Guide to The Best Coffee Beans for Cold Brew Coffee [2020]

What’s better than a caffeine shot in the early morning on a hot summer day? You guessed it! A cup of cold brew coffee.

It’s just what you need for an energy boost and a refreshing kick. But it can be a little baffling to choose the best coffee beans for cold brew from the huge range of options.

To get you started, we have narrowed it down and share 8 of the best cold brew coffee beans for great tasting coffee, every time.

>> Click here to see the best coffee beans to use for cold brew now

best coffee beans for cold brew

Best Coffee For Cold Brew At Home Comparison Table

Below is a handy reference table listing all the best beans for cold brew coffee reviewed here.

Read on to find out more about each of these cold brew brands. 

BrandImageRoast ProfileOur RatingPrice
Real Good Coffee Co Breakfast Blend Light RoastLight4.3Check
Tiny Footprint Carbon Negative Organic CoffeeMedium4.4Check
Volcanica Cold Brew Whole Bean CoffeeMedium5Check
Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew ReserveDark4.6Check
Death Wish Organic USDA Certified CoffeeDark4.5Check
Cafe Du Monde Coffee Chicory (Pack of 3)Dark4.2Check
Cold Brew Lab Ground Organic CoffeeDark4.6Check
AmazonFresh Dark Roast Coffee BeansDark4.4Check

Your Ultimate Guide To The Best Coffee Beans For Cold Brew

Cold brew is quite a different brewing method from a regular hot coffee brew.

Here we’ve put together some key points to help you understand the difference and why the best coffee to make cold brew may be different to other styles of coffee.

What Is Cold Brew Coffee?

While regular coffee is extracted at a temperature between 195 F – 204 F (91C – 96C), cold brew coffee is extracted between 36 F – 54 F (2C – 21C).

Many people mistake cold brew coffee with iced coffee, but the way both are prepared is quite different.

Typically cold brew coffee is made by simply steeping ground coffee beans in cold filtered water for a long period of time to extract the goodness and flavors.

Ice coffee, on the other hand, is prepared by using regular hot coffee and pouring it over ice.

This difference in brewing method results in a distinctly different tasting coffee, with cold brew coffee characterized as mellow, soft, smooth and lacking the bitterness of hot coffee drinks.

Best Type Of Coffee Beans For Cold Brew

One of the great things about cold brew coffee is it can taste great with a range of coffee bean types. You can use medium, light or dark roast for cold brew coffee.

However, if you’ve ever tried to make cold brew concentrate at home and didn’t like enjoy the taste, it may be due to the grind and the length of time you brewed them for.

Different roasts require a slightly different cold brewing process to achieve great tasting homemade cold brew.

Dark roast cold brew coffee beans will need less steeping time than a lighter roast. If left too long, the flavors tend to become overpowering.

Light roast coffee beans often have a more delicate, citrus flavor that doesn’t always translate well in cold brewing methods.

Understanding how to get the most out of different coffee bean roasts will help you choose between the best types of cold brew coffee. 

All of the best cold brew coffee brands below will make great tasting cold brew coffee, but you just remember you may need to adjust your brewing time to account for the roast and grind to achieve it.

With these factors in mind, here we share a range of great coffee roasts in our cold brew coffee reviews below.

Best Beans For Cold Brew Reviews

Death Wish Organic Coffee Review

Death Wish cold brew coffee is one of the most caffeine-rich cold brew coffee brands out there.

Before we share more, beware, it isn’t for the faint-hearted. This coffee will give you the caffeine boost you need to get through the day.

With a whopping 54.2 mg of caffeine per fluid ounce, you should probably only drink Death Wish coffee once a day to keep your caffeine intake level within safe limits!

These coffee beans make perfect homemade cold brew coffee. They are fair trade, USDA certified organic and kosher. They are a great choice if you add milk, as the stronger flavor of these dark roast beans carries through the milk.

Death Wish Organic Coffee comes as whole beans in resealable packaging in 16, 32, and 80-ounce packs.

What We Love

  • Smooth coffee and great aroma
  • Resealable bag for coffee freshness
  • Great caffeine boost

What We Don’t Love

  • Relatively pricey

>> Click here to check the price for Death Wish Organic Coffee


Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Review

If you want to enjoy a delicious, refreshing, smooth cup of cold brew coffee, then Stone Street cold brew coffee beans are a must to try.

The Stone Street coffee company has a loyal following and are considered by many coffee lovers to be the best coffee brand for cold brew. They are also on our list of top coffee beans.

These Stone Street beans are specifically designed for preparing cold brew coffees and we love the fact that you can taste the delicious chocolatey essence in this coffee.

It is a single origin cold brew coffee and is made from 100% high-quality Colombian Supremo beans. They have a rich, bold flavor, making them some of the best cold brew beans to try.

Stone Street cold brew is also great option for caffeine fanatics who have a sensitive stomach because these beans are naturally low in acidity.

They come in a resealable package for guaranteed freshness and whole beans are available in a 1 and two pound bag.  They also offer cold brew coffee grounds in a 1 lb bag, considered one of the best pre-ground coffee for cold brew options.

Beware though, once you try these flavorful Colombian beans, you might be hooked forever!

What We Love

  • Smooth and bold flavor
  • Available as whole bean or pre-ground coffee

What We Don’t Love

  • A little pricey

>> Click here to read more reviews and check the price.


Cold Brew Lab Ground Organic Coffee

Cold Brew Lab are an artisan roaster from New York City and this coarsely ground coffee blend is one of the best pre ground coffee for cold brew brewing.

The beans are 100% organic Arabica beans sourced from Colombia – which is why they have a super smooth, full bodied flavor. The beans are USDA certified pesticide free.

Cold Brew Lab have developed this blend from medium and dark roast coffee beans to create a robust coffee perfect for cold brewing.

It comes in 1 and 2 pound bags as pre-ground coffee, and they also offer the same blend for cold brew with whole beans.

What We Love

  • Organic Arabica beans at a great price
  • Smooth blend roasted specifically for cold brew

What We Don’t Love

  • Pre-ground may lack flavor of whole bean bags

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews


Volcanica Cold Brew Coffee Review

Volcanica Coffee Company  are renowned for producing high quality coffee blends. Their Cold Brew blend is no different and we think it makes some of the best coffee grounds for cold brew.

This particular blend is a bold dark Sumatra coffee which is low in acidity and high in flavor. Made with 100% Arabica beans in a 16 oz bag, it comes with the option to purchase as whole bean or ground coffee.  

For something a little different, they also have a cold brew berry blast blend flavored with blueberry, vanilla and toasted coconut for the ultimate refreshing summer coffee drink! Why not gift a bag to the coffee lover in your life?

What We Love

  • Reputable brand and consistent quality coffee
  • Low in acidity

What We Don’t Love

  • More expensive than other options

Click here to check the price for Volcanica Cold Brew Coffee Beans


AmazonFresh Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee

If you brew large pitchers of cold brew coffee during the Summer and are looking for the best cheap coffee for cold brew, this dark roast by AmazonFresh is a great choice.

With a blend of Central and South American coffee beans, they have a smoky, chocolately flavor perfect for cold coffee brewing.

Roasted from 100% Arabica beans in a 32 ounce bag, they are good coffee beans for cold brew to have on hand when you don’t want to use your premium cold brew coffee bean blends.

Amazon offer the coffee beans ground, whole bean and in k-cups too.

What We Love

  • Great every day beans at a great price
  • 100% Arabica beans

What We Don’t Love

  • No roasted date, only best by date

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews


Real Good Coffee Co Breakfast Blend Review

If you prefer lighter roast beans, then this light roast cold brew coffee by Real Good Coffee Co is worth a try.

Real Good coffee company beans are roasted in Seattle and the coffee beans are sourced from South and Central America.

This light roast by Real Good Coffee is a fantastic option if you prefer citrus flavors in your cold brew beans. You’ll also notice hints of milk chocolate and cream. It’s made from 100% Arabica beans, and has a much more subtle flavor than the other top cold brew coffee beans on our list.

Some people may question whether light roasts are the best coffees for cold brew. But if you enjoy a more delicate tasting coffee and don’t like the bitter taste that comes with some cold brew bean blends, this brand is a great choice.

Real Good coffee is sold in a two-pound bag at a very affordable price.

What We Love

  • High-quality Arabica beans at a great price
  • Aromatic flavor, perfect for cold brew

What We Don’t Love

  • 2 lb bag is the smallest size available for purchase

>> Click here to check the price and size options


Tiny Footprint Organic Cold Brew Coffee Review

Tiny Footprint got its bling by being the first carbon-negative coffee. The company is well-known for being sustainable, so it’s a great choice if you care for mother nature as much as you care for your coffee.

These whole bean cold brew coffee beans are a unique blend of organic light and dark roast bean and are sourced from 100% shade grown Arabica beans.

They have a flavor profile more on the fruity and floral side. With it’s smooth and rich flavor, this coffee is hard to resist once you try it.

Tiny Footprint Cold Press Elixir is sold as whole beans in one or three-pound packages.

What We Love

  • Very affordable
  • Smooth and silky flavor

What We Don’t Love

  • More bitter than other options on our list

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews


Cafe Du Monde Coffee Chicory Review

This coffee by Cafe Du Monde has been popular in New Orleans for many years.

If you’re looking for a good coffee for cold brew with a unique chicory taste and a bit of a kick, this just may be the one for you!

The Cafe Du Monde beans get their exclusive flavor from chicory. Chicory root is cooked, ground, and added to the coffee grounds. Chicory adds a zing to the coffee and reduces the bitter taste of dark roasted beans.

Chicory cold brew is an aromatic, rich, and flavorful cup of coffee, with a unique taste compared to any of the other cold brew grounds on our list.

The Cafe Du Monde coffee is sold ground as a set of three 15-ounce cans and is loved by many coffee lovers seeking a unique cold brew coffee grind. 

What We Love

  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Unique chicory flavor

What We Don’t Love

  • Comes pre-ground, no whole bean option

>> Click here to read more reviews for Cafe Du Monde coffee beans


What Is The Best Type Of Coffee For Cold Brew?

Single-Origin Vs. Blend

While the roast profile and choice of coffee beans may vary from one person to another, most coffee experts agree the best coffee to use for cold brew are single-origin beans. 

Their reason? When preparing regular coffee like americano or espresso, a blend is often a better choice to help balance attributes like sweetness, acidity, and bitterness. However, cold brewing methods are more subtle and tend to produce coffee that is naturally lower in acidity and bitterness. 

Using single origin coffee beans will allow you to truly appreciate the flavors of the beans and their origin. 

That being said, there are still plenty of cold brew coffee bean blends that taste great – so we suggest you try both and see which you prefer. 

best coffee beans cold brew

Best Coffee Roast For Cold Brew

When making cold brew coffee at home, you may be confused about which is the best coffee to cold brew and whether to use light, medium or dark roast beans.

The truth is all will work if brewed correctly, so it’s a matter of personal preference. Coffee lovers are divided when it comes to the best roast for cold brew coffee.

Dark roast coffee will yield rich and earthy coffee. Think chocolatey, spicy and nutty flavors. They are often a good choice if you add milk or cream, as the flavor can carry through better than other lighter roasts.

Light to medium roasts, on the other hand, are more delicate, acidic and tend to have fruity or floral overtones. A longer brewing time is required to extract these more nuanced flavors.

With that said, it’s good to know that there’s no right and wrong when deciding what coffee to use for cold brew, it all comes down to what your personal preferences.  

Best Grind for Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew processing works by steeping the ground coffee in cold water for a long period of time. Unlike making espresso, there is no heat or pressure involved to extract the flavor from the beans.

So what is the best cold brew coffee grind size? With more time to extract the flavor, a coarser grind works well for cold brew. A cold grew coarse grind is similar to that used for french press brewing.

With a coarser grind, it is easier to filter out the coffee grounds from the water, the coffee grounds will be less bitter and your cold coffee is less likely to have a grainy texture due to fine grinds.

Best Beans To Use For Cold Brew When Adding Milk?

Again, whether you choose to add milk or cream or not to your coffee is a matter of personal taste. Because cold coffee brew is more subtle when it comes to flavors, many coffee lovers drink it without milk or cream.

Like all things coffee, it is good to experiment. If you are new to cold brew coffee, try it without milk first (this is one of our tips to enjoying coffee black). You may be pleasantly surprised!

If you decide to add milk, the best coffee blend for cold brew is a dark roast. The bold, robust flavor in a dark roast holds up better when mixed with milk than a medium or light roast.

A blend of three parts coffee to one part milk or cream is a great ratio to start with.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home

There are many cold brew coffee methods to make the best cold brew coffee.

You could brew it in a french press or in a Toddy Cold Brew System, but for easy cold brew coffee, use a mason jar with cold brew coffee bags like these from Trade Coffee.

  1. Simply grind your coffee beans to a coarse grind, and pour into the coffee bag.
  2. Fill the mason jar with filtered, cold water.
  3. Place the coffee bag into the jar and leave at room temperature for 12-18 hours.
  4. Remove the bag and pour the cold brew concentrate over ice or milk.

Click to read more about Trade’s compostable fiber coffee bags for cold brew.

Our Favorite Cold Brew Beans

Whether you’re trying cold brew for the first time or you’ve been enjoying it for some time, take the time to experiment with coffee bean options to find the perfect blend. 

If you’re looking for a caffeine overdose, then the Death Wish coffee blend is the one for you. For more subtle flavors, opt for Stone Street or Real Good coffee.

If socially responsible corporations are what you admire, the Tiny Footprint coffeeis your perfect choice. Finally, if you’re looking for a flavor kick, then give the Cafe Du Monde a try.  Here are some cold brew recipes to try.

What do you think is the best coffee for cold brewing? Let us know in the comments below!

You can find all of our coffee bean reviews here.  If you are looking for a quality coffee maker for cold brew coffee, we love the Breville Precision Brewer.

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how to make cold brew coffee at home
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About Rachel

Creator and writer for Creators of Coffee, Rachel is an everyday coffee lover who also loves to research and share practical tips on everything to do with coffee. Favorite way to make coffee: With an Espresso Machine

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