Best Coffee For Cold Brew — Our Top Picks This Summer

By: | Updated: April 23, 2021

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Summer is upon us, and so is the new favorite drink. Cold brew is increasingly popular, and you should get ready to enjoy some this summer! By virtue of its preparation, cold brew is different from regular coffee or cold coffee. That means that the same rules and preparation methods we employ for our regular beverage won’t work with this one. Therefore, picking the best coffee for cold brew takes a slightly different approach.

Things You Should Know To Make The Best Cold Brew Coffee

The Brewing Process

General wisdom says water should be heated to about 195°F for the best extraction. That’s the temperature where we can extract some of the best flavors of coffee, including the fruity and acidic ones. Cold brew never reaches such a temperature.

A regular cold brew would be more focused around mouthfeel and flavors of nuts chocolates and dried spices. The fruity and acidic flavors are important components, which is why many people prefer making iced coffee. Although, very clearly, the flavors remain exciting as well, and offer their own unique flavors and feel.

There are two popular methods for the brewing process:

  • The immersion method involves steeping the coffee beans (or coarse grind) in water for about 24 hours. They are then filtered for the brew.
  • Slow drip process has a more intricate setup, where iced water is slowly dripped onto coffee grounds, filtered and collected in a carafe. It takes about 5-6 hours for this process to complete.

Choosing The Best Of Cold Brew Coffee Beans

Considering the coffee quality and roast are a big deal. You could use the conventional beans if you prefer, but there are coffee beans available that cater specifically to cold brew. Your choice of beans can make a difference, especially given the difference in the brewing process. Choosing the best cold brew coffee beans on how you prefer to take your coffee.

If you prefer your beverage without milk, medium roast coffee beans should give you the best result. Those who want to add milk will find a dark roast more suited to their tastes.

But can you use regular ground coffee for a cold brew? Since it uses a different brewing process, you probably shouldn’t use regular ground coffee. The conventionally available ground coffee is usually made for drip machines and has a fine grind that just won’t go well with steeping for several hours. That doesn’t mean pre ground coffee is out of the question, as long as you get a very coarse grind, you could give it a shot. If regular pre ground coffee is all you have, it’s better to consider iced coffee.

There are several options and brands available. You can easily find beans on Amazon, in stores, online and brick and mortar shops, and even Starbucks. There are vibrant social communities like or reddit and Facebook, and easily accessible information.

Best Coffee Beans For Cold Brew

Comparison Chart

DEATH WISH COFFEE Whole Bean Coffee [16 oz.] The World’s Strongest, USDA Certified Organic, Fair Trade, Arabica and Robusta Beans (1-Pack)
Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve, Coarse Ground, 1 LB Bag, Dark Roast, Colombian Single Origin
Intelligentsia Frequency Blend – 12 oz – Medium Roast, Direct Trade, Whole Bean Coffee
Hazelnut Cold Brew Iced Coffee (5-pack) | Cold Buzz Coffee Bean Bag Packs
Tiny Footprint Coffee – Organic Cold Brew Cold Press Elixir | Whole Bean Coffee | USDA Organic | Carbon Negative | 16 Ounce
Cafe Du Monde Coffee Chicory, 15-Ounce (Pack of 3)

1. Death Wish Whole Bean Coffee

The interestingly named Death Wish Whole Bean Coffee is a popular choice for regular brewing as well as cold brews. It is rich, flavorful, and claims to be the most potent coffee available. If you’re looking for a solid caffeine kick, Death Wish will do it for you!

All that rich caffeine content makes this coffee great. This brand is all about getting your fresh coffee rich and powerful, and it delivers on both counts.

2. Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve Colombian Coffee

Stone Street coffee is one of the most popular options available and is our choice as the best coffee brand for cold brew. It is made and directed straight for cold brews. A full “Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve Colombian Single Origin Coarsely Ground Coffee” is an excellent roast, pre ground, and ready to go.

That’s a combination that works great for most people, as the coffee beans are made available exactly the way they should be. It’s a well-balanced taste and will soak without any troubles.

3. Intelligentsia Coffee Frequency Blend

Intelligentsia Coffee is an interestingly flavored all-rounder. Made with pulped-natural Brazilian coffee and seasonal fully washed coffee, this blend has quite a lot to offer. It’s usually a medium-to-dark roast that’s almost a classical feel and flavor.

The blend makes it unique, as do the seasonal variations. It’s quite the coffee, and you’ll love it.

4. Hazelnut Cold Brew Iced Coffee

What makes this coffee great is the touch of Hazelnut flavor along with classic cold brew coffee. What makes it even better is that the flavors come out to play with steeping. The beans used are 100% Arabica from Central and South American farmers.

Cold Buzz Hazelnut coffee works best with cold brew, and they also recommend refrigeration while brewing. So your brew will be good to go as soon as the steeping is done. Cold Buzz has quite a range of flavors to offer, but Hazelnut is particularly enticing.

5. Tiny Footprint Coffee

Tiny Footprint Coffee presents its eco-conscious inclinations right along its tasty flavors. The company claims to sell “carbon negative coffee”, with a portion of all profits going to reforestation efforts in Ecuador.

The Cold Press Elixir is made specifically for use in cold brew coffee. There recommendation for coffee to water ratio is 1:6 for brewing, and 1:1 for dilution. Cold Press Elixir is made from shade-grown Arabica blended with Ethiopian coffees.

6. Cafe Du Monde Coffee Chicory

The very classical appearance of Cafe Du Monde Coffee Chicory’s packing is a reminder that this is an old company with deep-rooted coffee history. It has been in business since 1862 and knows its coffee flavors and production well.

Coffee is blended with chicory for a sweet aroma and mellow flavors. Being smooth and very low on bitterness makes it an excellent choice for cold brew, although traditional coffee loves will enjoy it as much!

Best Coffee For Cold Brew — Conclusion

Cold brew is delicious and just the right fit for the summers. Making it is easy and convenient, and you can often forego the machines and equipment usually required for traditional coffee. Getting the best coffee beans for cold brew, however, remains important. After all, it is the beans that make the brew!

by Joakim
Joakim is a coffee connoisseur who loves all types of coffee, no matter the type or region of origin. He loves writing about his coffee experience, sharing with readers the tastes, methods of making, and more.