What Are The Best Coffee Grounds For Cold Brew? (Grind Size & Roast)

Mike C
Written By Mike C

I've been writing about coffee and espresso machines for 3 years. My goal is to provide you with helpful content that you can trust based on my own personal experiences, information from manufacturers, and tips and tricks I've gathered from other coffee and espresso machine users.

I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

The Best Coffee Grounds To Use To Make Cold Brew

Making cold brew is a bit of art and science. In addition to getting the ratios and timing right, the coffee beans you select will be a key factor in how good your cold brew ultimately tastes. Making the right choices when it comes to roast and grind size is especially important. For most coffee drinkers, coarse dark and medium roast coffee grounds will make the best cold brew using the immersion method. Keep reading to learn more.

Best Coffee Grind Size For Cold Brew

There are three basic coffee grind sizes: fine, medium and coarse. Then you also have the two sizes in between: medium-fine and medium-coarse. To make your cold brew concentrate, you want to use coarse (or even “extra” coarse) coffee grounds. Fine grinds will make a brew that won’t taste good because it will be too bitter.

Starting with whole beans is better for optimal flavor than buying pre-ground coffee. However, you’ll either need to grind the beans yourself using an at home grinder that has a coarse ground setting. If you don’t have one, ask your barista or grocer to coarse grind the beans for you.

Best Coffee Roast For Cold Brew Recipes

The roast of coffee beans you should use will depend on which cold brewing method you are using: immersion or drip.

Best Roast For The Immersion Method

For an immersion cold brew method like the Toddy System, dark or medium roast coffee beans work best. They will produce a cold brew with that smoother, stronger, more intense taste with nutty and chocolate characteristics. Light roasts coffee beans are more difficult to extract during the immersion brewing process. As a result, using light roast coffee beans in an immersion will make a cold brew that has a more subtle and mild flavor.

Best Roast For The Drip Method

Compared to the immersion process, the slow cold drip method of cold brew brewing does a better job of preserving the characteristics of the coffee beans. This makes light roast coffee beans a great choice if this is how you make cold brew. The concentrate will retain more of unique the flavors and origin characteristics that you get with light roast coffee.

5 Coffee Brands For Your Cold Brew Recipe

When it comes to coffee, especially cold brew, taste is very subjective. If you have a favorite local roaster, start by getting them to grind some beans for you. If not, check out these best coffee grounds for cold brew sold on Amazon.


Bizzy is a very popular brand of coffee grinds among cold brew coffee drinkers. It’s 100% organic and ethically sourced from Guatemala, Pure and Nicaragua. They have 3 main blends: sweet and smooth, dark and bold, and light and bright. Everyone’s taste is different, but most users say that when brewed, the flavor of the cold brew lives up to the name of the blend. It is not too acidic or bitter. Note that Bizzy coffee is pre-ground coarse for you. On the plus side, that’s convenient if you don’t have the budget or space for your own whole bean grinder. However, if you are cold brew aficionado, they may be too finely ground for your personal preference.

Stone Street

Brooklyn-based Stone Street Coffee is another popular brand for cold brew coffee drinkers. There are a range of options to choose from to suit your personal preferences: ground vs whole beans, medium vs dark roast, flavored vs unflavored and even regular strength vs a “caffeine boost.” All of the Stone Street coffees are made with single origin, high quality arabica beans sourced from Colombia. The taste profile is bold, balanced and even slightly sweet, with chocolate notes and a low acid level. I recommend buying their whole beans and grinding them coarse yourself at home.

Tiny Footprint Coffee

For those who want a cold brew that tastes great and does good for the environment, check out Tiny Footprint organic coffees. This sustainably-minded brand promises that their coffee is carbon negative in terms of its environmental impact. For every 4 pounds of carbon used to make a single pound of this coffee, Tiny Footprint plants enough trees in Ecuador to generate 54 pounds of carbon. Each bag is a mix of light and dark roast shade-grown Ethiopian coffee. This combination gives it a taste profile that is silky sweet and chocolatey with some fruity and floral notes. However, this mix of light and dark roast beans means that it may turn out to be a bit mild and not live up to the expectations of cold brew drinks who prefer a strong dark roast.

Cold Brew Lab

Cold Brew Lab uses organic, high quality Colombian arabica beans. The finished product is a proprietary blend of dark and medium beans. As a result, Cold Brew Lab coffee has a slightly sweet and balanced taste, smooth texture, and low acidity and bitterness. I recommend getting the whole beans and using your own grinder. Beware of the flavored varieties as they can be hit or miss.

Inspired Coffee Co.

If you want a flavored cold brew, give Inspired Coffee Co a try. They use natural flavors and no added sweeteners. Fortunately, they have a sample pack that includes six flavors: French Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Mocha, Snickerdoodle, Hazelnut and Southern Pecan. It’s a great way to see which ones you like. Some people may find a few of the flavors a little too strong and sweet.

Once you get your coffee beans, see our guide on the best coffee to water ratio to use and tips on how long to steep. Once you make it, try to finish it within 10 days for best taste.

1 thought on “What Are The Best Coffee Grounds For Cold Brew? (Grind Size & Roast)”

  1. Such a great article. Cold brew has allowed me to drink coffee without worrying about too much acid in my stomach. So cool to see these systems before asking my wife to buy me one. Thanks!


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