Last Updated on October 7, 2021 by John Moretti
Cold brew coffee has become a significant trend across the coffee world, one that is transforming the ways we enjoy this drink. If you love cold brew and want to make it at home, you need to check out the following six coffee beans. They provide the kind of taste, quality, and ease of brewing that you want and deserve when you’re getting into home cold brewing.
- Best Overall Choice: Lifeboost Organic Light Roast Beans
- Best Pre-Ground Cold Brew Coffee Bean: Bizzy Organic Cold Brew
- Best Luxury Cold Brew Coffee Bean: Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew
- Best Low-Acid Cold Brew Coffee Bean: Volcanica Cold Brew
- Best Budget Cold Brew Coffee Bean: Coffee Bros. Cold Brew Blend
- Best Carbon-Negative Cold Brew Coffee Bean: Tiny Footprint Coffee Organic Cold Press Elixir
About Coffee Beans For Cold Brew
Cold brew coffee is a unique brewing option that allows you to enjoy a cold coffee that doesn’t have the same watered-down taste you might get with ice coffee. Instead, you brew in cold water to produce a slightly different flavor, requiring you to steep medium-to-coarse coffee in water for 12 hours or so, depending on your taste. This lengthy time helps to extract as much coffee from the grounds as a fast, hot brew.
As a result, you don’t need to use ice cubes or other cooling methods to produce a fantastic blend. However, you do need to have patience and carefully choose the right bean for your needs. This process is not complex but requires you to choose the best coffee beans for cold brew. Our list below includes many options that should appeal to a broad array of coffee drinkers. We’ll discuss:
- What type of drinker a bean may appeal to the most
- The overall flavor of each coffee bean option
- A few positives that make the bean stand out compared to others
- Negatives to consider when trying out a bean option
- Any other information we find out about each brew (such as whether it is organic or not)
The Best 6 Coffee Beans for Cold Brew
Each of the beans below was tested and carefully researched by our team of coffee fans. We ensured that they passed our taste test and provided benefits that felt appropriate for various brewing situations. In this way, you get the most comprehensive understanding of your options available and minimize any confusion between each bean type. There should be an option for just about any brewer!
Best Overall Choice: Lifeboost Organic Light Roast Beans
Lifeboost is a brand we come to time and time again for great beans. Their organic light-roast beans make a great cold brew with minimum fuss. They include a single-original Nicaraguan blend. What does single-origin mean? It indicates that the beans were picked from a single area and not mixed with beans from other spots.
Beyond that, we also liked that this coffee had minimal acidity compared to others on our list. You’ll need to cold-brew this bean for at least 16 hours to get minimum acid in each cup. However, those who tend to get indigestion or an upset stomach with coffee may find that this option works the best for their needs and minimizes any stomach issues. That makes this one of the easiest-on-the-digestion coffee options listed here.
- A diverse array of tastes with each brewed cup
- Very light for the average coffee drink
- Single-origin beans minimize cross-contamination
- Requires a special order to find a bag
- Unattractive packaging may drive away some buyers
Best Pre-Ground Cold Brew Coffee Bean: Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee
If you prefer your beans pre-ground, this option is an excellent choice for you. Each bag is carefully aged and then ground for you to ensure you don’t have to do any hard work yourself. We know that some brewers may find this limitation frustrating, however. Don’t buy this option if you’re into grinding your beans and want a more hands-on experience.
That said, if you want a quick and easy cold brew, this option is your best choice. It includes a blend of 100% Arabica beans that have been USDA-certified as organic. They come from the best Central and South American coffee growers on the market. The mix of hazelnut and caramel tests should please anyone who likes their coffee a little sweeter but who don’t want to use any sweeteners or milk.
- Pre-ground state means it’s easy to brew right away
- Smooth taste that shouldn’t offend delicate tastes
- Organically sourced to minimize chemical residue
- Not available as a bean but just pre-ground
- Taste sits a bit in the mid-range for quality
Best Luxury Cold Brew Coffee Bean: Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew
Some brewers may want a cold brew bean that’s just a little higher in quality, no matter the price they pay. If that sounds like you, Stone Street may be the brand for your needs. This brewer has built up a cult following in recent years and is often considered the best brand for cold brew. We think they create some of the best coffee on our list but believe they may be outside some price range.
That said, if you can afford them, Stone Street beans produce a very chocolate-like taste with a bold and unforgettable flavor. They also provide a high level of caffeine without upsetting the stomach. In addition, their naturally low acid levels make them easy to integrate into just about any coffee drinking ritual and produce a fantastic option you should try.
- A luxury brand with high-quality beans
- Rich taste with a fantastic aftertaste
- Designed specifically for cold brewing
- Quite pricey compared to most cold brew beans
- It might be a bit coarse for some drinkers
Best Low-Acid Cold Brew Coffee Bean: Volcanica Cold Brew Whole Bean Coffee
We’ve always love Volcanica coffee, and this cold-brew blend is no different. It produces a very dark and bold flavor, one that is among the richest on this list. What is particularly impressive, though, is that this taste doesn’t come at the expense of excessive acidity. Simply put, the acid level of this coffee was the lowest we could find, making it perfect for those with easily upset stomachs.
Volcanica also offers options for ground coffee if that suits your choices as a brewer. However, whole beans make the experience more enjoyable by allowing you to create the precise blend you want and feel more connected to your coffee. Whole beans are also usually much cheaper and provide a stable supply of coffee that should work well for most people.
- Very low level of acidity
- Bold taste that suits many coffee drinkers
- Subtle aroma blend that produces a great overall profile
- Sometimes hard to find in some markets
- Fairly costly
Best Budget Cold Brew Coffee Bean: Coffee Bros. Cold Brew Blend
Try Coffee Bros if you’re trying to save money on your coffee budget and want a high-quality bean. They’re a little less expensive than other options on this list. However, don’t mistake “less expensive” for “cheap” or “poor tasting.” This bean produces a very lovely brew indeed and is one of the tastiest we could find. As a result, it’s an excellent option for anybody who wants to try cold brew but isn’t sure where to start.
We also love the 100% Arabica beans used for this coffee. They produce a brew taste with a mix of chocolate, berry, and brown sugar aftertastes. These slight hints don’t overwhelm you but add a bit extra depth to the taste profile. Each bag is also air-locked and tightly sealed, meaning that you get fresh beans every time you brew a cup of this delicious coffee.
- Small-batch roasting helps to ensure a high-quality bean
- Naturally processed to minimize chemical residue
- Very potent flavor and aroma
- The rich smell may be too much for sensitive drinkers
- While natural, it isn’t genuinely organic
Best Carbon-Negative Cold Brew Coffee Bean: Tiny Footprint Coffee Organic Cold Press Elixir
Are you hoping to cut back on the impact that your coffee consumption makes on the environment? Then shop with Tiny Footprint! All of their coffees come from a zero-carbon production environment, meaning that they produce no carbon waste. They also work to plant trees throughout Ecuador to restore the cloud forest and help the environment recover after every harvest.
We also love the taste of this coffee, which combines a surprising (but not overpowering) sweetness with the kind of rich and smooth aroma we love. We think it goes well with a variety of different snacks or treats, such as cookies, various biscuits, and more. It also works well as a first-time coffee option for young people who can’t reasonably tolerate the excessive heat from typically brewed coffee.
- Very environmentally friendly, with a zero-carbon footprint
- Available both as a whole bean or ground, providing many unique brewing opportunities
- Silky and sweet taste that goes well with many situations
- Not a single-origin product, meaning the taste profile may change
- Not a cheap option, which is vital to consider when getting into cold brew coffee
What to Look For When Choosing Coffee Beans for Cold Brew
If the beans on this list somehow aren’t to your taste, it is crucial to understand the traits that make up the best beans. These elements help make deciding on a great bean easier and minimize any confusion you might experience otherwise. Just a few of the most common traits to weigh include:
- Acidity – Try to find an excellent cold brew bean that has a low level of acidity. While some might like the “punch” of high-acid coffee, too much may trigger indigestion.
- Taste – Many cold brew coffee beans blend caramel, hazelnut, and chocolate aftertastes to produce a delicious brew. Try to find an option that feels right for you in this way to minimize confusion.
- Cost – Cold brew coffee beans often cost a bit more than other types. Make sure you’re ready to adjust to this higher-cost range before trying out this brewing option.
- Brewing Style – Do you need a unique cold brewer to make your coffee? Or can you just let it sit in a pot for several hours to get great results? Make sure you understand before you start.
- Lifespan – How long will your beans last unbrewed? Organic beans lack preservatives and may spoil more quickly. Take this into account before you purchase any cold brew beans.
- Bean Location – Each major coffee grower in the world produces beans with slightly different overall taste profiles. Find a location that fits you and focus on these beans.
- Brand History – Research each bean brand and manufacturer to get an idea of what processes they use. Do they have a good or bad reputation? Narrow down your options to minimize any complications.
Weigh all of these factors using whatever option makes the most sense for your needs. For example, taste should be high on most people’s lists, but others may not care how they brew their beans. Others may be less interested in bean origin than hardcore brewers. Whatever choice you make, always be carefully informed and do any research that feels right for your needs.
Try Out Cold Brew Coffee Beans Today
Experiment with a few different cold brew beans to find the option that appeals the most to you. The many other brands and types on the market should make this process reasonably easy. You may even want to try out a few with friends, family members, or your spouse to get their input. And don’t forget: cold brew takes patience, so let your beans soak long enough to produce a fantastic taste.