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Cold brew coffee is a type of coffee made by steeping coffee beans in cold or room temperature water for up to 24 hours.

It can be a refreshing alternative to hot coffee, especially on a hot day.

Cold brew typically offers a smoother, richer flavor than regular coffee. It’s also less acidic and tends to have a longer shelf life.

There are several factors to consider when picking the right cold brew coffee for you, including any added ingredients, the flavor, and the possible content of sugar and caffeine.

Here are the 15 best cold brew coffees.

The many available varieties of cold brew coffees can be enough to make your head spin.

It’s a popular drink that typically features a smooth, slightly sweet coffee flavor. Plus, it might give you some pep in your step, thanks to a caffeine boost.

To pick the best of the best, we considered these criteria:

  • Ingredients: We choose cold brew coffees made with quality ingredients. We also prioritized those not loaded with artificial ingredients or lots of added sugar.
  • Flavor: Of course, you want your cold brew coffee to taste good.
  • Caffeine: Many people lean on cold brew coffees to get a caffeine boost. As such, we took the caffeine content into account.
  • Cost: Affordability is a priority when it comes to picking the best cold brews. A cheaper price than a cup of Joe at a typical coffee shop was a bonus.

A note on price

Product prices in this roundup are comparable, landing between $0.11 and $0.44 per ounce (30 mL). Still, prices may vary depending on the container size, where you shop, and if you’re getting a multipack deal.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $0.25 per ounce (30 mL)
  • $$ = over $0.25 per ounce (30 mL)

Best overall

Stumptown Chocolate Cold Brew with OATLY

  • Price: $$
  • Caffeine: 150 mg
  • Amount: 11 ounces (325 mL)

This high quality cold brew offers a clean, rich, and complex flavor with subtle hints of chocolate.

Made with Oatly oat milk, this option is 100% vegan.

The bottle offers 150 mg of caffeine, which is approximately the same amount you’ll get from 1.5 cups (355 mL) of drip coffee (1).

Keep in mind, though, that due to the oat milk, this may not be the best option if you have an allergy to gluten.

Pros

  • made with Oatly oat milk
  • vegan
  • 100% recyclable packaging
  • 4 grams of protein per serving

Cons

  • contains added sugars
  • made with rapeseed oil which some people may wish to avoid
  • 9 grams of added sugar per bottle

Best organic

Chameleon Cold Brew

  • Price: $$
  • Caffeine amount: 150–250 mg
  • Amount: 10 ounces (296 mL)

Made using organic coffee concentrate containing 0 grams of added sugar, Chameleon cold brew is a great option for health-conscious consumers.

With its smooth, bold taste and rich aroma, each serving provides around 200 mg of caffeine.

There are several flavors available, including mocha, vanilla, maple, and dark chocolate.

Pros

  • organic specialty grade coffee
  • sugar-free
  • committed to sustainability

Cons

  • more expensive than other items on this list
  • the flavor may be too rich for some, though you can dilute it with water or a creamer

Best nitro cold brew

Rise Brewing Co. Oat Milk Mocha Nitro Cold Brew

  • Price: $$
  • Caffeine: 80 mg
  • Amount: 7 ounces (207 mL)

This nitrogen-infused cold brew drink is made with oat milk, giving it an irresistibly smooth and creamy taste. However, this may also mean it’s not the best option for those with a gluten allergy.

In addition to being dairy-free, it’s certified organic and contains 80 mg of caffeine per serving.

It’s also 70% less acidic than regular coffee, making it a good choice for those with a sensitive stomach.

Pros

  • low acidity
  • dairy-free
  • certified organic

Cons

  • lower in caffeine than other varieties
  • 8 grams of sugar per can
  • includes sunflower oil, which some people may wish to avoid

Best nitro concentrate

Lucky Jack Triple Black Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

  • Price: $$
  • Caffeine: 320 mg
  • Amount: 10.5 ounces (311 mL)

Infused with an extra shot of espresso, this nitro cold brew beverage is great for those who need an extra kick of caffeine.

Not only does it offer 320 mg of caffeine per serving, but it’s also certified organic, sugar-free, and vegan.

The coffee is made with high quality coffee beans that are hand-roasted to maximize the flavor.

Pros

  • hand-roasted beans
  • high in caffeine
  • vegan

Cons

  • higher in price
  • may taste too bold for some people

Best concentrate

Califia Farms Concentrated Cold Brew

  • Price: $$
  • Caffeine: when prepared with 8 ounces (237 mL) of concentrate in a 1:1 ratio with water or milk, there’s 180mg of caffeine per serving
  • Amount: 32 ounces (946 mL)

For a rich and full-bodied cup of Joe, this concentrated cold brew coffee definitely delivers. Besides boasting a smooth and delicious flavor, it contains 180 mg of caffeine per serving.

What’s more, it’s kosher, vegan, gluten-free, unsweetened, and made without genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Pros

  • the perfect base for creating your favorite coffee drinks at home
  • gently roasted and complex
  • made from 100% arabica beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms
  • shelf-stable

Cons

  • may taste bitter to some people
  • must be used within 10 days of opening
  • not certified organic

Chameleon Cold Brew Concentrate

  • Price: $
  • Caffeine: 65 mg of caffeine per undiluted ounce (30 mL), and 130 mg when mixed in a 2:1 ratio with 2 ounces (60 mL) concentrate and 1 ounce (30 mL) water or milk.
  • Amount: 32 ounces (946 mL)

With just 2 simple ingredients and 15 calories per serving, this cold brew concentrate can be easily mixed with water or milk for a refreshing way to start your day.

Like other Chameleon products, it’s certified organic.

There are several other varieties available, including caramel, mocha, vanilla, and espresso.

Pros

  • organic
  • sustainable packaging
  • only 15 calories per serving

Cons

  • requires mixing
  • a bold flavor that may not suit all taste buds

Best vanilla

Wandering Bear Vanilla Cold Brew

  • Price: $$
  • Caffeine: 150 mg per serve
  • Amount: 96 ounces (2.8 liters)

This cold brew on tap doesn’t require refrigeration prior to opening, making it a great shelf-staple option to keep at hand.

Each serving contains 150 mg of caffeine and is sugar-free, dairy-free, and organic.

It also features a natural vanilla flavor for a smooth, strong, and indulgent cup of coffee

Pros

  • smooth, full-bodied taste with minimal acidity and bitterness
  • mild vanilla taste
  • convenient box that pours like a keg and keeps the coffee fresh after opening
  • organic

Cons

  • coffee is organically sourced from Peru, so it can be expensive
  • can take up a large amount of space in the fridge after opening
  • vanilla flavor may not suit all taste buds

Best protein-rich

High Brew Coffee Creamy Cappucino + Protein

  • Price: $$
  • Caffeine: 140 mg
  • Amount: 8 ounces (237 mL)

Boasting 12 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving, this cold brew cappuccino can help curb cravings and keep you feeling full between meals (2, 3).

Plus, it contains 140 mg of caffeine in every serving, which can help provide a quick jolt of energy first thing in the morning.

All High Brew products are also made using direct trade coffee beans, meaning that they’re purchased directly from the growers.

Pros

  • ethically sourced beans
  • contains fiber and protein

Cons

  • 10 grams of sugar per serving
  • some people report finding solid pieces of ground coffee in the cans
  • high cost

Best flavored

Christopher Bean Hawaiian Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cold Brew

  • Price: $$
  • Caffeine: 100 mg
  • Amount: 4 ounces (118 mL)

With a subtle macadamia nut and chocolate taste and no added sugar, this cold brew has just enough extra flavor to make it special.

One bottle provides enough concentrate to make 120 ounces (3.5 liters) of coffee.

Being free from GMOs, fat, and sugar, this brew checks a lot of boxes that many of us are looking for.

Pros

  • container made with recyclable glass
  • made from 100% high-mountain-grown Arabica coffee beans
  • available at major retailers
  • long shelf-life

Cons

  • may not be flavorful enough for those who like additional sweetness
  • not certified organic

Best espresso

Stōk Protein Espresso

  • Price: $
  • Caffeine: 120 mg
  • Amount: 48 ounces (1.4 liters)

This cold brew pairs 120 mg of caffeine per serving with a whopping 16 grams of protein. Made with cow’s milk and milk protein, it also contains a good amount of calcium and potassium in every serving.

Plus, the coffee is sourced from UTZ-certified farmers, a program focused on promoting sustainable farming practices for coffee and cocoa.

Pros

  • contains protein to promote feelings of fullness
  • coffee is grown by Rainforest Alliance Certified Farmers
  • a source of calcium and potassium

Cons

  • made with dairy, which may be a negative for those who avoid lactose or milk products
  • 13 grams of added sugar per serving
  • made with gellan gum, which may be a drawback to some

Best vegan

Starbucks Cold Brew Multi-Serve Concentrate

  • Price: $
  • Caffeine: 180 mg
  • Amount: 32 ounces (946 mL)

Starbucks lovers can easily whip up a cup of cold brew coffee from the comfort of their own kitchen with this convenient cold brew concentrate.

Best of all, there are no hidden ingredients or additives, making it a vegan-friendly morning beverage.

Simply combine the concentrate with some water and your choice of sugar, coconut milk, or almond milk to instantly ramp up the flavor.

Pros

  • made with only two ingredients
  • available nationwide
  • recyclable packaging

Cons

  • not ready to drink upon purchase
  • not certified organic

Best unsweetened

La Colombe Single-Origin Cold Brew

  • Price: $$
  • Caffeine: 180 mg
  • Amount: 42 ounces (1.2 liters)

To ensure a strong, smooth flavor, this cold brew coffee is steeped in steel wine tanks, brewed overnight, and double-filtered.

It’s free from added sugar and gluten. Plus, it’s made without preservatives and is vegan.

It’s available in packs of 4, 12, 16, and 24, with 180 mg of caffeine in each serving.

Pros

  • 100% Arabica, single-origin Brazilian beans
  • no added sugars
  • high in caffeine

Cons

  • can’t buy single cans online
  • may be too bitter for some
  • not certified organic

Stōk Un-Sweet Cold Brew Coffee

  • Price: $
  • Caffeine: 125 mg
  • Amount: 48 ounces (1.4 liters)

For fans of full-bodied black coffee, this unsweetened cold brew is sure to satisfy.

It’s formulated without any milk, cream, or sugar and is brewed low and slow to amp up the flavor and aroma.

Each serving provides 95 mg of caffeine, which is the equivalent of about 1 cup of coffee.

Pros

  • made with no cream or sugar, allowing you to enjoy the pure coffee flavor
  • brewed with Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee

Cons

  • contains added natural flavors, which may be a con for some
  • foil seal can be hard to remove
  • more expensive than many alternatives

Best New Orleans style

Grady’s Cold Brew

  • Price: $
  • Caffeine: 83 mg
  • Amount: 16 ounces (453 grams)

This bold, medium-dark roast coffee blend is mixed with chicory root and spices to help get your morning off on the right foot.

Simply steep in cold water for 12–24 hours, strain, and enjoy.

One bag yields about 96 ounces (2.8 liters) of coffee.

Not only is each cup low calorie, sugar-free, and non-GMO, but it’s also lower in caffeine than other cold brew varieties.

Pros

  • a nice option if you want to DIY your coffee
  • economical price point
  • unique taste

Cons

  • lower in caffeine than other varieties
  • requires time and effort to make
  • not certified organic

Best cold brew oat milk latte

La Colombe Oatmilk Double Latte

  • Price: $$
  • Caffeine: 120 mg
  • Amount: 9 ounces (266 mL)

Oat milk is a popular dairy alternative, and rightfully so.

This plant-based milk can elevate your coffee thanks to its creaminess. La Colombe Oatmilk Double Latte takes advantage of this quality in their ready-to-drink cold brew oat milk latte.

Ready to grab whenever a craving strikes, this drink is a great choice both for those who avoid dairy, and those who don’t. Just keep in mind that the oat milk may not be suitable if you do not consume gluten.

Pros

  • 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein
  • plant-based
  • over 100 mg of calcium
  • sustainably sourced coffee

Cons

  • 10 grams of added sugars
  • 100 mg of sodium
  • made with rapeseed oil, which some people may wish to avoid

ProductPriceAmountCaffeine per serveConsiderations
Stumptown Chocolate Cold Brew with OATLY$$11 ounces (325 mL)150 mg• vegan
• made with oat milk
• packed in recyclable packaging
• contains 150 calories and 9 grams of added sugar per serving
Chameleon Cold Brew$$10 ounces (296 mL)150–250 mg• organic specialty-grade coffee
• sugar-free
• committed to sustainability
Rise Brewing Co. Oat Milk Mocha Nitro Cold Brew$$7 ounces (207 mL)80 mg• low acidity
• dairy-free
• certified organic
Lucky Jack Black Nitro Cold Brew$$10.5 ounces (311 mL)320 mg• hand-roasted beans
• high in caffeine
• vegan
Califia Farms Concentrated Cold Brew$$32 ounces (946 mL)when prepared with 8 ounces (237 mL) of concentrate in a 1:1 ratio with water or milk: 180mg of caffeine per serving• gently roasted and complex
• made from beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms
• shelf-stable
Chameleon Cold Brew Concentrate$32 ounces (946 mL)65 mg of caffeine per undiluted ounce (30 mL), and 130 mg when mixed in a 2:1 ratio with 2 ounces (60 mL) concentrate and 1 ounce (30 mL) water or milk.• organic
• sustainable packaging
• only 15 calories per serving
Wandering Bear Vanilla Cold Brew$$96 ounces (2.8 liters)150 mg• smooth
• full-bodied taste
• comes in a convenient box that pours like a keg and keeps the coffee fresh after opening
• organic
High Brew Coffee Creamy Cappuccino + Protein$$8 ounces (237 mL)140 mg• ethically sourced beans
• contains fiber and protein
Christopher Bean Hawaiian Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cold Brew$$4 ounces (118 mL)100 mg• container made with recyclable glass
• made from mountain-grown Arabica coffee beans
• available at major retailers
• long shelf-life
Stōk Protein Espresso$48 ounces (1.4 liters)120 mg• contains protein to promote feelings of fullness
• coffee grown by Rainforest Alliance Certified Farmers
• a source of calcium and potassium
Starbucks Cold Brew Multi-Serve Concentrate$32 ounces (946 mL)180 mg• made with only two ingredients
• available nationwide
• recyclable packaging
La Colombe Single Origin Cold Brew$$42 ounces (1.2 liters)180 mg• 100% single-origin Brazilian beans
• no added sugars
• high in caffeine
Stōk Unsweetened Black Cold Brew Coffee$48 ounces (1.4 liters)125 mg• made with no cream or sugar
• brewed with Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee
Grady’s Cold Brew Coffee$16 ounces (473 mL)83 mg• a nice option if you want to DIY your coffee
•economical price point
• unique taste
La Colombe Oatmilk Latte$$9 ounces (266 mL)120 mg• 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein
• plant-based
• offers over 100 mg of calcium
• sustainably sourced coffee

Cold brew and iced coffee may appear similar but they are quite different.

While both are enjoyed over ice, they’re prepared differently. This gives the beverages some distinct differences.

Iced coffee is generally made by hot-brewing coffee before chilling it. Meanwhile, cold brew coffee is made without heat.

To make it, ground coffee is steeped in cool, filtered water for hours. This results in a caffeinated drink that is less acidic and fuller-bodied than coffee made with heat.

There are several factors to consider when selecting the right cold brew coffee for you.

Checking the ingredient list is especially important. Some varieties contain additives or preservatives you may wish to avoid.

Certain types also contain high amounts of added sugar, which can increase the calorie and carb content of your beverage.

Organic varieties are also available. When you opt for this variety of coffee, the beans are not grown with synthetic fertilizers or synthetic pesticides.

Some data shows that regular and frequent consumption of organic products generally reduces the risk of overweight and obesity, both for women and men, as well as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in women (4).

If you have any food allergies, it’s also essential to avoid products that contain your allergy triggers. Some may also be manufactured in facilities that also process common food allergens.

What is cold brew?

Cold brew coffee is a drink made by steeping ground coffee in cold filtered water, generally for 12–24 hours. It results in a lower acid and full-bodied caffeinated beverage.

What is the difference between cold brew and regular coffee?

Cold brew coffee is prepared using cold water, while regular coffee uses almost boiling. Iced coffee is medium-bodied, while cold brew is full-bodied.

Is cold brew stronger than iced coffee?

Cold brew typically has a richer body and more caffeine than iced coffee.

Is cold brew stronger than espresso?

Espresso is typically stronger than cold brew, although this varies based on preparation methods.

There are many different varieties of cold brew coffees on the market.

You can choose between flavored, unsweetened, vegan, and concentrate options. In other words, there’s bound to be one or many versions you’ll enjoy.

When picking a product, pay close attention to the ingredient label, added sugar content, and whether or not it’s organic to find the right fit for you.