Best Coffee Beans for Cold Brew. Ground and Whole

Best Coffee Beans for Cold Brew

Cold-brew coffee has grown massively in popularity over the last few years. It is a refreshing drink on a hot summers day that is smooth, mild and low in acidity. 

But not all beans are equally good, you’ll need great beans for a great cold brew coffee. 

This site contains affiliate links.

Our Top Picks: Best Coffee Beans for Cold Brew

What is Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee is made without any heat. It might sound strange, but steeping beans in cold filtered water over a long period of time extract the flavour from the coffee beans beautifully. Giving it unique characteristics that you can’t achieve with hot brewing. Generally, you need more time and coffee beans to make a cold brew. And it will produce a smoother flavour and less acidic brew. 

To make a cold brew you would use a coarse or extra coarse grind and steep the coffee in cold water for between 12 and 24 hours. Using a fine grind coffee will over-extract so make sure your grind size is optimal. 

Do I Need Special Coffee for Cold Brew?

No, you don’t need special coffee for making cold brew. Just a good quality coarsely ground bean. If you grind your own beans with a decent quality coffee grinder, then you can buy any good quality whole bean and grind it to perfection. Some people prefer using a dark-roast for a cold brew and another light roast. It all depends on your personal taste. 

We do love a good light roast coffee, but can equally enjoy a dark roast coffee depending on the mood of the day. Light-roast coffee with high acidity works well for cold brewing as the acidity will reduce over the 16+ hour brewing time leaving you with a smooth a flavourful cold brew. 

Our Picks: Best Coffee Beans for Cold Brew

1. Stumptown Coffee Roasters Hair Bender

  • Speciality: Single-Origin
  • Aroma: Citrus and dark chocolate

Hair Bender is Stumptown – headquartered in Portland’s – very first coffee blend. The coffees within the blend are selected to provide clarity, sweetness and complexity. The beans used in Hair Bender comes from Central and South America, East Africa and Indonesia. Stumptown is a certified B corporation which means they are committed to improving environmental impact.

This is an amazing tasting cold brew blend. It’s on the expensive side, but definitely worth the time and effort. Inside this packet of awesomeness, you’ll find a rich full-bodied blend without the bitterness. 


2. Mayorga Organics Café Cubano Roast

  • Roast Level: Dark Roast
  • Speciality: Organic, Non-GMO
  • Aroma:  Notes of rich, earthy chocolate and sweet lingering berry undertones with a vibrant finish

Mayorga Organics work directly with producers, importing everything directly to their facilities in the US. The company focuses on making a positive difference on people, supporting producers and helping them generate a good living.

The Cubano Roast is their signature blend and is made with premium speciality grade coffee. The beans are slow-roasted to provide a bold cup of coffee. This blend works really well for cold brew, making a cup of coffee that’s absolutely delicious.



  • Roast Level: Dark Roast
  • Speciality: Organic, Fairtrade, Kosher
  • Aroma: Rich, dark chocolate, cacao nibs, brown sugar and roasted hazelnuts.

Kicking Horse’s Grizzly Claw blend is just delicious and we love that their beans are certified organic. Their coffee is grown by socially and environmentally responsible farmers and roasted in the rocky mountains.

The beans for Grizzly Claw is sourced from Central and South America. This coffee is a strong spirited rich dark roast with hints of hazelnut and cacao. It’s a nice and smooth blend of dark roasted beans with a velvety feel.



  • Roast Level: Dark Roast
  • Speciality: Certified Organic
  • Aroma: Hints of toffee, caramel, chocolate and grape

Jo Coffee’s Stone Cold Jo Cold Brew Blend is Organic speciality grade, which means it’s in the top 2% of speciality grade organic Arabica raw coffee. This coffee is perfect for cold brewing.

This packet of goodness is bound to make you happy and put a smile on your face, as Jo Coffee are artisan craft coffee roasters first and foremost which makes all the difference. If you enjoy a milder coffee, just add a little less and it will still deliver great taste.



  • Roast Level: Medium Roast
  • Speciality: Certified Organic
  • Aroma: Arabica beans roasted medium with notes of caramel and hazelnut

We’ve featured this coffee and a few others on the page previously in our course ground coffee list. Bizzy Coffee was made for busy people, it says so in the name. With this coffee, the company makes your life easier by giving you a pre-ground medium roast bag of greatness. The coffee is sifted to ensure the grind size is more consistent. It’s just the right grind size for a cold brew. 

If you enjoy Bizzy, you’ll be glad to know that it also comes in a dark and light roast so there is a packet for everyone.



  • Speciality: Fairtrade, Organic
  • Aroma: Smooth, subtle, never bitter cherry and chocolate

DEATH WISH blends Arabica and Robusta beans before slow roasting them to produce a coffee with double the strength when compared to your average cup. The extra punch isn’t produced by added caffeine, but rather the unique roasting process.

This unique blend is roasted in small batches to ensure consistency. With this blend, they deliver a high caffeine coffee without the acidity or bitterness. If you have a caffeine sensitivity then drink this coffee in moderation, if not, you might be tempted to have cup after cup. It’s a caffeine addict’s dream.



  • Roast Level: Dark Roast
  • Speciality: Fairtrade
  • Aroma: Bold yet smooth and slightly sweet with chocolate notes

Stone Street Coffee is an artisanal roaster from Brooklyn, NY. And they have been roasting since 2009. We love that they take pride in ethical sourcing as coffee can be a terrible and exploitive industry.

Use this dark roast for cold or hot brewing, whichever method you prefer on the day it’s bound to taste wonderful. Your brew will be equally tasty black or with milk, pair it with a bit of dark chocolate and you’re in for a treat.



  • Roast Level: Dark Roast
  • Speciality: Kosher
  • Aroma: Rich, complex, and full-bodied

This blend was inspired by a loyal customer of Peet’s coffee, sergeant Key Dickason. After countless samples of coffee combinations, they arrived at their all-time best-seller with this coffee. 

It’s a rich and complex blend, combining the best origin coffees in the world’s premier growing regions. A smooth coffee and trusted classic blend without bitterness.



  • Roast Level: Medium Roast
  • Speciality: Fairtrade
  • Aroma: A blend of sweet and smooth

City Girl is located in Minnesota and is a true girl power coffee. The coffee is made by women and sourced from female-owned farms or co-operatives. Making it a next-level girl power brand, something you don’t see very often in the coffee space and we love it!

Not only is this blend sustainably sourced, but it’s also a great coffee with the aim to protect the environment. This coffee has a smooth, not too acidic and mellow taste but still has a strong flavour. We say hats off to the girls who created this little gem!



  • Roast Level: Dark Roast
  • Speciality: Organic
  • Aroma: Full-bodied and chocolate

The Wandering Bear Extra Strong Coarse Ground Coffee is a perfect cold brew ground coffee. 

These magic little beans are roasted in Brooklyn NY in small batches.

This coffee even smells wonderfully robust, so if you’re not too keen on a nice strong and full-bodied coffee then you should look elsewhere. But if you are then you’re in luck as this packet will deliver just that.


Cold Brewing Methods

The two most common ways to make cold brew coffee is either through immersion or slow drip methods. Most people would use the immersion method as it’s a little simpler to execute.

For the immersion method, ground beans are steeped for between 12 and 24 hours before it’s filtered out. 

When using the slow drip method you’ll need a special gadget. To make drip method cold brew, ice water is slowly dripped onto the ground beans and then collected in a carafe. This method is a bit quicker and can create a cup of cold brew coffee from between 3-5 hours. 

Immersion cold brew will produce a more full-bodied and stronger brew. Where on the other hand the drip method will yield a more diluted and medium-bodied brew. 

Dark or Light Roast for Cold Brew

As mentioned before, this is entirely up to your own personal preference. If you avoid light roast due to the acidity you can try it for cold brewing as this method will greatly reduce the acidity of the coffee. 

A dark roast will give you a richer and more chocolatey brew where a light brew can deliver overall muted flavours.

We’d recommend experimenting with a variety of the beans mentioned above to see which you prefer for your own cold brew coffee. 

The Importance of Grind Size

When it comes to cold brew coffee, the size of the grind is vitally important. If you’re buying pre-ground coffee, look out for a coarse grind, similar to the grind used for French Press brewing. 

Fine grounds will over-extract and give you harsh and bitter coffee. Given how long you have to wait for your brew, that’s a scenario best avoided as it will only lead to high levels of disappointment. 

The longer you intend on steeping your cold brew, the coarser grind you can use. This is your licence to play around with the variables to see what you prefer. 

Happy Brewing!

Scroll to Top