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The Best Coffee For Cold Brew 2021 Reviewed: Top Picks & Buying Guide

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We have searched for the best coffee for cold brew and compiled this list of the top 10 most delicious beans after in-depth reviews.
best coffee for cold brew

As a big coffee drinker, I like to switch up my beverage every once in a while to keep things fresh and exciting.

That’s where cold brew comes in. It’s extremely versatile and contrary to popular belief cold brew actually refers to the brewing process. You can use it to create some delicious hot and cold coffees.

Perfect for if you prefer a low-acid and smooth coffee that isn’t bitter.

At Coffee Brewing Pro we know that cold brew coffee needs beans that are robust and bold with strong coffee flavors. We have looked for beans from the best growing regions, to provide you with the top choices of coffee beans.

Our top cold brew coffee beans are The Mentalist Medium-Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee due to the dark cocoa and vanilla flavors. The beans also offer subtle hints of cherry, almond, and caramel. The Arabica beans are from top growing regions to create a flavorful blend.

We tested the beans for flavor, quality, and roast level. This allowed us to determine which beans are the best cold brew coffee beans.

Keep reading to find the top coffee for cold brew.

The Top 10 Coffee Beans for Cold Brew at a Glance

ProductFeaturesFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
The Mentalist Medium-Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee
The Mentalist Medium-Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee
  • Roast level: Medium to dark roast
  • Flavor notes: Dark cocoa and vanilla with hints of almond, caramel, and cherry
  • Bean form: Whole bean
  • Bean type: 100% Arabica
  • Single-origin or blend: Blend
  • Origin: Guatemala, Colombia, and El Salvador
  • Bean quality: Toxin-free
  • Rainforest Alliance certified
9.7
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Best Low-Acid
Volcanica Cold Brew Coffee
Volcanica Cold Brew Coffee
  • Roast level: Medium roast
  • Flavor notes: Sweet chocolate and nutty
  • Bean form: Whole bean, drip, espresso, or French press grind
  • Bean type: 100% Arabica
  • Single-origin or blend: Blend
  • Origin: Sumatra
  • Bean quality: Fairtrade, kosher, organic, low-acid
9.5
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Best Medium Roast
Lifeboost Medium Roast Coffee
Lifeboost Medium Roast Coffee
  • Roast level: Medium roast
  • Flavor notes: Sweet with robust, woodsy notes
  • Bean form: Whole bean, grounds, and Go Bags
  • Bean type: 100% Arabica
  • Single-origin or blend: Single-origin
  • Origin: Central America
  • Bean quality: Organic, shade-grown, toxin-free, low acidity, hand-roasted
  • 3rd party tested for mycotoxins
9.1
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Best Flavored
Royal Kona 10% Kona Coffee Blend Vanilla Macadamia Flavor
Royal Kona 10% Kona Coffee Blend Vanilla Macadamia Flavor
  • Roast level: Light to medium roast
  • Flavor notes: Macadamia nut and vanilla
  • Bean form: Whole bean or ground
  • Bean type: Arabica (10% Kona)
  • Single-origin or blend: Blend
  • Origin: Hawaii
  • Bean quality: All natural flavors, gourmet coffee
8.8
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Best Single-Estate
100% Waialua Estate Whole Bean Medium Roast Coffee
100% Waialua Estate Whole Bean Medium Roast Coffee
  • Roast level: Medium roast
  • Flavor notes: Chocolate and sweet with no bitter notes
  • Bean form: Whole bean
  • Bean type: 100% Arabica
  • Single-origin or blend: Single-estate
  • Origin: Hawaii
  • Bean quality: Low-acidity, grown in volcanic soil, premium coffee
8.6
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Best Dark Roast
Volcanica Dark Roast Coffee
Volcanica Dark Roast Coffee
  • Roast level: Dark roast
  • Flavor notes: Dark chocolate, caramel, and smokey flavors
  • Bean form: Whole bean, drip, espresso, or French press grind
  • Bean type: 100% Arabica
  • Single-origin or blend: Blend
  • Origin: Colombia, Sumatra, and Guatemala
  • Bean quality: Kosher, organic, and Fair Trade certified
8.2
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Best Gourmet
Estate Dark Roast Whole Bean 100% Kona Coffee
Estate Dark Roast Whole Bean 100% Kona Coffee
  • Roast level: Dark roast
  • Flavor notes: Rich, smooth, and bold flavors
  • Bean form: Whole bean
  • Bean type: Arabica (100% Kona coffee)
  • Single-origin or blend: Single-origin
  • Origin: Hawaii
  • Bean quality: Hand-picked, award-winning coffee
8
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Best Espresso-Style
Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean
Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean
  • Roast level: Medium roast
  • Flavor notes: Almond, honey, brown sugar, and dried fruit flavors
  • Bean form: Whole bean
  • Bean type: 60% Arabica, 40% Robusta
  • Single-origin or blend: Blend
  • Origin: India, Brazil, Indonesia, and Columbia - Blended and roasted in Italy
  • Bean quality: Not very oily, well-known trusted coffee company
  • Produced in a nut-free facility center, contains only coffee
7.7
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Best Decaf
Bulletproof Original Ground Decaf
Bulletproof Original Ground Decaf
  • Roast level: Medium roast
  • Flavor notes: Plum, orange, and cinnamon with notes of cocoa and hazelnut
  • Bean form: Ground
  • Bean type: 100% Arabica
  • Single-origin or blend: Blend
  • Origin: Brazil, Guatemala, and Colombia
  • Bean quality: Swiss-water process for decaffeination, toxin-free, hand-picked
  • Rainforest Alliance certified
7.4
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Best Budget
All Day Gourmet French Vanilla Coffee Fresh Roasted
All Day Gourmet French Vanilla Coffee Fresh Roasted
  • Roast level: Medium roast
  • Flavor notes: French vanilla flavor with notes of hazelnut
  • Bean form: Whole bean and ground
  • Bean type: 100% Arabica beans
  • Single-origin or blend: Blend
  • Origin: East Africa, Central, and South America
  • Bean quality: Roasted in small batches for an even roast and balanced flavors
7.2
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The Best Coffee for Cold Brew: 10 Top Picks

Below we have reviewed our top 10 picks for the best cold brew coffee and their best use cases.

The Mentalist Medium-Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee

Best Overall
The Mentalist Medium-Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee
  • Roast level: Medium to dark roast
  • Flavor notes: Dark cocoa and vanilla with hints of almond, caramel, and cherry
  • Bean form: Whole bean
  • Bean type: 100% Arabica
  • Single-origin or blend: Blend
  • Origin: Guatemala, Colombia, and El Salvador
  • Bean quality: Toxin-free
  • Rainforest Alliance certified

The Mentalist Medium-Dark roasted coffee is the top pick for a cold brew. The long extraction times of a cold brew will stress the bold flavors of the beans. This will offer you a strong cup of joe for those warm summer days. 

The cold brew method will bring out the strong blended flavors of cocoa and vanilla for a dynamic brew. The beans are high-quality Arabica beans. This gives you a cup of coffee with pure flavors that you can savor.

The company tests the beans for toxins before packaging. This means you are sure to get a clean pack of coffee beans. The dark cocoa and vanilla flavors are perfect for cold brews and provide you with complex flavor notes for your brew.




Volcanica Cold Brew Coffee

Best Low-Acid
Volcanica Cold Brew Coffee
  • Roast level: Medium roast
  • Flavor notes: Sweet chocolate and nutty
  • Bean form: Whole bean, drip, espresso, or French press grind
  • Bean type: 100% Arabica
  • Single-origin or blend: Blend
  • Origin: Sumatra
  • Bean quality: Fairtrade, kosher, organic, low-acid

If you are looking for a low-acid coffee, then these are good beans for cold brew. The medium roast will provide subtle flavors while still giving your brew a strong coffee taste. The low acid content will be easy on your stomach to prevent any discomfort.

The beans are organic to provide you with coffee free of chemicals. The beans are also Fair Trade to create sustainable solutions for coffee farmers. This helps farmers continue producing their favorite coffee beans.

The beans are single-origin to offer the full flavor profiles of the coffee beans. You will enjoy sweet chocolate and nutty flavors with these beans.




Lifeboost Medium Roast Coffee

Best Medium Roast
Lifeboost Medium Roast Coffee
  • Roast level: Medium roast
  • Flavor notes: Sweet with robust, woodsy notes
  • Bean form: Whole bean, grounds, and Go Bags
  • Bean type: 100% Arabica
  • Single-origin or blend: Single-origin
  • Origin: Central America
  • Bean quality: Organic, shade-grown, toxin-free, low acidity, hand-roasted
  • 3rd party tested for mycotoxins

Lifeboost Premium Medium Roast Coffee is 100% single-origin Arabica beans. This creates a cup of cold brew with rich tastes. The coffee brand offers whole beans, pre-ground coffee, and Go Bags. This makes it convenient as you don’t need to use a grinder if you buy the pre-ground coffee.

The Go Bags are tea-like bags of ground beans that you can place in cold water and let brew for a few hours. You won’t need to strain your coffee after the brewing time is up.

The brand offers organic, shade-grown beans that are free from toxins. This means you can enjoy a clean cup of coffee without any added chemicals. Shade-grown beans are also of higher quality. The colder shaded growing areas allow the coffee plant to fully develop the flavors.

The coffee beans are hand-roasted so you will be sure to receive a bag of evenly roasted beans without unbalanced flavors.

The slightly sweet and woodsy, yet robust flavor of the beans is bold enough for cold brew coffee.




Royal Kona 10% Kona Coffee Blend Vanilla Macadamia Flavor

Best Flavored
Royal Kona 10% Kona Coffee Blend Vanilla Macadamia Flavor
  • Roast level: Light to medium roast
  • Flavor notes: Macadamia nut and vanilla
  • Bean form: Whole bean or ground
  • Bean type: Arabica (10% Kona)
  • Single-origin or blend: Blend
  • Origin: Hawaii
  • Bean quality: All natural flavors, gourmet coffee

The flavors of the 10% Kona blend are light to medium for those who prefer a lighter roast. The beans will still offer enough flavor for your cold brew.

These coffee beans are a blend of Kona coffee from Hawaii. This is a premium type of Arabica bean. The beans are grown in fertile volcanic soil which produces bolder macadamia nut and vanilla flavors.

The gourmet coffee offers bold and sweet flavors with only natural ingredients added. This coffee offers a change from regular coffee when you want a sweeter cold brew coffee.




100% Waialua Estate Whole Bean Medium Roast Coffee

Best Single-Estate
100% Waialua Estate Whole Bean Medium Roast Coffee
  • Roast level: Medium roast
  • Flavor notes: Chocolate and sweet with no bitter notes
  • Bean form: Whole bean
  • Bean type: 100% Arabica
  • Single-origin or blend: Single-estate
  • Origin: Hawaii
  • Bean quality: Low-acidity, grown in volcanic soil, premium coffee

100% Waialua Estate Whole Bean coffee is a medium roast for coffee lovers who prefer less distinct flavors. The coffee comes in whole bean form so you can grind it to a coarse grind at home right before brewing.

The beans are grown on a single estate in Hawaii in rich volcanic soil. This soil produces a bold and complex premium coffee full of body. The chocolatey flavors are full of sweetness with no bitter tastes. The coffee is low in acidity for more sensitive coffee drinkers.

This coffee is perfect for coffee lovers who enjoy sweet chocolate with no bitter flavors in their cold brew.




Volcanica Dark Roast Coffee

Best Dark Roast
Volcanica Dark Roast Coffee
  • Roast level: Dark roast
  • Flavor notes: Dark chocolate, caramel, and smokey flavors
  • Bean form: Whole bean, drip, espresso, or French press grind
  • Bean type: 100% Arabica
  • Single-origin or blend: Blend
  • Origin: Colombia, Sumatra, and Guatemala
  • Bean quality: Kosher, organic, and Fairtrade certified

Volcanica Dark Roast Coffee offers you a bold choice for your cold brew. The dark roasted beans produce full-bodied dark chocolate flavors.

The beans come in a variety of whole bean coffee or different grind sizes. The French press grind is the right choice for cold brew coffee to get the correct extraction rate.

The company grows organic coffee to offer you a clean cup of joe. Fair Trade practices look after the farmers, to ensure the sustainability of the whole coffee industry and supply chain.

The beans are a coffee brew blend sourced from various regions. These beans offer a complex and exciting mix of flavors for your cold one.




Estate Dark Roast Whole Bean 100% Kona Coffee

Best Gourmet
Estate Dark Roast Whole Bean 100% Kona Coffee
  • Roast level: Dark roast
  • Flavor notes: Rich, smooth, and bold flavors
  • Bean form: Whole bean
  • Bean type: Arabica (100% Kona coffee)
  • Single-origin or blend: Single-origin
  • Origin: Hawaii
  • Bean quality: Hand-picked, award-winning coffee

This estate-grown 100% Kona coffee is a premium choice for your cold brew coffee. The bold and rich flavors of the beans will come through and create a smooth brew.

The single-origin beans are 100% Kona coffee which is the higher quality of Arabica beans. The beans are grown in volcanic soil to produce complex flavors. The beans are hand-picked to offer you only the best beans from the harvest.

If you are looking for coffee beans that have won numerous awards, then you have found the bean for your cold brew. [1]




Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean

Best Espresso-Style
Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean
  • Roast level: Medium roast
  • Flavor notes: Almond, honey, brown sugar, and dried fruit flavors
  • Bean form: Whole bean
  • Bean type: 60% Arabica, 40% Robusta
  • Single-origin or blend: Blend
  • Origin: India, Brazil, Indonesia, and Columbia - Blended and roasted in Italy
  • Bean quality: Not very oily, well-known trusted coffee company
  • Produced in a nut-free facility center, contains only coffee

Lavazza Super Crema beans are a good choice for a cold brew blend due to their medium roast and complex flavor profile.

The blend is mostly made up of premium Arabica beans for bolder flavors. The beans are sourced from top-growing regions.

The beans are low on oil, which will be easier on your grinder as you won’t need to clean it after grinding these beans.

The beans offer a mix of flavors including almond, honey, brown sugar, and dried fruit flavors. If these are your flavors of choice, then this blend will give you a delicious cold brew coffee.

This dark espresso roast will provide a strong cold brew packed with the bold nuances of the bean’s flavor profile.




Bulletproof Original Ground Decaf

Best Decaf
Bulletproof Original Ground Decaf
  • Roast level: Medium roast
  • Flavor notes: Plum, orange, and cinnamon with notes of cocoa and hazelnut
  • Bean form: Ground
  • Bean type: 100% Arabica
  • Single-origin or blend: Blend
  • Origin: Brazil, Guatemala, and Colombia
  • Bean quality: Swiss-water process for decaffeination, toxin-free, hand-picked
  • Rainforest Alliance certified

Bulletproof Original Ground Decaf is the best cold brew coffee that is free of caffeine. These beans allow you to enjoy a cold brew at any time of the day if you are more sensitive to caffeine.

The ground coffee is convenient as you can start the cold brewing process without a grinder. The blend is 100% Arabica and sourced from top growing regions to offer you complex fruity and nutty flavors.

The decaffeinated beans undergo the Swiss-water process which does not use chemicals during the process. You can enjoy toxin-free decaf coffee. The beans are hand-picked so you know you are only getting the top beans from the harvest.

These beans offer a complex blend of plum, orange, and cinnamon flavors to add character to your own cold brew.




All Day Gourmet French Vanilla Coffee Fresh Roasted

Best Budget
All Day Gourmet French Vanilla Coffee Fresh Roasted
  • Roast level: Medium roast
  • Flavor notes: French vanilla flavor with notes of hazelnut
  • Bean form: Whole bean and ground
  • Bean type: 100% Arabica beans
  • Single-origin or blend: Blend
  • Origin: East Africa, Central, and South America
  • Bean quality: Roasted in small batches for an even roast and balanced flavors

All Day Gourmet French Vanilla is another option for a flavored cup of cold brew coffee. The coffee has strong French vanilla flavors along with subtle notes of hazelnut. These beans are perfect for a cold dessert coffee after dinner.

The beans consist of an Arabica blend from top growing regions. This blend offers high-quality nutty flavors. The beans are roasted in small batches to offer you an even roast with no unbalanced flavors.

These are a good budget-friendly choice for a flavored cold brew coffee.




What Is Cold Brew?

what is cold brew coffee

Iced coffee is often confused with cold brew coffee. Ice coffee is hot coffee cooled down and poured over ice cubes before drinking.

Cold brew coffee is a method of brewing your coffee in cold water. First, coarsely grind your coffee beans before submerging them in cold or room temperature water. You then leave the beans for 12 to 24 hours before straining.

Buying Guide For Cold Brew Coffee

Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right bean for your cold brew.

Grind Size

cold brew coffee grind size

A cold brew coffee needs coarsely ground coffee beans to allow the flavors to fully extract. This will prevent the beans from over-extracting. If you buy your coffee beans whole to grind them at home you can use a manual grinder.

Roast Type

cold brew coffee roast type

When choosing the best cold brew beans, the roast level will determine the flavor of your cold coffee. Use these guidelines, but also choose your coffee beans for cold brew based on your preference.

Dark Roast

A dark roast is the best coffee bean for a cold coffee as a weak extraction method will still extract the strong, bold flavors. These coffee beans will produce chocolate, nutty, and woody flavors.

Medium Roast

A medium roast is a good option for experimenting as it gives you the most neutral bean. Medium roasted beans don’t have too much acid or overly bitter flavors. This roast level produces sweet, fruity, and nutty flavors.

Light Roast

Light roast coffee beans are highly acidic and contain floral and fruity flavors. When using light roasts for cold-brewed coffee you may lose some of the lighter flavors. You will need to increase the brew time when using these beans.

Single-Origin vs Blend

single origin vs blend coffee

Single-origin beans are favored for a cold brew. Since you can taste the full-bodied flavor of the beans from one source. Blended coffee is mixed to balance the bitterness and acidity of various beans. These mixes work well in espresso and French press brews.

Should You Use Milk In A Cold Brew?

milk in cold brew

Adding milk to your cold brew is completely up to you. You should note that it will dilute the soft flavors even more. I would suggest tasting the cold brew before adding milk to see if you prefer the bolder coffee taste.

Milk works better with dark roasts as it won’t take away from the coffee flavors. Medium or light roasts will offer a well-balanced cup without anything added.

Effects Of Temperature On Taste

coffee temperature

Coffee is extracted using hot water at a temperature of about 205 F. A cold brew coffee needs temperatures between 40 and 65 F. This lower temperature produces the unique nuances of cold brew. The cold brewing process needs more coffee grounds and a much longer brewing time to extract the flavors.

Hot brewing methods extract the acids found in coffee beans along with the more subtle flavor notes. Cold brew coffee does not contain as many acids and this will lessen digestion problems.

Immersion vs Slow Drip Cold Brewing

immersion vs slow drip cold brew

When making cold brew coffee, there are two brew methods, the slow drip or immersion method. The immersion technique is more popular as it is easier and more affordable.

When making cold brew using the immersion brewing process, you place coarsely ground beans in water for 12-24 hours.

The slow drip method involves slowly dripping cold water over coffee grounds through a filter into a carafe below. As the coffee isn’t completely submerged in the water like in immersion brewing, the coffee is extracted a lot less. This method is quicker and will take between 3-5 hours to make a cold brew.

The Verdict

Coffee brewed using cold water is a dynamic and interesting way to brew your coffee. This brewing method offers the full-bodied flavors of the coffee beans.

Our top pick for the best coffee for cold brew is The Mentalist Medium-Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee. The beans are high-quality Arabica beans grown in some of the best growing regions. These beans offer a dynamic flavor profile of bold cocoa and vanilla. The beans also offer lighter notes of almond, cherry, and caramel. 

Discover your new favorite beans today to enjoy a cold coffee on those warm summer days. You can add your own techniques as long as you know the basics of how to make a cold brew.

For more coffee bean top picks check these articles out:

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