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If you enjoy cold brew coffee, you know that it is not as easy to make as hot coffee is. However, the process can be easier if you know how to pick the best coffee for cold brew.
This article will help you understand more about the science of choosing the best beans for cold brewing and will advise on how to avoid some common mistakes people make when they buy coffee.
How To Choose The Best Beans For Cold Brew
The type of beans you use can make a difference, especially when considering the differences in the brewing procedure between them. For example, choosing the best cold brew coffee beans is dependent on your preferred method of drinking coffee.
The greatest results should be obtained from medium roast coffee beans if you prefer your beverage to be served without milk. Those who prefer their coffee with milk will discover that a dark roast is more to their liking.
Since store-bought preground coffee is made for drip coffee makers and not a distinct brewing procedure like cold brew, you should probably avoid using standard ground coffee. It has a fine grind that does not work well when steeped for an extended period of time.
Trust me; it is not hard to find a cold brew coffee that will satisfy your needs.
Best Coffee For Cold Brew
This list in our opinion is the best collection of cold brew coffee brands that will help to make cold brew easier and more importantly, better tasting.
1. Lifeboost Coffee (Our Favorite Organic Option)
Lifeboost Single Origin beans are unquestionably the best choice. Their roasts are chosen, rinsed in spring water, and are free of mycotoxin and pesticide residues, among other things. When cold-brewed, all of their roasts are quite delicious!
Their medium roast has moderate acidity and hints of wood and sweet chocolate, allowing the single-origin tastes to come through. In Nicaragua’s mountains, Lifeboost sources Arabica and Maragogipe beans for use in its products.
2. Coffee Bros Coffee (Best Small Batch)
Founded by two brothers who share a passion for high-quality coffee, Coffee Bros. is a young coffee company that focuses on sustainability and social responsibility.
Due to their coffee sourcing practices and small-batch roasting, they can ensure that each roast is of exceptional quality.
Cold Brew Blend, a medium roast, has been carefully crafted to emphasize the sweet and juicy flavors that you crave in an invigorating cold brew.
It all starts with a combination of 100 percent Arabica beans taken from two of the world’s finest growing regions: Minas Gerais, Brazil, and Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia, both of which are known for their exceptional quality.
They choose beans that have not been chemically processed, which have a higher intrinsic sweetness, and then delicately roast them to bring out this characteristic. As a result, the brew has a silky texture with cocoa, cherry, and sweet undertones.
3. Stone Street Coffee Dark Roast (Best Dark Roast)
Stone Street Roasters, a typical Gowanus, Brooklyn roastery, is revered by New Yorkers. While the roastery began as a small Brooklyn outpost, it has since grown into a full-fledged coffee empire, featuring relationships with major chefs as well as an excellent roastery of farm-direct coffee beans.
Even though the company has moved beyond its Brooklyn roots, it has maintained its small-batch essence. Take, for instance, the dark roast. As desired, the Colombian mix is rich, creamy, and pure; it is delicious either over ice or with a splash of milk or cream on top.
Stone Street Coffee sells both ground and whole bean varieties of coffee.
Volcanica Coffee separates itself by processing superb coffee blends, which are sold worldwide.
Their cold brew blend is a robust dark Sumatra coffee with low acidity and a high flavor profile.
It is an excellent choice for cold coffee because it has a smooth chocolate finish and a robust flavor.
In a 16 oz bag, it’s made with 100 percent Arabica beans and comes with the choice to purchase whole beans or ground beans.
5. Death Wish Coffee (Most Caffeinated Option)
Death Wish Whole Bean Coffee is a popular choice for standard brewing and cold brewing. It is full-bodied and flavorful, and it claims to be the strongest coffee on the market.
It’s because of the high caffeine concentration that this coffee is so good. This brand is dedicated to making your freshly brewed coffee both rich and robust, and it succeeds in both endeavors.
If you’re sensitive to caffeine or on any heart or blood pressure medication, I recommend that you stay away from this brand.
Bizzy is one of the most well-known cold brew brands on the market, and it offers a wide range of products, including cold brew concentrate, a cold brew that is ready to drink, and organic cold brew coffee beans.
You can choose between three different flavor profiles: Smooth and Sweet, Dark, and Bold.
The Smooth and Sweet is a pre-ground combination of light, medium, and dark roasted beans perfect for a cold brew.
To achieve a richer flavor overall, you may want to experiment with the Dark and Bold blend if you plan on adding creamer or milk to your coffee.
To make it, the Organic Trade Association uses only USDA-certified organic Arabica beans from Central and South America. This is a fantastic combination of flavors.
You will receive the best coffee beans that are already ground on the list, with a coarse grind ideal for cold brew applications.
7. Tiny Footprint Coffee (Most Sustainable)
Tiny Footprint Coffee is a boutique roastery headquartered in the United States that is as concerned with creating excellent beans as it is with making environmentally friendly decisions.
In collaboration with the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation. To compensate for the carbon emissions related to the manufacturing and distribution of each pound of coffee sold, they plant trees in Ecuador’s cloud forest to offset the carbon emissions.
The finished product has a smooth richness and sweet flavor and subtle bright fruit, and floral tones blended into a cocoa-like body and finish.
Kicking Horse is well-known for providing a caffeine boost, but a high level of acidity also accompanies it. Therefore, a cold brew is an excellent choice for this medium roast, which has flavors of sweetness, chocolate, and honey.
Originally from Africa, Central, and South America, this arabica whole bean is certified organic and Fairtrade. It is farmed in the Rocky Mountains and imported from around the world.
Metropolis is a Chicago-based coffee company dedicated to sourcing the highest-quality coffee beans by creating long-term connections with coffee growers. The fact that they roast each bag of beans to order from Monday through Thursday is particularly noteworthy.
According to our research, this dedication to freshness shows respect for quality coffee, which appears to be absent among other sellers of cold brew specialty coffee blends.
As the name suggests, Metropolis Coffee’s Cold Brew Blend is specially roasted for cold-brewing purposes. With a flavor profile that includes melting chocolate undertones with walnut and a sense of toasty toastiness. (yes, I meant to write that)
This is another organization that takes care of everything for you, on top of that. Hugo Roasters’ Cold Brew Coffee is coarsely ground and includes chocolate, almonds, and spice flavors.
A 100 percent satisfaction guarantee is offered with these ethically sourced beans, which are sourced from Africa. They also have a New Trick Light Roast (whole bean) that would be a nice choice for the best cold brew.
Peet’s Coffee & Tea is one of the largest and most reputable roasters and distributors of specialty coffee globally. It is named after the Swahili word for “cold,” and it is used in iced coffee and cold-brew coffee.
Even though it is not a single-origin coffee, the beans used in the mix are all from East Africa, notably Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Rwanda. They are therefore considered to be of high quality.
Products from these countries were chosen to optimize fragrance, which is a characteristic that is typically lacking in cold coffee.
Using beans from this region, known for their delicious, juicy flavor, creates a wonderfully delightful cold beverage. Following extensive testing, it was determined that a medium roast would provide a strong, smooth, and somewhat sweet flavor.
What Exactly Is Cold Brew
To be precise, before we can figure out which beans create the finest cold brew, it’s necessary first to grasp what cold brew is—the distinction between cold brew coffee and iced coffee. Cold brew coffee is prepared without the use of any heat.
For the most part, ground coffee beans are soaked in cold, filtered water for an extended period of time to create a deep flavor profile. Coffee that has been chilled and has ice or coffee cubes is referred to as iced coffee.
To make cold brew, what kind of coffee beans should I use?
Cold-brew can be made with any coffee bean that you choose. It is the size of the coffee grounds that play a more significant role. (You’ll need coarse ground coffee for this recipe.) (More on this in a moment.)
Arabica beans and Robusta beans have different caffeine levels and flavor profiles, so it comes down to what you’re used to and prefer.
Does The Type Of Roast Matter
Choosing the type of roast you use is largely a matter of personal preference for coffee consumption. The best course of action is to experiment. Don’t make the mistake of presuming that your chosen roast for hot coffee is the same as your desired roast for cold coffee.
Despite the expert disagreement, some advocate light to medium roasts, which are naturally more acidic than dark roasts, because the cold brewing process removes a large amount of acidity from the beans during the roasting step.
Another reason that other cold brewers choose dark roasts is that cold-brewed coffee tends to taste darker and richer and includes notes of chocolate, nutmeg, and earthiness than hot-brewed coffee.
Because of the bright acidity that distinguishes light roasts, it may be difficult to extract this acidity during cold brewing, resulting in a muted overall flavor.
It’s vital to remember that lighter roasts will take longer to extract because the beans’ cellular structure has been less damaged throughout the roasting process.
Is Single-Origin Better Than A Blend
There are many opinions about roasts and grind size, but most people agree that single-origin beans are best for cold brews.
Espresso, drip coffee, and French press can brew a sour or burnt flavor when you use a blend, but you don’t have to worry about these threats with cold brew.
This is why single origin is the best bet.
Should I Use A Coarse Grind Size
When making cold brew coffee you should buy whole beans and grind them at home to achieve the correct grind.
Why is it that course ground is the best?
The water should be able to readily permeate the grinds and thoroughly steep them to be effective. The finer the grinds, the greater the likelihood that dry clumps will form.
Additionally, finer ground coffee can suffer from “over-extracting,” which means the water has taken too much of the bean’s flavor, leading to an overly bitter cup of coffee.
If you only have pre-ground coffee, you can still prepare a cold brew. But, again, experiment with small amounts until you find a flavor you enjoy.
If you are set on using pre-ground then use cold brew coffee grounds that have been pre-ground in a coarse grind size to allow you to extract the correct amount of flavor.
What Is The Correct Ratio Of Water To Coffee
For the cold brewing method, I use 1 cup of dry coffee for a 32-ounce container of cold brew. This is approximately 24 ounces of water at a 1:8 ratio.
If you want a weaker or stronger flavor, change the ratio. So, if you use 6 ounces of coffee for every 24 ounces of water, you’ll get a twice as strong batch.
A concentration is exactly what it sounds like: it’s twice as potent and twice as caffeinated. As a result, you’ll need to dilute your final product with water, cream, or milk.
Please do not drink the concentrate on its own; it is like rocket fuel and tastes about the same. (Not that I’ve drunk rocket fuel ever)
How Should I Prepare The Grinds
Purchase a cold brew kit like Chemex, read our review here. It’s the most efficient and hygienic method of brewing cold brew coffee on the market. In addition, you may notice a difference in taste because the filters are made of organic cotton.
Place water over the grinds until they are thoroughly wet. After that, set it aside for 30 to 60 seconds to cool. In this process, the coffee is allowed to “bloom,” a term used to characterize the process.
It allows the water to penetrate the grounds effectively, reducing the formation of dry coffee pockets that do not steep.
After that, strain the brew through a cheesecloth or a paper filter. If you have one, you can also use a larger french press.
Is The Immersion Or Cold Drip Brewing Method Recommended
When it comes to cold brew coffee, the two most common methods are immersion and slow drip. The immersion method is popular among homebrewers because of its ease of use and effectiveness.
With the immersion method, It is necessary to soak the ground beans in cold water for 12–18 hours before filtering them. Then all you have to do is sit back and enjoy.
The cold-drip process is where ice water is dripped onto coarsely ground beans and collected in a carafe or glass called the slow drip method.
If you’re going to make cold brew at home I would suggest buying the right equipment, you will end up with a higher quality flavor and texture.
The specialized cold brew equipment necessitates a financial commitment but will yield amazing results.
In terms of flavor, the immersion method produces a concentrated, full-bodied brew, whilst the drip method produces a more dilute medium-bodied beverage. Therefore, when selecting beans for cold brew, the brewing technique is a key factor to consider.
What Is The Correct Brewing Time
The longer you let your brew steep, the more flavor it will extract from the coffee grounds. That’s amazing until it isn’t. But then, over-extracted coffee has a harsh flavor, similar to the taste of coffee made with a too-fine grind.
16 hours is my preferred sweet spot.
Don’t be concerned about the 16-hour deadline. Anywhere between 14 and 18 hours is acceptable. We’ve discovered that the water and coffee reach a balanced state, which causes extraction to slow dramatically.
Make sure you don’t go too much longer, or you’ll end up with muddy flavors. If you want a stronger profile, dilute it a little less than steeping it for a longer time.
How Does Temperature Effect The Flavor Profile
Hot coffee is extracted at temperatures ranging from 195 to 204 degrees Fahrenheit (91 to 96 degrees Celsius), whereas cold brew is extracted at 36 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit (2 to 21 degrees Celsius).
Cold brew’s distinct and coveted features are due to the absence of heat from the brewing process, which means it requires twice as much grounds and many more hours of brewing time than hot brews.
Many of the acids and solubles in coffee that give it its light and floral flavors can only be removed at particular temperatures. As a result, cold brew has a lower acid content and is easier on the stomach, with more muted flavors.
Can I Add Flavors To My Cold Brew
This is when things start to get interesting. You can keep it simple by drinking your coffee cold and without any flavorings. You can even add your favorite tastes to the brew for a more personalized and delicious experience.
We like to put a few cinnamon sticks in the jar while it brews. This adds a faint cinnamon flavor that works well with the coffee’s chocolate overtones.
We also enjoy flavored sweeteners, which we add once the brew is complete. To melt the sugar crystals, first, add some warm water to the sugar, then mix or shake to incorporate with your brew.
Experiment using whole spices like vanilla bean, anise, or your favorite. Alternatively, spiced sugars or simple syrup might be added towards the end.
Can You Store Your Cold Brew
There has never been a batch of cold brews that has gone bad! However, the first few days are when your brew will taste the best. After that, you can absolutely drink it after a week, but if the flavor has faded, consider utilizing the remainder in cooking.
How to Serve Cold Brew
A large glass of ice-cold coffee appears to be the most appealing beverage. Ice, on the other hand, melts.
It would be a shame to dilute your cold brew after patiently extracting all of the exquisite smells from your properly roasted and ground single-origin coffee beans. However, there is a simple solution.
To chill your coffee, pour some of your cold brew into an ice cube tray. Melting frozen coffee cubes does not affect the flavor profile.
The lack of bitterness and low acidity in cold brew has already been addressed; however, even those who drink their coffee with milk or sugar may find that the smoothness of cold brew makes them prefer it plain.
Even so, a little sweetness and a splash of milk, alternative milk, or cream can really bring out those rich, chocolatey flavors and turn your cold brew coffee into a delectable dessert. First, use a high-quality natural sweetener, such as agave syrup.
Then, just before serving, slowly pour in your milk, alternative milk, or cream, allowing the ribbons to blossom in the glass for a visually attractive coffee experience.
Although I prefer hot coffee, there are occasions when the process of creating a cold brew appeals to me.
However, you must be precise about the type of beans you select or risk wasting your time. Therefore, if you try one of the methods on our list, please let us know how you enjoyed it, and even better if you have another brand that you prefer.