Choosing the Best Coffee for Cold Brew

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Hey there, fellow coffee aficionados! As someone who absolutely adores coffee in all its glorious forms, I can’t help but get excited about a trend that’s been taking the coffee world by storm: cold brew. There’s something remarkably refreshing about this chilled elixir, with its smooth, less acidic demeanor. But here’s the thing – to truly elevate your cold brew experience, you need to start with the right coffee beans. Join me as I dive into the world of choosing the best coffee for your cold brew concoctions.

Understanding Cold Brew Coffee

Before we embark on this delightful journey of bean selection, let’s take a moment to appreciate the beauty of cold brew coffee. It’s like a refreshing oasis on a scorching summer day, offering a tantalizing escape from the ordinary.

Cold brew isn’t just coffee; it’s an experience, a symphony of flavors and sensations that dance on your palate with each sip. It’s the art of patience and precision, a testament to the wonders that can happen when coffee beans and water commune over time.

Less Acidity, More Smoothness: Cold brew is celebrated not just for its chilled allure, but also for its remarkably low acidity. The extended steeping time in cold water results in a coffee that’s gentler on your stomach and teeth. It’s the ideal companion for those who crave the coffee flavor without the jarring bitterness often associated with traditional hot brews.

The Role of Coffee Beans

Now, let’s talk about the protagonists of this enchanting tale: coffee beans. They hold the power to elevate your cold brew experience from ordinary to extraordinary. Think of them as the artists who paint the canvas of your taste buds, infusing each sip with intricate details of flavor, aroma, and depth.

Origin: Where Coffee Begins

Every coffee bean carries a story, a tale of its origin that’s etched into its very essence. From the sun-soaked plantations of South America to the lush landscapes of Africa, each region imparts unique characteristics to the beans it nurtures. When you’re on a quest for the best coffee for cold brew, consider the origin as a compass guiding you towards the flavor notes you desire.

Roast Level: The Art of Transformation

Roasting is the metamorphosis that turns ordinary green coffee beans into the aromatic treasures we know and love. When it comes to cold brew, the roast level plays a significant role in shaping the final flavor profile. A lighter roast may preserve the bean’s origin nuances, while a medium or medium-dark roast can introduce a balanced complexity that complements the cold brew’s nature.

Brands to Consider

As you step into the world of cold brew coffee, you’ll find a plethora of coffee brands eager to accompany you on your journey. Here are a few notable names that have earned their place on the cold brew stage.

Counter Culture Coffee Hologram
Counter Culture Coffee Hologram
Counter Culture Coffee Hologram
Our Score

Counter Culture Coffee's Hologram, available in a 12 oz bag of sustainably farmed whole beans, embodies a medium roast experience. This carefully crafted blend presents an intricate flavor profile with prominent fruity notes complemented by nuances of milk chocolate and a lingering syrupy undertone. From its ethical sourcing to its well-balanced taste, this coffee aims to offer a delightful and conscious brewing experience.

  • Sustainable Sourcing: Ethical and environmentally conscious sourcing.
  • Complex Flavor: Fruity, milk chocolate, and syrupy notes for a diverse taste.
  • Whole Bean Freshness: Ensures optimal freshness upon grinding.
  • Requires Grinding: Whole beans need grinding, potentially inconvenient.
  • Subjective Taste: Some may not prefer the specific fruity and syrupy notes.
  • Limited Quantity: The 12 oz bag might not suit heavy coffee consumption.

Counter Culture Coffee Hologram

Elevate your coffee experience with Counter Culture Coffee Hologram – a medium roast masterpiece that awakens your senses.

Crafted with precision from sustainably farmed beans, this 12 oz bag of whole bean coffee embodies excellence and responsibility.

With its kosher certification, it caters to diverse preferences. But there’s more – the Hologram’s unique flavor profile makes it perfect for indulging in the trendiest coffee concoction: cold brew.

La Colombe Nizza Blend
La Colombe Nizza Blend
La Colombe Nizza Blend
Our Score

La Colombe presents the Nizza Ground Coffee, a 12-ounce pack featuring a medium roast blend crafted from specialty beans sourced from Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This sweet, fruity coffee boasts notes of milk chocolate, nuts, and brownie, delivering a honey-sweet roasted nuttiness in every cup. The emphasis on sustainability extends from the sourcing of the beans to environmentally-friendly packaging practices, aiming to reduce waste and support coffee-growing communities.

  • Rich Flavor Profile: Sweet and fruity with prominent notes of milk chocolate and nuts.
  • Sustainable Sourcing: Supports environmentally-friendly practices and coffee-growing communities.
  • Varietal Blend: Combines beans from multiple origins for a nuanced taste experience.
  • Packaging Variability: Packaging appearance may differ from expectations.
  • Ground Coffee Dependency: Limited to pre-ground coffee, potentially impacting freshness.
  • Subjective Taste: Flavor preferences may vary; not everyone may appreciate the specific sweet and nutty notes.

La Colombe Nizza Blend

Dive into a world of unparalleled taste with the La Colombe Nizza Medium Roast Drip Grind Ground Coffee. Every sip of this meticulously crafted 12-ounce pack unveils an enchanting symphony of flavors that will captivate your palate. Indulgence takes on a new meaning as you experience the delightful fusion of milk chocolate, nutty undertones, and the irresistible essence of a freshly baked brownie. These complex layers of flavor are elegantly complemented by a honey-sweet roasted nuttiness that adds depth and warmth to each cup.

While the packaging design might vary, one thing remains constant – the promise of an exceptional taste experience within. The journey of perfection that this coffee embarks upon ensures that each batch maintains its exquisite taste and aromatic charm. As you embark on a journey of exploration with each cup, you’ll discover that this coffee has been meticulously curated to create an unforgettable symphony of flavors.

Designed to be more than just a beverage, the La Colombe Nizza Medium Roast is a true companion for those who appreciate the finer details of their coffee. Its exceptional profile is not only perfect for traditional brewing methods but also creates a harmonious match for the world of cold brew coffee.

Barrie House Colombian Whole Bean Coffee
Barrie House Colombian Whole Bean Coffee
Barrie House Colombian Whole Bean Coffee
Our Score

Barrie House presents a 2.0 lb bag of 100% Colombian Whole Bean Coffee, crafted from 100% Arabica coffee beans. This medium roast delivers a sweet, delicately fruity flavor with a full-bodied profile and balanced acidity. Each step, from sourcing coffee cherries globally to meticulous processing and roasting in Upstate New York, reflects Barrie House's dedication to quality and their 80-year expertise in small-batch gourmet coffee.

  • Single Origin Quality: 100% Colombian beans offer a distinctive and fruity flavor profile.
  • Whole Bean Freshness: Whole beans ensure optimal freshness and flavor when ground just before brewing.
  • Quality Commitment: Three generations of expertise guarantee consistent, top-quality coffee.
  • Whole Bean Dependency: Requires access to a grinder for optimal freshness.
  • Specific Taste Profile: Fruity and sweet notes might not suit everyone's taste preferences.
  • Packaging Size: The 2.0 lb bag might be substantial for those seeking smaller quantities or limited storage space.

Barrie House Colombian Whole Bean Coffee

Indulge in the exquisite richness of Barrie House 100% Colombian Single Origin Whole Bean Coffee. Crafted with care, this premium medium roast boasts a full-bodied character and impeccably balanced acidity, delivering a sensory journey that coffee connoisseurs will relish.

Grown from 100% Arabica coffee beans, this 2.0 lb bag holds the essence of Colombia’s coffee heritage. The versatile nature of these beans makes them an ideal choice for crafting the perfect cold brew coffee.

Elevate your coffee experience with every sip, as Barrie House takes you on a flavorful expedition through the heart of Colombian coffee excellence.

Cameron's Coffee Vanilla Hazelnut 
Cameron's Coffee Vanilla Hazelnut 
Cameron's Coffee Vanilla Hazelnut 
Our Score

Cameron's Coffee presents their Original Cold Brew Blend, offering a 12-ounce bag of 100% Premium Arabica Beans ground specifically for cold brew. This medium roast boasts a creamy and mellow flavor with subtle hints of milk chocolate, delivering a smooth finish—a perfect choice for a refreshing summer day. Notably, Cameron’s Coffee emphasizes quality by carefully selecting beans, handcrafting in small batches, and maintaining a commitment to positive environmental impact and responsible sourcing.

  • Tailored for Cold Brew: Coarse ground for optimal cold brew preparation.
  • Mellow Flavor Profile: Creamy with hints of milk chocolate, finishing smooth.
  • Quality and Sustainability: Commitment to quality Arabica beans and environmentally conscious practices.
  • Limited Usage: Specifically designed for cold brew, might not suit other brewing methods.
  • Specific Taste Profile: Flavor profile may not appeal to those seeking stronger or more varied taste notes.
  • Packaging Variability: Packaging may differ from what's depicted.

Cameron’s Coffee Vanilla Hazelnut 

Elevate your coffee experience with Cameron’s Coffee Vanilla Hazelnut Cold Brew Blend. Crafted for cold brew enthusiasts, this light roast delight tantalizes your taste buds with a delectable fusion of smooth vanilla and rich hazelnut.

Sourced from 100% Arabica beans, each sip delivers a velvety texture and a burst of invigorating aroma. The coarse-ground coffee ensures optimal extraction during the cold brewing process, resulting in a refreshing, full-bodied cup of java perfection.

Enhance your summer mornings or relish a chilled afternoon pick-me-up with this 12-ounce bag of Cold Brew Blend, meticulously designed for your cold coffee cravings.

Bean Origin Matters

Imagine embarking on a global adventure with just a sip. That’s what different coffee bean origins offer – a journey through the world’s diverse landscapes, all within the confines of your cup.

South American Splendor

South American coffee beans, like those from Colombia and Brazil, bring a touch of sweetness to the cold brew party. Notes of caramel and chocolate often dance on your taste buds, creating a harmonious melody that’s soothing and inviting.

African Elegance

On the other side of the spectrum, African beans, such as those from Ethiopia and Kenya, introduce a burst of brightness with fruity and floral undertones. Imagine savoring a cold brew that’s akin to a bouquet of berries or a stroll through a vibrant garden – that’s the magic of African beans.

The Power of Blending

Now, here’s where the coffee artist in you can shine. Experimenting with blends of beans from different origins is like composing a symphony. You have the liberty to choose beans that complement each other, creating a flavor profile that’s uniquely yours. Blend a South American bean’s sweetness with an African bean’s vibrancy, and you’ve created a masterpiece.

Roast Level for Cold Brew

Roasting is an art that significantly influences the taste of your coffee. For cold brew, opt for medium to medium-dark roasts. These roasts strike the perfect balance between the bright acidity of lighter roasts and the deep bitterness of dark ones. They ensure a harmonious marriage of flavors that’s soothing to your taste buds.

Grind Size and Extraction

Ah, the grind size – a subtle yet crucial aspect of cold brew alchemy. Imagine trying to steep a fine grind in cold water for hours – you’d end up with a bitter disaster. Coarse grind, my friends, is the way to go. It allows for a gentle extraction, preserving the nuanced flavors while leaving the bitterness behind.

Flavor Notes to Look For

Think about the flavor notes that can elevate your cold brew experience. Chocolatey undertones? Nutty hints? Fruity whispers? These are the flavor companions you should be seeking in your coffee beans. They’ll intertwine beautifully with the cold brew’s inherent characteristics, making every sip a delightful journey.

Experimentation and Customization

Here’s where the magic truly happens – experimentation! Don your mad scientist hat and mix different beans to create your own unique blend. Personalization is key, and trust me, your taste buds will thank you for embarking on this flavor adventure.

Packaging and Freshness

Now, let’s talk freshness. Coffee beans, like life’s most precious gems, are at their best when they’re fresh. Opt for whole beans to preserve the flavors and aromas until the moment of brewing. And when you’ve secured your beans, store them in an airtight container away from light and moisture. Your future self will thank you.

Ethical and Sustainable Sourcing

Coffee isn’t just a drink; it’s a global connection. When choosing beans, consider their origin and the story behind them. Ethical and sustainable sourcing, often indicated by certifications like Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance, ensures that your coffee journey contributes positively to the world.

Budget-Friendly Options

Great coffee doesn’t always need to come with a hefty price tag. There are budget-friendly beans out there that deliver a stellar cold brew experience. These beans might not come from the fanciest estates, but they’ll still bring a symphony of flavors to your cup.

Brewing Tips for Cold Brew

Armed with your chosen beans, it’s time to dive into the brewing process. Coarsely grind your beans, add cold water, and let the magic unfold over the next 12 to 24 hours. Patience, my friends, is the secret ingredient here. Once the steeping is complete, filter out the grounds, and voilà – your cold brew canvas is ready.

Enjoying Your Cold Brew Creation

Now comes the sweet reward. Pour your cold brew over ice, add a splash of milk or cream, a drizzle of sweetener if you prefer, and there you have it – a masterpiece waiting to be savored. Embrace the ritual, bask in the chilled charm, and let every sip transport you to coffee nirvana.


In the enchanting world of cold brew, the journey starts with the beans. From the origin to the roast level, every choice you make paints a canvas of flavors waiting to be discovered. So, fellow coffee adventurers, choose wisely, brew patiently, and embark on a quest that promises nothing but pure, chilled delight.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use any coffee beans for cold brew?

Absolutely! However, certain beans with specific flavor profiles work better for cold brew, enhancing the overall experience.

Why should I choose coarse grind size for cold brew?

Coarse grind size prevents over-extraction, leading to a smoother and less bitter cold brew.

Are dark roast beans suitable for cold brew?

While dark roast beans can be used, medium to medium-dark roasts are generally preferred for a balanced flavor.

What’s the ideal steeping time for cold brew?

Steep your coffee grounds in cold water for about 12 to 24 hours for optimal flavor extraction.

Can I sweeten my cold brew with natural syrups?

Of course! Natural syrups like maple or honey can add a delightful touch to your cold brew without overwhelming the flavors.


Rachel Buyan

Greetings, I'm Rachel Buyan, and my world revolves around the realm of niche coffee. My journey has been one of endless fascination, from traversing distant coffee farms and delving into their unique cultures, to fine-tuning brewing techniques that transform each cup into a masterpiece. This isn't just a passion—it's a way of life. Through my explorations and experiences, I've cultivated an intimate understanding of the intricate flavors and aromas that define exceptional coffee. Join me in this captivating journey as we unearth the finest beans, celebrate the craft of coffee, and create moments worth savoring.

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