I love coffee that’s smooth as silk, zero bitterness, and zero burnt flavor. I want to taste all the subtle flavors that God locked inside that little bean. By far the best way to unlock and discover that smooth flavor is having the best coffee beans for cold brew.
- Continent: Central America
- Country: Costa Rican
- Region: Tarrazu
- Co-Op: Don Roberto
Why Is Cold Brew So Good?
When brewing a pot or cup of your typical hot coffee, you combine coffee grounds with 200-degree water. This produces a number of chemical changes. Some people like those changes and some people don’t. Some beans change a lot in that hot water and others, not so much. It depends on what you like.
Cold brew is well known by coffee lovers who are hell-bent on smooth coffee (non-bitter). With cold brew coffee, you can actually notice several different tastes, like chocolate, nut, citrus, or earthy; depending on the bean and the roast. But overall, you’re going to get smoother coffee from cold brew than any other brewing method.
Best Coffee Beans For Cold Brew
Since Cold Brew lends itself to creating a smooth and flavorful drink, you would also want the smoothest coffee beans to compliment this brewing method.
After search the world over, drinking thousands of cups of coffee, from dozens of countries, it is my humble opinion that the smoothest coffee comes from Central America; and the smoothest Central American coffee comes from Costa Rica; and the smoothest coffee in Costa Rica comes from the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica.
Which planation has the smoothest and thus best coffee beans for cold brew, will change from season to season. Each year, I taste test dozens of coffees from this region to pick the smoothest and most flavorful. In 2019, the best Tarrazu coffee came from a co-op called Amapola. This year in 2020, the best came from Don Roberto. Therefore, I imported enough Don Roberto to supply my customers with the smoothest coffee throughout 2020. This is the only coffee bean that Lake City Coffee offers.
Best Roast For Cold Brew
The key to roasting the best coffee beans for cold brew is to keep as much of the bean’s oils inside of the bean. Those oils are where all the antioxidants, bioflavonoids, caffeine, and flavor reside. Therefore, I roast the old fashion way; low-n-slow over an open fire, thus preserving those precious oils within the bean.
Not only do I detest bitter coffee, but I also detest burnt coffee. That’s why I recommend my Majestic Medium roast for the best coffee beans for cold brew. Now here’s an important point. If you prefer dark roast, then by all means use my Delectable Dark roast for your cold brew. There really is no one best roast for cold brew. So, dark, medium, or white roast will work. Drink what you like.
How To Cold Brew
If you’d like to go buy some fancy shmancy yuppie cold brew machine/apparatus, then be my guest. But if you’re a cheap SOB like me, here’s what you need.
- Jar & Lid – Quart Mason/Ball
- Filter/Strainer – Gold Coffee Filter Basket or Fine Mesh Strainer (Optional)
- 2C Measuring Cup or container (Optional)
- Canning Jar Funnel (Optional)
This is like super easy. You can’t blow it. If I can do it, you can do it. Experiment with the amount and fine/course setting for your coffee grinder.
- Grind 1/4 – 1/3 cup of coffee grounds
- Pour grounds into jar using funnel
- Fill with cold water
- Put lid on jar
- Put in refrigerator over night or up to 4 days
- Take jar out of refrigerator
- Unscrew top
- Put filter/strainer over container
- If you’re using a filter/strainer, shake the jar and just pour coffee into container through the filter/strainer. If you do not have a filter/strainer, do not shake the jar, just carefully pour off the top two thirds into your coffee mug.
How Long Will Cold Brew Last
Good question. I’ve left the cold brew jar in the refrigerator for up to a week and it tasted OK to me. For best results, I’d say up to 3 days should be fine.
Minimum Amount of Time To Steep
To be perfectly honest, and I hope Alisha, my wife and partner doesn’t read this, on occasion, I’ve forgotten to make her cold brew the night before and I’ll do it quickly in the morning when she isn’t looking. So, the steep time is about 5 minutes. Later I ask her how her coffee was and she always says that it’s great.
Fresh Roasted Coffee
One of the biggest variables in the smooth-cup-of-coffee equation is to use fresh roasted whole bean coffee. The sad truth is that most coffee sold in the U.S. has been sitting in warehouses and on store shelves for months if not years. Considering the fact that all coffee starts going stale, thus bitter, in about 30 days, it’s no wonder why American coffee is so bitter.
If you want to consume or throw away any coffee older than 30 days old, then you’d best buy coffee that’s fresh roasted. Most coffee shops consider anything less than 30 days old to be fresh. Not at Lake City Coffee. If the coffee isn’t shipped within 24 hours it’s tossed out. That means all of our coffee is delivered to anywhere in the U.S. within 48 hours.
Whole Bean Coffee
Remember above us talking about the oils in the bean being very important? As soon as coffee is ground, those oils start to evaporate. Therefore, always buy whole bean coffee.
When grinding your fresh roasted whole bean coffee, you’re going to want to use a conical burr grinder. Burr is not a brand, but a type of grinder. If you can see the blades, then it’s not a burr grinder. Blade grinders do a crappy job of grinding. They are inconsistent, producing fine, medium, and course grounds all at the same time. You can pick up a good burr grinder on Amazon for about $50. Don’t hesitate to buy a used one. I’ve been using mine twice a day for almost 5 years.
The best coffee beans for cold brew are Don Roberto beans from the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica.
If you have any questions regarding the best coffee beans for cold brew or any other questions about coffee, please check out our “Contact Us” page and I’ll get back to you quickly.