So, someone or something put the idea into your head to try and make a cold brew with whole beans, and maybe you are wondering if it can be done. I’ll tell you straight up that cold brew coffee without grinding can be done!
More than that, it tastes great, and is probably the easiest coffee to make, but the brew time can be a bit of a killer!
Let’s stir things up and see what is brewing!
What Is Cold Brew Coffee With Whole Beans?
Cold brew coffee with whole beans is exactly as it sounds. It’s coffee made using the cold brewing technique without grinding them. There is only one of the three cold brewing techniques that will permit you to use whole, unground, whole coffee beans and that is full immersion.
Full immersion is simply steeping the coffee grounds, or in this case, the whole beans in cold water and brewing them overnight in the fridge.
Read: Coffee sock cold brew instructions
Can You Make Cold Brew Coffee Without Grinding The Beans?
absolutely yes! I have tried it, and it absolutely is possible, and what’s more the end result is very good. What’s more, whole bean coffee got me curious and made me try making a regular hot coffee, with hot water and whole beans.
Just because your local coffee shop does not sell hot or cold brewed coffee made with whole coffee beans it does not mean it cannot be done.
Perhaps it is reserved for the coffee experts only daring enough and crazy enough to try it.
In both cases, of cold brew coffee with cold water and hot water due to the considerably smaller surface area, you will need to brew for much longer than you would had you ground them.
With cold brew whole bean coffee the brewing process will take 16-24 hours.
Read: How long will cold brew coffee last?
Cold Brew Ratio
The ideal cold brew ratio, more specifically the coffee to water ratio for making an excellent tasting cold brew coffee depends on whether you are making a straight, regular cold brew or a cold brew concentrate.
The best coffee to water ratio is 8:1 and either a 4:1 for a concentrate.
How Do You Brew The Coffee Beans?
Brewing the coffee beans is incredibly easy, the easiest method that you can think of, period! First things first, which whole beans for cold brew are best?
The best, as I always say, is subjective as it is entirely opinion based. Flavor wise and extracting the low temperature coffee oils and drawing out the flavor of coffee beans you will either need to use dark roasted beans. This roast profile draws out the flavors and oils easier than light roasts.
What you choose is a matter of personal taste and choice. For me personally I enjoy, French and Italian roasts and occasionally an espresso roast for brewing this way.
Due to taking up to twice as long, I tend not to use light roasts.
To brew, just take your whole beans and immerse them in cold water, the coldest possible water. Iced water is better than cold water and leave them to brew in your fridge.
For each liter (33 ounces (more or less)) 125ml or 4 ounces of whole beans should be used. You should let your beans brew on their own, no stirring, for 12-14 hours and check every hour or two for taste.
If it is a cold brew concentrate that you want to make, then use 2 to 4 times as much coffee grounds. I am not a fan of making cold brew coffee concentrate as I like to make it fresh and
TAFO! Taste And Find Out!
When your brew hits the taste profile that you like and enjoy, your brew is ready. Then strain out the beans using a mesh strainer with cheesecloth or without the cheesecloth. I personally do not use the cheesecloth as I want all the oils to remain in the brew and not to be removed by the cloth filter.
Is There Another Way To Brew The Beans?
es, make cowboy coffee!
This method is also very simple. Take your whole beans, using the same 1:8 coffee to water ratio, and immerse them in cold water and slowly bring them to the boil, letting them simmer for as long as necessary to bring out the coffee flavor.
How long this will take will vary depending on the beans and the roast. As above, taste and find out. Once it is ready, simply pour and enjoy.
How To Make Coffee With Whole Beans Without Grinding
Similar to the above question, and a cool way of enjoying a rather different coffee is to take 8 ounces of water (240 ml) and 1 ounce of whole bean coffee, 30 grams, and then place them into a pot for boiling and then simmering for up one hour.
Brew this coffee until the beans are peanut like soft.
Then pour and enjoy. Brew time may take upto one hour. When you pour, pour your coffee with the beans. They will sit on top and give a different look to your coffee. You can also enjoy nibbling on your beans if you so wish.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cold Brew With Whole Beans
What Is The Ratio Of Beans To Water For Cold Brew?
Typically, regardless of which grind size, be it coarse, very coarse or whole bean, a 1:8 ratio of coffee to water is good for making a great coffee ready to drink after 16 to 20 hours brewing. A stronger cold brew concentrate, which lasts longer when refrigerated, can be elaborated at a 1:2 to 1:4 ratio.
What Do I Do If I Accidentally Bought Whole Bean Coffee?
Well, if you have “bean” tricked or “bean” a little hair brained and bought whole bean coffee but don’t own a grinder you can always make hot or cold brewed coffee using the techniques mentioned in this article.
Alternatively, if you have a good quality food processor or blender, you can grind them in that. Or go old school and grind them using a mortar and pestle.
What Is The Best Roast For Cold Brew?
The best type of roast to use with a cold brew for an amazing coffee flavor is a dark roast. A dark roast is better than a medium roast as you can pull out the distinctive low temperature coffee flavors in a shorter time. On average, a light roast takes double the time to extract the flavors and ends up being a very bright and light coffee, as a cold brew has a very mellow, subtle, taste as it is.
Due to not pulling out any of the high temperature flavors, aromatics of coffee or the oils I strongly advise that you do not use your specialty grade beans, or single origin beans at all. It would be not just a waste of beans but a waste of your money too.
As quick word on beans, any middle of the road quality beans will do. Not cheap ones, definitely not expensive ones, are fine for this type of brew.
Can You Make Cold Brew With Regular Ground Coffee?
regular coffee beans are best with cold brewed coffee as long as they are coarse grounds or whole coffee beans and dark roasted.
If you use just regular ground coffee you will need to monitor your brew time and reduce it significantly as the smaller grounds will draw out the bitterness of coffee if you over extract. Also be aware of filtering properly as you will end up with a thick grit like sludge at the bottom.
What Coffee Grind Is Best For Cold Brew?
As a coffee addict and coffee aficionado, in my opinion, by far, using a coarse grind is better than fine grind or whole beans for getting the right flavor profile. Whole beans are good, but the drawback is the waiting time as they seem to take forever to brew.
As a coffee drinker it is a pain in the backside to wait so long to enjoy a coffee that you are brewing!
As with coarsely ground coffee you are aiming for kosher salt grain size.
You should always try to grind your beans immediately before you use them for maximum freshness. If you need to use pre-ground coffee make sure you store your grounds well.
Can You Make Cold Brew With Raw Coffee Beans?
You can try it, but you will end up with a mug full of nothingness regardless of your brewing method or technique or the temperature of the water.
A raw coffee bean that has not gone through the roasting process has no to little flavor. All the oils and coffee compounds that we love are locked deep in the bean and need some roasting to bring them out.
Is Cold Brew Healthier Than Regular Coffee?
Cold brew coffee is every it as healthy as drinking regular hot brewed coffee. There are no known additional health benefits of drinking coffee that has been steeped in cold water and brewed this way.
Source: Harvard T.H Can School of Public Health, Frank Hu.
Can You Use Whole Beans For Cold Brew?
Yes, it is entirely your choice if you use whole beans or coffee grounds to brew cold brew coffee. It is up to you the type of coffee beans that you use also, using whole bean coffee beans will result in a slightly fresher coffee.
Can You Brew Coffee With Whole Beans?
Absolutely, you have two main choices: cold brew for hot summer day and cowboy coffee for cold winter day. Both coffee beverages are ideal for whole beans and produce a great tasting cup of coffee.
Can You Soak Whole Coffee Beans For Cold Brew?
Yes, the whole method of brewing cold brew coffee is full immersion and steeping your coffee beans in a container for 12-24 hours.
Do You Use Ground Or Whole Beans For Cold Brew?
You can use both; if you are using whole beans, you will need to be more patient as the reduced surface area means you will need to increase the brewing time.
Using ground coffee beans, you will need a coarse grind size as large as your coffee grinder permits.
Both methods, whole beans and ground coffee will produce a tasty cup of coffee.
Frappé-Ing It All Up – Cold Brew With Whole Beans
You can absolutely make cold brew with whole beans and end up with a rather tasty Cuppa Joe to boot! Just be aware of the significantly longer brew times.
If you are stuck with whole beans and no coffee grinder, you can brew up an equally lovely dark hot brew with your whole beans by letting them simmer for a while in hot water.
Did you make cold brew with whole beans?
Join our online coffee community on Facebook/Meta and share your coffee creations, brews, recipes, images and coffee morning selfies.