Choosing the best ground coffee for cold brew can be tricky, but understanding the cold brew process helps you understand what type of coffee grind you should be looking for and why.
Making cold brew concentrate works a bit differently than regular coffee, but it makes for a great cup any time of day. In this article we explore how the cold brew method works and five of the best cold brew coffee grounds.
- How Does Brewing Cold Brew Work?
- Immersion or Cold Drip?
- Roasts and Grind?
- Single Origins or Blends?
- Five Best Ground Coffee for Cold Brew
- The Final Word on the Best Ground Coffee for Cold Brew Is up to You
How Does Brewing Cold Brew Work?
Cold brewing coffee involves steeping the grounds in cool water for an extended period of time, usually 12 to 24 hours. Then, the grounds are filtered out, and the coffee is ready to drink.
The biggest difference between a cold brew and regular coffee brewing method is pretty obvious – the temperature. Cold brew coffee beans never come into contact with cold water, so the extraction process is much different.
One of the reasons that traditional coffee is brewed using hot water is that coffee beans have a lot of components that dissolve quickly and efficiently at high temperatures, including caffeine.
Hot coffee is also more acidic. This means that when coffee is brewed at lower temperatures, it has less caffeine and is less acidic than hot brewed coffee.
Immersion or Cold Drip?
There are two ways to approach the cold brew method: immersion and cold drip.
Immersion cold brew is by far the simpler of the two and involves putting coffee grounds in to the water and leaving them to sit for a long period of time. Extraction is slow with this method, and coarse grounds work best. This is the method most people use to make cold brewed coffee at home.
Cold drip is a little faster but not as straightforward. In this method, cold water slowly drips onto the grounds, seeps through, and drips into a lower chamber.
This process takes about eight hours and also uses coarse ground coffee. You can get more flavor with the drip method, but it requires special equipment and is usually done in cafes and coffee shops.
Roasts and Grind?
You can use any roast you want for cold coffee, but most people prefer a dark roast compared to a lighter roast, because it usually pairs better with the low acidity.
What is a little more important than the roast is the grind. As we mentioned, for cold brew, coarse grounds are preferred.
Coarsely ground coffee has more space between the grounds, allowing the cold water to permeate more easily during the brewing process. On the other hand, if you use fine ground coffee, the water gets stuck inside the grounds and the flavor is over-extracted and can taste bitter.
Single Origins or Blends?
Single-origin coffee doesn’t necessarily come from the same farm, but it is always from the same region. They’re a little more expensive, but they can be unpredictable as the flavors vary from season to season and there is no other coffee added for balance.
Blends are a little more reliable because it’s easy to change the ratio of beans to make sure that the flavor is always consistent. Because cold brewing is such a long process and extraction is done a little differently, blends are typically a better choice.
Five Best Ground Coffee for Cold Brew
If you’re looking for ground coffee to make cold brew, you’re in luck. Below are our pick of the best options available.
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 Ground Coffee for Cold Brew Is up to You
When it comes to making cold brew the important thing to remember is that you have to use coarse coffee grounds. A lot of coffee aficionados prefer dark roasts, but you can use whatever you think tastes the best.
Coffee, whether served hot or cold, is personal.