The 8 BEST Coffee for Cold Brew That Actually Work

14 min read JUL 23, 2023

Are you a fan of cold brew coffee? Well, look no further. We have scoured the world for the best coffee beans to make your perfect cup of cold brew. From light to dark roast, from specialty blends to store brand coffees - plenty of options on this list will hit all taste preferences and flavor profiles.

Best Cold Brew Coffee Beans

Atlas Cold Brew Coffee Subscription

The Atlas Cold Brew Coffee Subscription is the best overall choice when looking for a cold brew subscription. It has quickly become one of the top choices among coffee lovers and hardcore caffeine addicts who want to take their cold brew game up a notch.

The direct-to-consumer model ensures that customers get freshly roasted beans delivered straight from the roaster, not just pre ground Jolt or stale blends picked up at grocery stores.

The flexibility provided by their customizable plans offers something for everyone—whether you’re after weekly light roasts, monthly flavor preferences, or customized orders of your favorites.

All beans are carefully sourced from trusted suppliers and independently inspected for quality control before delivery. With each shipment comes personalized notes about each bean's characteristics and terroir, so it’s perfect if you’re looking to tap into different coffees with unique nuances in taste and aroma.

Lifeboost Optimist Light Roast

Lifeboost Optimist Light Roast is a perfect choice for cold brewing. This light roast packs a punch with its smooth and full-bodied flavor, offering a well-rounded cup of coffee without any bitterness.

It's made from Arabica beans sourced from high altitudes in Nicaragua and Ethiopia, giving it an intense yet balanced taste profile. The beans are roasted to perfection using the traditional “lightest roasts” method by master roasters to retain all their natural flavors and oils.

This light roast's delicate yet balanced taste makes it so popular amongst cold brewers. Though it only contains 200 mg caffeine per 8oz cup compared to darker roasts like Columbian or French Roast (which contain around 400mg per cup), due to its unique composition, this coffee still offers plenty of energy boost regardless of your preferences on strength or flavor complexity.

Unlike some other light roast coffees whose tastes can easily stray towards being too mellow or dull once brewed as part of a cold brew batch -the Lifeboost Optimist blend retains its bright jazzy aromas with hints of sweet syrups caramel seamlessly blended together into one wash throughout each sip.

Coffee Bros Cold Brew Blend

This is a whole bean blend made from 100% Arabica beans that have been sourced from Brazil and Ethiopia, making it one of the best blends for cold brew coffee.

This medium roast combination provides optimum flavor profiles for an intense but balanced cup of cold brewed coffee. The notes of fermented dark chocolate on offer, alongside the sweet tones of dried fruits, make this unique blend stand out when compared to typical light or dark roasts.

Compared with other brewing methods, cold brewing helps bring out more flavorful components in specific types of beans like those used in the Coffee Bros Cold Brew Blend, creating a smooth yet rich taste perfect for colder temperatures.

Furthermore, this variety allows you to appreciate single-origin coffees, which cannot be experienced through traditional hot brewing methods. Their delicate flavors become too subtle once exposed to higher heat levels over brewing time.

Out Of The Grey Honduras Comsa

Out Of The Grey Honduras Comsa is a highly-rated single origin coffee specifically designed for cold brew. This light to medium roast from Central America has a unique taste profile with notes of sweet apricot and caramel and base flavors of tobacco and dark chocolate.

The beans are grown in the highlands of Honduras at an elevation of over 3,500 feet, producing vibrant flavors that stand out in colder beverages like iced lattes or infused cocktails.

To ensure all the great flavor comes through when cold brewing doesn’t grind your coffee too finely - use a coarse setting that keeps more body than fine when it steeps for 12-14 hours in cold water.

When brewed properly you expertly balanced sweetness and acidity along with hints of creamy caramel and cocoa undertones coming through the cup.

Volcanica Coffee Cold Brew Blend

This is ideal for those looking to make cold brew coffee at home without breaking the bank. Its blend of Arabica and Sumatra beans offers bold yet balanced flavor profiles with low-acid notes.

It also offers bolder flavors than other more expensive options, such as dark chocolate, making it a versatile choice for both sweet and savory drinks. The Volcanica Cold Brew Blend also features a unique bean size distribution which helps extract all the flavors from the whole beans into your coffee.

Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve

Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve is perfect for coffee fanatics who love a bold, rich taste. This French-style dark roast is made with 100% Arabica beans sourced from special origins in Colombia, creating an intensely flavorful cup of coffee.

For brewing this blend at home, it’s important to use coarser grounds as finer grinds can lead to over-extraction or lack of flavor when combined with cold temperatures and longer brew times.

The ideal extraction ratio for Stone Street Cold Brew Reserve is 1:12 – one part coarsely ground coffee (13g) combined with 12 parts water (156 ml). When tasting this dense dark roast you’ll experience notes of semi-sweet chocolate and toast along with its creamy body.

Cameron’s Vanilla Hazelnut Cold Brew Blend

This is an allergen-free, flavored coffee that sets itself apart with its depth of flavor. The combination of the nuttiness from hazelnuts and the sweetness of vanilla lends a unique taste to this particular blend.

This specialty cold brew has a smooth; yet bold body that does not overpower but still captivates you each time before finishing off with notes of sweet caramel for an even more enjoyable experience every single cup.

Peet’s Coffee Baridi Blend

The Peet’s Coffee Baridi Blend is a medium roast that has been crafted from East African coffee beans to capture the perfect flavor for a cold brew. The robust and bold taste comes from a carefully-selected blend of specialty grade Arabica beans, which are roasted for optimal brewing performance.

In addition to the unique flavor profile, what makes Peet’s Baridi Blend ideal for cold brew is its origin and sourcing method. The green coffee beans used in this blend are ethically sourced from small growers across East Africa in combination with exclusive microlots cultivated by experienced farmers.

During roasting, every step is executed precisely according to temperature profiles that accentuate each bean's distinct characteristics so you can experience all its rich flavors at home or on the go through Nitro Cold Brew cans or Cafe Domingo drinks.

For optimal results when making your own cold brew at home using this coffee, it must be freshly ground just before use since pre-ground loses its aroma quickly after leaving the grinder.

Understanding Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee is a special type of coffee made by steeping coarsely ground beans in cold water for 8 to 24 hours to extract the flavors of the beans. In fact cold brew is made without using any heat at all.

The Effects Of Temperature On Taste

The temperature has a significant impact on the taste of cold brew coffee. Cold brewed coffees are typically between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on temperature preferences and equipment.

At lower temperatures, around 50 to 55 degrees, total titratable acidity (TA) is highest in coffee, resulting in an acidic-tasting cup with more prominent fruity flavors.

With higher temperatures between 70 - 75 degrees Fahrenheit, TA drops significantly, resulting in a less acidic cup yet still well balanced with different light nuances of flavors being expressed.

Brewing coffee at any other temperate can result in both under extraction or over extraction: if too high it may cause bitterness while if too low not enough flavor will be extracted from beans leading to bland tasting cups of cold brews.

Immersion Vs Cold Drip Cold Brewing

Immersion and cold drip cold brewing methods have a few things in common - both use smaller grinds of specialty coffees that are brewed for extended time periods. However, in terms of outcome, the two processes greatly differ.

The immersion technique is perhaps the simplest way to make cold brew coffee. To make it, you need to leave coarse coffee grounds in water at room temperature or cooler water for 12-24 hours and then filter the concentrated liquid.

This method produces coffee with minimal acidity, a rich sweetness, almost no bitterness, and a smooth texture. On the other hand, slow drip brewing requires more equipment than immersion, such as an ice catcher percolator pot or Toddy maker, which drip compresses filtered cold water on top of pre-saturated grounds via gravity over submersion.

The Grind Size Matters (A Lot)

The right grind size greatly impacts the flavor of your cold brew. A finer grind means faster extraction and stronger coffee, while coarser grounds give you slower extraction and milder coffee.

To get the most out of your cold-brewed cup, it is essential to know what kind of grind size produces the flavor that you prefer. With an immersion method (e.g., a French press or mason jar) where ground beans are fully immersed in water for hours at low temperatures, one should opt for a coarse grind akin to sea salt—small chunks with no powdery bits left behind evenly spaced from each other. The reason for this is if you grind too fine, it can cause overly bitterness associated with over extraction when used in this type of brewing process.

Dark Or Light Roast?

When cold brewing coffee, it’s important to consider the roast level and beans best suited for the method. Darker roasts can provide a bold and full-bodied flavor, while lighter roasts offer a mild taste that is still deep in flavor.

Medium and medium-dark roasts will produce a balanced brew with smooth acidity levels and pleasant flavors. Lifeboost Optimist Light Roast is an excellent choice for those who enjoy light roast coffee. This single origin from Honduras produces subtle notes of nuttiness with a slightly sweet aftertaste.

Single-Origin Or Blend?

When it comes to cold brew coffee, the debate between single-origin beans and blends can make finding a great cup of coffee seem impossible. Single-origin coffees are created from one country's harvest, while blends combine two or more bean varieties.

Single origin coffees offer a unique set of flavors that are reflective of the climate in which they were grown and processed, making them ideal for those looking for specialty flavors or terroir in their cold brews.

Popular examples include Atlas Cold Brew Coffee Subscription (Colombian single origin) and Volcanica Coffee Cold Brew Blend (Ethiopian bean blend). While single-origins usually have brighter acidity levels, finding the perfect balance within your batch might require mixing different beans from multiple regions and experimenting with roast levels and grind sizes.

Blends provide complexity not obtainable with single origins by combining different flavor profile characteristics into a more balanced whole, ultimately creating harmonious cups resembling specific roaster’s signature styles e.g. Cameron’s Vanilla Hazelnut Cold Brew Blend is made from specially selected Arabica beans with natural vanilla hazelnut flavoring added after roasting is completed; Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve uses dark roasted Ethiopian Yirgacheffe combined with other light roasted specialty grade coffees to create an intensely smooth cup.

To Milk Or Not To Milk?

While the use of milk in hot coffee is undisputedly a worldwide accepted practice, many cold brew lovers are divided on this matter. Some prefer their chilled beverage to be diluted with water only; others give credence to adding a hint of dairy.

While it is ultimately up to personal preference, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether or not one should add milk (or an alternative)to their cold-brewed cup of coffee.

First, Cold brewed coffees have a lower temperature than hot brewed coffees, significantly affecting their flavor. This leads to greater extraction of the potential blend's origin characteristics, such as acidity and sweetness, including subtler aromas and flavors.

Adding any kind of dairy might overpower these delicate notes — thus detracting one's ability to experience the nuances that make each bean special. Alternatives like oat or nut milk can provide creaminess while complementing some flavor notes already present in light roast coffee and also avoiding overwhelming the senses with too much lactose. On the other hand, full-fat/fat-free cow's milk or condensed milk could be used for a sweeter element that cuts through stronger blends very nicely. But you need to be careful here because if you overdo it, you may drink something sweetened beyond recognition.


The perfect cup of cold brew coffee comes down to individual preferences, from light roast to dark roast, store brands to specialty blends. No matter what you choose, these top 8 picks for the best coffee for cold brew offer the most awesome flavors that will meet almost anyone's needs for a great cup of coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Much Coarse Ground Coffee Do I Need For A Cold Brew?

The amount of coarse ground coffee needed for a perfect cup of cold brew can vary depending on the desired strength and flavor. A French press or jar brewing method typically requires more grounds than an immersion device like a cold brew maker.

The average ratio used in a French press is 7 ounces of water to 2 tablespoons, or about 15-18 grams, the worth of grounds; this will yield one cup (250 ml) of cold brew concentrate that could be diluted to make more depending on your preferences.

Experimenting with different ratios is recommended until you find the perfect balance for your taste buds. The type of bean and roast has a big impact on how much coffee should be used and its final result — a finer Grind size will require fewer ground beans than larger grind sizes while lighter roasted beans also need lesser grounds compared to darker roasts.

How Long Does It Take To Make A Good Cup Of Cold Brew?

It is recommended you steep cold brew coffee for at least 12 hours. Longer extraction times can result in stronger and more concentrated flavors, so if you like a bold and intense cup of coffee, try experimenting with up to 24 hours of steeping.

It's all about personal preference. Generally speaking, the lighter or less emphasized the roast profile of particular beans is, then the shorter time it needs to reach its desired flavor extractions during brewing ranging from 4-7 hours.

For regular full roasts, however, more complexity can be achieved by giving them longer times to steep between 10-20+ hours, depending on how powerful your desired force might be.

Is There A Difference Between Regular And Cold Brewed Coffee?

Yes, a significant difference exists between regular hot brewed coffee and cold-brewed coffee. Cold brewing is made by steeping coarsely ground beans in room temperature or chilled water for an extended period of time – usually 12 to 24 hours.

During the cold brew process, the lower temperature of the water means that only milder flavors are extracted from the beans, resulting in a low acidity and smooth taste cup when taken with milk or cream.

On the other hand, standard hot brewed coffee uses much hotter temperatures during extraction, allowing more intense flavors (and acids) to be extracted. This results in bold and acidic cups, which can become bitter if overdone.

Caffeine content is also affected; cold brew generally has less caffeine than its hot-brewing counterparts since it takes longer for flavor compounds, including caffeine, to extract when using cooler temperatures.

Does Using Dark Roast Beans Give You Better Flavor With Cold Brewing?

Dark roast beans are a great option for cold brew coffee since they provide strong flavor without too much acidity. The longer the roast, the less acidic the cup will be and that can make all the difference in your home-brewed cold brew. French roast and dark roast beans have low enough acidity to produce smooth, balanced cups of coffee even at colder temperatures.

Can You Use Instant Or Flavored Coffees In Your Cold Brews?

The answer is yes but with a few considerations and precautions. Instant coffees are convenient because they require no grinding or extra preparation but can sometimes contain fillers or added preservatives, which may affect the cold brew’s overall flavor.

Even if they’re labeled “pure” instant coffee, you should read the ingredients list carefully to ensure nothing else has been included. Instant coffee grinds tend to be finer than traditional ground bean varieties; you’ll want to use less when adding it to your cold brew mixture to avoid too strong a flavor.

Can I Use Any Type Of Coffee Maker To Make Cold Brew?

The answer is yes. Cold brew coffee can be made with any type of coffee maker. Whether you’re using a French press, drip machine, or an espresso machine – they all work great for brewing cold brew coffee.

How Long Can You Store A Cold Brew Concentrate?

Storing cold brew concentrate correctly and efficiently can extend its shelf life dramatically. The main factor affecting how long a cold brew concentrate will last is temperature: both the storage and serving temperatures should be kept as low as possible.

Additionally, for maximum freshness impact, storing cold-brewed coffee in an airtight container, such as a mason jar or a clean and dry plastic one-gallon jug.

When using plastic containers for storage, make sure to use tightly sealed lids so that there is minimal oxygen present (oxidation caused by oxygen is the enemy of tasty coffee drinks).

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Cold Brew Packs.

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