Yes, you can use regular ground coffee for cold brew!
Coffee is a drink enjoyed by many people worldwide, mainly because of its flavors and taste.
The preparation of coffee can heavily influence its taste—all methods involve roasting and grinding the beans before brewing the coffee with hot or cold water.
You’ll have a more concentrated coffee when using the cold brew method, simply because the coffee will have spent a longer time in the water. The caffeine content of cold brew is usually high and it is always very rich in flavor.
However, the kind of coffee you use plays a huge role in how well your cold brew will turn out. There’s a reason why it is strongly recommended that coarsely ground coffee should be used.
But, what if all you have is regular ground coffee? Can it be used? This is what we’ll find out.
What Kind of Coffee is Used for Cold Brew?
Coarsely ground coffee is the kind of coffee generally used for cold brew because cold brewed coffee requires a very long extraction time. The finer the coffee grind, the more bitter the cup.
Using a coarse grind also makes the filtration process easier. Finely ground coffee beans will also leave you with a displeasing sludge at the base of your brewing jar.
Cold brew has been in existence for many centuries but has become even more popular in the last few decades. Because of its increased popularity, alternative coffee grounds have been experimented with.
It is easier and cheaper to access regular ground coffee, so you will likely want to enjoy a cold brew with it. Also, it takes less time to prepare cold brew coffee with traditional ground coffee than with coarse coffee.
This means that more people would prefer the method, if only they could get the procedure right. Can you? We’ll find out.
Can I Use Regular Ground Coffee Instead?
Yes, you can. But there are caveats. Fine grounds can lead to over-extraction, which leads to increased bitterness.
Since the particles are finely ground, the water then seeps through more easily. The length of time used for cold brew makes the idea of fine grounds counterproductive.
Also, a lot of coffee grounds will settle at the bottom of the jar because of the fine grounds. When pouring, if you’re not careful or mistakenly stir, you’ll eventually have a lot of grounds in your cup.
Now you know the risks of using regular ground coffee for cold brew, let’s explore the ways to combat them. Interestingly, some people prefer their coffee that way—over-extracted and robust.
But if you want to brew your cold brew coffee with fine ground beans, here are some steps to take to make it taste great.
Don’t Pre-brew Your Coffee
When making cold brew, it is common practice to add some warm water to the grounds before adding the cold water used to brew it.
The warm (not hot) water is used to hasten the extraction. If you’re using regular ground coffee, you shouldn’t add this warm water, as fine ground beans will be well-extracted anyway.
Use a Finer Filter
The idea is to keep the grounds away from your cup. If you’re using regular ground coffee, you need to use finer cloth filters than you’d use with coarsely ground coffee.
Also, try to use a smaller amount of coffee. Decrease the amount of coffee you use by as much as 20% when you use regular coffee. This will reduce the amount of coffee that the water has to extract.
Don’t Brew for Too Long
Coarsely ground coffee should take 12–16 hours when making cold brew. When using regular ground coffee, the time should be reduced to prevent over-extraction.
We recommend 6–8 hours. The shorter length of required time is one of the reasons why some people prefer this approach.
Does the Brewing Process Differ?
There is no standard procedure for making cold brew coffee from course grounds. It is a very simple process; an essential requirement is time. But the procedure goes like this:
- Get a large jar—at least 1 liter
- Add about 100 grams of finely ground coffee to the jar
- Add 900 grams of water and stir for a minute
- Refrigerate for 12–16 hours
- Use a filter to sieve the coffee
- Serve in your preferred way
However, when using regular fine grounds, reduce the amount of time, reduce the quantity of coffee, and use a finer filter to decant the coffee—everything else stays the same.
Similar to iced coffee, cold brew is best served over ice, with options such as sweeteners and milk.
Best Ground Coffee to Use for Cold Brew
When using ground coffee, there’s no one option that’s better than others; an essential factor to consider is the preference of the brewer.
However, some varieties do seem to work better than others and have been used successfully to make cold brews.
Also, the type of coffee used will most certainly affect the taste and flavor of your coffee.
Let’s check out the best ground coffee.
Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Dark & Bold
Bizzy Organic cold brew is specifically designed for cold brew and produces the best flavor for those who prefer their cold brew strong.
This brand is ideal for those that prefer their coffee to be very strong and dark. We also recommend this coffee because it is organic and coarsely ground, making it ideal for cold brew.
Cold Brew Lab Organic Ground Coffee
Also a wholly organic product, the Cold Brew Lab organic ground coffee is extra coarse and is a blend of dark and medium roast beans. This coffee supplies a lot of intense flavors as well.
Lifeboost Coffee Medium Roast
Although not typically used for cold brew, Lifeboost Coffee Medium Roast is produced using environmentally friendly methods. Because of how lightly roasted it is, it is recommended for those who want to make cold brew.
After the long brewing time, the acidity naturally reduces, leaving you with a smooth-tasting drink with exciting flavors. This drink is made from coffee from Nicaragua.
Street Colombian Cold Brew Coffee
This coffee brand is specifically designed for cold brew. It is coarsely ground and a dark roast, making it perfect for those who want low or no acidity.
If you want a sweet flavor with a smooth taste, go for this Stone Street Colombian Cold Brew coffee. It is also strong and provides a potent caffeine boost.
Coffee Du Monde Coffee and Chicory
This brand is also coarsely ground and a dark roast, with very low acidity. It is ideal for those who want their cold brew coffee with smooth, sweet flavors and strong caffeine content. Just brew and enjoy.
Black Rifle Coffee Grounds
Intense and full-bodied, Black Rifle Coffee Grounds are preferred by those that prefer their coffee with extra caffeine.
Known to contain twice the caffeine content of similar brands, it is made from Colombian Excelso coffee beans and is ideal for those who want their cold coffee to offer an extra bite.
Koa Coffee Private Reserve Medium Roast
Made from hand-picked beans, Koa Coffee is made for those who want their cold brew with fruity flavors and a sweet taste. Because it is made from medium roast beans, it has extra acidity but lots of flavors.
You may just need to brew it for a bit longer to extract all the flavors, but it is an excellent choice for those who want a smooth taste and sweetness.
Tiny Footprint Organic Cold Brew
This brand produces organic coffee for those who care about the planet. Also, it is a medium roast with various unique flavors for those who want their cold brew bursting with aroma.
It is made from an Ethiopian blend of coffee and is ideal for cold brew.
Cooper’s Cask Organic Cold Brew Coffee
If you’re already a fan of Cooper’s Cask, then you must have enjoyed some of the varieties of cold brew coffee they have.
Apart from being organic, this brand produces a sweet, smooth taste and flavor. You can enjoy it with or without sweeteners and milk.
Coarsely ground coffee is best for making cold brew, but if all you have is finely ground coffee, or you just want to experiment, this can also work well.
All you have to do is follow the above-mentioned steps, and you can have a perfect cup of cold brew coffee, even with fine ground beans.
You can use any regular coffee of your choice to make cold brew. However, to make it easier for you, especially if you’re trying it for the first time, we’ve highlighted some of the best brands that will give you the best results.
Last Updated on October 4, 2022 by Ashok Parmar