Some things are so good that you don’t ever want to change them. Coffee, for instance. But, sometimes we miss all the fun because we don’t want to change new things. And this is where the cold brew comes into play. It will spice up your morning routine and give a whole new vibe to the day.
While you could amaze your friends with a warm (oh, wait) cup of cold brew coffee, you can appall them by brewing a bland cup of something that looks like coffee.
Finding the best coffee brand for cold brew thus becomes your obsession… okay, it doesn’t, but it still might be found to look a bit deeper and find the best coffee roast for cold brew.
Cold Brew Coffee
- No heat used at all- it is extracted at low temperatures (2 to 20 degrees Celsius, or 34-70 F).
- More subtle, and easy going-absence of heat means that cold brew coffee is less acidic.
- Much slower process than the traditional way of brewing coffee.
- More grounds are needed, even twice as many when compared with the traditional method.
We don’t want here to talk about cold brew coffee Starbucks makes. This is too easy and takes away the essence of coffee brewing. After all, this is what this text is about, finding the best coffee roast for cold brew. There are a few main ways to make java without using heat:
- Simple, but lengthy
- Ground beans are immersed in cold water for about a day (or a bit less); then filtered
- It’s lighter when compared with cold drip
- Uses a cold drip “tool” (drip tower); coffee drips over grounds
- The water passes through grounds and drips in another chamber below
- Takes 3.5 to 12 hours
- Has a fuller floral flavor and rich body
While both of these methods are good, cold drip coffee requires less grounds and yields stronger beverages, while a lot of coffee grounds have to be used in immersion cold brew.
On the other hand, the immersion technique is much simpler. All you need is some nice roast, and you’re in for a treat. Cold drip coffee, on the other hand, requires an apparatus.
Comparison of Our Top 11 Choices (Updated in April 2021):
|The Chosen Bean – Premium Artisan Cold Brew Whole Coffee Beans||Check On Amazon|
|Stone Street Reserve Colombian – (Single Origin)||Check On Amazon|
|Cold Buzz - Coffee Beans||Check On Amazon|
|Hugo Coffee - Dog Daze||Check On Amazon|
|Java Planet - Guatemalan||Check On Amazon|
|Kicking Horse Coffee - Certified Organic||Check On Amazon|
|Metropolis - Cold Brew Blend||Check On Amazon|
|BLVCK Organic - Cold Brew Coffee||Check On Amazon|
|Wandering Bear - Coffee On Tap||Check On Amazon|
|Cafe Du Monde - Coffee Chicory||Check On Amazon|
11 Best Coffee Brands For Cold Brew
1. Lifeboost Organic Whole Bean Coffee – Best Overall
LifeBoost is an up-and-coming coffee company that sources its beans from a single plantation in Nicaragua, high atop Mt. Kilambé. It’s roasted according to the highest standards in order to provide a rich and smooth taste, as well as maintain low acidity levels so you can enjoy your morning cup guilt-free.
All of their roasts are made exclusively with 100% Arabica beans and sourced from small, family-owned farms that take great care to produce the very best coffee in Central America.
The flavors can also be chosen either as whole-bean or preground coffee, light (light roast), medium (medium roast), or dark (dark roast).
Lifeboost Whole Bean Coffee offers a range of high-quality coffee beans. Their entire brand is centered around sustainability, with their USDA-certified organic blend coming from the world’s finest beans that are non-GMO, fair trade, and shade-grown.
For cold brewing, we recommend choosing Lifeboost’s flagship whole bean(medium roasts), which is delicious whether served black or with your favorite milk.
2. The Chosen Bean – Premium Artisan Cold Brew Whole
This is a blend of light-medium and dark-medium roasts, which is a good start when it comes to finding the best cold brew coffee.
These beans are handpicked and come from Guatemala, Sumatra, Ethiopia, and Mexico. Not exactly a single origin product, but this is not crucial.
The Chosen Bean has a lighter body, with a lot of undertones, like orange, earth, coco, sugar, berries, etc. , according to the manufacturer at least.
These beans have more tastes than my lunch! Jokes aside, you’ll get whole beans, which means that you do the grinding. And thanks to our text, you know what grind is the best for cold brew- coarse!
Here’s an interesting fact: only 3% percent of all beans produced by the Chosen Bean make it to this premium blend! While this is not a particularly popular blend, it’s safe to say that you won’t end up disappointed.
3. Stone Street Reserve Colombian - Best Value for Money and Low Acidity
While the first product on our list was a medium roast blend, Stone Street makes dark roast cold brew coffee, which isn’t the most ideal for best coffee for cold brew. But it works!
According to thousands of Stone Street buyer, that is. Darker roasts are also less acidic, so Stone Street will be smoother in this respect.
It’s great that Stone Street makes single origin products such as this one, which is made in Colombia. Besides having low acidity, Stone Street cold brew has a balanced body, with sweet overtones.
4. Cold Buzz -Coffee Beans
Hazelnut lovers are welcome! This product is all about hazelnuts, and convenience. For instance, you’ll get pre-portioned bags, for portioned cold brews.
While this may be a good idea, I always thought that the best cold brew coffee is made in big batches. Why? Because, as we said, these are all rather smooth and light beverages, and you’d want to make a bit more than you’re used to.
This is not a single origin product- according to the manufacturer, “the beans come from around the world”, while at least they could have mentioned a few locations.
5. Hugo Coffee - Dog Daze
No, this is not dog food, although it might look so, at least the package. This product is made specifically for cold brew.
This coffee producer has a very interesting charity actions, where they donate the money to dog shelters, with every bag of coffee.
Hugo Roasters select special types of central African beans, which gives a characteristic flavor to their products.
Finally, if you happen to encounter any kind of problems, you’ll always be able to contact personalized customer service, which will always try to help you the best they can.
6. Java Planet - Guatemalan
From the depths of Guatemalan rainforest comes incredibly fresh, bird friendly, and tasty Arabica.
All products made by Java Planet Organic are USDA certified, and free from chemicals and pesticides. No GMO components were used in the making of this product.
Each sip of this cold brew coffee will be a tasty combination of caramel, chocolate, and fruity overtones.
Moreover, Java Planet Guatemalan has a very creamy, almost dense body. Java Planet is roasted in small batches, which assures the best quality control- the reason is pretty simple- it’s easier to keep an eye on small batches.
7. Kicking Horse Coffee - Certified Organic
An interesting coffee coming from an interesting manufacturer!
Kicking Horse coffee can really deal a punch, with its plethora of tastes, notes, and overtones.
Basically speaking this is a chocolaty flavored coffee (naturally, not artificially), and it’s great for several brewing methods: French press, drip machine, espresso, drip machine, and, of course, cold brew.
Unlike some products on our list, this is not a single-origin product. Beans for Kicking Horse come from all over the world, most notably from Africa, and the Americas.
8. Metropolis - Cold Brew Blend
Unlike most of the coffees we’ve mentioned so far, Metropolis blend is kind of sweet and chocolaty.
It is roasted to order, which means that you don’t buy a product that’s been sitting on a shelf for 2 years, you’re buying exclusively fresh coffee.
You’ll receive whole beans, so prepare yourself to do some serious grinding!
We’ve talked about grinding and the quality of grinds before, so be sure to check this part out if you’ve missed something.
9. BLVCK Organic - Cold Brew Coffee
Yes, this is a rather expensive product, but that’s what you have to pay for if you want pre-ground, tasty cold brew coffee. BLVCK cold brewing house has a great ideology of making first-class coffee and showing the implacable commitment that was put in every single bottle of this cold brewed coffee.
Keeping it safe for nature and best for the human body, making it original and ever more delicious- this is the job BLVCK does the best.
This product is 100% Arabica, freshly ground. BLVCK organic can be served either hot or cold, and it’s socal crafted.
10. Wandering Bear - Coffee On Tap
Most of readers probably won’t like this product, but it’s so innovative and interesting we’ve just had to include it. I have seen wine on tap in a carton box like this, but not cold brew coffee! Of course, this means that it cannot be shipped everywhere, but Americans won’t have to worry.
No sugar was added to the Wandering Bear tap, which is good news for all those people who try to keep their sugar intake at minimum. This straight black cold brew coffee is not messing around- it has a lot of caffeine- 150 mg per serving. This is probably one of Wandering Bear’s biggest flaws- you cannot adjust the strength of your beverage, you can only adjust the amount you drink.
The guys who founded the Wandering Bear also make coffee on tap with vanilla or hazelnut flavors, so be sure to also check these products out.
11. Cafe Du Monde - Coffee Chicory
“Cafe Du Monde” literally means “the World Coffee”, and this product is most surely world-class. The name (and coffee itself) come from a small New Orleans store, which first opened in early 1880s.
This coffee stand is selling high quality coffee and chicory for more than 130 years now, and this trend will most surely go on.
This New Orleans coffee comes in a nice can that will keep your product fresh and safe to use long after you’ve made the purchase.
Customers say that it’s rather strong and a bit bitter. Also, the company has a special offer for 3 cans of their coffee and chicory, so you can buy in bulk and stop worrying about coffee for quite some time.
Best Pre Ground Coffee for Cold Brew
While we strongly advise you to buy whole beans and grind them yourself, some people simply don’t like to do this. This is why we’ve chosen the best pre ground cold brew coffee
Yes, this is a rather expensive product, but that’s what you have to pay for if you want pre-ground, tasty cold brew coffee.
- BLVCK Organic Cold Brew Coffee BIY Kits allow you to replicate a liter of the deliciousness that is in our famous BLVCK Organic Cold Brew Bottles. Bottles are exclusive to socal only.
- 100% Organic Arabica coffee berries. Ground fresh to order. Keto/Paleo friendly. Only offered in BLVCK. No sugar needed because you're sweet enough.
Best Coffee For Cold Brew French Press
“An apparatus” could be the good old French Press. While it is not exactly made for this kind of everyone’s favorite caffeine drink, French Press will do the job seamlessly. According to some good people on the Internet, French Press works well with Lifeboost Organic Whole Bean Coffee .
- Delicious, Ethically Sourced Coffee: You've tried the rest, now buy the best; Lifeboost Non-Gmo organic whole bean low acid coffee is high in flavor; The beans are sun dried, and spring water washed; The result is pure, natural coffee derived straight from nature
- Grown In The Mountains Of Central America: Lifeboost Single Origin Acid Free Coffee is shade grown at a high elevation in the mountains of Central America; The exclusive farms that we work with are all bird friendly and each coffee bean is hand selected to ensure purity
To Grind or Not To Grind?
Can I use any coffee for cold brew? , people often ask me, and it’s not that hard to answer this question. The best grind for cool brewing is coarse, by far. And this is all due to chemistry, extraction processes, and all the other things I don’t understand.
To put it bluntly, coarse grounds are harder to extract, due to their structure. Finer grounds are very good for espresso and Turkish coffee, not so much for cool brew. Especially with drip method, we described above, your beverage might be over-extracted and too strong. This is why it’s better to use coarse grounds.
Moreover, if you’re using fine grounds with the drip technique, you’ll end up with a big lump of damp coffee, with no dripping. Coarse ground allows for faster and more efficient dripping.
You can buy pre-ground beans or you could grind the beans yourself, but you need to be aware that some types of grinds are better than others, at least if you like a good cup of cold brew. In my list, I will also include the best pre ground coffee for cold brew.
Best Cold Brew Coffee Grounds: Come To The Dark Side?
Well, not exactly. While you may have some preferences when it comes to standard, hot java, things might be a bit different from the cold, slowly brewed version of your favorite caffeinated drink.
The choice between dark or light roasts is up to you, and the best way to find out is to experiment. Suggestions from experts are different, but most of them prefer light to medium roast. Yes, this is naturally more acidic way, but most of acidity is eliminated from beans by cold brewing process.
In other hand, some experts say that dark roast is better because it gives some stronger and richer flavors that remind to chocolate or hazelnuts. What beans does Starbucks use for cold brew? Although the company doesn’t want to give away its recipe, we know that Arabica beans from Latin America and Africa are used.
Most importantly we know Starbucks possibly uses medium roast beans, which could mean that medium roast beans are the best beans for cold brew.
To Blend or Not To Blend?
Unlike previous question where experts are divided, this question is answered almost the same way by all the experts, and the answer is single-origin beans.
Why? First of all, let’s see the point of blends. When you make espresso, for instance, you’re making a highly concentrated drink, which has a very strong taste. If beans are very acidic, or have other prominent flavors, you’ll notice it in your espresso, and you don’t be an expert to be able to notice differences between espresso blends, as they are strong.
Now, when baristas want to slightly attenuate one flavor and emphasize the other, they blend different kinds of beans. And voila! , you have a good tasty blend.
It’s all much simpler with cold brew coffee. As this technique yields less strong drinks, you don’t need to mitigate one flavor, you can simply taste them all, albeit in their milder variants.
Should You Add Milk To Cold Brew Coffee?
This, again, is a matter of personal taste, but many suggest not to milk cold coffees because the taste would be too subtle.
Milk dilutes an already mild drink, and it’ll be like adding water to Coca-Cola, kind of weird (and maybe gross). Okay, it’s not weird at all, but me being a lover of good ole strong coffee, I wouldn’t add milk to coolly brewed java.
Best Coffee For Cold Brew Reddit
Reddit can be a useful source of inspiration. For instance, we’ve been able to find that people make the best cold brew coffee with a 1:1:2 ratio (coffee concentrate: water: milk).
That should do it. We’ve mentioned the best coffees for cold brew, but there are many other products that we simply had to leave out. After all, nobody wants to read a 100-page cold brew buyer’s guide.
Most of the time, we’ve chose the best beans for cold brew, which then you’d have to grind. This is probably the best way to do it. If you already take a lot of time to make cold brew happen (and we’ve seen that this is a lengthy process), you can take a little bit more and grind your own beans to perfection.