The Best Coffee Beans For Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee is surprisingly popular in South Africa. Although not always practical in an office setting where “time is money”, a cold brew can be an enjoyable experience at home, especially when you’re after a bit of self care and relaxation. The key to a good cold brew is making sure that the grind is done correctly. A coarse grind will always be a winner when it comes to this type of coffee. Fine grounds are more likely to offer a bitter taste, and over extraction won’t yield the best results for a cold brew. Before that happens, it’s important to have the right coffee beans in hand for the job. 

The Basics of Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee is made through the process of steeping coffee in water for a number of hours at room temperature (or something slightly colder). This offers a slower, low temperature brew that changes the taste relative to what you might expect from the usual hot brew. The same coffee beans will end up tasting wildly different when you make a cold brew, and often low acidity fruit flavours are accentuated through this process. Try a hot and cold brew for your favourite coffee beans to note the differences between the two, and to see which one you prefer. 

Is Cold Brew Stronger Than Regular Coffee?

A common question about cold brew coffee is whether it is stronger than a “regular” (hot brew) coffee. Because more caffeine is extracted during a hot brew, it typically ends up being stronger than its counterpart. There is an exception to the rule, however. Iced coffee typically has a lower caffeine content than cold brew, which is again down to how it is made in the first place. If you’re trying to manage your daily caffeine intake a little bit better, a cold brew is a good way to gradually work your way down the scale gently instead of going cold turkey and feeling the negative effects immediately. 

A cold brew coffee with some chocolate chip cookies to enjoy

The Right Beans For The Job

Medium or dark roast are the best coffee beans for cold brew, most notably because of the ability of the process to extract maximum flavour out of them. If neither of these are to your taste, try other beans that you’re more familiar with instead. As with any brewing process, the key to getting the best coffee cup at the end of the day is to pay attention to the size of the grind. If you’re used to making your coffee in a specific way, try the same grind coarseness and note the differences in taste. Experimenting is a key part of igniting the inner barista in you, so open your mind to different tastes and flavours for the best possible experience. 

What To Expect From The First Brew

Don’t set the bar too high for your first cold brew. It will take a few tries before you find the right mix and balance for your palette. The team at Aquaspresso are here to help if you have any questions about the process. Once refined, expect a light, crisp and refreshing tasting cup of coffee. It will preserve much of its acidity, especially if you achieve maximum extraction. A bit of milk might do the trick as well, so play with your options and remember to have fun along the way too.