Best Coffee for Cold Brew: Pros, Cons, and Verdict

Best Coffee for Cold Brew

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As coffee becomes more popular than ever, there are more ways to make it and more ways to drink it. You have probably seen cold brew coffee on menus and in grocery store aisles, and you may be wondering what it is and how it differs from iced coffee or regular brewed coffee.

In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about cold brew coffee, including the best pre-ground coffee beans for a cold brew and how to make it at home.

I will also share my top 5 picks for the best coffee for cold brew, based on personal experience and professional opinions.

Black coffee

But before we get into all that, let’s first answer the question:


What Is Cold Brew Coffee?

A cold-brewed coffee is, simply put, coffee that is brewed with cold water. This brewing method results in a less acidic, smoother cup of coffee that is less bitter than hot coffee.

A cup of cold brew coffee

You can prepare cold brew one of two ways: immersion and slow drip method.

For immersion, you need to steep the grounds in cold water for 12-24 hours and you can steep them in a French Press.

For slow drip, you need a special glass slow drip tower that slowly drips cold water through the coffee bed. The coffee concentrate is collected in a container below the tower.

How Is It Different From Iced Coffee or Regular Brewed Coffee?

Over my years of coffee drinking, I have come to learn that most coffee lovers don’t actually know the difference between cold brews and iced coffee drinks.

So, let me break it down for you:

Regular brewed coffee is made by mixing hot water with ground coffee beans and then filtering it. Iced coffee, on the other hand, is brewed by pouring regular coffee over ice.

Cold brew coffee

A cold-brewed coffee, as we now know, is made by steeping coarsely ground beans in cold water for an extended period of time, usually 12 hours or more.

The result is a cold brew concentrate that can be diluted with water or milk. Sounds pretty simple, right?

Well, let’s just say that the results are anything but simple. Cold brew coffee has a unique flavor profile that is quite different from regular iced or brewed coffee.

It is smoother, less acidic, and has a richer flavor.

Now, let’s take a look at the 5 best cold brew coffee grounds that I feel you will absolutely love!


At a Glance: The Best Cold Brew Coffee Beans in the Market

Coffee beanProductFeaturesPrice
Best Coffee Beans
Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee
Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee
  • Crafted for cold brewing 
  • Dark roast colombian supremo, chocolatey, nutty
  • Strong & smooth blend 
  • 1 lb resealable bag 
  • Freshly roasted in Brooklyn, NYC 
CHECK PRICE
Best Value for Money
DEATH WISH COFFEE Whole Bean Coffee
DEATH WISH COFFEE Whole Bean Coffee
  • World's strongest coffee. 
  • Quality brew 
  • Bold flavor 
  • Fair and organic 
  • Try it risk-free 
CHECK PRICE
Best Medium Roast Coffee
Coffee Bros., Cold Brew Blend
Coffee Bros., Cold Brew Blend
  • Roasted for cold brew: Deep notes of crisp berry, chocolate and brown sugar
  • Sweet and smooth 
  • Tastes of rich chocolate, mixed berry, and brown sugar with a smooth and sweet finish.
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Best Organic Coffee
Lifeboost Coffee Whole Bean
Lifeboost Coffee Whole Bean
  • Delicious, Ethically Sourced Coffee
  • Sweet cocoa flavor with a robust woodsy undertoneback
  • Grown In The Mountains Of Central America
  • Low Acid Medium Roast Coffee Beans 
  • Certified Organic & 3rd Party Tested
CHECK PRICE
Best Affordable Cold Brewed Coffee
Cold Brew Organic Coarse Ground Coffee
Cold Brew Organic Coarse Ground Coffee
  • Custom crafted for cold brewing 
  • Organic 100% Arabica Colombian coffee 
  • Dark roast blend, sweet cocoa and wood notes
  • 2 lb bag - extra coarse grind 
  • Freshly roasted in NYC 
CHECK PRICE

The 5 Best Beans for Cold Brew – Pros and Cons of Each Type

Best Coffee Beans: Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee

One thing I love about cold brew coffee is that you can use any type of bean and still get a great cup of coffee.

But if you’re looking for the best of the best, then I would highly recommend using Stone Street coffee beans.

These beans are specifically designed for cold brew coffee and they do not disappoint.

The beans are roasted to perfection and have a chocolatey, nutty flavor that’s simply divine.

What I love most about these Colombian dark roast beans, however, is the fact that they’re extremely versatile. You can use them to make both iced and cold brew coffee.

And the best part?

They come in pre-ground form, which makes them extremely convenient to use

PROS:

  • Chocolatey, nutty flavor
  • Extremely versatile
  • Comes in pre-ground form

CONS:

  • Expensive

Best Value for Money: DEATH WISH COFFEE Whole Bean Coffee

If you’re looking for a cold brew coffee that packs a punch, then Death Wish beans are the way to go.

With a name like Death Wish, you know that this coffee is not messing around.

These beans are for people who need a strong cup of coffee to get them through the day.

The rich caffeine content is perfect for a morning pick-me-up or an afternoon energy boost.

The beans are also Fair Trade and USDA Certified Organic, so you can feel good about supporting ethical and sustainable coffee practices.

The company claims that its coffee is the strongest in the world, and I tend to agree. I found that a single cup of cold brew made with Death Wish beans had me wired for hours.

The beans are also very darkly roasted, which gives them a bold flavor that some coffee drinkers might find too intense.

What impressed me most about Death Wish Whole Bean Coffee is the company’s commitment to quality. Their coffee is ethically sourced and roasted in small batches to ensure freshness.

They also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you can buy with confidence knowing that you can return the coffee if you’re not happy with it.

PROS:

  • Extremely strong caffeine content
  • Ethically sourced and roasted in small batches
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee

CONS:

  • The flavor might be too intense for some

Best Medium Roast Coffee: Coffee Bros., Cold Brew Blend

Just like the name implies, Coffee Bros. is a company that’s owned by two brothers who are passionate about coffee.

And it shows in their products.

The Coffee Bros. Cold Brew Blend is a perfect example of its commitment to quality.

These beans are a blend of green coffee beans from Brazil and Ethiopia.

The beans are then roasted to perfection and coarsely ground, making them ideal for making cold brew coffee.

I love the fact that the technique used to roast the beans preserve the natural flavors of the coffee. This results in a cup of coffee that’s rich and flavorful, with a hint of sweetness.

The two coffee brothers are also environmentalists. They source their coffee beans from sustainable farms, allowing them to maintain control over the quality of their coffee.

PROS:

  • Ethically sourced
  • Roasted in small batches
  • Sustainable

CONS:

  • Not good for espresso

Best Organic Coffee: Lifeboost Coffee Whole Bean Medium Roast Coffee

If you’re looking for an all-natural coffee that’s free of chemicals and pesticides, then Lifeboost coffee beans are a great option.

These single-origin beans are grown at high altitudes in the volcanic soils of Nicaragua.

The conditions are ideal for growing coffee plants that produce beans rich in flavor.

And speaking of flavor, these coffee beans have a delicious chocolatey taste that’s perfect for cold brew coffee.

In addition to being all-natural and free of chemicals, Lifeboost coffee beans are also low in acidity. This makes them easier on your stomach and less likely to cause heartburn.

One thing to note about Lifeboost coffee is that they’re available in both whole bean and pre-ground forms.

I’d recommend buying the whole beans and grinding them yourself to ensure that they’re the freshest when you make your coffee. But if you’re in a hurry, the ground beans will work just fine for the Cold Brew method.

PROS:

  • All-natural and free of chemicals
  • Grown at high altitudes in volcanic soils
  • Available in whole bean and pre-ground form

CONS:

  • The packaging bag is too small

Best Affordable Cold Brewed Coffee: Cold Brew Lab Cold Brew Organic Coarse Ground Coffee

As a coffee lover, I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting coffees to try.

So when I came across Cold Brew Lab coffee beans, I was intrigued.

These coffee beans are 100% Arabica beans sourced from Colombia.

They’re a blend of medium and dark roast beans, which gives them a unique roast profile that’s perfect for cold-brewed coffee and French press.

Another thing that I like about these coffee beans is that they are coarsely ground. This is ideal for making cold brew coffee because it prevents the coffee from becoming over-extracted.

The company offers both whole bean and ground beans, so you can choose the option that best suits your cold brewing needs.

PROS:

  • 100% Arabica beans sourced from Colombia
  • A coarse grind is ideal for cold brew coffee
  • Available in whole bean and pre-ground form
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • The mild flavor may not be to everyone’s taste

What to Look for in a Coffee Bean for Cold Brew

When choosing the best coffee bean for cold brew, there are a few things to keep in mind. I’ll go over the most important factors below.

Flavor

The first thing to consider is the flavor of the coffee beans. Cold brew coffee is known for its smooth, mellow flavor.

So if you want to get the most out of your cold brew coffee, you need to choose beans that have a flavor that you enjoy.

Arabica beans are typically the best beans for cold brew coffee, as they tend to have a sweeter, more mellow flavor.

But if you like your coffee with a little more bite, then you can go with a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans.

A cup of cold brew

Roast

The next thing to consider is the roast of the beans. For cold brew coffee, I recommend using medium roast and dark roast beans.

Light roast beans tend to be more acidic, which can make your coffee taste sour. What’s more, light roast coffee is a bit more expensive, so you’re not getting as much bang for your buck.

So unless you have a specific preference for light roast coffee, I would recommend sticking with medium or dark roast beans.

Dark roast beans for a cold brew

Sustainability

When choosing coffee beans, it’s important to consider the sustainability of the beans. How were the beans grown?

Were they ethically sourced? Are the farmers paid a fair wage?

These are all important factors to consider when choosing coffee beans. After all, you want to ensure that your coffee habit is not contributing to the exploitation of farmers or the environment.

However, I understand that not all of us have the disposable income to take this into consideration. Try to incorporate this factor into your checklist to the best of your ability.

Price

Finally, you’ll need to consider the price of the coffee beans. Cold-brew coffee can be expensive, so you’ll want to find beans that are reasonably priced within your budget.

However, you don’t want to sacrifice quality for the price. So make sure to find a balance that you’re comfortable with.


The Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brew Coffee Is Less Acidic

One of the benefits of cold brew coffee is that it’s less acidic than traditional coffee. Low acid coffee beans are ideal for people who have stomach problems.

In addition, cold brew coffee is less likely to cause heartburn or indigestion.

Cold Brew Coffee Is More Concentrated

Another benefit of cold brew coffee is that it’s more concentrated than traditional coffee. This means that you can get more caffeine with each cup.

Cold brew coffee and latte

Cold Brew Coffee Is More Flavorful

Finally, cold brew coffee is more flavorful than traditional coffee. This is because the cold brewing process extracts more of the flavor from the beans.


How to Make Cold Brew Coffee With Pre Ground Coffee – Step by Step Instructions

French press pouring black coffee in an Irish coffee mug

The cold brewing method is simple and only requires a few steps. Here’s how to make cold brew coffee at home using pre-ground beans.

  1. Start by adding cold water to your French press coffee maker. I recommend using filtered water to get the best results.
  2. Then add your pre-ground beans to the French press.
  3. Stir the coffee beans and water to make sure all of the beans are saturated.
  4. Place the lid on the French press and let it sit for 12-24 hours.
  5. After 12-24 hours, press the plunger down slowly to filter the coffee grounds.
  6. Pour the coffee into a cup and enjoy!

For more detailed instructions, check out this step-by-step Cold Brew brewing guide along with my personal top tips!


What Are the Best Cold Brew Beans?

Drinking cold brew is a great way to enjoy coffee, but you need to make sure you’re using the right coffee beans.

After a lot of trial and error, I’ve found that the best coffee for cold brew is Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee.

Stone Street coffee beans are roasted to perfection and have a rich, full flavor that’s perfect for cold brew.

Furthermore, the beans are ethically sourced and the company is committed to sustainability.

If you’re unsure what coffee beans to use, I recommend starting with Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee.

But ultimately, the best coffee for cold brew is the coffee that you enjoy the most. So experiment with different beans and find what works best for you.


FAQs About the Best Coffee for Cold Brew

Can You Use Any Coffee for Cold Brew?

No, you cannot use any coffee for cold brew. Cold brew coffee is made with very coarsely ground beans. If you use regular coffee beans, the coffee will be too bitter.

How to Grind Coffee for Cold Brew?

A coarse grind is best for cold brew coffee. This will help to extract the flavor from the beans without making the coffee too weak.
To grind your beans, you can use a coffee grinder. If you don’t have one and can’t afford one either, you can try using a blender, coarsely chopping up the beans with a knife, or other unconventional methods.

What Beans Does Starbucks Use for Cold Brew?

The cold brew coffee drinks at Starbucks use 100% Arabica beans. Arabica beans are known for their rich flavor and distinct aroma.
Additionally, Arabica beans are grown at high altitudes, which results in a coffee that’s naturally less acidic. Starbucks gets its beans from Africa and Latin America.

Can You Use Espresso Beans for Cold Brew?

Espresso beans are usually finely ground, which means they aren’t ideal for cold brew.

However, if you get whole bean espresso coffee rather than pre-ground espresso, you can coarsely grind the beans and use them for cold brew.

Cold brew coffee

Can You Make Cold Brew With Flavored Coffee?

Absolutely! There’s no reason you can’t make cold brews with flavored coffee. Flavored cold brew coffees have a unique flavor that can add an extra dimension to your coffee.

However, I recommend using natural flavors rather than artificial syrups. This will help to keep your coffee healthy and delicious.

Can You Drink Cold Brew Coffee Black?

Yes, you can drink cold brew coffee black. Drinking cold brew black is a great way to enjoy the rich flavor of the coffee. However, it’s best if you dilute the coffee with water, milk, or cream to reduce the bitterness.

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