What Coffee is Best for Cold Brew?
Cold brew coffee is a popular beverage celebrated for its smooth and refreshing qualities. Selecting the best ground coffee for cold brew is crucial to perfect blending.
Unlike hot coffee, brewed quickly with heat, cold brew involves steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period. In this article, we’ll explore the seven best coffees to make a cold brew and answer some of your frequently asked questions.
The Best Ground Coffee For Cold Brews at a Glance
|Best for Case
|Laird Superfood Boost Coffee
|Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee
|Best smooth cold brew
|Grady's Cold Brew Coffee
|Best New Orleans-style cold brew
|San Francisco Bay Ground Coffee
|Best light roast cold brew
|Cameron's Coffee Vanilla Hazelnut Cold Brew Blend Coffee
|Best flavored cold brew
|Copper Moon Ground Coffee
|Best medium roast cold brew
|Brich Glen Cold Brew Coffee Blend
|Best dark roast cold brew
How We Tested Our Picks
Our process begins with carefully selecting cold brew coffee grounds from reputable and diverse brands. We prioritize brands known for their commitment to quality sourcing, ethical practices, and a range of flavor profiles.
Our team evaluates the flavor profile of each cold brew coffee, considering the balance between sweetness, bitterness, and acidity. We pay special attention to distinctive characteristics that make each brand’s offering unique.
We assess the packaging of each product to ensure that it preserves the integrity of the coffee grounds, protecting them from external factors that could affect taste.
Our Picks Reviewed
Laird Superfood Boost Coffee : Best Overall
Brand: Laird Superfood
Diet type: Non-GMO, vegan, non-dairy
Laird Superfood Boost Coffee contains high-quality, ethically sourced coffee beans. The blend is well-crafted to deliver a rich and robust flavor profile, catering to the discerning taste buds of most coffee enthusiasts. It is one of the best roasts for cold brew you can find.
It goes beyond the traditional coffee experience by incorporating functional ingredients such as mushrooms, antioxidants, and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), known for their health benefits. It is easy to prepare, allowing you to enjoy a nutritious cup of coffee without sacrificing precious morning minutes.
- With the inclusion of functional ingredients, it provides an energy boost
- It comes in various flavor options, catering to different taste preferences
- More expensive compared to traditional coffee options
Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee : Best Smooth Cold Brew
Brand: Bizzy Cold Brew
Diet type: Kosher, vegan, vegetarian, USDA-organic
Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee is a smooth and sweet blend ideal for coffee enthusiasts seeking a delightful and convenient cold brew experience. Crafted from coarse-ground coffee beans, this organic blend provides a satisfyingly mild flavor profile, making it an ideal choice for those who enjoy a gentler taste.
This blend comes from organic coffee beans, prioritizes environmental responsibility, and offers a wholesome coffee experience. It comes in a resealable packaging that retains the aromatic and flavorful notes, allowing you to enjoy a consistently delicious cold brew every time.
- Hassle-free brewing experience, thanks to its coarse ground nature
- It is not pre-diluted, meaning users need to mix it with water, milk, or a milk alternative before consumption
Grady's Cold Brew Coffee : Best New Orleans-Style Cold Brew
Amazon’s Choice in Iced Coffee & Cold-Brew by Grady’s Cold Brew
Brand: Grady’s Cold Brew
Diet type: Vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian
Grady’s Cold Brew Coffee provides a unique and convenient way to brew your favorite cold brew coffee. This kit includes two (two ounces (56.7 grams) bean bags and one spouch pour bag, offering a hassle-free and delicious cold brew experience.
These bean bags are pre-measured for optimal flavor extraction, taking the guesswork out of brewing and ensuring a consistent cold brew every time. The spouch pour bag eliminates the need for extensive equipment, making it easy for anyone to enjoy a refreshing cold brew at home. It is compact and portable, making it ideal for home use or those on the go.
- The spouch pour bag ensures a mess-free brewing process.
- Easy and convenient, eliminating the need for extensive preparation.
- The New Orleans-style flavor with chicory might not appeal to those who prefer a more traditional cold brew taste.
San Francisco Bay Ground Coffee : Best Light Roast Ground Coffee
Amazon’s Choice in Ground Coffee by SAN FRANCISCO BAY
Brand: SAN FRANCISCO BAY
Origin: Honduras, Colombia
Diet type: Kosher
SAN FRANCISCO BAY Ground Coffee provides a rich and flavorful cold brew experience, delivering the distinctive characteristics that make it a renowned choice among coffee connoisseurs. This cold brew coffee ground is well-formulated to achieve optimal results, ensuring a smooth and full-bodied cup.
The coffee grounds are coarse, catering to the requirements of the cold brew process. This provides a gradual and thorough extraction, resulting in a well-rounded, refreshing cold brew. It combines the best qualities of the beans to deliver a satisfying and flavourful taste.
- It has a superior flavor profile that is more enjoyable and robust.
- It may not be available in all regions or outlets.
Cameron's Coffee Vanilla Hazelnut Cold Brew Blend Coffee : Best Flavored
Amazon’s Choice in Ground Coffee by Cameron’s Coffee
Brand: Cameron’s Coffee
Diet type: Allergen-free, gluten-free
The Cameron’s Coffee Vanilla Hazelnut Cold Brew Blend is a light roast coffee with a tempting combination of vanilla and hazelnut, designed specifically for cold brew enthusiasts. As a light roast, this coffee maintains the brightness and distinct characteristics of the beans, offering a refreshing and vibrant alternative for those who prefer a milder cup.
- Made from high-quality coffee beans, contributing to a premium coffee experience
- Easy to prepare without complex equipment
- It has artificial flavors that may not appeal to individuals who prefer traditional or simpler coffee profiles.
Copper Moon Ground Coffee : Best Medium Roast
Brand: Copper Moon
Origin: Central and South America
Diet type: Kosher, gluten-free, non-GMO, allergen-free
Copper Moon Ground Coffee is a unique blend that offers a well-balanced cup that retains the nuanced flavors of the beans while introducing subtle hints of richness and depth that define a quality medium roast. It is one of the best pre-ground coffee for cold brews available.
Maintaining freshness is key, and this brand ensures that your coffee grounds stay at their peak. The resealable packaging preserves the quality and aroma, allowing you to enjoy an excellent cup of coffee.
- It is more affordable compared to some specialty coffee brands
- It is widely available in various retail outlets, making it convenient for consumers to access and enjoy
- The manufacturer doesn’t provide detailed information about the specific origin of the beans in each blend
Brich Glen Cold Brew Coffee Blend : Best Dark Roast
Brand: Birch Glen
Diet type: Kosher
The Birch Glen Roasters’ Dark Roast Cold Brew Coffee Blend is a coarse-ground Colombian blend that guarantees an exceptional cold brew experience. This coffee for cold brew has a deep, smoky, and intense characteristic of a dark roast.
The coarse grind allows optimal extraction during the extended steeping, producing a smooth, low-acid cold brew coffee.
- It comes in a resealable bag that helps maintain its freshness
- It offers a satisfying taste thanks to its robust flavor
- Depending on location, it may have limited availability
- It is a concentrate and requires dilution with water or milk before consumption.
How is Cold Brew Made?
The process of making a cold brew is simple but requires patience. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make cold brew coffee at home:
Homemade Cold Brew
Time: 12 hours 10 mins
Serving Size: 4 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 hours
- Cold brew coffee maker or jar
- Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- Coarse ground coffee: 1 cup
- Cold or room temperature water: 4 cups
- Optional: Sweetener, milk, or flavored syrups to taste
- Ice cubes
- Measure coffee: For a standard cold brew ratio, use approximately one cup of coarsely ground coffee for every four cups of cold water.
- Combine coffee and water: Combine the coarse-ground coffee and cold, filtered water in your cold brew coffee maker or jar. Stir gently to saturate all the coffee grounds.
- Steep: Seal the container and steep it in the refrigerator for 12 hours. It is best to steep for longer to get the strongest cold brew coffee.
- Strain: After the steeping period, use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain the cold brew to remove the coffee grounds. Strain the concentrate into a separate container.
- Dilute (optional): Cold brew concentrate is strong, so you may want to dilute it before serving. Mix the concentrate with cold water or milk to achieve your preferred strength.
- Serve: Pour your blend over two or three ice cubes and enjoy it as is, or customize it with sweeteners or flavored syrup according to your taste.
Which is Stronger? Brewed Coffee or Cold Brew?
You can measure the strength of coffee in different ways, including its caffeine content and flavor intensity. Let’s compare the strength of brewed coffee and cold brew on these two aspects:
Cold brew coffee often has a higher caffeine content than traditional brewed coffee. On the other hand, brewed coffee generally has a slightly lower caffeine concentration.
While cold brew has a higher caffeine content, it is popular for its smooth and mellow flavor profile. The cold water extraction process tends to produce less acidic and bitter coffee.
Brewed coffee is known for its bold and robust flavor, particularly if made with a drip coffee maker. The hot water extraction can produce a coffee with more pronounced acidity and bitterness than a cold brew.
How Long Can You Keep Cold Brew For?
Cold brew coffee is known for its ability to stay fresh for longer, making it a convenient option for preparation in advance. Here are some guidelines on how long you can keep cold brew:
Cold brew concentrate can stay up to two weeks without significantly losing quality if stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Ensure the container is airtight to prevent the absorption of odors from the fridge.
Once opened, consuming the cold brew concentrate within a week is best to maintain its freshness and flavor. Over time, the taste may start to change, and the coffee may become less robust.
Diluted Cold Brew
If you’ve diluted your cold brew with water or milk, its shelf life is shorter than that of concentrate. Diluted cold brews can last about two to three days in the refrigerator. After this period, the flavors may degrade, and the coffee might become stale. Once opened, consume it within 24 to 48 hours for the best taste.
Can You Use Regular Ground Coffee for Cold Brew?
Yes, you can use regular ground coffee for cold brew. While specific coarse-ground coffee blends are marketed for cold brew, it’s not a strict requirement.
Regular ground coffee, typically used for drip or pour-over methods, can work perfectly to make a delicious cold brew. It’s essential to be patient with the steeping process and be mindful of potential over-extraction due to the finer grind.
Experimenting with various factors, such as steeping time, grind size, and ratios, will help you tailor your cold brew to your preferences.
What is the Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee?
Cold brew and iced coffee are popular variations of chilled coffee, but they differ significantly in preparation, brewing method, and flavor profile. Here are some differences between cold brew and iced coffee:
Cold brew is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period, usually 12 to 24 hours. The slow extraction results in a concentrated coffee called cold brew concentrate. It does not get exposed to heat during the brewing process.
On the other hand, iced coffee gets brewed using traditional hot brewing methods, where hot water extracts flavors from ground coffee. Once brewed, it is cooled down and served over ice. This process involves exposure to heat during the brewing process.
Cold brew requires a longer brewing time. The extended steeping allows for a slow extraction of flavors, resulting in a smoother, less acidic brew.
Iced coffee has a shorter brewing time, usually the same as traditional hot brewing methods, ranging from a few minutes to a few hours.
Cold brew is widely known for its smooth, mellow, and less acidic taste. The slow extraction process brings out fewer bitter compounds and emphasizes the sweeter and chocolatey notes of the coffee.
Iced coffee maintains some of the acidity and bitterness associated with hot-brewed coffee. It has a more familiar coffee flavor than cold brew’s unique taste profile.
Cold brew is typically a concentrated coffee that needs diluting before consumption. It’s often mixed with water, milk, or a milk alternative. Iced coffee is often brewed to regular strength and is usually served directly over ice without dilution.
Cold brew uses a higher coffee-to-water ratio to create a concentrated coffee. It then gets diluted before serving. Conversely, iced coffee follows a standard coffee-to-water ratio similar to hot brewing methods.
What Coffee Grounds are Best for Cold Brew?
If you are wondering what coffee to use for cold brew, here is the answer:
Opt for coffee grounds with a coarse grind. Coarse grounds are essential for cold brew because they allow for a slower extraction process, resulting in a smoother and less acidic brew.
Cold Brew-Specific Blends
Many coffee brands offer blends specifically designed for cold brew. These blends often feature beans with characteristics that complement the cold brewing process, resulting in a well-balanced and flavorful cold brew.
Consider using coffee grounds made from Arabica beans. Arabica beans are popular for their nuanced flavors and lower acidity, making them well-suited for cold brew. This can result in a sweeter and smoother cold brew coffee.
Dark Roast or Medium Roast
The choice between dark and medium roast is a matter of personal preference. Dark roasts can provide a rich and robust flavor, while medium roasts may offer a more balanced and nuanced taste. Experiment to find the roast level that suits your palate.
If you enjoy exploring different flavor profiles, consider using single-origin coffee grounds. These beans come from a specific region, offering distinct characteristics that can add complexity to your cold brew.
Use fresh coffee grounds for the best flavor. Coffee beans lose their freshness and flavor shortly after grinding. If possible, grind the beans before brewing to preserve the aromatic oils and flavors.
Experiment With Blends
Don’t hesitate to experiment with different blends or ratios of coffee beans. Some people prefer a dark and medium roast blend, while others may enjoy a single-origin cold brew. Adjust the coffee-to-water ratio based on your taste preferences.
Why to Trust Our Reviews
We pride ourselves on delivering unbiased reviews. Our assessments are not influenced by external factors, ensuring you receive an honest and impartial evaluation of each product.
Before publishing reviews, we conduct extensive research on each product. This involves delving into the brand’s background, sourcing practices, and the unique features that set its products apart.
We consider user feedback as a crucial component of our reviews. Real-world experiences from consumers contribute valuable insights into aspects like packaging, freshness, and overall satisfaction. Our commitment is to empower you with the knowledge needed to embark on a flavorful and satisfying cold brew coffee journey.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, selecting the best cold brew grounds is a nuanced journey that hinges on personal preferences and the desire for a sublime coffee experience. Our in-depth exploration of seven exceptional options has unveiled a diverse array of flavors, origins, and brewing methods that cater to the varied tastes of coffee enthusiasts.
We recommend the Laird Superfood Boost Coffee for its robust flavor. It contains functional ingredients that offer potential health benefits. The blend provides an easy and convenient way to incorporate beneficial ingredients into your daily coffee routine without needing separate additions.
In making your decision, consider factors such as flavor preferences, origin transparency, and the convenience of the grind. Each of the reviewed options has its merits, ensuring that there’s a perfect match for every coffee connoisseur seeking a refreshing and invigorating cold brew experience.
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