Best Cold Brew Coffee Beans in 2022 — Buyer’s Guide, Reviews, and ComparisonsThe best cold brew coffee beans are roasted in a way that emphasizes the wonderful characteristics of this coffee. Smooth flavors, reduced acidity, and sweetness are hallmarks. And, these coffee beans are roasted with those qualities in mind. What’s more, starting off with quality beans makes brewing this java even easier.
- Smooth, bold, and balanced flavors
- Coffee is packaged in layers to preserve freshness
- Uses supremo coffee beans — largest and highest quality
Product Comparison Table
|Check Price At Amazon Stone Street Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Tiny Footprint Review|
|Check Price At Amazon COLD BREW LAB Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Inspired Coffee Co. Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Wink Cold Brew Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Coffee Bros Cold Brew Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Coffee and Chicory Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Bizzy Cold Brew Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Cooper's Cask Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Wandering Bear Review|
In a hurry? Skip to our reviews of our top picks:
- Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee
- Tiny Footprint Coffee Cold Press Elixir
- COLD BREW LAB Coffee Cold Brew
- Inspired Coffee Co. French Vanilla
- Wink Coffee Cold Brew Reserve
- Coffee Bros Cold Brew Blend Whole Bean
- Cafe Du Monde Ground Coffee Chicory
- Bizzy Cold Brew Organic Coffee
- Cooper's Cask Coffee Organic Cold Brew
- Wandering Bear Cold Brew Coarse Ground
Best Cold Brew Coffee Beans Buying Guide
Cold brew coffee is a delicious treat when the weather is warm, but it’s also garnered a following for the rest of the year. Statistics show that the popularity of cold brew is on the up, and that trend is expected to continue.
Precision doesn’t matter quite as much with this brew method, so even beginners can create some enjoyable coffee. However, do yourself a favor — use the best cold brew coffee beans. Quality beans will brew a beverage that’s rich, smooth, and flavorful.
Admittedly, it does take some extra time and planning to make cold brew coffee. However, the process itself is super simple, so with minimal effort, you can look forward to a refreshing, tasty cup of joe.
When considering the best coffee beans to make cold brew, think about these points:
Single-origin vs blend
What Is Cold Brew Coffee?
Contrary to what some people believe, cold brew coffee isn’t the same as cold or iced coffee. The best coffee beans for iced coffee will not necessarily provide the same results. Cold brew is a particular method that uses cold or room temperature water to steep ground coffee for 12-24 hours. If you’d like more info on the differences between the two, check out our iced coffee vs cold brew comparison.
The best beans for cold brew should be coarsely ground. Ground coffee can be placed directly in water, or a brew bag or filter. If you don’t use either of the latter, your coffee will need to be strained once or twice before it’s ready to drink.
Some recipes brew concentrated coffee, and when it’s ready, it should be mixed with equal parts water or milk — unless you want really strong java! Cold brew can also be safely stored in a refrigerator for 7-10 days, so you don’t have to drink it all at once.
Characteristics of Cold Brew
Cold brew coffee has some specific traits separating it from other forms of java. The lower temperature and very slow extraction process mean that cold brew doesn’t possess the acidity or bitterness most people are familiar with.
Instead, it creates a beverage that’s smoother and sweeter — while still having a full body. So, if you have trouble getting past the harshness with other brewing methods, you may be pleasantly surprised with this java. Typically, Arabica coffee beans are considered the best type of coffee beans for cold brew, but Robusta occasionally makes an appearance.
How to Choose the Best Cold Brew Coffee Beans
Yes, the method of cold brew is indeed easier to master than other brewing methods, but other attributes matter. These are some characteristics that may be important to you when picking good coffee for cold brew.
Next to the quality of coffee beans, grind level is one of the most essential factors in cold brewing — a coarse grind, in this case. It works best with the lower water temperature and extended extraction time during brewing.
Ideally, it’s preferable to grind your own coffee beans, right before brewing. Freshly ground coffee always brews a better beverage. However, sometimes you can’t, plus a few of the coffees on our list are only available in pre-ground form. Hence, if you don’t choose whole beans, make sure it’s a coarse grind. If it’s too fine, you’ll spend bags more time filtering out leftover grounds.
The roast level refers to the length of time and temperature the coffee beans have been exposed to. The longer they roast, the darker their roast level. Technically, you can make cold brew coffee with any roast, but the best coffee beans to use for cold brew are medium or dark roasts.
The properties of these coffee beans, such as flavors and aromas, simply work better with cold brewing than light roasts. On the other hand, Italian or French dark roast may be too dark. Those roasts are often bitter, something most people are trying to avoid with cold brew.
Single-Origin or Blend
This aspect is more personal preference than anything else. Single-origin means that coffee beans originate from the same location. Often, even on the same farm. Flavors will be consistent from one bean to another, and there won’t be any surprises.
Blended means that coffee beans from different locations have been combined. Sometimes, different types of beans are blended, too, with Arabica and Robusta beans being the most common combo. A blend can be an ideal way to get the most attractive flavors and aromas from different regions.
Again, there’s no right or wrong answer as to which may be the best type of beans for cold brew. Many coffee roasters label their packaging with the origin, so you’ll know if it’s a blend or not.
While we all wish we had unlimited funds to spend on java, the reality is that most people don’t. Budget is a necessary consideration for most people, particularly if you drink a lot of coffee. Fortunately, there are many options for good coffee beans for cold brew that will fit every price point.
Top 10 Cold Brew Coffee Beans
There’s plenty of information out there about the best cold brew coffee beans, and it’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole while reading it. We know you have better uses for your time than tracking down the details.
Fortunately, you can skip most of that, since we’ve done that work for you. We’ve sorted through coffee industry opinions, customer feedback, and the popularity of brands to determine which good beans for cold brew are better than the rest.
~ Best Overall
Our Rating: 4.7/5
- Available in whole bean or coarse ground
- Crafted specifically for cold brewing
- Smooth, bold flavor without bitterness
Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew uses gourmet supremo Arabica coffee beans from Colombia, and as you might expect, it’s a dark roast. Supremo beans are classified as the finest and the biggest from this region.
This coffee was created specifically for cold brew, yet, Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve also performs well with a French press. Slightly sweet with a smooth acidity, this coffee bears chocolate and nutty flavor tones. Its flavor is balanced, without the bitter aftertaste that sometimes comes with dark roast coffee.
Stone Street Coffee Company packages its product in a special tri-layer pouch with a degassing valve to preserve freshness. This coffee is available coarsely ground or in whole beans, while small-batch roasting ensures quality. However, there have been remarks that the coarsely ground version may be too fine for cold brew.
- Bold and smooth flavor
- Uses Colombian supremo Arabica coffee beans
- Coffee is packaged in a three-layer bag to preserve freshness
- Not organic
- Some feel the pre-ground version is too fine for cold brew
~ Best for the Environment
Our Rating: 4.5/5
- Uses a mix of light and dark roast coffee beans
- Company donates to reforestation
- Artisan, small-batch roasting
Tiny Footprint Coffee – Cold Brew is made from an organic blend of Arabica coffee beans. It’s a mix of light and dark roasts, along with some Ethiopian coffee, blended to effectively create a medium roast.
Considered an environmentally conscious company Tiny Footprint claims to have created the first carbon-negative java — via donating to reforestation projects for each pound of coffee sold. The brand has concluded that producing one pound of coffee generates 4 pounds of carbon dioxide. Thus, to offset this, each tree planted will remove 54 pounds of ozone gases from our atmosphere.
This coffee tastes sweet and rich, with subtle flavors of flowers, fruit, and cocoa. And, the company employs artisan small-batch roasting to promise quality. However, going green costs money, meaning this brand is on the higher end of the pricing scale. The coffee also has a bitterness that may be unappealing to some.
- Environmentally conscious company
- Adopts artisan small-batch roasting
- Organic Arabica coffee beans
- Blend, not single-origin
- Brewed coffee can be quite bitter
~ Best Specialty Coffee
Our Rating: 4.5/5
- Blend of medium and dark roast coffee beans.
- Only specialty-grade coffee is used
- Aromatic with well-rounded flavors
Cold Brew Lab Organic Coarse Ground Coffee is a dark roast that uses only organic Arabica coffee beans. Sourced from Colombia, these beans are specialty grade — the top tier for coffee bean grading. If you want to learn more, read our guide on gourmet beans.
This is a proprietary blend of medium and dark roast coffee beans — brewing a bold, flavorful beverage with low acidity and a slight sweetness. It’s very aromatic and is available in whole beans or coarsely ground. Artisan roasting ensures flavors are consistent, without the bitterness sometimes found with dark roast coffee.
While it’s a well-rounded java, it may be too mild for some dark roast lovers. What’s more, the bags are not easy to reseal, so your coffee may go stale faster than anticipated. However, although this coffee is created for cold brew, it also works well with a French press.
- Specialty grade coffee
- Arabica coffee beans are organic
- Smooth taste with low acidity
- Bag can be tricky to reseal
- Too mild for some coffee lovers
~ Best Flavored Coffee
Our Rating: 4.5/5
- Dark roast, coarsely ground coffee
- Vanilla flavor with light chocolate and nutty undertones
- Small batch roasted
Inspired Coffee Co. French Vanilla Flavored Cold Brew Coffee is one of the creations from a small outfit that launched in 2018. Using single-origin Colombian Arabica supremo coffee beans — this is a dark roast.
It possesses a strong vanilla flavor with nutty and light chocolate undertones, offering a slightly sweet taste without bitterness. The roaster uses small-batch techniques, and much like other dark roasts, the brewed beverage has a bold flavor.
This coffee is only available in a coarse grind, with no option for whole beans, and it’s not organic. Plus, some customers mention that it’s not as rich as other coffees and it has an acidic aftertaste. It also comes with a higher price tag than similar coffees.
- Single-origin Arabica coffee beans from Colombia
- Slightly sweet vanilla flavor, no bitterness
- Bold and smooth
- Lacks whole bean option
- Not organic
~ Best Coffee with Arabica Beans
Our Rating: 4.6/5
- Medium-dark roast coffee
- Available in whole beans or pitcher packs
- Sustainably grown coffee beans
Wink Coffee contains single-origin Arabica coffee beans from Colombia to make its cold brew. The company states it uses sustainably grown coffee beans to create clean java.
While this coffee isn’t organic, it is Rainforest Alliance certified. Plus, Wink utilizes small-batch roasting to guarantee consistent quality. This is a medium-dark roast with a full body. You’ll taste sweet caramel, hazelnut, and cocoa with this brewed beverage.
Wink Coffee Cold Brew Reserve is only available in whole beans or pre-ground pitcher packs. With the latter, there’s no need to grind or measure out coffee, as it’s ready to go. An airtight zipper on the package makes it easy to reseal properly for freshness. However, if you’re a lover of dark roast coffee, this may not be dark enough for you.
- Rainforest Alliance certified
- Packaging is easy to open and reseal
- Single-origin Colombian Arabica coffee beans
- Not certified organic
- Roast may not be dark enough for some
~ Best Medium Roast
Our Rating: 4.6/5
- Small-batch roasted to order
- Available only in whole beans
- Uses natural processing
Coffee Bros Cold Brew Blend Whole Bean uses Arabica coffee beans deriving from Ethiopia and Brazil. But, bear in mind, this medium roast best whole bean coffee for cold brew isn’t available in pre-ground form, so have your grinder ready.
Established in 2019, Coffee Bros. is a relative newcomer to the roaster arena and a socially conscious company. It plants one tree for every 5 pounds of coffee sold, plus the brand employs natural processing to prepare coffee beans for roasting.
This coffee’s flavor profile is fresh and consistent, with tones of berry, dark chocolate, and brown sugar. It’s roasted to order and arrives in a resealable bag with a degassing valve to preserve freshness.
While some coffees on this list can be used with other brewing methods, cold brew is the only recommended purpose for this coffee. And, some consumers have found its aroma to be a bit too much, although most approve of the taste.
- Rich, fruity, and sweet flavor
- Coffee is roasted to order
- Uses natural processing to prepare beans for roasting
- Some found the aroma too overwhelming
- It’s expensive
~ Best Value
Our Rating: 4.6/5
- Dark-roasted coffee blended with chicory
- Strong aroma
- Has been served in New Orleans since the 1800s
Cafe du Monde Coffee and Chicory is not your typical coffee. It’s been served in New Orleans for almost 150 years — proving to be a popular java. It’s also the most economically priced, and one of the few that isn’t specifically crafted for cold brew.
This ground coffee is blended with chicory — a plant similar to dandelions — offering a taste that’s slightly woody and nutty. Du Monde is a dark roast, which results in brewed coffee that’s aromatic and rich, with a hint of chocolate, nuts, and wood. What’s more, thanks to the chicory, it’s not as bitter as some dark roasts.
Although some people adore Cafe du Monde chicory coffee, it can be an acquired taste. It also doesn’t have as much caffeine as other coffees, since it’s blended with chicory. Plus, this coffee isn’t quite as dark as Cafe du Monde French Roast, and there is no option for whole beans.
- Cafe du Monde Coffee is the most affordable on our list
- Less bitterness than other dark roasts
- Rich flavor with hints of chocolate
- Chicory doesn’t appeal to everyone
- Has slightly less caffeine than other coffees
~ Best Blend
Our Rating: 4.4/5
- Crafted to produce a smooth and balanced taste
- Ground with roller grinders to ensure consistency
- Only available as ground coffee
Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee is a medium roast crafted specifically for cold brew. It contains an organic blend of Arabica coffee beans originating from South and Central America — Nicaragua, Peru, and Guatemala. Smooth and sweet, this coffee is balanced and tastes of caramel and hazelnuts.
Although Bizzy Cold Brew Coffee isn’t available in whole beans, commercial roller grinders are put to work to coarsely grind the coffee. Bizzy ground coffee is also micro-sifted to ensure the grinds are consistently sized. You can choose from a multi-serving package of ground coffee or pre-made brew bags.
The company indicates that its coffee has a 12-month shelf life — providing the package remains unopened — so you don’t have to use it immediately. However, the packaging has led to comments — resealing can be difficult.
- Organic and ethically sourced coffee
- Coffee is micro-sifted to ensure even grinds
- Balanced flavors of hazelnut and caramel
- Not available in whole beans
- Packaging could be improved
~ Best Single Origin
Our Rating: 4.3/5
- Coffee beans are aged in whiskey and bourbon barrels
- Single-origin beans — specifically crafted for cold brew
- Smooth, balanced, and sweet when brewed
This company uses a rather unorthodox method to add a touch of flavor to its coffee beans. The company ages its beans in barrels that previously held whiskey and bourbon. This infuses flavor and aroma into the beans without adding any sugar or other ingredients.
Cooper’s Cask Coffee Organic Cold Brew Coffee uses organic single-origin Guatemalan coffee beans. Available in whole beans or coarsely ground, this coffee is roasted in small batches to preserve quality. With a flavor that’s both smooth and sweet, you’ll also taste hints of caramel, chocolate, and orange.
While this coffee smells wonderful, it doesn’t always bear a sharp and clean flavor, and it’s also more acidic than other cold brew coffees. There have also been some reports of customers receiving stale coffee beans.
- Organic single-origin beans from Guatemala
- Money-back guarantee or replacement
- Created specifically for cold brew
- Lacks a clean taste at times
- Some may feel its acidity is higher than other cold brews
~ Best Organic
Our Rating: 4.5/5
- Strong and smooth, with a full body
- Dark roast craft coffee
- Small-batch roasted
Wandering Bear Organic Cold Brew Coffee is advertised as being stronger than others. A blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans are used to provide an extra boost of caffeine. These beans are sourced from Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Nicaragua.
Not to be confused with Wandering Bear iced coffee, this organic dark roast works well for cold brew or French presses. In addition to whole beans and coarsely ground, it’s also available in a drip grind and K-cups. Coffee made from these beans is dark, full-bodied, and rich in chocolate flavor. The company classifies this as craft coffee and applies small-batch roasting to reinforce this message.
Wandering Bear Cold Brew Coffee smells sweet, tastes smooth, and is packaged with a one-way valve to keep beans fresh. However, Wandering Bear Coffee has a higher price point than many comparable brands. There have also been reports that the coarse grind may be too fine to make cold brew properly.
- Wandering Bear Cold Brew is a dark roast with a full body
- Craft coffee, small-batch roasted
- Bags feature a one-way valve to preserve freshness
- The coarse grind offered may be too fine for cold brew
- Wandering Bear has a higher price tag than many other brands
While it may have been introduced as a cool treat on a warm day, cold brew coffee has become popular 365 days a year in many areas. This method of brewing creates a beverage offering the delicious flavors of other methods, but avoids the acidity and bitterness often associated with coffee. For cold brew, the coffee bean type doesn’t necessarily matter, although Arabica beans are more common.
A medium or dark roast is often preferred, although you can certainly use a light or blonde roast. And, since it’s going to take considerably longer than your regular coffee maker or espresso machine — patience is certainly required.
If you’ve never attempted making cold brew on your own, give it a try. It’s surprisingly fool-proof — you don’t need barista skills to master it. Just make sure you’re using the best cold brew coffee beans to get your java started off on the right foot.
Best Cold Brew Coffee Beans FAQs
Is Cold Brew Just Iced Coffee?
No. Iced coffee is a beverage brewed hot and then chilled. Cold brew coffee is steeped for 12-24 hours at a much lower temperature. For this reason, you can’t substitute the best beans for iced coffee with cold brew.
Can You Use Any Coffee for Cold Brew?
Yes. Some people even use stale coffee that won’t work with other brewing methods. However, medium and dark roasts are best suited for cold brew, and you should use coarse ground coffee.
Is Cold Brew Healthy?
Cold brew coffee is as healthy as coffee made using any other method, but it has other benefits. It’s less acidic and less bitter than coffee brewed through other means, and many people report that it’s easier for sensitive digestive systems to tolerate.
How Do You Grind Beans for Cold Brew?
A coarse grind is the preferred grind level for cold brewing. This works well with the lower temperature and extended steeping and extraction time. Finer grind levels may not create the same flavors or textures.
What Is Special about Cold Brew Coffee?
It’s awesome! Well, besides that, it’s smoother and sweeter than other forms of brewed coffee. It also doesn’t have the bitterness or acidity that many people dislike about java.
How Do You Drink Cold Brew?
It depends on whether the cold brew is full strength or concentrated. If it’s full strength, you can drink it just like you would any other coffee. If it’s concentrated, you should add milk or water to dilute it. Of course, if you insist on drinking extra-strong, concentrated coffee, we’re not going to stand in your way!
Does Bean Quality Matter for Cold Brew?
Yes. Good cold brew coffee beans are the most important factor in how good your beverage tastes. Inferior beans can make your java taste bitter, watery, or have any number of unpleasant effects.
Do You Use Whole or Ground Beans for Cold Brew?
Technically, you can use whole coffee beans for cold brew, but you won’t achieve quite the same results as using coarsely ground coffee.