Can You Use any Coffee Beans for Cold Brew? Complete Outline

Can any Coffee Beans be Used for Cold Brew?

As anyone who enjoys trying different types of coffee. I tried cold brew and fell in love with it directly because it feels completely different from any other coffee I have tried, including ice coffee. But I ran into this strange problem, and it is my sense that cold brew is not what it should be and that it needs improvement. After several experiments that took a long time, due to the long period of preparing cold brew, I reached a convincing answer for me, which is the coffee beans.

For several months, I used different coffee beans to brew cold coffee. Some of these coffee beans I bought recently, some of them old, and many of them I got in small quantities from friends and the like. I used many well-known and unknown brands of coffee beans until I reached my final result. Later I will talk about the brands of coffee beans that I used. My conclusion is that the type and quality of coffee beans is very important to get great cold brew.

The quality and the type of coffee beans affects the final product of the cold brew coffee. There are coffee beans that are suitable for making cold brew, and there are coffee beans that are completely unsuitable for making cold brew. After several experiments with different types of coffee beans, I concluded that Arabica coffee is the undisputed best for cold coffee, especially Ethiopian coffee.

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What Type of Coffee Beans for Cold Brew? Arabica or Robusta

Without a doubt, you can use any types of coffee beans, whether good, bad, old, or whatever. But after a while, and you will remember my words, you will feel that the cold brew is not okay and that you need something deficient. Bad or stale coffee beans are never best suited for making cold brew. Bad coffee beans will be bad for any type of coffee drinks, whether it is cold brew or espresso. And old coffee will never be better than new coffee beans that still retain the flavor of the coffee.

Cold brew needs coffee beans that are rich in the natural sweet coffee flavor and antioxidants, and it also needs coffee beans that contain less amounts of caffeine and acids. That is why I found that Arabica coffee beans, especially Ethiopian coffee beans, because it contain all the previous specifications.

By the way, that doesn’t mean that other coffee beans like Robusta are bad. On the contrary, it may suit you perfectly, but we are talking about the most suitable for cold brew.

Not all Arabica coffee is good for making cold coffee. Use Arabica coffee beans of high quality and distinctive features such as the date of picking and the place of cultivation. It may take some time to find the right coffee beans for your cold brew.

Can’t decide between Cold Brew and Iced Americano? Explore the nuances of each, and make an informed choice. Delve deeper into your chilled coffee options Coffee Extraction: Cold Brew or Iced Americano?.

Why Arabica is an excellent coffee for cold coffee?

Because Arabica coffee offers all that cold brew needs to become better flavored. I will talk in detail about the strengths that make Arabica coffee beans so suitable for cold coffee.

  • Rich taste and aroma: Although Arabica beans are somewhat fragile and require more attention than Robusta beans, they are distinguished by being rich in flavor, and when you steep them in water in order to prepare for making cold brew, you will be surprised by the strength of the resulting flavor. Some claim that it is even stronger than espresso.
  • Variety of flavor: The presence of Arabica beans for a long time in different places of the world and in a completely different weather conditions, has given distinction and diversity to Arabica flavors. This variety will open up new avenues for you to explore a new taste for your cold coffee.
  • Sweet flavor: You do not have to add any sweetness flavors to your cold brew. Arabica coffee is naturally sweet, and when you roast it for dark roast for example, you will get a very nice chocolate taste.
  • Less caffeine: As a result of steeping the coffee in water for more than 24 hours, the flavor of the coffee becomes stronger. This is the biggest reason that made me prefer Arabica coffee beans over Robusta coffee beans when preparing cold coffee. Robusta contains caffeine up to 3%, while Arabica coffee does not exceed 1.7% in the best case.
  • Less bitterness: This is one of the most important advantages of Arabica coffee when preparing cold coffee with it. Little bitterness and little sourness give cold brew an amazing flavor that is just difficult to describe.
  • Low acidity: In fact, when preparing any type of coffee, it is good for coffee beans to have a low acidity, neither too low nor too high. For me, the lower the acidity, the better. Currently, almost all coffee beans have a low acidity.
  • Antioxidants: Coffee beans are one of the richest sources of antioxidants. Therefore, you do not need specific advice in this area.

Cold brew is a delightful experience, but the beans play a pivotal role. While you’re exploring the best beans for cold brew, don’t miss out on the Best Organic Beans for Latte. Dive into a world of organic richness and elevate your latte game!

Exploring the right beans for your cold brew? While bean choice is essential, the ratio can make or break your brew. Dive into our Aeropress Ratio Brewing Guide and ensure every cold brew is a masterpiece!

You Should not Use old/bad Coffee Beans for Cold brew

Many are surprised when I express my opinion not to use old and bad coffee beans for cold brewing. I have tried a lot of old and bad coffees from various types of coffee, including cold brew. The result is always the same, which is that old coffee beans and bad coffee beans are never suitable for preparing wonderful, refreshing and delicious cold brew coffee.

But I remember what I said earlier that you may be able to make cold brew acceptable taste by using old or bad coffee beans. But it will never be promoted as a long-serving coffee drink. Some say that cold brew is tolerant to some extent. But your inner feeling and your craving for a distinctive and wonderful coffee drink will never be forgiven.

Coffee Bean Brands I have Tested

During my simple research on how to improve my cold brew. I noticed that coffee beans have a direct effect on the flavor and quality of cold brew. So I started changing the brand of coffee beans every time I plan to make cold brew. I’ll use my humble memory and give you a list of the coffee bean brands I used to test:

  • Colombian roast from Costco.
  • Starbucks breakfast mix and Starbucks winter blend.
  • Coffee Beans Kick Horse Kickassز
  • I wish death a coffee.
  • Mount Elephant.
  • Elevation coffee.
  • Texas Turtle Coffee.
  • Sumatran beans roasted medium.
  • Hawaiian macadamia coffee.
  • Eight O’clock Coffee.

Selecting the right beans for cold brew? Dive into our cold brew grind size tips guide. Perfect your grind and elevate the flavors of your brew!

I’m not going to tell you now which brand of coffee beans above is the undisputed best for brewing cold coffee. But I’ll make the answer much better, which type of coffee bean is suitable for cold brewing. There are two types of coffee beans, they are Arabica and Robusta. After you know what type of coffee bean is suitable for brewing a cold drink, and why this type. All you have to do is buy any fresh coffee beans from any brand and you will undoubtedly be great for making cold coffee.

Choosing the right beans for your cold brew? Dive into the coffee world by comparing Best Beans: Cold Brew Vs. Iced Coffee. Discover the intricacies of bean selection and elevate your brewing journey!

With Cold Brew: Whichever You Prefer The Ground Coffee or The Whole Beans

Personally, I don’t prefer pre-ground coffee. I prefer coffee beans that I grind myself. And I had previously talked in an article entitled The difference between ground coffee and whole beans, in this article I explained in more detail the advantages of ground coffee and the advantages of whole coffee beans.

Is Using Pre-Roasted Coffee Beans Better for Preparing Cold Brew

If a lot of time has passed since roasting the coffee beans, I think it is better to get rid of it and get freshly roasted coffee beans. To know the reason behind this, you can read this article entitled Roasted or Unroasted Coffee Beans, where you will learn more about the advantages of each type of roasting coffee beans.

To delve deeper into why using freshly roasted beans is crucial for preserving flavor, consider exploring our article on Coffee Aging: Does Coffee Go Bad?. In this detailed guide, you’ll gain insights into the nuances of roasting, its impact on flavor, and how it relates to the art of crafting the perfect cold brew.

Is There Instant Coffee to Make Cold Brew?

Currently there is no instant coffee that makes cold coffee of the highest quality. If you are interested in instant coffee and its available types. I advise you to read this article about instant coffee.

Are There Coffee Capsules or Pods for Making Cold Brew?

Coffee capsules and Pods are not significantly different from instant coffee. Currently, there are no coffee capsules or pods that serve cold coffee. I already did an article about coffee capsules and bots explaining the main difference between them.

Coffee Capsules vs Pods Comparison: Learn more

The journey of discovering the ideal coffee bean for your cold brew doesn’t stop here. If you’re eager to delve deeper into the intricacies of coffee bean selection and its impact on your brewing results, our comprehensive guide on Coffee Capsules vs Pods offers valuable insights.

Understanding the differences between these coffee formats can shed light on the nuances of coffee brewing, helping you make informed decisions tailored to your preferences.

Remember, your cold brew experience is a canvas waiting to be painted with the strokes of flavor and aroma that resonate with you. By exploring the world of coffee capsules and pods, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to elevate your cold brew game to new heights. Embrace the journey, and let your taste buds be your guide.

About The Authors

  • Andrew Georgiadis

    Born in New Orleans in 1990, Andrew Georgiadis brings a rich blend of experience to Inspired by his travels, he designed a unique coffee mug line. A USC Public Relations grad with a Culinary Arts Certification, he’s also an IACP Award recipient. His journey is marked by a rare mountain coffee discovery and a passion for sustainable coffee practices. Andrew’s brew method of choice? The Chemex, valued for its clarity and elegance.

  • Sharon Stowell

    Sharon Stowell: Senior Writer & Producer at From St. Louis’s coffee scene, UChicago Booth alum, Certified Coffee Technician. Tours the US in her self-converted café-bus. Taste Award winner. Turkish Coffee enthusiast. Coffeescan’s caffeinated gem.

  • Fikru Assefa

    Born in Sidamo, Ethiopia, Fikru combines a Harvard History degree with certifications in Coffee Culture. Adept in traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies and a lover of Drip Coffee, his expertise offers readers a deep dive into coffee’s rich tapestry. Join him on a caffeinated journey at

  • Matthew Bash

    Portland-born Matthew Bash is the Senior Coffee Editor for A Columbia grad in Food Journalism and a certified Q Grader by CQI, his passion for coffee runs deep, from barista expertise to Webby-winning content. Iced Latte enthusiast, he ensures authentic coffee insights for readers. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases by linking to and affiliated sites.

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