Best Coffee Beans For Cold Brew

Best Coffee Beans For Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee has gained immense popularity in recent years due to its smooth and less acidic flavor profile. This brewing method involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, typically 12 to 24 hours. The result is a refreshing and flavorful coffee concentrate that can be enjoyed over ice or diluted with water or milk. However, to achieve the best cold brew experience, it is crucial to start with high-quality coffee beans. In this article, we will explore the best coffee beans for cold brew, considering factors such as flavor, origin, and roast level.

1. Single-Origin Coffee Beans

When it comes to cold brew, single-origin coffee beans are often preferred over blends. Single-origin beans are sourced from a specific region or farm, allowing for a more distinct flavor profile. These beans showcase the unique characteristics of their origin, such as fruity notes from Ethiopia or chocolatey undertones from Colombia. Single-origin coffee beans provide a more nuanced and complex flavor experience in cold brew.

2. Medium to Dark Roast

The roast level of coffee beans plays a significant role in the flavor profile of cold brew. Medium to dark roast beans are generally recommended for cold brew due to their rich and bold flavors. Lighter roasts may result in a more acidic and delicate brew, which may not be as desirable for cold brew enthusiasts. Medium to dark roast beans offer a well-rounded and full-bodied taste that pairs perfectly with the smoothness of cold brew.

3. Low Acidity

One of the main appeals of cold brew is its low acidity compared to traditional hot brewed coffee. To further enhance this characteristic, it is advisable to choose coffee beans with naturally low acidity. Arabica beans, known for their smooth and less acidic profile, are an excellent choice for cold brew. On the other hand, Robusta beans tend to have higher acidity levels and are better suited for espresso or strong black coffee.

4. Coarse Grind Size

The grind size of coffee beans is crucial for cold brew extraction. For the best results, opt for a coarse grind size when preparing coffee for cold brew. A coarse grind allows for a slower extraction process, resulting in a smoother and less bitter brew. Finer grinds can lead to over-extraction and a more acidic taste. Investing in a quality burr grinder and adjusting it to a coarse setting will ensure optimal extraction for your cold brew.

5. Organic and Fair Trade Options

For those who prioritize sustainability and ethical sourcing, choosing organic and fair trade coffee beans is essential. Organic coffee beans are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, promoting environmental sustainability. Fair trade certification ensures that coffee farmers receive fair wages and work under safe conditions. By opting for organic and fair trade coffee beans, you can enjoy your cold brew knowing that it was produced with care for both the environment and the people involved in its production.

While personal taste preferences may vary, several coffee beans have gained recognition for their exceptional performance in cold brew. Here are some popular recommendations:

  • Blue Bottle Coffee – Three Africas Blend: This blend combines beans from Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya, resulting in a bright and fruity cold brew with notes of citrus and berries.
  • Stumptown Coffee Roasters – Hair Bender: Hair Bender is a medium roast blend with beans from Latin America, East Africa, and Indonesia. It offers a balanced and complex flavor profile, making it a popular choice for cold brew.
  • Intelligentsia Coffee – Black Cat Classic Espresso: While primarily an espresso blend, Black Cat Classic Espresso also shines in cold brew. Its dark chocolate and caramel notes create a rich and indulgent cold brew experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can I use any coffee beans for cold brew?

While you can technically use any coffee beans for cold brew, certain beans and roast levels are better suited for this brewing method. Opt for single-origin beans, medium to dark roast, and low acidity options for the best cold brew experience.

2. How long should I steep the coffee beans for cold brew?

The recommended steeping time for cold brew is typically between 12 to 24 hours. However, you can adjust the steeping time based on your personal preference. Longer steeping times tend to result in a stronger and more concentrated brew.

3. Can I use pre-ground coffee for cold brew?

While it is possible to use pre-ground coffee for cold brew, it is generally recommended to grind the beans just before brewing. This ensures optimal freshness and flavor extraction. Additionally, using a coarse grind size is crucial for cold brew.

4. Should I store my cold brew coffee in the refrigerator?

Yes, it is advisable to store your cold brew coffee in the refrigerator. Cold brew concentrate can be kept in a sealed container for up to two weeks, allowing you to enjoy a refreshing cup of cold brew whenever you desire.

5. Can I dilute my cold brew concentrate with water or milk?

Absolutely! Cold brew concentrate is highly concentrated, so it is common to dilute it with water, milk, or your preferred liquid. Experiment with different ratios to find your desired strength and flavor.

6. Can I heat my cold brew coffee?

While cold brew is traditionally enjoyed over ice, you can certainly heat it if you prefer a warm cup of coffee. Simply heat the cold brew concentrate on the stovetop or in the microwave, and dilute it with hot water or milk to your desired taste.


Choosing the best coffee beans for cold brew is essential to achieve a flavorful and smooth cup of coffee. Opt for single-origin beans, medium to dark roast, and low acidity options for the best results. Consider investing in a quality burr grinder to achieve a coarse grind size, and prioritize organic and fair trade options for sustainability. Popular coffee bean recommendations for cold brew include Blue Bottle Coffee’s Three Africas Blend, Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ Hair Bender, and Intelligentsia Coffee’s Black Cat Classic Espresso. By following these guidelines and experimenting with different beans, you can enjoy the perfect cold brew coffee at home.