and hospitality industry for many years. When he's not fiddling around with a new coffee gadget, you'll find him busy working on his other passion, web development. You can discover more about Mark here.