If you want the best cold brew coffee, you need the best beans. Discover the best coffee grounds for cold brew coffee in this article.
Unlike 65 percent of Americans, I've never been a coffee drinker. Black coffee is the worst unless it's loaded with sugar, cream, and other flavorings. At that point, I figured, why not just have an energy drink and split the difference?
Then, everything changed when my friend introduced me to cold brew coffee. I'm the type to try anything once, and it was a game-changer. Hot coffee has always left a bad taste in my mouth, but this cold brew was smoother and much easier to drink.
Was I about to become a coffee fiend? Yes, the answer is yes.
Since that fateful day, I've been drinking cold brew coffee regularly. However, I discovered that the secret is in the beans. So, I decided to share my findings with the world.
- How Does Cold Brew Coffee Work?
- How to Compare Different Coffee Beans for Cold Brew
- The Best Coffee Grounds for Cold Brew
- The Final Word on the Best Coffee Grounds for Cold Brew
How Does Cold Brew Coffee Work?
There is some confusion about cold brew beverages, mainly because there are multiple versions of “cold” coffee. The three primary options are cold brew, cold drip, and iced coffee. Here is a brief comparison.
- Iced Coffee – You take hot coffee, let it cool down to room temperature, and then pour over ice.
- Cold Drip – This method requires a unique setup that allows the hot coffee to drip over ice cubes. The result is a bit smoother but not quite at cold brew levels. It can also take a while to complete the process.
- Cold brew – In this instance, you never heat the coffee. Instead, you steep the grounds in room temperature water, ideally overnight. Then, you strain the grounds, unless you like pulpy coffee.
So, cold brew is not for the impatient or those who don't like to plan ahead. However, the results are spectacular, so it's often worth the wait.
How to Compare Different Coffee Beans for Cold Brew
As I mentioned, the real secret to making a tasty cup of coffee is the beans. I used to think that a coffee bean was a coffee bean, but boy was I wrong. Here are some guidelines on how to pick the right blend for your taste buds:
- Roast – There are three options: light, medium, and dark roast. Lighter roasts have more acidity and retain more of the bean's flavor. As you go darker, however, the elements of the roasting process take over, creating a richer profile.
- Whole vs. ground – Technically, whole beans are better since you don't lose any flavor. However, they can be more expensive and require a coffee grinder. Ground beans are ideal if you're lazy like me and prefer to do less work.
- Origin – If you're a coffee snob, you know that bean flavor changes based on where it's grown. So, you can do some research to find the regions with the best beans.
The Best Coffee Grounds for Cold Brew
Since “best” is a subjective term, particularly for coffee, I went based on customer reviews. So, all the beans listed are highly recommended with tons of reviews. I also chose a mix of roasts so you can pick based on your preference.
1. Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee
With over 6,000 reviews, this is by far the most-rated cold brew coffee on Amazon. You can choose the roast style you like, from the fruity light and bright roast to the rich dark and bold version.
I've noticed when shopping for coffee grounds that those that are designed for cold brew have the best results. Sure, you can use regular grounds, but why put yourself in that position?
Part of the reason “cold brew” grounds are better is that they are coarse, not fine. Coarser beans release more flavor, so you get a better cup of coffee.
Bizzy grounds are 100 percent organic (common with cold brews) and sourced from Guatemala, Peru, and Nicaragua. Each bag is one pound.
- ENGINEERED FOR COLD BREW - Coarse ground coffee optimized for cold brewing to give you a consistent, extra smooth cold brew
- BREW YOUR WAY - Brew your cold brew how you would like. Add more water for a less strong cold brew or less water for a stronger beverage.
- 100% ORGANIC - USDA Organic, ethically sourced coffee from Guatemala, Peru, and Nicaragua.
- SMOOTH AND SWEET - Arabica beans roasted medium with notes of caramel and hazelnut.
- BIZZY COFFEE FOR BUSY PEOPLE - Mastering the cold brew craft, Bizzy Coffee will give you the highest quality cold brew coffee at the best price
2. Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve
Although I'm showcasing ground coffee for cold brew, Stone Street does have a whole bean variety if you prefer to do the work yourself. Best of all, when buying through Amazon, the price is the same for both options.
Stone Street has almost 6,000 reviews, so it comes with plenty of recommendations. This particular blend is a dark roast sourced from Columbia.
The company also highlights its triple-layered resealable bag, which keeps your beans extra fresh. You can buy one, three, or five-pound increments.
- COARSE GROUND COFFEE FOR COLD BREWING – We start with gourmet arabica coffee beans from Colombia, then we grind them to the perfect coarse ground size for optimal cold brew extraction. Our grounds are perfect for using in your at-home cold brew coffee maker or system, French press, pitcher, or mason jar.
- DARK ROAST COLOMBIAN SUPREMO – Our beans are classified as ‘supremo’ which are the largest and highest quality beans from Colombia. When these beans are dark roasted, it brings out the nutty/chocolate notes and makes the most delicious tasting cold brew coffee.
- STRONG & SMOOTH BLEND – Our coffee is specially formulated to make a bold, balanced, low-acid, slightly sweet cold brew or iced coffee. You can easily adjust the strength to make it extra strong (more coffee or longer brewing time) or even lighter (more water).
- 1 LB RESEALABLE BAG (16 Ounce) – Our 3-layer natural kraft bag is foil-lined and has a one-way valve for optimal coffee freshness. The wide top opening makes for easy scooping and the seal keeps your one pound of coffee fresh. Our premium packaging makes the perfect gift for the special coffee lover in your life.
- FRESHLY ROASTED IN BROOKLYN, NYC – Stone Street Coffee Company is specialty small-batch roaster, we’ve been making artisanal coffee since 2009.
3. Tiny Footprint Coffee – Organic Cold Brew
If you like the idea of having a lower carbon footprint, you will appreciate this medium-roast blend from Tiny Footprint Coffee. The company donates to an Ecuadorian cloud rainforest with every bag sold, so you help the environment while getting a tasty beverage.
These grounds are 100 percent organic, but the company doesn't list where they are sourced. Presumably, if Tiny Footprint is donating to Ecuador, it is getting its beans from there as well. To complete your hipster bingo card, know that the beans are roasted in a vintage German Probat drum roaster.
- FLAVOR PROFILE: Sweet, silky richness with subtle bright fruit and floral tones infused in a cocoa like body.
- ORGANIC: 100% Organic Shade-Grown Arabica Coffee
- COLD BREW BLEND: A blend crafted perfectly for cold brew -- our Cold Press Elixir is a mix of our light and dark roasts spiked with our best Ethiopian coffees.
- CRAFT ROASTED in our vintage 90 kilo German-built Probat drum roaster retrofitted with modern fuel-efficient ribbon burners, delivering perfectly roasted coffee every time
- THE PERFECT BREW: Each pound brews 1.35 gallons of ready-to-drink cold brew (1:6 brew ratio and 1:1 dilution)
4. Cold Brew Lab Organic Coarse Ground Coffee
With a name like Cold Brew Lab, I imagine teams of scientists perfecting their beans and grinding process to deliver the best cup of coffee. Realistically, though, the company uses the same methods as everyone else to create this extra coarse dark roast.
Because it's extra coarse, this blend is as close to having whole beans without needing to grind them. Cold Brew Lab does blend medium and dark-roasted beans for a smooth, delicate finish.
These beans are sourced from Columbia and certified 100 percent organic. You can choose between a one or two-pound bag.
- CUSTOM CRAFTED FOR COLD BREWING: Look no further for the perfect coarse coffee grounds for making cold brew coffee. We source, roast, & blend our beans for optimal cold (slow) brew extraction – creating a strong and bold taste with well-rounded, smooth, low acidic, & full bodied flavor.
- ORGANIC 100% ARABICA COLOMBIAN COFFEE: We only use pesticide free USDA certified organic coffee because we care about the quality of our product. Specialty-grade, 100% Arabica, Colombian Supremo.
- DARK ROAST BLEND: We use a blend of medium & dark roasted coffee beans to create a unique roast level that is perfect for cold brewed coffee flavor. This creates a cup that is extremely smooth, yet bold & flavorful
- 2 LB BAG - EXTRA COARSE GRIND: This is the larger bag of our top selling 1 LB bag of Coarse Ground Coffee. Great way to save when purchasing in bulk! Perfect for at-home brewers, gifts, restaurants, offices, and businesses.
- FRESHLY ROASTED IN NYC: Cold Brew Lab is an artisan specialty coffee roaster located in the city that never sleeps – New York City, NY USA. We roast and package our coffee bags right before shipping so it arrives fresh to your doorstep.
5. Stone Cold Jo: Cold Brew Coffee Blend
For the coffee snobs out there, Stone Cold Jo delivers specialty-grade, ethically sourced, artisan coffee. The company highlights that all of its beans are roasted by artisan craftsmen in a micro-roastery, so you get attention to detail missing from other brands. Stone Cold Jo sources from multiple regions, so each blend can be different.
These beans are 100 percent organic, fair trade, and even kosher. The company also offers a satisfaction guarantee so that you can buy a bag with confidence. This particular blend is a dark roast with hints of toffee, chocolate, and caramel. You can buy a 12-ounce or two-pound bag.
- STONE COLD JO PROFESSIONAL CUPPING NOTES: SILKY SMOOTH | LOW ACIDITY | DARK ROAST | HINTS OF TOFFEE CARAMEL CHOCOLATE GRAPE | Descriptive flavor terms are naturally occurring undertones in the coffee and no flavors are added.
- Each batch of this fresh roasted organic coffee is hand-crafted, by artisan coffee roasters, in our micro-roastery.
- Available in 12 oz or a 2 lb money-saving package, both packaged with resealable tin-tie for convenient storage. For a cold brew we recommend a 4:1 water to coarse ground coffee ratio in a cold brewing device, French press or Mason jar. Adjust ratio as desired. Stir, cover, refrigerate 12+ hours then press/filter. Enjoy plain or with your favorite flavoring. For a hot brew we recommend using 2 tablespoons of ground coffee to 6 oz of water for optimal extraction with most brewing methods.
- Our organic coffee is specialty grade coffee, which is the top 2% specialty grade of organic Arabica raw coffee. This specialty grade coffee is sourced worldwide through direct sourcing and through a dedicated team of coffee cupping experts. Not all coffee is created equal.
- This coffee is USDA Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified, and Kosher Certified. Contact us for our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!
The Final Word on the Best Coffee Grounds for Cold Brew
Because there are so many variables, choosing the best coffee grounds can be something of a trial and error process. However, once you know your roast preferences, you can compare a few different brands to see which one delivers the right flavor profile.
These products are perfectly designed for cold brewing but don't forget to use the proper water and steeping process. See you in the (virtual) coffee aisle!