Cold brew is far more than just a type of coffee. It’s its very own brewing method, letting water and time bring out all of the nuanced flavors in your coffee of choice and create a smooth, low acidity brew.
While you can make cold brew at home using any coffee, we’ve put together a list of favorites we have here at the roasterie, along with the best tools to have on hand, so that you can see just what’s possible.
We’ve even packed in a couple of bonuses that just might make enjoying your coffee cold brew even better.
But be patient. You’ll have to wait until the end for those. (Remember, no peeking!)
THE BEST COFFEES FOR MAKING COLD BREW
Let’s kick this off with our favorite coffees for killing the cold brew game.
#1 – Metropolis Cold Brew Blend
There was no doubt that this one had to take the number one spot since this blend uses beans chosen, roasted and blended specifically for cold brewing. Smooth, sweet, and heavy like chocolate milk (the good kind, not the cheap kind), it’s also highly caffeinated.
#2 – Cold Brew Sachets
Think ‘tea bag’, but replace ‘tea’ with delicious cold brew coffee. Each sachet makes 16oz of cold brew coffee, with happy-making flavors including milk chocolate and toasted almonds. You may now caffeinate without inconvenience. You’re welcome!
#3 – Redline Espresso
Surprised we’re recommending espresso for making cold brew coffee? Don’t be! Espresso makes a killer cold brew with bold flavors. Our flagship espresso blend is a medium roast and sweet like caramel in a latte, but complex like merlot and dark chocolate. It’s also sweetly balanced with a syrupy body and layered notes of honey, cocoa, and merlot. Talk about cold brew heaven!
#4 – Riverfront Espresso FTO
This Fair Trade Organic dark roast espresso hangs as heavy on the palate as smoke on the water, with brash and bold lingering notes of dark cocoa, molasses and toasted almonds. Our roasterie backs up against the banks of the mighty (if not always squeaky clean) Chicago River. And we love to sit out next to it in a couple of folding chairs at sunrise, pondering the nature of paradox and/or infinity and sip this little beauty. We are all stardust.
#5 – Spice Island Blend
This perennial MetroFave is an award-winning dark roast blend that is simple and sweet with a stout body and just the right amount of edge. You won’t be able to get enough of its bold, decadent flavor. As far as we’re concerned, it’s just as irresistible as fudgy brownies with nuts. No wonder it’s an all-time Top 3 Metrofave.
#6 – Papua New Guinea
This wildly exotic full-bodied, medium roast brew is tangy and sweet like ripe mango and Darjeeling black tea. Its uniquely exotic and tangy flavor profile make it très exciting as a cold brew!
#7 – Mocha Java Blend
A classic coffee blend that merges a funky Indonesian bean with a fruity little number from Ethiopia for a medium roast miracle of flavor, this one makes a cold brew that’s powerful and enjoyably confusing.
#8 – La Cordillera
Close your eyes and think of your fave brunch spot. Now open them and sip your cold brew ‘Cord’. It’s instant transport, my friend. Who has to wait until Sunday? You won’t be able to resist brunching with Cord every day.
#9 – Skyway Blend FTO
This medium-dark roasted blend was inspired by how badass Chicago looks from the top of the bridge at the Chicago/Indiana border. A bold and sturdy award winner with a heavy body and accents of toffee and baker’s chocolate, we like it as a cold brew in the late afternoon. Don’t know why but it works for us!
#10 – Project X
This blend was inspired by Japan, grown in Brazil and roasted right here in Chicago and is a coffee cold brew winner! An intense brew that tastes like Italian drinking chocolate and hazelnut, Project X is Xtra perfect as a cold brew.
#11 – Café Jumping Bean
An exclusive and complex blend for the beloved Pilsen community coffeehouse, Café Jumping Bean, this one is amazingly complex with multiple roast levels creating layered flavors like toasted hazelnut, caramel and cocoa. Sweet and robust with an unexpected tropical citrus pop on the finish, it’s one of our top go-to summertime choices for cold brew.
#12 – Peru Herrera Organic
This total banger of a light roast coffee from Jose Herrera is certified organic by CCOF and certified delicious, by us. Hitting all those good, sweet notes like vanilla, orange zest and pie crust it’s like having desert in a cup. Who said you can’t have your cake and drink it too?
#13 - Schweik's Blend
An award-winning light roast blend of best-of-season East African coffees, given a truly bizarre and name with difficult pronunciation. Schweik tastes pretty damn high-minded like jasmine, tangerine and lime, delivering a brand new cold brew experience.
#14 - Granville Blend FTO
We love this medium-roasted, Certified Fair Trade and Organic blend for cold brew because it’s mellow and bright like a nilla wafer with marmalade yet comforting like dried berry granola in milk. It’s our number one choice for easy drinking.
#15 - Yolk
This signature light roast blend from Yolk is sweet and surprising with jasmine and tangerine over a tea-like body. Totally unique, it has a nuanced and delicate blend with flavor notes that will have you singing hallelujah as you sip.
TOOLS FOR MAKING COLD BREW AT HOME
#1 – Toddy Cold Brew System
Long before we called it ‘cold brew coffee’, coffee pros distinguished coffee brewed at room temperature over 12-24 hours as ‘toddy coffee’ because these guys, the Toddy company, pretty much invented the whole dang thing. A simple looking system of bucket and pitcher is the hands-down easiest way to brew a gallon cold brew coffee. And go ahead and brew a gallon because DYK it will keep in your fridge for up to a week?
#2 - Toddy Filters
These cold coffee filters make it so easy it oughta’ be criminal. They open like a paper bag and throw away (or compost) just as easily. And when it comes to coffee, we’re always looking for ways to do things better and smarter.
#3 - Sexy Black Mug
Okay, so we promised you a couple of bonuses if you stayed to the end and here you have them. The first is one of our favorite ways to drink cold brew – our Sexy Black Mug. This modern, stylish mug holds all that coffee in just the right place. It’s exactly what you need to look sleek while you drink.
#4 - Life At The Roasterie Poster
Why not feel like you’re at the coffee shop even at home. After all, you’re now a cold brew expert. So take a barista bow. Since 2003 Jay has drawn and printed 10 limited edition posters for Metropolis. In this roasterie print, Jay captures the highest communist ideal of artisans in overalls smiling at each other while carrying things, along with vintage German roasting equipment.
Now get out there and get brewing!