What is the best coffee bean for cold brew?

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. At no cost to you, I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Coffee beans used for cold brew are typically roasted at a medium to dark level to bring out the rich and bold flavors that are desirable in cold brew coffee. These beans are often chosen for their low acidity and high sweetness, which make them ideal for cold brew, as the extended steeping process of cold brewing can extract more flavors and compounds from the coffee.

Some popular types of coffee beans used for cold brew include Brazilian, Colombian, Guatemalan, and Ethiopian varieties. It’s important to note that the quality of the coffee beans used can greatly impact the flavor and overall quality of the cold brew coffee.

What are cold brew beans?

“Cold brew beans” is not a specific type of coffee bean, but rather a term used to refer to coffee beans that are well-suited for making cold brew coffee.

These are typically medium to dark roast beans with a low acidity and a smooth, full-bodied flavor profile. However, any coffee bean can be used for cold brew, as long as it is ground coarsely and brewed using cold water over an extended period of time.

Can all coffee be used for cold brew?

Technically, any coffee can be used for cold brew, but some types of coffee are better suited for it than others. For instance, medium-to-dark roast beans with low acidity and high body are typically preferred for cold brew.

This is because the cold brewing process tends to extract less acidity and more of the coffee’s natural sweetness and body, so using a bean with high acidity may result in a sour or unpleasant taste. Additionally, using a coarse grind is recommended as it allows for better extraction and minimizes the chances of over-extraction, which can result in a bitter taste.

What are the 4 types of coffee?

There are actually many different types of coffee, but here are four popular categories:

  1. Arabica: This is the most common type of coffee bean, known for its sweet and complex flavor profile. Arabica beans are typically grown at high altitudes and are considered higher quality than Robusta beans.
  2. Robusta: These beans are known for their bold, earthy flavor and higher caffeine content. They are generally considered to be of lower quality than Arabica beans.
  3. Liberica: This is a less common type of coffee bean that has a unique flavor profile with hints of fruit and floral notes. Liberica beans are mainly grown in Asia and Africa.
  4. Excelsa: This is another lesser-known type of coffee bean that has a unique flavor profile with hints of tartness and fruitiness. Excelsa beans are primarily grown in Southeast Asia.

Can you use whole bean coffee for cold brew?

Yes, you can use whole bean coffee for cold brew. In fact, some people prefer to grind their own beans for cold brew as it allows them to control the grind size and the strength of the brew. When using whole bean coffee for cold brew, it is recommended to use a coarse grind to avoid over-extraction and bitterness. Additionally, make sure to use a high-quality coffee bean that is specifically suited for cold brewing to achieve the best flavor profile.

What is the best coffee bean for cold brew?

The best coffee bean for cold brew is one that is specifically labeled for cold brew or one that has a low acidity level and is medium to dark roast. Some popular options include Brazilian, Colombian, Sumatran, and Ethiopian coffee beans.

However, personal preference and taste also play a role in choosing the best coffee bean for cold brew. It is recommended to experiment with different types of beans and roasts to find the perfect flavor profile for your cold brew.

How to choose the best coffee bean for cold brew

Choosing the best coffee bean for cold brew can depend on personal preference, but there are a few factors to consider:

  1. Roast level: Medium and dark roast beans are often preferred for cold brew as they have a stronger flavor that can stand up to the extended brewing process.
  2. Bean variety: While Arabica beans are often favored for their complex flavors, some cold brew enthusiasts prefer the bolder taste of Robusta beans.
  3. Origin: Single-origin beans can offer distinct flavors that can add complexity to your cold brew. Some popular origins for cold brew include Colombian, Ethiopian, and Brazilian beans.
  4. Quality: Look for high-quality beans that are fresh and recently roasted. Specialty coffee roasters are a good source for high-quality beans.
  5. Grind size: Coarse grind size is typically recommended for cold brew to avoid over-extraction and bitterness.

Consider experimenting with different types of beans and roast levels to find your preferred cold brew flavor profile.

How to make cold brew

Here is a basic recipe for making cold brew coffee:


  • 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee beans
  • 4 cups of cold water


  1. Add the ground coffee to a large pitcher or jar.
  2. Pour the cold water over the coffee grounds.
  3. Stir gently to make sure all the coffee grounds are wet.
  4. Cover the pitcher or jar and let it sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
  5. After the coffee has steeped, strain it through a fine-mesh strainer or a coffee filter to remove the grounds.
  6. Transfer the cold brew to a clean container and refrigerate until ready to drink.
  7. Serve over ice and enjoy!

Note: You can adjust the strength of your cold brew by using more or less coffee and adjusting the steeping time. Generally, a ratio of 1:4 (1 part coffee to 4 parts water) is a good place to start, but you can adjust it to your liking.

Why is cold brew coffee so smooth?

Cold brew coffee is known for its smooth and mellow flavor, compared to traditional hot-brewed coffee. This is because the coffee is brewed slowly over a long period of time, typically 12 to 24 hours, using cold water instead of hot. The slow steeping process allows the coffee to extract more of the flavorful compounds, such as caffeine and oils, while minimizing the extraction of bitter compounds.

The result is a less acidic and more full-bodied coffee that is often described as smoother and sweeter. Additionally, the cold temperature of the water used in cold brew also reduces the release of some of the bitter compounds that can be extracted during hot brewing.

Is Arabica or Robusta better for cold brew?

Both Arabica and Robusta coffee beans can be used for cold brew, but Arabica beans are generally considered to be better suited for this method. Arabica beans have a more complex and nuanced flavor profile, with notes of fruit, berries, and even chocolate. ‘

They also tend to have less acidity than Robusta beans, which can make them smoother and less bitter when brewed cold. However, some people prefer the stronger and more robust flavor of Robusta beans in their cold brew. Ultimately, the choice between Arabica and Robusta comes down to personal taste.

What bean is used in Starbucks cold brew?

Starbucks uses a blend of African and Latin American coffee beans for their cold brew. However, they do not disclose the specific varieties or proportions used in their blend.

Why is my cold brew so bitter?

If your cold brew is too bitter, it could be due to several reasons:

  1. Oversteeping: If you let the coffee steep for too long, it can lead to a bitter taste. Try reducing the steeping time to see if it makes a difference.
  2. Grind size: If the coffee is ground too fine, it can result in over-extraction, causing a bitter taste. Try using a coarser grind for your next batch of cold brew.
  3. Water temperature: Using hot or warm water to make cold brew can cause over-extraction and bitterness. Ensure that you use cold water for the brewing process.
  4. Coffee quality: Low-quality coffee beans or those that are old and stale can result in a bitter taste. Try using freshly roasted high-quality beans for your cold brew.
  5. Brewing ratio: The ratio of coffee to water used can also affect the taste. A general rule of thumb is to use one pound of coffee per gallon of water for cold brew. Adjust the ratio as per your preference.
  6. Steeping vessel: The material of the vessel used to steep the coffee can affect the taste. Glass or plastic are recommended over metal vessels as they don’t react with the coffee.
  7. Dilution: If you’re diluting your cold brew with water or milk, ensure that you’re using cold liquid to avoid over-extraction and bitterness.

Consider experimenting with these variables to see which ones could be causing the bitterness and adjust accordingly to achieve a smoother, less bitter cold brew.

What size coffee bean is best for cold brew?

The size of the coffee bean used for cold brew can impact the taste and quality of the final product. In general, a coarser grind size is preferred for cold brew to prevent over-extraction and bitterness. A medium-coarse grind size is often recommended, similar to the consistency of coarse sea salt. Some people prefer to use whole beans and grind them themselves for optimal freshness and control over the grind size.

What is the ratio for cold brew coffee?

The most common ratio for cold brew coffee is 1:4 or 1:5 coffee grounds to water, depending on personal preference. For example, if using 1 cup of coffee grounds, you would add 4 to 5 cups of water.

It is also recommended to use a coarse grind to avoid over-extraction and bitterness. The ratio and brewing time can be adjusted based on personal taste preferences.

Does cold brew use a lot of coffee beans?

Cold brew generally requires a higher amount of coffee beans than traditional hot brewing methods. This is because the grounds are steeped in cold water for an extended period of time, often 12-24 hours, to extract the flavor and caffeine.

The recommended ratio of coffee to water for cold brew is typically 1:4 or 1:5, which means for every cup of coffee you want to make, you’ll need 4-5 cups of water and 1/4 to 1/5 cup of coffee grounds. This can use more coffee beans than traditional brewing methods, but the resulting concentrate can be diluted with water or milk to make multiple cups of coffee.

How many coffee beans are in the cold brew?

The number of coffee beans used in cold brew can vary depending on the desired strength and serving size. Generally, a good starting point is to use a ratio of one part coffee beans to four parts water by weight. For example, to make a batch of cold brew using 1 liter of water, you would use 250 grams of coffee beans. However, this can be adjusted based on personal preference.

How do you make high quality cold brew?

Here are the steps to make high quality cold brew:

  1. Use high-quality coffee beans: Choose freshly roasted, high-quality coffee beans that are suited for cold brew. Dark roasted beans are often preferred for cold brew as they produce a smoother, less acidic brew.
  2. Grind the beans coarsely: Grind the coffee beans coarsely, similar to the texture of breadcrumbs. This allows for a slower extraction process and a smoother taste.
  3. Use cold, filtered water: Use cold, filtered water to brew your coffee. Tap water can contain impurities and minerals that can affect the taste of your cold brew.
  4. Brew for 12-24 hours: Allow the coffee to steep for 12-24 hours, depending on your desired strength. Steeping for longer produces a stronger, bolder flavor.
  5. Strain the coffee: After brewing, strain the coffee using a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any coffee grounds or sediment.
  6. Dilute the coffee: Cold brew concentrate is very strong, so it’s recommended to dilute it with water or milk before serving. Start with a 1:1 ratio of concentrate to water and adjust to your taste.
  7. Serve and enjoy: Serve the cold brew over ice and add any desired flavors such as milk or sweeteners.

By following these steps, you can make a high-quality and delicious cold brew coffee.

How long should you steep cold brew?

Cold brew coffee is typically steeped for 12-24 hours, depending on personal preference and the strength of the coffee beans. A general guideline is to steep for 12-16 hours for a mild flavor and 18-24 hours for a stronger, more robust flavor. It’s important to note that steeping for too long can result in a bitter taste.


In conclusion, the best coffee bean for cold brew is subjective and depends on personal preference. However, generally, medium to dark roast Arabica beans or a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans are recommended.

It’s important to use freshly roasted beans and to grind them coarsely to avoid over-extraction. Experiment with different beans and brewing methods to find the perfect cold brew coffee for your taste.

Related Posts

Why Trust Us

You will find what you are looking for at Largo Bar and Grill. From classic to luxury brands, you'll find both. We will help you to select appliances that fit your needs, budget and lifestyle. Whether you want to stop by to learn more — or plan to make a major purchase — we’ll treat you like family and assist you every step of the way. Shop with us today to receive friendly and experienced help along the way.