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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Coffee for Cold Brew

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Coffee for Cold Brew

Tired of your plain ol' cup of joe? Spice things up with a trendy cold brew. Cold brew is exactly what it sounds like- coffee that is brewed with cold water over a longer period of time.

The result is a sweet, rich beverage you can serve straight or on the rocks. Cold brew pairs well with all your favorite syrups, sugars, and milks. But it is flavorful and mellow enough to stand on its own, too.

Making the perfect cup (or, rather, glass) requires the best coffee for cold brew. In this guide, we are helping you find the right beans. Read on to learn more.

The Best Coffee for Cold Brew

The best coffee for cold brew is a medium or dark roast Arabica. Many at-home cold brewers prefer beans of African or South American origin. But the biggest factor in a tasty glass is the coarse grind size.

Medium or Dark Roast Arabica

Your favorite medium or dark-roast Arabica coffee beans are perfect for making a mellow cup of cold brew. Medium and dark roast beans offer a richer flavor profile with a sweet, nutty finish that pairs well with ice.

Light roasts are designed to highlight the acidic flavors in coffee. Cold brewing will mute the acidity, leaving you with a less exciting final product.

Experts recommend Arabica beans only for cold brew for a similar reason. Arabica coffee beans are naturally low in acidity and high in flavor, two qualities that are ideal for making a delicious glass of cold brew.

African or South American Origins

Cold brew flavor profiles range from nutty and chocolatey to fruity and sweet. The best way to get these flavors in your at-home cold brew is with single-origin coffee beans.

South American coffees, especially those hailing from Colombia, lean toward the nutty, chocolatey side of things. Cold brews made from these beans pair perfectly with sweet syrups and velvety milks.

If you want a fruitier, floral final product, try beans with an African origin. Ethiopian coffee beans are particularly popular among experts and amateur cold brewers alike.

Coarsely Ground Coffee Beans

You can get a delicious cup of cold brew out of just about any type of coffee bean. It all depends on your personal preference. But the most important factor in a good cold brew is the grind.

Skip the pre-ground coffee products at the grocery store, as they are too finely ground for cold brew. Instead, buy your own whole beans and set your grinder to coarse for best results.

Coarsely ground coffee beans allow for optimal steeping. Your cup won't be too bitter or weak, which are two major problems with using a finer grind.

How to Make Cold Brew at Home

If you are craving cold brew but want to skip the coffee shop, you will be happy to know it's easy to make this trendy coffee beverage at home. Now that you have the perfect beans for making cold brew, it's time to use them.

Here are the essential steps to follow.

Gather Your Supplies

No fancy equipment is required when making cold brew. You probably have the items you need lying around your kitchen. Here are the essential supplies to make cold brew at home:

  • Your choice of coffee beans
  • Cold filtered water
  • A large pitcher or jar
  • A mesh or paper filter

If you want to make the process even easier, you can use a French press to make cold brew. Brew your coffee in the pitcher and cover it with plastic wrap. Once the brew time is up, simply use the built-in filter and serve!

Grind Your Coffee Beans

You will need coarsely ground coffee beans to make cold brew. The best way to go is by grinding your coffee beans fresh at home. But if you don't have a grinder and don't want to buy one, no worries.

Many coffee shops will grind your coffee beans for free or for a small fee. Just make sure to ask them to set their grinding machine to the coarsest setting if you are making cold brew.

Add the Perfect Ratio of Cold, Filtered Water

There are two ways to make cold brew. You can make a cold brew concentrate or you can make cold brew by the cup. Concentrates are designed to be combined with water or milk before serving.

The perfect ratio for a flavorful cold brew concentrate is 1:4. So, if you use one cup of coffee grounds, you will want to add four cups of cold, filtered water. The lower the ratio, the stronger the cold brew concentrate will be.

A 1:8 ratio is ideal for brewing a ready-to-drink glass of cold brew. You don't have to dilute the final product, but you can combine it with milk if you prefer a milder coffee flavor.

Steep for 12-24 Hours

Now, it's time to combine everything together. Start by wetting the grounds using a circular motion. Let the water and the coffee grounds steep for a few seconds before adding the rest.

Cold brew gets tastier the longer it steeps, but you don't want to leave it for too long. Cover your concoction and let it steep in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

Can't wait that long? You can also let your cold brew sit out at room temperature for as little as five hours before serving.

Filter and Serve

The final step is to filter your cold brew and pour it up! If you do not use a French press, place the mesh or paper filter over a larger container and pour the water and coffee grounds through it.

Allow all the water to drip off. If any grounds make it into your filtrate, you can always repeat the process with a new, clean filter.

Buy the Best Cold Brew Coffee Beans Online

Making the perfect cold brew can take some trial and error before you land on a flavor profile you love. Use this guide to get started and hone your approach from here!

Looking for the best coffee for cold brew? Time for Caffe is your online source for pure-grade single origin beans and an array of unique flavors and blends. Browse our single origin coffee beans and get to cold brewing!


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