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The 5 Best Coffee Beans For Cold Brew (2024 Guide)

Charl Joost
Last Updated: December 30th, 2023

Cold brew is a type of caffeinated drink made by steeping ground coffee in lukewarm or cold water overnight. This results in a strong and heavily caffeinated beverage that can be combined with a host of flavored syrups, flavorings, and milk options.

To make the ideal cold brew, the type of coffee bean used is very important as different coffee beans could result in different acidity or taste.

In this article, we are going to look at our top picks of the best coffee beans for cold brew. This will help you choose which beans to use the next time you want to make a homemade cold brew.

What to Consider Before Buying Coffee Beans for Cold Brew

things before buying coffee beans

How to Choose Coffee Beans For Cold Brew

Cold brews are known for their deep and dark taste coffee, so using a light roast coffee bean is not a good idea. Rather, medium, or dark roasts are better as they will have deeper taste profiles, leading to a tastier cold brew product.

The way the coffee beans is ground is an important factor as the type of grounds will affect the resulting drink. Coarse coffee grounds are better than finer coffee grounds as fine grounds can clump when combined with water. As you are using cold or lukewarm water, the grounds will not break down easily and this can lead to clumps of coffee remaining behind.

It is therefore a good idea if you are buying ground coffee to ensure it is coarsely ground. If you are purchasing your coffee from a local store, ask them to grind the beans up to a coarse consistency.

Things to Look For In Coffee Beans

Many different types of coffee beans can result in different tastes. This is due to how the coffee beans are grown and harvested, as well as the region they are grown in. There are 2 main categories for coffee beans: Robusta and Arabica.

Arabica beans are low-acidity beans with a delicate and slightly sweeter taste. Grown at higher altitudes, this coffee bean variety can be more expensive as it is difficult and expensive to grow. This leads to there being a lower amount of coffee beans that can be harvested, increasing the price due to high demand.

In comparison, Robusta beans are more acidic than Arabica beans and are stronger in terms of caffeine content. These beans can be grown with less difficulty making them a more affordable option than Arabica.

For a drink like cold brew where the acidity compounds are left behind, using Robusta beans is a good option due to their affordability and strength.

Arabica is a better choice if you are looking for a specific coffee (like a latte) while Robusta is good for strong and hardy drinks.

How Do You Make Cold Brew?

Cold brew is a good base to use for an iced coffee as it is less bitter or watery than freshly brewed, hot coffee, or instant coffee. It can be made easily at home and with the right type of coffee bean, could be a good way to save money by making your iced coffee at home.

To make this beverage you will need freshly ground coffee and water. Using the right coffee beans as a base can affect how your cold brew will taste so make sure you have selected the right blend. Measure 1 cup of coffee beans and grind the coffee beans to a coarse consistency. Add the beans to 4 cups f room temperature or cold water.

Lastly, let it steep overnight or for 12 hours in the fridge and enjoy. Letting it steep for this duration will allow the coffee to slowly infuse with the water which will result in a concentrated drink.

This slow concentration has the additional benefit of extracting the tasty parts of the coffee while leaving the bitter and sour elements of the coffee behind.

Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for Coffee Beans For Cold Brew

dstblcr-table__imageGevalia Papua New Guinea Fine Ground Coffee
  • Medium Roast
  • 100% Arabica Coffee Beans
  • Resealable Ground Coffee Bag
dstblcr-table__imageDeath Wish Coffee Dark Roast Grounds
  • Medium Roast
  • Made with Arabica and Robusta Beans
  • Slow Batch Roasting Process
dstblcr-table__imageCameron's Coffee Vanilla Hazelnut Cold Brew Blend
  • Medium Roast
  • Hand Crafted in Small Batches
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
dstblcr-table__imageOrganic Cold Brew Coffee Grounds by Four Sigmatic
  • Dark Roast
  • Extract Real Mushrooms
  • Wild Crafted Chaga on Birch Trees
dstblcr-table__imageBlack Rifle Coffee Murdered Out (Extra Dark Roast)
  • Dark Roast
  • Blend Brazilian and Colombian Beans
  • Smooth and Robust Flavor

Top 5 Best Coffee Beans for Cold Brew

coffee beans for cold brew

1. Gevalia Special Reserve Costa Rica Single Origin Medium Roast Ground Coffee

Although they have other blends available, Gevalia is known for its Costa Rica Single Origin Medium Roast coffee grounds. This coffee is a good option for those wanting to make a cold brew with less acidity and a milder flavor. It is marketed as a good breakfast coffee which ensures it is full of caffeine without the overwhelming coffee taste.

Other coffee grounds available from the brand include medium roast from Guatemala, Kenya, or Papua New Guinea. Each of these roasts will have its distinct flavor profile which is affected by the region it is grown in and how the harvest is conducted. All 4 brews belong to Gevalia’s range of Special Reserve coffees.

The Costa Rican blend has flavor notes of fruit and citrus while the Guatemala beans have deeper notes of cocoa and smoke. Kenyan beans have a floral and berry flavor while the beans from Papua New Guinea have a sweeter finish.

For this reason, Costa Rican beans are better for a cold brew to make a deep and flavorful drink.

Quick Facts

  • Price: The most affordable coffee option on this list, a 10-ounce bag of this ground coffee can be bought for approximately $10. This makes it a good option for those with a strict coffee budget or those who do not want to spend too much on coffee grounds.
  • Origin: This coffee is made from 100% Arabica coffee beans that originate from the highland valleys of Costa Rica. The volcanic soil in the region makes it a good place to grow coffee beans, ensuring good-quality beans from one harvest to the next.
  • Additional Information: Slow roasting is used to ensure the coffee beans are not over-roasted and maintain the same quality of flavor regardless of the batch it is made from.

2. Death Wish Coffee Dark Roast Grounds

Death Wish Coffee Dark Roast Grounds
  • DAY STARTER GROUND COFFEE: Get a pound of power & energy every morning with our dark roast coffee ground. This dark coffee is made of robust bold flavors. Wake up your senses with our dark coffee...
  • QUALITY BREW COFFEE GROUNDS DARK: Transform your basic cup into an intense & delicious coffee. One sip of this best coffee will make you say yes to more of our coffee grinds. Choose premium artisanal...
  • STRONG COFFEE GROUND: Enjoy the best ground coffee you'll ever taste! Made with premium arabica & robusta beans that are roasted to perfection. Every ground dark roast coffee is bold with notes of...
  • SMOOTH DARK GROUND COFFEE: Brew our best coffees made with a slow batch roasting process. This coffee ground bold is low in acid. It feels like a gourmet ground coffee that's fresh without bitter or...
  • TRY IT RISK-FREE: The Death Wish Promise is that our organic ground coffee comes highly rated by thousands of satisfied customers who simply can't get enough but we'll let you be the judge. If you...
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For a bold and strong coffee, Death Wish Coffee Co has produced a bag of their Dark Roast Ground Coffee to be used to make cold brew.

With flavor notes of chocolate and cherry, this is a good coffee brew to use to make a cold brew as it will result in a flavorful drink that can be doctored as you wish.

A dark roast from a brand named Death Wish has a stronger coffee taste than most would expect. It is improved by the fact that this coffee is made from both Arabica and Robusta coffee beans which leads to a deep and rich flavor profile, packed with caffeine and flavor.

Quick Facts

  • Price: A bag of this coffee costs approximately $33, making it the priciest coffee on this list. For those with a budget, this may not be a good coffee option. However, if you are planning on using this coffee on special occasions or for cold brew exclusively, this roast may be worth the price.
  • Origin: Arabica and Robusta beans have been harvested from India and Peru by manufacturers that grow ‘green’ coffee beans. This means that the beans have been grown and harvested sustainably, meeting the brand’s expectation of protecting the climate.
  • Additional Information: The Death Wish coffee beans have been Fair Trade certified, ensuring customers that purchasing this coffee will not negatively affect the environment or workers involved in its harvesting. Additionally, this coffee has been certified by USDA Organic ensuring correct standards are being met when producing it.

3. Cameron’s Coffee Vanilla Hazelnut Cold Brew Blend

Cameron’s Coffee Roasted Ground Coffee Bag, Flavored
  • ALWAYS SMOOTH, NEVER BITTER: (1) 10-Ounce Bag of Ground Coffee, 100% Premium Arabica Beans, Vanilla Hazelnut Cold Brew Blend with Natural and Artificial Flavors
  • NUTTY & SWEET: Coarse ground and ready to cold brew; This light roast coffee brings flavors of rich, sweet vanilla and buttery hazelnut to your cup
  • POSITIVELY FOCUSED: From roasting in small batches to reducing water consumption, Cameron’s Coffee is committed to making every day brighter; Creating positive change means caring about our coffee,...
  • CAMERON'S PUTS QUALITY FIRST: We choose only 100% Premium Arabica beans, hand crafted in small batches, leaving you with a craveable cup of coffee that's never over-roasted
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Some people may prefer a cold brew with a different taste given the interest in flavored coffees.

For those people, Cameron’s Coffee has made a Vanilla Hazelnut coffee blend which will lead to a sweeter and tasty cold brew. Although it is a light roast, this blend is a good option for someone new to the experience of drinking cold brew.

If you are not interested in a light roast blend, Cameron’s Coffee has a medium blend available which is suitable for a stronger cold brew. It is made from 100% Arabica beans leading to a light taste with a rich flavor profile.

Quick Facts

  • Price: At a price of approximately $16, this is another affordable coffee option for those wanting to save some money while enjoying their favorite blend. Given the size of the bag (12 ounces), this is a good price-to-value ratio although the true value is dependent on what you will get from the coffee grounds.
  • Origin: The beans used for this brew are 100% Arabica, leading to a sweeter taste than what would have been extracted from Robusta beans. Small batches of beans are harvested and roasted to maintain quality control and ensure that the product is being manufactured correctly.
  • Additional Information: Cameron’s Coffee is made using sustainable practices, with the brans using recycled paperboard in their coffee pod packaging, reducing their water consumption, and using local compost facilities for their coffee by-products.

4. Organic Cold Brew Coffee Grounds by Four Sigmatic

Coffee, while it tastes good and can keep you going for long days, can have negative consequences if you drink too much of it.

To improve the taste of their coffee while making it slightly healthier, Four Sigmatic has created their Organic Cold Brew Coffee Grounds to be used to make homemade cold brews.

This bag of coffee grounds is made with Chaga Mushroom extract and coarse coffee grounds to make a powder that works well for a cold brew while having the additional health benefits that can be extracted from mushrooms. There is no additional flavoring added so the taste of the coffee will remain unaffected and reflective of the brew.

The Lion’s Mane mushrooms are log-grown by Lion’s Mane while the Chaga mushrooms are grown on birch trees. Both types of mushrooms are harvested sustainably to ensure guilt-free drinking of this coffee mixture.

Quick Facts

  • Price: Four Sigmatic sells this coffee at approximately $20 per bag. For 12 ounces of coffee per bag, this is an affordable option and should not be too much of an issue for some. However, if you have a strict budget for coffee, make sure that this coffee has enough value to excuse the price you will need to pay.
  • Origin: Harvested in Honduras, this coffee originated from Pacayal Coffee which is a cooperative run by a family in the southwest of the country. It is grown at an elevation of 5 500 feet above sea level making this a high-elevation brew.
  • Additional Information: These coffee beans are a dark roast and caffeinated so the final taste of your cold brew will be rich and deep. It has been Fair Trade certified so customers can guarantee their coffee is not harming people or the planet.

5. Black Rifle Coffee Murdered Out

This coffee roast is an ideal option for those who are experienced cold brew drinkers and want a stronger and deeper coffee taste.

Black Rifle’s Murdered Out blend is an extra dark roast coffee blend made with Columbian coffee beans. As an extra dark roast, this blend has a strong finish with a full body, leading to an ideal, strong cold brew.

The taste profile of this coffee roast has strong, smoky notes which will lead to a rich cold brew. Other blends available from the brand include their light, medium, and ordinary dark roasts of which the proceeds all go towards supporting first responders and veterans.

Quick Facts

  • Price: Although the blend is an extra dark roast which most would expect to be pricier, this blend is available for approximately $18 per bag. At 12 ounces per bag, this is a good quality for money product and will last for long enough to gain value from it.
  • Origin: The beans are grown and harvested in Columbia and Brazil. Both regions are known for producing strong and hardy coffee beans which are packed with flavor.
  • Additional Information: Black Rifle was founded by a group of veterans in the United States, with a portion of the proceeds from each bag going towards supporting veterans, law enforcement officers, and first responders.

Best Coffee Beans For Cold Brew – Final Thoughts

As previously discussed, the type of coffee bean used to make cold brew is important as different strains and brews will result in the taste of your beverage differing. This includes the tasting notes of the coffee, the acidity and bitterness of the drink, and the visual appearance.

The most affordable coffee bean on this list is Gevalia Special Reserve at a price of approximately $10 while the most expensive is Four Sigmatic at $20 per bag. For darker roasts, Death Wish, Black Rifle, and Four Sigmatic’s roasts are good options.

Meanwhile, Gevalia Special Reserve is a good option for those looking for medium roasts. Finally, Cameron’s Coffee is a good option for someone wanting a flavored cold brew. Given that all these roasts are dark or medium, any of the options would work well to make a cold brew.

Having looked at our top picks of the best coffee beans for cold brew, there is not one option that is superior to the rest.

Each person making their cold brew will look for something different meaning any of these options could be the best one for you. This is not a decision to make lightly so consider carefully what you want from your beans.

About The Author

Charl Joost

Charl is a trainer, public speaker, and professional writer. While he has been coached to niche down, he has many passions. These include golf, gardening, technology, and a decent cup of coffee or two. Charl loves to learn about new products and tries everything he writes about.

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