Coarsely ground, medium, or dark roast coffee beans are perfect for making tasty cold brew coffee. We’ve picked 10 of the most robust coffee flavors to create the ultimate cold brew recipe at home.
Cold brew is one of the most popular iced coffee drinks today among third-wave coffee drinkers. However, these iced coffee drinks are also some of the most expensive on cafe menus, costing as much as four to six dollars a glass. Luckily, making a cold brew recipe at home is simple and relatively inexpensive.
To create the perfect cold brew at home, start with coarsely-ground, robust coffee beans. We’ve done the research for you to find 10 of the best-tasting coffees for cold brew on today’s market.
Our top pick for cold brew coffee is Bizzy’s Organic Cold Brew Smooth & Sweet Blend. These organically-grown coffee beans are roasted to perfection and include delicious notes of caramel and hazelnut. Add at least one gram of Bizzy’s coffee for every eight grams of water. Then, let the grounds steep for about 16 hours for a delicious, well-rounded cup of cold brew.
We have handpicked many other coffee options, including low-acid, decaf, high-caffeine, pod concentrates, flavored coffees, and more. Let’s take a look.
Our List of the Best Coffee Beans for Cold Brew
- Best overall: Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Smooth & Sweet Blend
- Best decaf: Kicking Horse Dark Roast Swiss Water Processed Decaf Cofee
- Best blend: Volcanica Cold Brew Coffee
- Best organic: Tiny Footprint Coffee Organic Cold Brew
- Best low-acid: Lifeboost Biotics Brew
- Best for energy: Stone Street Cold Brew High Caffeine ‘Boost Blend’
- Best flavored: Bones Coffee Company Salty Siren Caramel Chocolate Flavor
- Best for beginners: Grady’s Cold Brew Coffee Kit
- Best pod option: JAVA HOUSE Cold Brew Colombian Coffee Concentrate Liquid Pods
- Best light roast: San Francisco Bay Light Roast Cold Brew Ground Coffee
The 10 best coffees for cold brew in today’s market
1 Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Smooth & Sweet Blend
Bizzy’s Smooth and Sweet blend is designed to make the very best cold brew coffee. The 100% USDA Organic beans come from Guatemala, Peru, and Nicaragua creating a delightful combination of caramel and hazelnut notes.
After roasting the beans to a medium level, Bizzy uses a coarse, uniform grind size to allow the rich, bold flavors to shine through. With Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Smooth and Sweet Blend, you can make an incredibly smooth cold brew at home.
2 Kicking Horse Dark Roast Swiss Water Processed Decaf Coffee
Kicking Horse Dark Roast Decaf lets you enjoy the intense cold brew coffee flavor without getting the jitters. The coffee beans start in Central and South America and include natural flavor notes of roasted hazelnuts and chocolate. While many brands use chemicals to decaffeinate coffee, Kicking Horse uses a strict Swiss water process. This water processing removes 99.9% of the caffeine while retaining the rich coffee flavor.
Kicking Horse’s Decaf coffee has a deep, delicious flavor and a long-lasting, mellow finish. It allows you to forgo caffeine without sacrificing the rich cold brew coffee tastes you love.
3 Volcanica Cold Brew Coffee
This deliciously rich and sweet blend uses responsibly sourced beans that are grown in the Sumatra region’s volcanic soil. The volcanic soil gives it a bold chocolatey nut flavor. It is delicious on its own or with cream and sugar.
In addition to its high-quality flavor, Volcanica has an admirable philanthropic initiative. They donate 1% of every purchase through their website to support sustainable, locally-owned charity:water projects in developing parts of the world.
Volcanica is committed to working directly with local coffee farmers and cooperatives to maintain fair business practices and high-quality coffee.
4 Tiny Footprint Coffee Organic Cold Brew Cold Press Elixir
If you are concerned about our planet and like supporting businesses working to reduce their carbon footprint, Tiny Footprint Coffee is for you. They are a carbon-negative roastery supporting reforestation efforts in Ecuador by donating a portion of all its profits to the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation.
Your morals won’t be the only thing getting a boost from Tiny Footprint coffee. Your tastebuds will be tantalized by their unique Cold Brew Elixir beans. This blend features a mix of both light and dark roasts. The combination creates a silky smooth Cold Brew with subtle fruity floral notes and a rich flavor.
5 LIFEBOOST Biotics Cold Brew
If you love coffee but hate the stomach pain that often follows, you might want to try LIFEBOOST’s biotics Cold Brew. Its light, mellow flavor features raw sugar and vanilla notes with citrusy undertones to create a delicious brew. But that is not why your stomach will love it.
LIFEBOOST’s biotics Cold Brew is rich in antioxidants and probiotics that support your gut health and immune system. These probiotics work to rid your body of toxins and reduce inflammation. You might feel better after drinking your morning Cold Brew with LIFEBOOST.
6 Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee High Caffeine ‘Boost Blend’
For those of you looking for a bold, dark roast that is easy on your stomach Stone Street has the perfect option. Stone Street is a small, artisanal coffee roaster based in Brooklyn, NYC. Their beans are roasted and ground to perfection, so you can easily make a deliciously smooth cup of cold brew from the comfort of your home.
This rich yet smooth Boost Blend features beans from Colombia and Mexico. The coffee is processed to include one-third more caffeine than the average beans. This delicious coffee is packed with energy and is cheaper than many other gourmet brands.
7 Bones Coffee Company Salty Siren Caramel Chocolate Flavored Coffee
With this Bones’ Salty Siren Coffee, you can recreate a Starbucks-style cold brew at home–all you need is some cold foam on top! This flavored coffee uses 100% Arabica beans from Brazil, roasted in small batches. The added flavors of salted caramel and chocolate combine to create one delicious blend.
This coffee is vegan-friendly and contains no added sugar. It is a sweet treat that you can enjoy guilt-free!
8 Grady's Cold Brew Coffee Kit
Cold Brew is delicious, but filtering out the grounds can be a hassle. This Grady’s Cold Brew Coffee cuts down on prep time and the mess. Instead of measuring coffee grounds, this kit comes with 12 cold brew coffee bags. Each bag can brew up to three servings of coffee. You can also brew directly into Grady’s bag and use its spigot to serve cold coffee on the go.
Enjoy the exotic taste of a New Orlean’s style brew with this blend of coffee, chicory, and spices.
This cold-brew coffee kit is easy to use and comes with a high level of success.
9 JAVA HOUSE Cold Brew Colombian Coffee Concentrate Liquid Pods
The Java House Cold Brew pods are a quick and easy way to enjoy cold brew coffee on the go. These single-serve pods contain liquid coffee that you can pour over six to eight ounces of cold water, hot water, or milk. Or, you can pop one of these pods into a single-serve coffee maker.
The compact size makes these cold brew pods travel-friendly for camping and road trips. They also pass TSA carry-on guidelines for a cup of coffee that tastes great while you fly.
Besides being simple to use, Java House cold brew also contains an excellent flavor profile. The Colombian coffee is steeped in filtered water for 12 hours to release chocolate and caramel flavor notes.
This bold and balanced cold brew is delicious at home or on the go.
10 San Francisco Bay Light Roast Cold Brew Ground Coffee
Most often, dark or medium coffee roasts work best for cold brews. However, if you prefer the light floral and fruity tastes of light roasts, San Francisco Bay’s Light Roast Cold Brew is perfectly optimized for cold brew coffee.
These 100% Arabica coffee beans grow at high altitudes in Africa. They are handpicked and roasted for a sweet, well-balanced flavor and coarsely ground for a slow-brew method. If you love light roasts and cold brews, this coffee is worth a try!
What is Cold Brew?
Cold Brew is a type of iced coffee. However, instead of running through a regular drip pot for five minutes, cold brew steeps for several hours in cold water. This brewing method often uses coarsely ground coffee and medium or dark roasts. The result is a deliciously smooth coffee with less acidity and more flavor.
Why do coffee drinkers love cold brew?
Cold brew is a refreshing drink that is popular among coffee drinkers. Here are a few reasons it is so well-loved:
- Brewing with cold water draws out a different flavor profile, frequently resulting in a fuller body and delicious taste.
- Cold Brew is less acidic, which allows drinkers to enjoy their tasty coffee without stomach pain or discomfort.
- Because it steeps for several hours, cold brew often has a higher caffeine content than other coffee drinks.
- Making cold brew at home can save you time and money. Since cold brew concentrate is made in large batches, you can get multiple cups of coffee from one recipe.
Buyer’s Guide: What type of coffee beans are best for cold brew?
Consider the roast level and grind size when narrowing down the best coffee beans for cold brew. Then decide if you prefer a single-origin coffee or a blend.
The best roast level
The roast level helps determine the flavor. With darker roasts, you can taste more aromatic oils and acids from the beans. Medium and dark roasts produce more full-bodied and well-rounded flavors and carry less acidity than light roasts.
Ultimately, it’s a matter of preference. If you only like light roasts, go with that!
The best grind size
For cold brew coffee, coarsely ground coffee is best. Since cold brew takes several hours, fine grinds may over-extract and create bitter coffee. Coarsely ground coffee allows the flavors of the coffee beans to release slowly for a smooth, delicious brew.
Single Origin VS Blend
Single origins and blends can both make great cold brews. In a single-origin coffee, all the beans come from one area. These beans may contain a specific flavor profile according to the soil and growing conditions. It may be either rich and nutty or fruity and floral.
A blend combines coffee beans from different parts of the world. These combinations can give you a wide range of exotic flavors in one brew.
How to make the best cold brew recipe step-by-step
Making cold brew coffee is not a complicated process. You just need coarsely ground coffee, cold water, and some time.
Here are the steps to make a delicious cup of cold brew at home:
What you need:
- A large glass container or French press
- A large container to use during the filtering process (Approximately the same size as the brewing container)
- Cheesecloth or large coffee filters
- Coffee grounds
- Cold water
Step 1: Start with coarsely ground coffee
Freshly ground coffee produces the best results whether you are brewing hot coffee or cold brew. However, if you don’t own a grinder, use coarse pre-ground coffee.
Step 2: Measure the coffee grounds and water using the proper ratio
Use a scale or standard cup measurements to measure your coffee grounds accurately.
According to Imbibe Magazine, the industry-standard ratio for cold brew is 1:8. So, for every eight parts of cold water, you should use one part of coarsely ground coffee. This ratio is perfect for pouring your cold brew directly over ice.
However, if you plan to add milk or water to your cold brew, you can make a cold brew concentrate using a stronger ratio, such as 1:4.
Adjust the brew ratio according to personal taste.
Step 3: Use cold water
Pour the appropriate amount of cold, filtered water over the grounds. Unlike hot coffee, which needs hot water to oxidize and extract, cold water slows the extraction process creating a smooth, less acidic brew.
Step 4: Stir the mixture
Stir the mixture to ensure the grounds are evenly coated with water. Then, cover and place it in the refrigerator or on the kitchen counter for 12-24 hours. The longer you leave it, the stronger it will taste.
Step 5: Filter out the grounds
Once it’s finished brewing, place your filter or cheesecloth over the opening of your second container. Carefully pour your cold brew over the filter, starting and stopping as needed. Discard the grounds when you have finished. Repeat this 3-4 more times or until you are satisfied that all loose grounds have been removed.
If you use a French press, you can simply press down the plunger after the brew time is done. This method cuts down on cleanup and can save you time.
Step 6: Store in the fridge
Place your freshly brewed cold brew in a glass jar, seal it tight, and place it in the fridge. Your cold brew can last a week to ten days in the refrigerator.
Tips for making delicious Cold Brew drinks at home
- If you add sugar or thick syrup like caramel or chocolate, remember that they will not dissolve easily in cold liquid. You can use a tiny bit of hot water or a handheld milk frother to stir.
- Add cream and/or sugar to balance out the bitterness and acidity of traditional hot coffee. Cold Brew is naturally smooth and less acidic than hot coffee, so you can use a little less cream and sugar than you normally would.
- You don’t need much ice. Adding a lot of ice will water down your Cold Brew.
- Making your own iced Cold Brews at home is easier than you might think. Go with what sounds good, and don’t be afraid to experiment. If you are looking for suggestions, check out our Iced Coffee Recipes to get you started.
Cold brew might require more brew time than traditional hot coffee, but the payoff is worth it.
With the right beans and technique, you can achieve a deliciously smooth, full-bodied flavor with little to no acid or bitterness.
Our favorite cold brew coffee is Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Smooth & Sweet Blend. This organic medium roast has delicious notes of caramel and hazelnut. Add ice, milk, and sugar for a refreshing pick-me-up at any time of day.
Whether you like the bold and rich flavors of dark roasts or prefer a light roast’s bright sweetness, our top 10 choices can direct you to the best cold brew coffee.