The 8 Best Coffees To Use For Cold Brew

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Hot coffee is good and all, but have you ever tried a cold brew? A what? A cold brew. Although the coffee is cold, it's not exactly the same as if you were ordering an iced coffee or macchiato. "Cold brew is coffee brewed cold! Instead of using hot water to pull out flavor from ground coffee, you use cold water, which means the process takes a lot longer –– usually 12 to 24 hours," writer and originator of Boss Barista Ashley Rodriguez told Food & Wine. The small amount of extra brewing time may just be worth trying if you haven't already.

According to the National Coffee Association, one in five Americans orders a cold brew weekly. You may have heard of cold brew coffee before, quite possibly even tried one but are clueless as to what makes it a popular coffee shop order. You can certainly go buy one at your favorite local coffee spot or try making a cup (or two) at home for yourself. Before you get the cup to fill with ice or begin to pour any creamer into it, you have to select the type of coffee bean to brew a cold brew. According to Coffee Sock, choose medium or dark roast beans for making homemade cold brew. While you can certainly use a lighter roast, the different brewing processes may mask the flavor profile.

Just which type of bean you decide to use is ultimately your choice, but we have put together eight different coffee brands you could purchase to test your barista skills at home. From the roast to the flavoring, find your perfect cold brew bean below –- just keep on scrolling.

1. Volcanica coffee

If you prefer sipping a cup of coffee that embodies a bold taste, then perhaps you should consider brewing a batch of cold brew coffee using a dark roast bean. The dark bean is exposed to a higher temperature during the roasting process, which typically leaves the roasted beans with a stronger flavor profile. The distinct taste is much more potent when compared to a medium or light coffee bean variety (via Healthline). The prominent flavoring commonly associated with a dark roast is ideal for cold brewing. Because the immersion process of making a cold brew is entirely different from how a hot cup of joe is made, the dark roast bean selection means you won't lose the distinct taste you love during the steeping process.

If you are stumped on which brand of dark roast coffee to purchase but are willing to try a bold-flavored bean for your brew, then we have a few suggestions we hope you try. For a rich, roasted flavor, a Volcanica dark roast whole bean coffee could have you thinking about pouring another cup. Considered the brand's darkest roasted bean, it is a mixture of different types of beans combined that contribute to the overall taste and is described as smokey, with chocolate and caramel flavors. Although the fierce taste is not for everyone, a dark roast coffee is considered the best bean for making a flavorful cup of cold brew in your own kitchen.

2. Stone Street

Cold brew is pretty simple to make at home. With just some water and your choice of ground coffee beans, you could be well on your way to creating your first batch. There is more than one way to make the liquid cup of gold, too. Crafting a cold brew in your pajamas can be done in a number of relatively simple ways. Whether you use a French press, glass jar, jug, or drip technique, the beans you pick should work for either process (via Perfect Daily Grind).

When deciding to steep the grounds yourself, it's important to choose a coffee bean for its flavor and its quality. One that captures the essence of both is a dark roast. The cooking process makes it a heavy favorite amongst avid coffee drinkers because of how it's roasted. The exceedingly high temperatures bring out the best the beans can offer, with not only more flavor but less acid as well. Less acidity in the coffee is important as it determines how the coffee is perceived by the palette (via Home Grounds).

For a smooth taste, try to source a bean with low acid that's made for cold brewing. Every blend of Stone Street coffee, including the cold brew reserve, is made with high-quality arabica beans sourced from various locations in Colombia. The dark roasted beans are low in acid and roasted at higher temperatures to bring out the nutty, chocolate undertones.

3. Coffee Bro's

Brewing cold brew coffee at home can often make you feel like you are performing a science experiment. A smidge of inaccuracy during the brewing process can have the final result tasting, well, bitter. That sharp taste in your cup can be a result of bad coffee beans, inaccurate measuring, or over-extraction. If you rule out the beans as the issue, then it's likely your bitter cup of java is giving off a tart taste from over-brewing the beans. The extra brewing time or amount of excess water can cause them to lose their "good" flavoring and leaves a harsh aftertaste once the grounds are strained (via Coffee Bro's).

If the process is perfect, then perhaps you should consider switching up the beans. If you like your cold brew coffee without the bitterness, opt for a high-quality bean that is roasted with sweetness. Sourced from Brazil and Ethiopia, Coffee Bro's sweet cold brew blend is roasted with a hint of brown sugar. To ensure the candied taste comes through in the brew, the coffee beans are roasted with notes of berry and chocolate as well. The sugary additions introduce a subtle sweetness to help knock out that bitterness. Try this blend in your next homemade brew.

4. Lifeboost coffee

Strong coffee not your style? Let us introduce you to a few medium roast coffee beans for your cold brew coffee lineup. What makes a coffee bean dark, medium, or light roast is the cooking process. When it comes to medium coffee beans, they are roasted at lower temperatures compared to darker coffee varieties. The key difference in the coffee types comes from the removal time of medium roast beans. To trap a different flavor profile and allow it to create its own distinct aromas, the beans are pulled from the heat prior to their cracking, per Coffee Crossroads. Although not as flavorful as a dark roast coffee, the milder coffee bean still offers its own layers of complexity that make it a good choice for brewing a cold coffee.

For a gentler, smoother-tasting cup of liquid energy that is easier to digest, try brewing a cup using Lifeboost medium roast ground coffee beans. These specific coffee beans are cooked for less time at lower roasting temperatures to trap a lower acidity level and maintain a subtle flavoring. The low acidity levels in the coffee beans are easier on the tummy and milder on the taste buds. The medium roast beans are sourced from several locations in Central America and contain absolutely no dairy, carbohydrates, or sugar.

5. Peet's Coffee

When steeping coffee for a cold brew batch at home, you may notice the recipe needs some tweaking — especially when you use different coffee beans. Slight adjustments to the brew are necessary when preparing a cold brew with a medium or light roast coffee classification. Since the medium roast beans are milder in taste, the ratio of water to coffee grounds needs to be adjusted. You may even notice that the time for steeping is a little less or a little more, depending on how you prefer the taste. According to Javapresse, the drip method is potentially best as the medium coffee grinds have minimal interaction with the water. During this brewing process, the coffee is poured slowly onto ice, which eventually pools in a container at the bottom.

The slow drip method, although considered difficult, is still possible for you to tackle in your kitchen. You can make using the drop technique at home easier by selecting a type of coffee you can find regularly and that's crafted for this distinct process. Peet's coffee is likely on the shelves at your local grocery store or readily available at online retailers. It's even crafted for the drip technique. The Peet's Coffee medium roast bean is typically not as bitter as an espresso or dark roast variety, making it a great choice for those searching for a mellow cold coffee.

6. Olde Brooklyn Coffee

If you love a dark roast coffee bean flavor profile, then you'll just love an espresso bean glass of cold brew. What is espresso? Well, it's actually not much different than a typical coffee bean, as it's still just a regular old coffee bean. What makes the espresso bean one that stands in a category of its own is, once again, the roasting method. According to Your Dream Coffee, each coffee bean is put through a different roasting process. For the espresso bean, batches of them are roasted at higher temperatures for very short periods of time. This roasting process often gives the espresso bean a darker color and richer taste. The changes in temperatures and timing ultimately create a variety of different coffee beans resulting in different levels of flavor.

Espresso beans typically capture a stronger but smoother taste. The combination is what makes them a popular choice for cold brewing coffee. Just like a dark roast blend, the espresso beans also maintain strong levels of flavor that don't get lost in the water during brewing. An espresso roast readily available on Amazon from Olde Brooklyn Coffee, Italian roast espresso coffee, may be the missing bean to your cold brew. This gourmet artisan coffee is slow-roasted for freshness and flavor. The coffee is suitable for crafting any cold brew using any technique or a regular coffee machine.

7. Lavazza Coffee

It could often be assumed that an espresso beverage contains more caffeine than a typical coffee drink, but truthfully, that depends. According to Coffee Affection, all beans typically have the same amount of caffeine regardless of the roasting process. How different types of coffee come to have different caffeine amounts boils down to how many beans fit per cup. The serving size is a key factor in how much caffeine you have per cup. So the smaller the bean (like an espresso bean), the more will likely fit in the same cup, resulting in higher caffeine levels. Larger beans take up more space. If the size doesn't convince you, choose a bean that promotes high concentrations of caffeine.

If you like your cup of coffee strong then just stick with the espresso bean. Trying one such as Lavazza Italian espresso is perfect for those who don't mind the coffee buzz. According to The Commons Cafe, Lavazza coffee scales the higher end of caffeine levels as it contains upwards of 100 mg of caffeine in some available blends. If you are someone who loves the rich flavor of a dark roast accompanied by a quick pick-me-up, then an espresso bean will be a delight. The roasting process ensures they are the darkest of coffee beans with a distinct flavor.

8. Kicking Horse

For all those coffee connoisseurs who love to taste the individual notes of the flavor of the drink but not the buzz that is associated with it, try to consider brewing a batch of decaf cold brew coffee instead. If you didn't think it was possible, think again. You can totally enjoy a cold glass of coffee without staying up all night long or crashing later on. Just pick a decaf coffee bean! For the perfect at-home decaf cold brew, choose Kicking Horse decaf coffee. The coffee brand adopted a Swiss water process that removes the caffeine but seals in the taste.

You know, trying to make a cold brew cup of coffee at home doesn't require some special training or a specific license. In fact, brewing your own cold brew at home comes down to simply having the right kind of beans inside your pantry. Choose from dark to lightly roasted coffee beans that introduce flavor that fits your palette preferences. Just make sure you ground the beans first! Whether you're a cold brew-making novice or a cup of caffeine brewing pro, we hope you try one, a few, or even all of these coffee bean varieties when brewing your next cold brew.