Best coffees for Iced Coffee and Cold Brew

The sun is shining, the beach is open and that means it’s time to ice up the coffee! If you are an iced coffee / cold brew drinker and notice that you really enjoy one coffee in cool months and another in the warm months, that means you are attuned to your taste buds. Coffee is very complex and exhibits different characteristics as it cools. In this entry, we are going to help you find the right beans for your perfect summer cup.

Low acid coffees: Acidity is often referred to as brightness in coffee descriptions (it is that tingly, almost sparkling feeling that hangs on your tongue after you sip your coffee). Acidity is activated by heat during brewing making it very difficult to capture in an iced cup and nearly impossible in a cold brew. Generally, we recommend brewing iced coffee and cold brew with a low-acid coffee, such as a Sumatran. However, if you love those fruit and floral notes, your best bet at highlighting them in an iced coffee is to brew your iced coffee with 150% of the amount of coffee you would normally use to brew.

Generally high acidity coffees: Africans and Central Americas

Generally low acidity coffees: Indonesians

Coffees with dominant base notes: Coffees with strong, dominant base notes of chocolate, caramel, molasses, nut, or spice generally create very nice, full-flavored, decadent tasting iced and cold brewed coffees. These coffees generally include Colombians and Indonesians.

Dark roasts: When in doubt, go dark! Dark roasts are roasted to roast rather than a bean profile and tend to be dominated by strong base notes, meaning they generally have greater flavor continuity going when going from hot to cold or when cold brewed.

Our iced coffee and cold brew picks? Sumatrans, dark roasted South Americans, Colombian Supremo (brewed with a higher grounds to coffee ratio), dark roast blends.

Hope this helps! To learn more about iced coffee and cold brew, check out the following blogs:

Avoid these iced coffee pitfalls

Iced coffee, Japanese style

Iced coffee vs. cold brew


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