Best Coffee For Cold Brew: Top 8 Picks That Actually work
On a hot summer’s day, it’s hard to beat the refreshing jolt of a cold brew coffee. Known for being smooth and mild with low acidity and minimal bitterness, cold brewing can be the perfect way to bring out a coffee bean’s most subtle flavors.
Of course, not all beans are created equal and some benefit from this treatment more than others. Read on to learn all about how cold brewing affects the taste and aroma of your beverage and which beans make the best coffee for tasty cold brew.
They look like ordinary coffee beans…
FOR NEXT LEVEL COLD BREWING
Uncover amazing cold brew flavors by trying a coffee subscription that sends you exotic single origin beans. The best option for this (right now) is: Atlas Coffee Club. You can read our review here, or click the button below to see if there are any more 50% OFF deals available:
Best Cold Brew Coffee Beans
So now that you know everything to expect from cold brew, here are 8 beans that you can use to make your own at home. We consider these the best coffee for cold brew.
|Atlas Cold Brew Coffee Subscription||
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|Lifeboost Optimist Light Roast||
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|Coffee Bros. Cold Brew Blend||
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|Out Of The Grey Honduras Comsa||
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|Volcanica Coffee Cold Brew Blend||
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|Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve||
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|Cold Buzz Coffee Hazelnut||
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|Peet’s Coffee Baridi Blend||
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And here are the details of each of these 8 beans, starting with our favourite choice:
A coffee subscription is an excellent way to explore new coffees and potentially discover new favorites. Home Grounds thinks Atlas is one of the best, and they just launched a brand-new cold brew coffee subscription!
Each month you’ll receive a new specialty single origin coffee chosen specifically to be delicious when brewed cold. You can select a preference for lighter or darker roast profiles or leave it in the hands of the experts at Atlas. If you have a good burr grinder at home, opt for whole bean coffee, but if not, Atlas will grind it for you to the perfect coarse size.
Along with your coffee, you’ll also receive a set of filter bags for cold brewing, so you don’t need any special equipment like a cold brewer. Just a mason jar will do the trick. And as with all Atlas coffee subscriptions, each new coffee comes with a gorgeous postcard highlighting its growing region and flavor profiles.
The Lifeboost Coffee Company has recently started offering this Light-roast Nicaraguan single-origin bean. If you read through the specifications you’ll see that environmentally friendly, ethically produced and healthy. But what most people haven’t realized yet is that it makes a superb cold brew.
Light roast coffees can be highly acidic, which is why we are suggesting this one for cold brew. Cold brewing it for 16+ hours will reduce the acidity and leave you with a smooth and flavor bursting cold brew.
If you’re looking for something with low acidity, you want something healthy, or are just interested in brewing some exotic tasting central-American cold brew consider trying this bean by Lifeboost.
Coffee Bros. is a young coffee company founded by two brothers with a passion for high-quality coffee. They distinguish themselves with their commitment to quality sourcing and small-batch roasting, which ensures that each roast gets the care and attention it deserves.
Their medium roast Cold Brew Blend is perfectly crafted to emphasize the sweet and juicy flavors you want in a refreshing cold brew.
It starts with a blend of 100% Arabica beans sourced from two of the world’s premier growing regions, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia. They opt for naturally processed beans, which have greater inherent sweetness, and then roast them carefully to highlight this character. The result is a smooth brew with flavors of chocolate, berry, and brown sugar.
Out of the Grey’s Honduras Comsa single-origin coffee is a very versatile medium-bodied coffee, delicious brewed hot or cold. When brewed hot, it has a pronounced acidity, despite being a relatively dark roast. But this is greatly mellowed by the cold brew process, and you’ll be left with an ultra-smooth brew with notes of honeydew melon, peach, delicate florals, and a bitter cocoa finish.
Not only does this Fairtrade coffee taste great, but buying it supports an excellent organization, Café Orgánico Marcala (COMSA). Founded in 2001, this collective aims to support small-scale coffee farmers in the Marcala region of Honduras by expanding development opportunities and supporting improved agricultural practices.
Out of the Grey coffee can be ordered whole bean or pre-ground. If you’re opting for pre-ground, be sure to choose the “coarse” option, which is suitable for cold brew or French press.
Volcanica Coffee has years of experience sourcing and roasting the best coffee from the world’s top growing regions, so they know a thing or two about crafting a perfect cold brew blend. If some of the single-origin suggestions on this list are likely to expand your palate, this medium roast blend is the opposite; it’s a crowd-pleaser.
The Volcanica Cold Brew blend combines coffee beans from Sumatra – known for bold, earthy flavors and a heavy body – with sweeter, low-acid Arabica coffee from the Americas. The result is a beautifully balanced cup with the satisfying flavors of chocolate and nuts.
This blend is naturally very low in acid, and this is further emphasized by the cold brewing process. It’s a fantastic choice for anyone sensitive to acidity or for those who simply prefer a smoother flavor profile.
Stone Street Coffee is another American small-batch roastery offering beans designated specifically for cold brew. They pride themselves on their ethical and intimate sourcing relationships with the best coffee farms and growing regions around the world.
The premium single-origin arabica Colombian Supremo beans are dark roasted to produce a slightly sweet, smooth, well balanced, and bold coffee flavor.
Colombian Supremo beans are characterized by notes of fruit, chocolate, and caramel and are widely considered to be among the best in the world.
Cold Buzz Coffee makes cold brewing as easy as possible by selling pre-ground beans already in bags, like tea bags. All you need to do is add water and soak overnight.
They source their 100% arabica beans from Central and South America and Europe. They are aware that cold brew is expensive because it requires many more grounds than hot coffee, so they work with roasters and wholesalers to try and keep costs down.
Cold Buzz Coffee offers a number of flavors, but the hazelnut is highly recommended. The sweet, buttery flavor is enhanced with a dark roast that makes it perfect for cold brewing.
Peet’s is one of largest and the most trusted roasters and distributors of quality coffees. Baridi (the Swahili word for cold) is a specialty blend designed for both iced coffee and cold brew. Though not single-origin coffee, the beans making up the blend are all sourced from East Africa: Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
Products from these nations were chosen to maximize aroma, a feature that is frequently lacking in cold coffee.
The fruity, juiciness of beans from this region makes this a particularly refreshing cold beverage. After experimentation, a medium roast was settled upon to best deliver a bold, smooth and slightly sweet flavor.
What Is Cold Brew?
To understand which beans make the best cold brew, it is important to first understand cold brew itself. Namely, the distinction between cold brew and iced coffee. Cold brew coffee is made without any heat at all.
Most often, ground coffee beans are steeped in cold filtered water for a long period of time in order to extract the flavor of the beans. In contrast, iced coffee is made from regular brewed coffee that has been cooled and poured over ice cubes.
The Effects Of Temperature on taste
Hot coffee is extracted between 91 and 96 degrees Celsius (195 – 205 F) whereas cold brew is extracted between 2 and 21 degrees Celsius (35 – 70 F). The absence of heat from the brewing process gives cold brew its unique and prized characteristics, but also means it requires twice as many grounds and many additional hours of brewing time compared with hot methods.
Many of the acids and solubles responsible for light and floral notes in coffee are only extracted above certain temperatures. For this reason, cold brew is low in acid and easy on the stomach, but also tends to have more muted flavors. Choosing the right beans is the best way to ensure a cup that is both smooth and flavorful.
When choosing the best beans for cold brew, there are a few factors you need to consider.
Immersion vs Cold Drip Cold Brewing
There are two primary ways to make cold brew coffee – immersion and slow drip. The immersion method is usually favored by home brewers for its simplicity.
Ground beans are steeped in cold water for 12 – 24 hours before being filtered out. In the slow drip process, ice water is slowly dripped onto ground beans and collected in a carafe below. The main advantage of this method is its relative speed, though it still takes 3 to 5 hours to yield a cup of cold brew.
However, the specialized equipment requires investment.
From a flavor standpoint, the immersion method results in a full-bodied concentrated brew whereas the drip method yields a more dilute medium-bodied beverage. Brewing method can be an important consideration when choosing beans for cold brew.
The Grind size Matters (a lot)
Whether buying pre-ground beans for cold brew or grinding them yourself, be aware that grind matters.
A coarse grind is always preferable for a cold brew. Fine grounds often produce more harsh or bitter flavors as a result of being over-extracted.
If using the slow drip method, the grind size is particularly important. A coarse grind is quicker to begin dripping, while a finer grind can sometimes become too dense and restrict the flow of water. Just make sure to use a good coffee grinder for cold brew coffee.
Dark Or Light Roast?
Choosing between a dark roast or a light roast coffee is largely a matter of personal preference. Your best bet is to experiment. Don’t assume that your roast preference for hot coffee will hold true for cold coffee.
Experts are divided on the question. Some suggest light to medium roasts, which are naturally more acidic, because the cold brewing process eliminates much of the acidity of the beans. Other cold brewers recommend dark roasts because cold brew has a tendency to taste of darker, richer flavors, like chocolate, nuts and earthiness.
The bright acidity that characterizes light roasts may be difficult to extract through cold brewing and result in overall muted flavors. Whichever you choose, bear in mind that lighter roasts will require a longer extraction time because the cellular structure of the beans has been less damaged by the roasting process.
Single-Origin Or Blend?
While the question as to light or dark roasts seems to divide experts, most agree that single-origin beans are the best option for cold brew. Learn more about single origin beans in this post. The cold brewing process allows the taster to experience the more subtle notes of a bean and truly appreciate the single-origin product.
While blends make sense for something like espresso or regular coffee, where a barista needs to balance acidity, sweetness, and bitterness, the absence of bitterness and acidity in a cold brew renders this process unnecessary.
We are about to show you a whole list of the best option for cold brew, but here’s some of the best coffee beans in the world you should try (hot or cold).
To Milk Or Not To Milk?
This is again a matter of personal taste. Many experts recommend drinking cold brew coffee black because its flavors are already so subtle that it would be a disservice to further dilute them with dairy.
If you always add a little milk or cream to your coffee, consider sampling the cold brew without first. You may be pleasantly surprised.
If you find it lacking, try mixing three parts cold brew with one part milk. Or, get creative with one of our delicious cold brew recipes.
The best coffee for cold brew is probably the one that tastes the best to you. There’s no other truth than that. But you won’t know what to pick for yourself before knowing what each of the selected top picks offers. Home Grounds has selected the best eight cold brews on the market. Now it’s up to you to decide whether you want to experiment or stick to your habits of drinking light or dark roasts.
For us, the best choice is the variety of options that Atlas Coffee Club offers with their cold brew subscription. We’d love to hear what your choice was and if we helped bring deliciousness to your doorstep.
- Metropolis Coffee: Great Coffee for Everyone! Retrieved from https://www.metropoliscoffee.com/