The Best Coffee Beans for Cold Brew in 2024

coffee beans in mason jar and spilling onto table

Cold brew coffee has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. The slow brewing process creates a smooth, less acidic cup of coffee that has a flavor and texture unique from all the traditional hot brewing techniques.

When it comes to cold brew, the brewing process is very different and takes much longer than traditional hot brewing methods. This means that the coffee beans used need to be specifically chosen to produce a flavorful and smooth cup when in contact with water for sometimes over 24 hours.

For example, one thing to consider when purchasing coffee beans for cold brew is the roast level. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, medium to dark roast coffee beans are typically the best choice for cold brew. 

In this article, I'll be testing and reviewing 7 different coffee beans to figure out which works best specifically for making cold brew. Let's get going!

Related: 13 Different Ways You Can Make Coffee at Home

The Best Coffee Beans for Cold Brew in 2023

Best Overall 

Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee

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Bizzy Organic Cold Brew

If you are looking for a smooth and sweet cold brew coffee from already ground beans, then Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee is a great option.

Pros

  • Best best-tasting coffee on this list
  • Coarse ground coffee optimized for cold brewing, resulting in a consistent, extra smooth cold brew.
  • 100% organic, ethically sourced coffee from Guatemala, Peru, and Nicaragua.
  • 3 roast level options

Cons

  • The packaging is not resealable, which may affect the freshness of the coffee.
  • Pre-ground beans means quicker flavor loss and “oxidation”

There are 3 roast options:

  • Light and Bright
  • Smooth and Sweet
  • Dark and Bold

For those without a quality grinder or who are not confident about how to grind specifically for cold brew, the coarse pre-ground beans on this list are a good option.

Because they're ground with a nice burr grinder, the grounds are the perfect coarse size for cold brew flavor, and their consistent and even, which all baristas know is important for good flavor extraction. When you grind at home with a cheap blade grinder, it's hard to control the average size of the grounds and they won't all grind evenly to the same size.

Even though you sacrifice some freshness with pre-ground beans, in this case, it could be an advantage over grinding the beans at home with a cheap blade grinder, with which it's hard to control ground size and consistency. 

Runner Up

Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee

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Stone Street Cold Brew

If you're looking for a high-quality coffee for cold brew, then Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee is definitely worth trying. The coffee is made from 100% Arabica beans sourced from Colombia and roasted in Brooklyn, New York and is ground to the perfect coarse size for optimal extraction. 

Pros

  • Nutty and chocolate flavor
  • Resealable packaging keeps coffee fresher longer
  • Medium and dark roast options

Cons

  • The coffee is quite strong, so you may need to adjust the strength to your liking.
  • The coffee may be a bit expensive for some people.
  • It may not be suitable for those who prefer a lighter roast.

Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee is a great choice for anyone who loves rich, bold, and smooth coffee. The coffee is easy to make and can be used in a variety of cold brew coffee makers or systems, French press, pitcher, or mason jar. The coffee is freshly roasted in Brooklyn, NYC, and is packaged in a 1 lb resealable bag.

Related: A Beginners Guide to Coffee Grinders With James Hoffman

For Those With No Budget

Lifeboost Medium Cold Brew Coffee

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Lifeboost Medium Cold Brew Coffee

Pros

  • Certified organic & 3rd party tested for mycotoxins, heavy metals, pesticides, and 400 other toxins.
  • Medium and dark roast options
  • High-quality single origin beans make for an excellent tasting coffee

Cons

  • Only 12 ounce package size 
  • More expensive

LifeBoost Coffee is grown in the mountains of Central America, sun-dried, and spring water washed, resulting in really high-quality coffee.

There is a medium and dark roast option. For cold brew lovers I generally don't medium roast has enough flavor, so I recommend going with the dark roast.

For the Sweet Tooths 

Inspired Coffee Co Salted Caramel Flavored Cold Brew Coffee Grounds

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Inspired Coffee Co Salted Caramel Flavored Cold Brew

Pros

  • The salted caramel flavor is tasty but not overpowering.
  • Coarsely ground and ready to go.
  • Instructions for optimal water-to-ground ratio and steeping time are included.

Cons

  • The flavor may be too sweet for some people's taste.
  • The packaging is not resealable

Flavors Include:

  • Salted Caramel
  • Caramel
  • French Vanilla
  • Hazlenut
  • Irish Cream
  • Maple Nut Crunch
  • Mocha
  • Snickerdoodle
  • Southern Pecan

Best Flavored Option

Cameron's Coffee Original Cold Brew Blend Coarse-Ground Coffee

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Cameron's Coffee Original Cold Brew Blend

If you're looking for a smooth and mellow coffee with a creamy texture, Cameron's Coffee Original Cold Brew Blend Coarse-Ground Coffee is a great choice for you.

Pros

  • Smooth and slightly sweet
  • Tons of flavor options (listed below)
  • Can be bought in packs of 6 for a deal

Cons

  • Only available in a 12-ounce bags, which may not be enough for some coffee drinkers.
  • Some may find the flavor too mild
  • More expensive

Flavors:

  • Original
  • Sea Salt Caramel
  • Vanilla Hazlenut

Best for those Who Drink a Lot of Coffee

Roast Ridge Ground Cold Brew Coffee Blend

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Roast Ridge

Roast Ridge's 2lb bag of Cold Brew Blend is made from sustainably sourced coffee beans from various farms in Colombia and South America. It's also allergen-free.

Pros

  • High quality beans
  • Single-batch roasting process 
  • Large bag for a good price

Cons

  • Inconsistent grind size resulting in sludge at the bottom of the brew.
  • Lighter flavor.

I recently tried Roast Ridge Ground Cold Brew Coffee Blend and was impressed with the flavor. The coffee is smooth and rich, with a subtle sweetness that makes it perfect for a cold brew. 

One thing to note is that I found some of the coffee is too finely ground, which creates sludge at the bottom of the carafe. 

Overall, if you're looking for a high-quality cold brew coffee blend that's easy to make and tastes great, then Roast Ridge Ground Cold Brew Coffee Blend is worth considering.

Related: Where to Find Robusta Coffee Beans in the U.S.

For Those Short on Time

Javy Coffee 35X Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

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Javy Coffee 35X Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

I'm throwing Javy's coffee concentrate in here at the end for those who don't want to wait around 24 hours for the beans to soak, strain out the grounds, etc., and just want their cold brew ready to go at home. All you have to do is mix a few spoonfulls of this stuff with some water or milk!

Pros

  • Smooth, consistent flavor. You know what you're going to get every time.
  • The coffee concentrate is made of ultra-pure water, 100% arabica freshest beans, and cacao extract sourced from small reliable farmers, making it smart, sustainable, and stimulating.
  • 35 servings per bottle
  • Lots of flavor options
  • No artificial additives

Cons

  • More expensive than making your own coffee, but still cheaper than buying from a coffee shop
  • Not fresh

Flavors: 

  • Original
  • Caramel
  • Mocha
  • Vanilla
  • Decaf

Javy Coffee 35X Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate can be used to make instant iced coffee, cold brewed coffee, hot coffee, espresso, added to protein shakes, and more. For a drink similar to cold brew I recommend mixing 2 spoonfulls of Javy with 4-6 ounces of water.

What to Look For When Buying Cold Brew Coffee Beans

When it comes to choosing the best coffee for cold brew, there are several factors to consider. Here are some features to look for when selecting your coffee beans:

Roast Level

The roast level of the coffee beans has one of the biggest impacts on your cold brew's flavor. Darker roasts tend to have a bolder and stronger flavor, while lighter roasts have a more delicate and nuanced flavor.

Some say that lighter roasts are better because they bring out more of the coffee beans unique flavor profile. I personally like dark roasts for my cold brew because the whole reason I'm making cold brew is for a dark, intense flavor. And dark roast gets me there easier.

Bean Type

The type of coffee bean used can also affect the taste of your cold brew. Arabica beans are known for their sweetness and acidity, while Robusta beans have a stronger and more bitter taste. I've personally never tried robusta beans for my cold brew but if you like your coffee strong, it could be a fun experiment. Just be careful with that extra caffeine!

Grind Size

The size of the coffee grounds used for cold brew is crucial in determining the strength and flavor of your brew. Coarse grounds are typically used to avoid over-extraction and bitterness with the long brew time. It's important to use a high-quality grinder (burr) and a consistent grind size to ensure even extraction.

Origin

The origin of the coffee beans can also impact the flavor of your cold brew. Different regions produce beans with distinct flavor profiles. For example, beans from South America are known for their nutty and chocolatey flavors, while beans from Africa have a fruity and floral taste.

Price

Finally, price is an important consideration when selecting your coffee for cold brew. While higher-priced coffees may offer better quality and flavor, most people can't tell the difference between bean quality, so get whatever you like that's affordable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What characteristics should I look for in coffee beans for cold brew?

When choosing coffee beans for cold brew, look for ones with a smooth, sweet taste. Dark roast beans are often preferred because they have a more pronounced flavor that is desirable to cold brew drinkers. However, medium roast beans can also work well too. Ideally, the beans will also be freshly roasted and freshly ground. 

How does the grind size affect the quality of cold brew coffee?

The grind size is crucial when making cold brew coffee. A coarser grind is preferred because it allows for a slower extraction process, resulting in a smoother, less bitter flavor. If the grind is too fine, the coffee may become over-extracted and taste too bitter. Aim for a grind size similar to coarse sea salt.

Where can I find high-quality coffee for cold brew at an affordable price?

Many online retailers offer high-quality coffee beans for cold brew at an affordable price. Look for brands that specialize in cold brew coffee or offer specific blends for cold brewing. Local coffee shops may also carry beans specifically for cold brew.

Can you recommend any additions to cold brew?

Some popular flavor enhancements for cold brew coffee include adding a splash of cream or milk, a dash of cinnamon or vanilla extract, or a drizzle of caramel or chocolate syrup. Mixers work nce with cold brew because its strong flavor has a hard time getting diluted.

I personally like my cold brew black because adding too many flavor enhancements can mask the strong taste of the coffee, which is what I'm looking for when I buy or make cold brew.

This article was written by Josh. You can learn more about Josh on our About the Team page.

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