Handy Guide to Cold Brew Coffee

Here’s our list of the Top 10 Best Cold Brew Coffee on the market. You’ll probably agree with me if I say that life is difficult without coffee. Won’t you?

A cup of great coffee is one of the best things in the morning. The smooth and rich flavor of the authentic coffee soothes your taste buds! And when you’ve got the right coffee grounds, the flavor would just be so splendid. All you need is a hot water and there you have an oozing hot coffee! But, ever tried a cold brew coffee? The image that usually flickers in one’s head is a coffee mixed with a cold water and ice. Sounds reasonable, but is something more than that.

If you master the perfect blend of water, ice, and a quality cold brew coffee ground using a cold brew maker, you’ll always get the best out of your coffee.

best cold brew coffee

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

So, then again, what is cold brew coffee? Isn’t it just an iced coffee? It could be something like that but it actually undergoes a long process. It is not just a mixture of coffee over ice. Cold brew coffee, also known as cold water extract, is where the coffee grounds are being steeped in a chilled water for 12 to 24 hours. Heated water is not used. It is then filtered out using a paper filter, metal sieve or any type of filter your cold brew maker has. After the long wait, the brewed coffee is served over ice or hot water.

Since the coffee grounds are being brewed at a lower temperature, the coffee is less acidic and lower in caffeine but does not compromise its rich and luscious flavor. Cold brew, then, is known as the healthiest type of coffee.

On the other hand, hot brew is made from the usual process of the espresso machines or coffee makers. The coffee grounds are brewed through a pressurized water which delivers a much concentrated and thicker coffee. Since it directly comes into contact with heated water, the soluble chemicals are dissolved too quickly thus give off sweet and aromatic smell. However, this process makes the coffee bitter or a bit sour than the cold brew. It does give off stronger, richer taste in a matter of minutes but it is 65 to 70 percent more acidic and higher in caffeine.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

The process of making cold brew coffee can vary in many different styles or methods. Some use the Slow Drip, the French press, or the Immersion method.  See our related article to find cold brew coffee makers.  Making cold coffee is very different from using a traditional espresso machine.

IMMERSION METHOD

The immersion method is the most common and the easiest way to make a cold brew coffee. You just need to put the coffee ground in a container or Mason jar and pour water in it. Let it steep for 12 hours or overnight for more appropriate extraction. It takes long but this helps get the rich flavor of the coffee.

After the long steep time, take another container and place a metal sieve o filter with a mesh cloth over it. Pour the coffee onto it until it is filtered out. Serve the coffee with ice.

SLOW DRIP

Don’t be confused with a normal drip coffee maker. Slow Drip process is the second easiest and fastest method for making cold brew coffee. The maker is usually composed of three parts – an ice chamber, a coffee chamber and a container for the filtered coffee.

The very first step is to fill the coffee chamber with a ground coffee and filter. Then, the top chamber is filled up with a lot of ice. You can fill it up as much as it can hold, then add water. By adding the water, the brewing and saturating process starts. In just 20-30 minutes, you’ll see the first drips of coffee. After waiting for a few hours, approximately 3 to 4, the process is almost done and you’ll notice how much brewed coffee your carafe is filled with.

It is actually faster than the usual cold brewing process. The usual takes 12 to 24 hours but with the slow drip, you’ll have the first drips only in a few minutes and you can already serve it after 3 to 4 hours of brewing.

FRENCH PRESS

French press is also preferred by many coffee lovers because of its built-in filtration system. The procedure is also trouble-free but, just like the usual steeping time, it takes 12 to 24 hours before you serve the coffee.

The coffee is the most important part of making a nicely brewed coffee. The beans should be finely grounded into even particle size. If you’re going to use a liter of water, put about 140 grams of coffee into the container. Then, add water. Stir the mixture with a spoon, but if you have a glass pitcher or container, you can use a wooden spoon to prevent it from any cracks.

After stirring, you’ve come to the point where you have to be VERY patient. The steeping time is quite long and you need to wait for about 12 hours or overnight. You can put it in the fridge to keep it chilled. Once you’re done with this process, use the plunger and push it down slowly and gently onto the coffee. Push it right onto the bottom. That’s it! Then, serve it over ice.

Top 10 Best Cold Brew Coffee

If you want to make regular coffee, there are many great choices you can find in our article on best coffee brands.  To make good cold brew coffee you need to pick the right one for the job, so see this list below.

1. Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve Colombian

Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve Colombian

Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve Colombian

You need a quality coffee to make that rich and tasty cold brew coffee. Hence, the Stone Street Cold Brew Reserve Colombian Ground Coffee could be one of the best options. The roast level is from medium to dark roast. This level is best for cold brewing or cold pressing. It is 100% Colombian Supremo and offers a slightly sweet, very smooth, well-balanced and strong coffee flavor. The coffee comes in a stand up foil resealable large bag with 3-layer natural kraft.

2. Tiny Footprint Coffee Organic Cold Press Elixir

Tiny Footprint Coffee Organic Cold Press Elixir

Tiny Footprint Coffee Organic Cold Press Elixir

The 16-ounce Tiny Footprint Coffee Organic Cold Press Elixir is 100% Arabica and Organic coffee beans. It offers sweet, silky richness with subtle bright fruit and floral tones infused in a cocoa like body. Interesting flavor, isn’t it? It is craft roasted in a German-built Probat drum roaster retrofitted with modern fuel-efficient ribbon burners which deliver perfectly roasted coffee. It is best for cold brew coffee.
Tiny Footprint Coffee is partnered with Mindo Cloudforest Foundation where they help plant native tree species throughout the Mindo Cloud Forest region. Every time a pack gets sold, a portion of the proceeds is donated to fund reforestation in Ecuador’s Mindo cloud forest. So if you buy a pack of their coffee, you take your share to spread their advocacy.

3. Madesco Code Blue Cold-brew Artisan Ground Coffee

Madesco Code Blue Cold-brew Artisan Ground Coffee

Madesco Code Blue Cold-brew Artisan Ground Coffee

If you prefer a robust, rich, and smooth flavor, the Madesco “Code Blue” cold brew artisan ground coffee might be the best pick! The name “Code Blue” symbolizes a refreshing and rejuvenating type of coffee. If you try it for a cold brew coffee, you can get that rich and luscious flavor. The package also includes 3 free downloadable recipe books for different types and styles of cold brewing.

4. Grady's Cold Brew Iced Coffee Bean Bags

Grady's Cold Brew Iced Coffee Bean Bags

Grady's Cold Brew Iced Coffee Bean Bags

Finding the perfect coffee for your daily coffee routine might be a bit tough. And if you want to get that rich taste in the fastest and easiest way, you need a special coffee for it. The Grady’s cold brew ice coffee bean bags might be the one for you.
Just add water and place it right in your fridge. That’s it! Have it chilled overnight to get that delicious cold brew coffee the next day. No special equipment is needed. The process is quick and easy but the flavor truly is splendid. It embarks the famous Grady’s New Orleans-style flavor.

5. 4-Flavor Cold Brew Iced Coffee 20 Bag Variety Set

4-Flavor Cold Brew Iced Coffee 20 Bag Variety Set

4-Flavor Cold Brew Iced Coffee 20 Bag Variety Set

When you’re a coffee lover, every flavor is indeed soothing and appetizing. But sometimes, you just don’t know which to buy. If you need more than one flavor, the 4-flavor Cold Brew Iced Coffee by Cold Buzz Coffee could be a good choice. It offers 4 flavors – Medium, Dark, Chicory and Decaf Roasts.

You can easily make a cold brew ice coffee with the Cold Buzz Coffee grinds. For half a gallon jar or 8 cups of water, use 4 filter bags and let it steep in the fridge for 18 to 24 hours. But for maximum brewing, you can brew it up to 36 hours. Easy as that! You can have that rich, smooth, non-bitter and healthy cup of coffee.

6. Hazelnut Cold Brew Iced Coffee (5-pack)

Hazelnut Cold Brew Iced Coffee (5-pack)

Hazelnut Cold Brew Iced Coffee (5-pack)

If you are decided with only one flavor of coffee, Cold Buzz also offers one of their best-sellers – the Hazelnut Cold Brew Iced Coffee. It includes 5 filter bags of coffee grounds. Each bag makes a 16 to 20-ounce of iced coffee. Good for more servings or if you just want to store some coffee for yourself.

You just need 1 bean bag for a 16-ounce water. Refrigerate it and let it steep for 24 hours. You’ll have a nice cold brew coffee! Serve it over ice and the taste is much better with milk or diluted milk.

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If you’ve got no time to grind coffee beans, the Cold Grinds French Dark Roast is a good option for a cold brew coffee. Just take note that it contains more caffeine per serving than the standard coffee. So if you prefer a stronger flavor, this 100% Pure Arabica coffee is definitely a good pick.

For a one quart mason jar, you can use 2 filter bags, 4 filter bags for half gallon, and 8 filter bags for one gallon jar. Add water and let it steep for 18 up to 36 hours. Remove the filter bags and enjoy! Serve it over ice, with milk or cream, or heat it up for a nice cup of hot coffee.

8. Brew-At-Home Wild Coffee Pouch made with Ground Organic Wild Coffee

Brew-At-Home Wild Coffee Pouch made with Ground Organic Wild Coffee

Brew-At-Home Wild Coffee Pouch made with Ground Organic Wild Coffee

The Lumberjack Blend is an organic coffee from Indonesia. It is infused with medium and dark roasted coffee beans that give smooth and rich flavor with a little twist of the dark chocolate taste. The coffee grounds are ready to use. No special equipment is needed. It includes 4 filter bags and sealed in a resealable pouch.

For a delish cold brew coffee, you’ll need one filter bag for a 24oz water. Mix it in a pitcher and let it steep for 24 hours. Voila! Your cold brew coffee is ready to serve. It is best with ice. For smoother and milder flavor, mix it with milk or cream.

9. ColdBuzzCoffee Decaffeinated Bean Bag Packs

ColdBuzzCoffee Decaffeinated Bean Bag Packs

ColdBuzzCoffee Decaffeinated Bean Bag Packs

Cold Buzz also offers decaffeinated coffee and if you prefer one, the Decaf Cold Brew Iced Coffee might be the best one for you. It includes 5 filter bags where each pack makes a 16 to 20 ounce of iced coffee. It is indeed hassle-free and quick. These are pre-portioned iced coffee bean bags for easy and precise decaf cold brew.

For a quart mason jar or 4 cups of water, it is recommended to use 2 filter bags, 4 filter bags for a half-gallon jar or 8 cups, and 8 filter bags for a gallon jar or 16 cups of water.

10. Chameleon Cold-Brew Vanilla Coffee Concentrate 2 pack

Chameleon Cold-Brew Vanilla Coffee Concentrate 2 pack

Chameleon Cold-Brew Vanilla Coffee Concentrate 2 pack

Many prefer unsweetened coffee and if you’re one of them, this Chameleon Cold Brew Vanilla coffee contains 0 grams of sugar. No sweeteners are added. It is ready to serve and no need to brew or steep for many hours. This concentrated coffee was brewed for 16 hours in filtered Texas Hill Country water combined with the coffee beans from Central and South America. It gives a smooth and naturally low-acid coffee with a touch of unsweetened vanilla.

For perfect serving, you just need to dilute one part of Chameleon cold-brew coffee with 1 part water. You can mix it with milk or cream or any add-ons for extra flavor.

Video Guide

To assist you further on how to make a cold brew coffee using the common procedure, the immersion method, refer to the video below.

Are you still wondering if coffee is good for you, check our our article on the benefits of drinking coffee.

Amazon Best Sellers Cold Brew Coffee

Below is the list of the current top 10 best selling cold brew coffee brands on the Amazon market, updated daily.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, 1-Quart, Black
1178 Reviews
Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, 1-Quart, Black
  • Makes 4 servings of coffee (1 Quart)
  • Use with coffee grinds
  • Airtight, leakproof lid locks in freshness and flavor
  • Fits in most refrigerator doors
  • Dishwasher safe; BPA free
Bestseller No. 2
Tiny Footprint Coffee Organic Cold Press Elixir - Cold Brew Coffee, Ground, 16 Ounce
135 Reviews
Tiny Footprint Coffee Organic Cold Press Elixir - Cold Brew Coffee, Ground, 16 Ounce
  • 1 - 1 lb. bag of Cold Press Elixir - Cold Brew Coffee
  • 100% Arabica & Organic coffee beans.
  • Craft Roasted in our vintage 90 kilo German-built Probat drum roaster retrofitted with modern...
  • Carbon negative and earth positive. Funding reforestation in Ecuador's cloud forests.
  • Flavor Profile: Sweet, silky richness with subtle bright fruit and floral tones infused in a cocoa...
Bestseller No. 3
Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve Colombian Single Origin Coarsely Ground Coffee - 1 lb. Bag - Medium Dark Roast
317 Reviews
Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve Colombian Single Origin Coarsely Ground Coffee - 1 lb. Bag - Medium Dark Roast
  • 1 LB RESEALABLE BAG: Please note actual bag may be hand-stamped with Black/White Logo instead of...
  • COLD BREW RESERVE: Artfully crafted to make delicious cold/iced coffee. Cold brew requires special...
  • TASTE PROFILE: Low acidity, slightly sweet, smooth, well balanced, & bold coffee flavor.
  • COFFEE ORIGIN: 100% Arabica - Single Origin Colombian Supremo (only the best!)
  • ROAST LEVEL: Medium - Dark Roast GRIND LEVEL: Coarse
SaleBestseller No. 4
Cold Brew Coffee Maker - 2 Quart - Make Amazing Cold Brew Coffee and Tea with This Durable Mason Jar with Stainless Steel Filter and Stainless Steel Lid
1117 Reviews
Cold Brew Coffee Maker - 2 Quart - Make Amazing Cold Brew Coffee and Tea with This Durable Mason Jar with Stainless Steel Filter and Stainless Steel Lid
  • Effortlessly make delicious cold brew with the amazing County Line Kitchen cold brewer. Simply add...
  • You will enjoy our high quality, stainless steel filter. Our filter mesh is super fine to prevent...
  • Ball mason jars are made to last and built to withstand the canning process. There is no need to...
  • Safe - No BPA, no plastics. Our brewer's components are all made of inert, FDA compliant glass,...
  • You can also cold brew tea and our brewer makes a great infuser too! Infuse water with your favorite...
Bestseller No. 5
Starbucks Narino 70 Cold Brew Coffee Pitcher Packs - 4 Packs -Makes (12) 8 fl oz Servings
8 Reviews
Starbucks Narino 70 Cold Brew Coffee Pitcher Packs - 4 Packs -Makes (12) 8 fl oz Servings
  • Enjoy cold brew iced coffee at home
  • This purchase includes four pitcher packs, which together make twelve 8 fl oz servings.
  • Blend of 100% arabica Latin American and African ground coffees
  • Smooth & Refreshing
Bestseller No. 6
Grady's Cold Brew Iced Coffee Bean Bags (1 pack of 12 bags) 1.5 Lbs (24 Oz)
111 Reviews
Grady's Cold Brew Iced Coffee Bean Bags (1 pack of 12 bags) 1.5 Lbs (24 Oz)
  • Cold Brew your coffee right in the refrigerator
  • Famous Grady's New Orleans-style flavor
  • Super easy Brew-It-Yourself cold brew coffee
  • Just add water - No special equipment needed
  • 12 bags make 36 cups of cold brew/iced coffee
Bestseller No. 7
Primula Pace Cold Brew Coffee Maker - Drip Proof Lid and Filter Core - Makes 65% Less Acidic Coffee Than Heat Brewed Coffee - 100% BPA, PVC, Phthalate, and Lead Free - 51 Ounces - Black
106 Reviews
Primula Pace Cold Brew Coffee Maker - Drip Proof Lid and Filter Core - Makes 65% Less Acidic Coffee Than Heat Brewed Coffee - 100% BPA, PVC, Phthalate, and Lead Free - 51 Ounces - Black
  • OPTIMAL DESIGN: With a silicone gasket lid for drip proof protection, a non-slip base, and filter...
  • NON-ACIDIC AND DELICIOUS: Our Cold Brew Coffee Maker is guaranteed to make delicious cups of iced...
  • NO HASSLE STORAGE: With a minimal physical footprint, our Cold Brew Coffee Maker can easily be...
  • SAFE, EASY CLEAN: The Primula Pace Cold Brew Coffee Maker is 100% free of BPA, PVC, phthalates,...
  • SPECIFICATIONS: Package includes (1) 51 oz. Black Primula Pace Cold Brew Coffee Maker.
Bestseller No. 8
High Brew Coffee Double Espresso, 8 Fl Oz (12 Count)
41 Reviews
High Brew Coffee Double Espresso, 8 Fl Oz (12 Count)
  • The original formula, simple and strong but never bitter
  • Goes down smooth with lower acidity and a jolt of natural caffeine
  • So you can make your own bold moves
Bestseller No. 9
Cappio Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate, 16oz
11 Reviews
Cappio Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate, 16oz
  • Cappio Cold Brewed Coffee Concentrate
  • No Caloire
  • Shelf Stable
  • Low Acid
  • Serve hot or iced for a superb coffee experience
  • Ingredients; Triple Filtered water and 100% Arabica coffee
Bestseller No. 10
Kohana Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate, 32 ounces. Organic, Fair Trade, healthy, iced coffee, energy drink. Low-acid instant coffee. Convenient, travel mug friendly. Serves 6-8.
42 Reviews
Kohana Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate, 32 ounces. Organic, Fair Trade, healthy, iced coffee, energy drink. Low-acid instant coffee. Convenient, travel mug friendly. Serves 6-8.
  • CUSTOMIZABLE, EFFORTLESS, ENERGY BOOST: Fill up with just the right mixture of this simple...
  • ALKALINE DIET COMPATIBLE, LOW ACID COFFEE: Enhance performance with this ready-to-drink, healthy...
  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY, HASSLE FREE: Get rid of coffee makers, wasteful coffee pods, and messy...
  • CALLING ALL HEALTH CONSCIOUS, YOUNG-AT-HEART COFFEE LOVERS: Naturally sweet, non-bitter, zero...
  • TAKE THE KOHANA CHALLENGE: Compare with Starbucks, Peet's Coffee, Trader Joe's, Kirkland, Keurig...

Be sure to also check out our comprehensive Coffee Guide.