Anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to enjoy the smooth, mild flavor of a cold brew coffee is doing themselves a disservice. These coffees pack all of the caffeinated punch that coffee brewed using other methods have, but they don’t have the bitterness of those other brews. That means that they’re easier not only on the coffee drinker’s taste buds but also on their stomach. Of course, the coffee lover has to be careful about not only how they make the coffee but also what type of coffee they use. That’s why we’ve decided to find some of the best cold brew coffees available, along with a guide on how to brew them. Enjoy.
Quick Summary of the Best Coffees For Cold Brew
- Best Overall: Stone Cold Jo Dark Roast Organic Coffee (Amazon) – Review
- Best Coarse-Ground: Inspired Coffee Company Salted Caramel Coarse Ground Coffee (Amazon) – Review
- Best Organic: Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coarse Ground Coffee (Amazon) – Review
- Best Dark Roast: Stone Street Dark Cold Brew Coarse Ground (Amazon) – Review
- Best Cold Brew: Starbucks Signature Black Cold Brew Coffee (Amazon) – Review
Best Overall: Stone Cold Jo Dark Roast Organic Coffee
Even though coffee is mostly a matter of taste, some factors distinguish a good coffee from a not-so-good one. When selecting a coffee, the consumer should look for one with a good aroma and body. Fortunately, this product is such a coffee. It’s obvious from just looking at these coarse grounds that they will make a great coffee. And they also have a fantastic aroma. What matters when it comes to coffee, however, is the flavor and in this department, this coffee does very well. It’s a cold brew coffee that has hints of caramel, chocolate, toffee, and grape. A taste sensation for the tastebuds.
This is a Fair Trade coffee, so consumers can rest assured that it’s responsibly sourced. And it’s roasted by Jo Coffee, a company that’s a subsidiary of Specialty Java—a company that was founded around the beginning of the 21st century. This company is a member of the Roaster’s Guide, Fair Trade USA, the Specialty Coffee Association of America and the Rainforest Alliance. This coffee is ideal for anyone who is looking for a dark roasted cold brew coffee that has a low acidity level, a unique flavor, and a heady aroma. That’s what makes it the best cold-brew coffee around.
Best Coarse-Ground: Inspired Coffee Company Salted Caramel Coarse Ground Coffee
When we first came across this coffee brand, we honestly had never heard of it. That isn’t too surprising considering that this company was founded in 2018, but it did make us wonder how we could’ve let this brand slip underneath our radar. Particularly, since this product is one of the most delicious, smoothest and highest quality coffees we’ve tried. Sure, it’s a bit expensive, but that doesn’t dismiss the fact that the coffee is a buttery caramel flavor that’s smooth and has just a hint of salt added to its flavor profile. It was a coffee that we couldn’t resist reviewing.
This product is sourced from single-origin 100% Arabica Colombian Supremo. This is a type of coffee that’s always nutty, sweet and fruity, and usually has a full body that has a smooth finish. They then take this coffee bean, which is already smooth to the finish, and then they coarse ground them. That creates this ground coffee, a product that’s suitable for not only cold brew coffee but also for French press coffee. We think that it’s the perfect complement to just about any meal, and it’s a coffee that’s good for watching the sun come up in the morning.
Best Organic: Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coarse Ground Coffee
Bizzy Coffee is a company that’s been busy if you’ll excuse the pun. They’ve spent that last few years coming up with a blend of coffee grounds that’s capable of tantalizing the senses and setting a person’s imagination on fire. And we think that they’ve come ever closer to their end goal of making the perfect coffee for cold brew brewing. Yes, this coffee is a bit expensive, at least it’s more expensive than comparable brands, but it does deliver something that many cold brew coffees can’t produce. That little something is called taste, and this blend seems to have an abundance of taste.
This product is made with ethically sourced coffee beans that come from Nicaragua and Peru, and are 100% USDA organic. These beans are then roasted so that they’re light and sweet and are up to 67% less acidic than the coffee that can be found in the local grocery store. They then coarse grind it and package so that consumers can use it to make their favorite cold brew or French press coffee. Some people have said that this coffee has a hazelnut and caramel taste to it. Honestly, although we can taste the caramel flavor profile, we can seem to locate a hazelnut flavor profile. Regardless, it’s still a great coffee.
Best Dark Roast: Stone Street Dark Cold Brew Coarse Ground
Inside of an unassuming 3-layer resealable bag that uses natural kraft paper and foil to keep its contents safe, are budget coffee grounds that make a fine cold brew coffee. This coffee might not be the most flavorful of all of the cold brew coffees that we’ve reviewed, but it is a coffee that’s very smooth. This low-acidity coffee has a smooth flavor that might be too much on the mild side but is one that’s not bitter or hard on the stomach. It’s a coffee that’s made with 100% Arabica single-origin coffee, Colombian Supremo to say the least.
The reason why this coffee is so smooth is probably because it’s a dark roasted coffee. However, since we didn’t try a lighter roast, there’s no way to know if other of their roast coffees have a bolder flavor than this one. That’s not to say that we didn’t like this coffee. We did, in fact, like this coffee very much. We just don’t think that it had the complex flavor profile or boldness that other coffees on this list had. And we do believe that it’s a good budget coffee for anyone who is new to cold brewing and are looking for a product that isn’t too expensive to try out.
Best Cold Brew: Starbucks Signature Black Cold Brew Coffee
Anyone who is even remotely familiar with coffee knows the name Starbucks, regardless of whether they drink coffee or not. And it’s probably the reason many people migrate to this coffee in the first place. However, we think that the name recognition of the brand might be the initial factor in pulling people in, but we think that it’s the flavor that will keep them drinking this product. After all, this is a tasty product that’s medium roasted so it’s the perfect balance between smoothness and boldness. It’s not the best cold brew coffee that we’ve tried but it is a good one.
This coffee is easy to use as well. All the coffee drinker has to do is drop two packs in water for about a day and then enjoy their cold brew coffee. Once brewed, this coffee should stay fresh in the person’s fridge for up to a week, so the coffee lover can enjoy it at their leisure. There’s probably no cold brew coffee that’s as easy to use as this one. And it’s flavor is pretty unique with sweet chocolaty notes that tend to linger a bit. All things considered, this is a decent cold brew coffee from a trusted brand that we feel many coffee lovers are going to enjoy.
A Guide To Coffee For Cold Brew
Without a doubt, cold brew coffee is beginning to take off. At one point in time, very few people have heard of cold brew coffee but thanks to national coffee brands such as Starbucks, this type of coffee has enjoyed somewhat of a golden age. Now everyone wants to know how to make this coffee at home. Since we understand that the best cold brew coffee is made using the best coffee grounds and the best technique, we decided it would be a good idea to write a guide on the subject. In this informative guide on cold brew coffee, our readers will learn the ins and outs of making the perfect cold brew concoction.
Choosing The Right Coffee Grounds For Cold Brew
The first step to making a great cold brew is to find the right type of coffee grounds. This is important because regular coffee grounds won’t make a very good cold brew coffee, just like a cold brew coffee won’t make a good hot coffee. Let’s examine some of the grounds that will produce the best coffee for cold brew.
Which Beans Should Be Used?
Although just about any coffee beans can be used to make great cold brew coffee grounds, we’ve found that Arabica beans are usually the best—specifically, Colombia Supremo beans. However, as we’ve said, the beans aren’t as important as the way they’re roasted. This is where the magic all comes together.
How Should The Beans Be Roasted?
How the beans are roasted is what determines if the cold brew coffee is going to be smooth and delicious or if it’s going to taste watery and bitter. Dark roasts coffees are usually the way to go when choosing a cold brew blend. That’s because dark roasted coffee has a chocolaty, nutty and sometimes sweet flavor that comes together during the cold brew process. These flavors tend to hold up better during the process than medium-roasted blends that usually have a more floral flavor profile. And just so we’re clear, the consumer should avoid using light-roasted coffees for cold brew processing. If they do, then they will end up with a coffee that’s watery and just about tasteless.
How Should Cold-Brew Coffee Be Ground?
The next thing that determines how well a particular brand of coffee is going to hold up during the process is how the coffee beans are ground. The best grind for cold brew is a coarse grind. Finely ground coffee beans are suitable for other coffee brewing methods, but they don’t work well for cold brewing. That’s because the long-brewing process will end up overexpressing the coffee grounds, which can make the result bitter. Coarse ground beans release their goodness slowly, so they make a smoother coffee.
Making The Best Cold Brew Coffee
Now that we know how to buy the best coffee for cold brewing, it’s now time to turn our attention to using those grounds effectively. Although there are probably dozens of different ways of making cold brew coffee, the following procedure is how we like to make it.
- 12-cups of filtered water
- 2.5-cups of dark-roasted coffee
- 2 clean airtight containers
- 1 mesh sieve
- 1 double layer of cheesecloth
- 1 wooden spoon
Step One: Steep The Grounds
Combine 2.5 cups of dark-roasted medium-ground coffee and 12-cups of filtered cold water in a large container that has a tight-fitting lid. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture gently and then allow it to sit for anywhere from 12 to 24-hours. The longer the coffee grounds sit in the water the milder it gets, so it’s a matter of personal preference how long to leave the mixture soaking. We like to leave the ground soaking for 18-hours before moving on to the next step, but once again, it’s a matter of personal preference.
Step Two: Drain The Mixture
After the time has elapsed, pour the mixture through a mesh sieve that’s been lined with a double layer of cheesecloth into another container. Look at the coffee and if it’s muddy, then pass it through the makeshift filter 1 to 2 more times as needed. When the mixture is just the right color, go ahead and move on to step three to finish off the brewing process.
Step Three: Enjoy!
Once the color of the coffee is right for your personal preferences, place it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 7-days. Most people add milk, cream and/or sugar to their coffee and serve it over ice. Congratulations! You can now enjoy your delicious cold brew coffee.