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The Best Coffee for Cold Brew (2023): 7 Coffee Beans for Cold Brew Magic

Long story short: The best coffee for cold brew overall is San Francisco Bay Ground Coffee (Cold Brew).

best coffee for cold brew

Discover the rich, smooth taste of cold brew coffee made right at home. Be it the daily morning craving or the occasional evening spend, the choice of coffee bean contributes profoundly to the final taste.

Through this article, we guide you through the world of coffee, specifically focusing on the beans most suited for cold brew.

We’ll dive into the best coffee for cold brew – from the flavor complexities, to how the roast could affect the resulting drink. Grab your favorite mug, and let’s begin the exploration. 

Best Cold Brew Coffee at a Glance

BEST OVERALL
San Francisco Bay Ground Coffee - Cold Brew (28oz Bag), Light Roast

San Francisco Bay Ground Coffee - Cold Brew (28oz Bag), Light Roast

  • Size and weight: 8.66 x 6.5 x 3.23 inch; 1.75 Pounds
  • Water to coffee ratio: 4:1
  • Grown in: High altitude
  • Ingredients: 100% arabica coffee and certified Kosher coffee
BEST VALUE
Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee | Smooth & Sweet Blend | Coarse Ground Coffee | Micro Sifted | Specia

Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee | Smooth & Sweet Blend | Coarse Ground Coffee | Micro Sifted | Specia

  • Weight: 1 Pound
  • Dimensions: 3.62 x 2.37 x 12.85 inches
  • Type: 100% Organic 
BEST PRE-GROUND
Roast Ridge Ground Cold Brew Coffee Blend, 2 lb.

Roast Ridge Ground Cold Brew Coffee Blend, 2 lb.

  • Type: Coarse ground Coffee
  • Geography: All over
  • Weight: 2 lb. 
BEST PRE-MADE
Wandering Bear Extra Strong Organic Cold Brew Coffee On-the-Go, Straight Black, 11 fl oz, 6 pack - S

Wandering Bear Extra Strong Organic Cold Brew Coffee On-the-Go, Straight Black, 11 fl oz, 6 pack - S

  • Special feature: Ready to drink
  • Flavor: Original extra strong
  • Caffeine: 300 mg per carton (equivalent to 4 espresso shots)
BEST WHOLE BEAN
Cold Brew Coffee, Whole Bean, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce

Cold Brew Coffee, Whole Bean, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce

  • Amount of coffee: 1 Pound (16 oz)
  • Type: Whole bean
  • Tastes like: Chocolate and nuts
BEST PACKETS
Don Francisco’s Organic Cold Brew Coffee, 8 Pitcher Packs (makes 4 pitchers)

Don Francisco’s Organic Cold Brew Coffee, 8 Pitcher Packs (makes 4 pitchers)

  • Weight: 1.35 pounds
  • Ingredients: 100% premium Arabica coffee
  • Pre-portioned packs: Yes



Let’s Take a Closer Look at Each Best Coffee for Cold Brew

BEST OVERALL
San Francisco Bay Ground Coffee - Cold Brew (28oz Bag), Light Roast

San Francisco Bay Ground Coffee - Cold Brew (28oz Bag), Light Roast

  • Size and weight: 8.66 x 6.5 x 3.23 inch; 1.75 Pounds
  • Water to coffee ratio: 4:1
  • Grown in: High altitude
  • Ingredients: 100% arabica coffee and certified Kosher coffee

Looking for a good cold brew coffee? Check out San Francisco Bay Ground Coffee - Cold Brew (28oz Bag), Light Roast. This coffee is perfect for those who want a light roast without compromising on flavor. The coffee beans are roasted in small batches to ensure quality, and the resulting brew is sure to please.

Pros
  • Conveniently pre-ground and in large sizes
  • Very smooth and mellow finish
  • Comes in a resealable bag
  • Roasted to the perfect balance of sweet and bitter
  • Light, smooth taste
Cons
  • Packaged in a plastic container
  • The flavor isn't a hit with everyone



BEST VALUE
Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee | Smooth & Sweet Blend

Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee | Smooth & Sweet Blend

  • Weight: 1 Pound
  • Dimensions: 3.62 x 2.37 x 12.85 inches
  • Type: 100% Organic 

Looking for a delicious cold brew coffee that is both smooth and sweet? Look no further than Bizzy Cold Brew Coffee. This specialty-grade coffee is made with 100% Arabica beans that have been coarsely ground and micro-sifted. This results in a smooth, rich coffee that is perfect for iced coffee or cold brew.

We tried the Bizzy Cold Brew and were impressed with the flavor. The coffee is smooth and has a great balance of sweetness. It's definitely one of the best cold brew coffees we've tried. If you're looking for a delicious cold brew coffee, we highly recommend Bizzy Cold Brew.

Pros
  • Can be used in an AeroPress or other coffee brewer
  • Comes in 1 lb or 32 oz cups
  • Specialty coffee blend
  • Comes in a one-pound resealable package
Cons
  • Coarse grind can be difficult to clean
  • Requires slightly more than 12 cups of water to make 1 cup of coffee



BEST PRE-GROUND
Roast Ridge Ground Cold Brew Coffee Blend, 2 lb.

Roast Ridge Ground Cold Brew Coffee Blend, 2 lb.

  • Type: Coarse ground Coffee
  • Geography: All over
  • Weight: 2 lb. 

If you're a fan of trying the best coffee beans for cold brew but don't have a grinder at home, you'll want to try Roast Ridge's Ground Cold Brew Coffee Blend. This cold brew blend is specially made for cold brewing, and it's really good.

The coffee is smooth and has a nice flavor, with just a hint of sweetness. Roast Ridge's Ground Cold Brew Coffee Blend is a great choice for coffee lovers who want to enjoy a great cup of cold brew but need their cold brew coffee grounds ready to go - no grinder needed. 

If you're looking for a delicious, smooth, and perfectly balanced coffee for cold brewing, you'll want to try Roast Ridge's Ground Cold Brew Coffee Blend.

Pros
  • Roasted in small batches
  • Delivers bold flavor
  • Conveniently already coarse ground coffee
Cons
  • Complex and strong blend
  • Medium roast makes a smooth cup of coffee



If you're a fan of cold brew coffee, then you'll want to check out the Stack Street Cold Brew Reserve.

It's made with 100% Arabica coffee beans and single origin beans.

The Colombian Supremo beans are micro-roasted for a rich flavor, and the coffee is direct trade. This means that the farmers who grew the beans are paid fairly for their work.

If you're looking for a high-quality cold brew coffee, Stack Street's Cold Brew Coffee Coarse Ground 1 LB is a great option. The coffee has a dark roast flavor with a hint of sweetness. It's perfect for enjoying on a hot summer day.

Pros
  • Coarse ground
  • Excellent flavor
  • Dark, sweet, bold taste
Cons
  • Takes longer to brew than hot coffee



BEST PRE-MADE
Wandering Bear Extra Strong Organic Cold Brew Coffee On-the-Go, Straight Black

Wandering Bear Extra Strong Organic Cold Brew Coffee On-the-Go, Straight Black

  • Special feature: Ready to drink
  • Flavor: Original extra strong
  • Caffeine: 300 mg per carton (equivalent to 4 espresso shots)

If you're a fan of cold brew that's already made with the best coffee beans, you'll want to try Wandering Bear's Straight Black Organic Cold Brew Coffee.

This coffee earned a place on our list of the best coffee for cold brew because the coffee is roasted to perfection. It's seriously soooo good.

Extra strong, smooth, and organic, Wandering Bear is a great choice for those who want a delicious coffee experience without any added sweetness. Plus, the coffee is also ready to drink, so you can enjoy it anytime, anywhere right when you get it.

Pros
  • No aftertaste
  • Extra strong flavor
  • Premade 
Cons
  • Can be a bit bitter
  • More expensive than non pre-made



BEST WHOLE BEAN
Cold Brew Coffee, Whole Bean, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce

Cold Brew Coffee, Whole Bean, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce

  • Amount of coffee: 1 Pound (16 oz)
  • Type: Whole bean
  • Tastes like: Chocolate and nuts

Volcanica's Cold Brew Coffee is the perfect coffee for those who love to engage in the cold brewing process. The rich, fresh-roasted flavor of the coffee beans yield a strong cup of cold coffee without the bitterness that can come with some beans.

The price is very reasonable for the quality of coffee you're getting,  too. We highly recommend Volcanica's Cold Brew coffee beans and roasts for those who are looking for a delicious and refreshing cold coffee option.

Pros
  • Delivers bold coffee flavor with a hint of acidity
  • Distinct Sumatran and Arabica flavor
  • Light and fresh roast
  • High-quality packaging
Cons
  • Coffee can get stuck in grinder



BEST PACKETS
Don Francisco’s Organic Cold Brew Coffee, 8 Pitcher Packs (makes 4 pitchers)

Don Francisco’s Organic Cold Brew Coffee, 8 Pitcher Packs (makes 4 pitchers)

  • Weight: 1.35 pounds
  • Ingredients: 100% premium Arabica coffee
  • Pre-portioned packs: Yes

Don Francisco's Cold Brew Coffee is a great way to enjoy cold brew at home. The coffee is made with 100% Arabica beans and is cold-brewed for a smooth, rich flavor.

The high-quality coffee is USDA-certified organic and Fair Trade certified, so you can feel good about drinking it.

The pitcher packs make it easy to make a pitcher of iced coffee, and the coffee stays fresh for up to two weeks. I really enjoy iced coffee, and I was excited to try Don Francisco's Cold Brew Coffee. I was not disappointed! The coffee has a great flavor, and it is very smooth. I will definitely be buying this coffee again.

Pros
  • Reasonable price
  • Packets are pre-portioned
  • Tastes good
  • Blend of Central American and South American beans
Cons
  • Coffee is a STRONG brew that won't be a hit with everyone



Best Coffee for Cold Brew Buying Guide

best coffee for cold brew

When it comes to coffee, there are a lot of different ways to enjoy it. Whether you like it hot or iced, with milk or black, there is a way to make coffee that will suit your taste. One popular way to enjoy coffee is by making cold brew. 

Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time, usually 12 hours or more. This results in a coffee that is less acidic and has a smoother flavor than coffee that is brewed with hot water. If you’re interested in making cold brew coffee at home, you’ll need to start by finding the best coffee for cold brew.

When it comes to choosing the best coffee for cold brew, there are a few things you should keep in mind. 

First, you’ll want to choose a coffee that has a medium to dark roast. This is because the darker roast coffees have less acidity, which is what you’re looking for in a cold brew coffee. 

You’ll also want to choose a coffee that has a bold flavor, as the cold brewing process will mellow out the flavors of the coffee. 

Finally, you’ll want to make sure you grind your coffee beans fresh before brewing. This is because coffee starts to lose its flavor as soon as it’s ground, so you want to make sure your beans are as fresh as possible.

What Grind to Use for Cold Brew?

When making cold brew coffee, it’s crucial to use the proper grind size to extract the right flavors. Unlike hot brew methods that use finer coffee grounds and shorter brew times, cold brew requires a longer steeping duration and thus a coarser grind.

Usually, the grind level for cold brew coffee is often likened to that of raw sugar or sea salt, which allows the water to fully permeate through the coffee over an extended period of time, drawing out the delicate flavors, without over-extracting, which can lead to a bitter taste.

If the grind size is too fine, it can cause your cold brew to taste over-extracted and bitter, and if it’s too coarse, it may lead to under-extracted, weak, and watery coffee. 

Some coffee brands offer pre-packaged coarse-ground coffee specifically for cold brew, or alternatively, you could also grind your own coffee beans at home, using a burr grinder set to a coarse setting. 

Which Coffee Bean Type is the Best for Cold Brew?

The best type of coffee bean for cold brew largely depends on individual preference, but certain characteristics make some beans more ideally suited for this brewing method.

Typically, cold brew coffee is loved for its sweet, smooth, and less acidic taste, and medium to dark roast beans are often recommended for achieving this. They exhibit chocolatey, nutty, or slightly caramel flavors that create a rich and robust cold brew.

Amongst the popular options, beans of South American origin, like Colombian or Brazilian, seem to stand out, contributing a balanced and full-bodied cold brew.

However, if you prefer a brighter, fruitier, and slightly acidic flavor profile in your cold brew, African beans like Ethiopian or Kenyan might be your go-to.

Lastly, it’s also worth noting 100% Arabica beans make the best cold brew and are generally preferred over Robusta due to their sweeter, more delicate flavor. Overall, experimentation is key to finding your ideal bean for cold brew, but these are good starting points. 

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

​It might be summertime, but that doesn’t mean you have to put away your cold brew coffee maker! In fact, crafting cold brew at home is a great way to beat the heat. Cold brew coffee is smooth and refreshing, and it’s perfect for sipping on a hot day.

If you’ve never made cold brew coffee before, don’t worry – it’s easy with this simple cold brew recipe! 

First, you’ll need to choose the right coffee beans.

Look for a coffee that is specifically labeled as “cold brew” or “coffee for cold brewing.” These beans are typically darker roasts, which have less acidity and bitterness.

Once you have your beans, it’s time to grind them. 

You’ll want to use a coarse grind, as this will help reduce the bitterness of the coffee. If you don’t have a coffee grinder, you can use pre-ground coffee, but it might not be as fresh.

Once your beans are ground, it’s time to start brewing! 

Place the grounds in a large pitcher or jar, and add cold or room temperature water. Stir the mixture gently, then cover and let it steep for 12-24 hours.

After the steeping time is up, it’s time to strain the coffee. 

Place a coffee filter or cheesecloth over a second pitcher or jar, and slowly pour the coffee mixture through it. Once all of the coffee has been strained, discard the grounds.

Your cold brew coffee is now ready to drink! 

You can store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. When you’re ready to drink it, simply pour it over ice or dilute it with cold water. Add milk or sugar if desired.

Cold brew coffee is a great way to enjoy coffee all summer long! Just remember to start with the best beans, grind them fresh, and let them steep for a full 12-24 hours for the best flavor.

Which is More Expensive, Hot or Cold Brew?

​When it comes to coffee, there are two main types of brewing methods – hot and cold. So, which is more expensive – hot or cold brew coffee beans?

When it comes to price, it really depends on the method you use to make your coffee.

For example, if you use a drip coffee maker to make hot coffee, it will be less expensive than if you use a French press to make cold brew coffee.

Generally speaking, hot coffee is going to be less expensive than cold brew. This is because hot brewing methods are typically faster and require less equipment than cold brewing methods.

However, there are some exceptions.

For example, if you want to make a large batch of cold brew coffee, it will be more expensive than making a smaller batch of hot coffee. This is because you need more coffee grounds for cold brewing, which can add up to a higher price tag.

So, which is more expensive – hot or cold brew? It really depends on your brewing method and how much coffee you want to make. If you’re looking for the cheapest option, hot coffee is typically the way to go.

But if you want to explore different brewing methods and taste profiles, cold brew may be the better option for you.

What is the Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee?

​Brewing coffee is an intricate process, no matter what method you use. But have you ever wondered what the difference is between cold brew and iced coffee? Both drinks use cold water, but the brewing process and final product couldn’t be more different. Here’s a breakdown of the two drinks and what sets them apart.

The biggest difference between cold brew and iced coffee is the brewing method. Cold brew is made by steeping ground coffee beans in room temperature or cold water for 12 to 24 hours.

The grounds are then filtered out, leaving behind a concentrate that’s diluted with water or milk before being served. Iced coffee, on the other hand, is brewed hot then quickly cooled and poured over ice.

The longer brewing time for cold brew results in a less acidic cup of coffee. This is because the hot water used in traditional brewing methods releases more of the coffee’s oils and acids, which can make the drink taste bitter.

Cold brew, on the other hand, has a smoother flavor since the oils and acids aren’t released during the brewing process.

Another difference between these two drinks is the caffeine content. Because cold brew is typically diluted before being served, it has less caffeine than iced coffee. So if you’re looking for a pick-me-up, iced coffee might be the way to go.

When it comes to the best coffee for cold brew, it’s best to use coarsely ground coffee. The larger grinds will result in a less bitter concentrate. And since cold brew is typically diluted before being served, you’ll want to use a coffee that has a bolder flavor to start with.

So the next time you’re in the mood for a cold beverage, you’ll know whether to reach for cold brew or iced coffee. Just remember, cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 12 to 24 hours while iced coffee is brewed hot then quickly cooled.

Can You Taste the Differences in Origin and Roasting?

​When it comes to coffee, there are a lot of different factors that can affect the flavor. One of the biggest factors is the origin of the beans.

Different regions produce coffee with different flavors. For example, coffee from South America tends to be more fruity, while coffee from Africa is often more floral. Roasting can also have a big impact on flavor.

Lighter roasts tend to be more bright and acidic, while darker roasts are more rich and sweet.

So, can you taste the difference between coffees from different origins and roasts? The answer is yes. However, it takes a little bit of practice to be able to identify the subtle flavors of different coffees. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to keep it simple and just try coffees from a few different origins.

Once you have a feel for the basics, you can start to experiment with different roasts and see how they impact the flavor.

One thing to keep in mind is that coffee is a personal preference. What tastes good to one person might not taste good to another. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and find what you like. There’s no wrong way to enjoy coffee!

Does Temperature Matter for Cold Brew?

​Most coffee aficionados will tell you that in order to make the best cup of coffee, you need to start with the best beans. But what about the water you use to brew your coffee? Does the temperature of the water really matter?

It turns out that the answer is a resounding yes! The temperature of the water you use to brew your coffee can have a big impact on the final flavor of your cup.

For cold brew coffee, in particular, the temperature of the water is especially important. That’s because cold brew coffee is brewed at a lower temperature than hot brew coffee.

If the water you use to make cold brew coffee is too hot, it will extract too much from the coffee beans, resulting in too strong and bitter coffee. On the other hand, if the water is too cold, it won’t extract enough from the beans, and you’ll end up with a coffee that is weak and watery.

Ideally, you want to use water that is around room temperature when brewing cold brew coffee. This will give you the best extraction and produce a coffee that is well-balanced and has a smooth flavor.

Of course, if you don’t have access to room-temperature water, you can still make cold brew coffee with water that is either too hot or too cold. However, your coffee may not taste as good as it could if you used water that was closer to room temperature.

So, if you’re looking to make the best cold brew coffee, make sure to use water that is around room temperature. This will help ensure that you get the best possible flavor from your beans.

How Long Should You Brew Coffee for?

​Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world and millions of people drink it every day. There are many different ways to make coffee, but one of the most popular methods is cold brewing.

Cold brewing is a process where coffee is brewed at a lower temperature over a longer period of time. This results in a coffee that is less acidic and has a smoother flavor.

So, how long should you brew coffee for cold brewing? The answer is that it depends on your preferences. If you like your coffee to be stronger, then you will need to brew it for a longer period of time. If you prefer a weaker coffee, then you can brew it for a shorter period of time. experiment and see what works best for you.

In general, cold brewing coffee should be brewed for at least 12 hours, but some people prefer to brew their coffee for 24 hours or even longer. The important thing is to use a ratio of coffee to water that you are happy with and to brew the coffee for the amount of time that tastes best to you.

If you are new to cold brewing, then we would suggest starting with a 12-hour brew time and adjusting from there.

Once you have brewed your coffee, you can store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. So, if you want to have cold brew coffee on hand at all times, we suggest brewing a batch every week or two.

Do you have any tips for cold brewing coffee? Let us know in the comments below!

What Other Tools Do You Need for Cold Brew?

​If you’re like most people, you probably think that all you need to make cold brew coffee is coffee beans and water. However, there are a few other tools that can make your cold brew experience even better.

One of the most important tools for cold brew is a good quality coffee grinder. Even if you’re using pre-ground coffee, a good grinder will help to ensure that your coffee is evenly ground and will help to extract more flavor from the beans.

Another tool that can be helpful is a coffee filter. While you can make cold brew without a filter, using one will help to keep your coffee clear and free of sediment.

Finally, it’s also a good idea to have a pitcher or other container that is specifically for cold brew. This will help to prevent oxidation and will make it easier to store your cold brew coffee.

So, if you’re looking to get the most out of your cold brew coffee, be sure to invest in a good quality coffee grinder, coffee filter, and pitcher.

Final Thoughts on the Best Coffee for Cold Brew

Ultimately, the best coffee for cold brew depends largely on individual preference. While light-roast beans typically yield a more vibrant and fruity taste, dark-roast beans are ideal for those who enjoy rich, bold flavors.

In my opinion, the best coffee for cold brew overall is San Francisco Bay Coffee. Light roasts make some of my favorite cold brew, but they’re kind of hard to find. 

High-quality, coarsely ground beans are also essential for a successful cold brew that prevents over-extraction and maintains a balanced flavor profile.

Experimenting with beans from different regions and varying brewing times can also result in fascinating taste discoveries. Remember, a great cold brew isn’t rushed but rather steeped slow and steady. 




Best Coffee Beans for Cold Brew – FAQs

  1. Can flavored coffee be used for cold brew?

    Absolutely! Flavored coffee, especially dark roast types, can add interesting taste properties to your cold brew concentrate, providing a unique twist to your cold brew experience.

  2. Can homemade cold brew be as good as from a coffee shop?

    Yes, definitely. While coffee shops may have their unique blends and brewing methods, with the right beans like Stone Street’s, and the correct brewing process, you can create a homemade cold brew that matches or even surpasses coffee shop quality.

  3. How to achieve the best cold brew with dark roast coffee beans?

    Achieving the best cold brew with dark roast coffee beans involves choosing high-quality beans, grinding them coarsely, and doing a cold steep for about 12 to 24 hours. This allows for an optimal extraction process.

  4. What are the tasting notes of Stone Street Cold Brew Reserve?

    Stone Street Cold Brew Reserve has a full-bodied, bold, yet smooth flavor. It possesses slight undertones of cocoa and toffee, which adds to its richness and depth in taste. The results make for a rich and enjoyable cold brew experience.

  5. How does a cold brew concentrate differ from regular cold brew?

    Cold brew concentrate is essentially a more potent version of a regular cold brew. It’s brewed for a longer time and in larger quantities of coffee, resulting in a strong, concentrated flavor that you can then dilute to your liking.

  6. Is dark roast coffee a good choice for cold brew?

    Yes, dark roast coffee is a great choice for cold brew. It often results in a smoother, less acidic, and more robust brew which can be particularly refreshing and enjoyable when chilled.

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