How to make cold brew coffee

Whether it’s summer or winter, cold brew is always the way to go if you are a fan of robust, full-bodied, and aromatic coffee. If you’re new to cold brewing, I’m gonna guide you through the process to make sure your beloved drink is perfect the first time you make it. So if you want to learn how to make cold brew coffee, you are in the right place.

Let’s not waste any more time. I’m here to reveal all the secrets behind the perfect cold brew so you can make yourself the perfect cup, or jar if you prefer, any time you want.

What Is Cold Brew Coffee?

Most people believe that cold brew coffee is coffee that was brewed with hot water and then cooled by pouring it over ice. In reality, that is iced coffee. Cold brew drinks are not made with hot water.

In order to make cold brew coffee, you have to steep the coffee grounds in room temperature water. You brew for 2 to 24 hours, depending on how fast you want the coffee and how strong you want it to be. After you finish brewing, you filter out the coffee grounds in order to remove sediments.

Health Benefits Of Cold Brew

When you make cold brew coffee, you end up with a smooth flavor that is robust and full-bodied. But there’s more to cold brew than its wonderful flavor and taste. In fact, drinking cold brew is actually good for you. Here are some of the benefits:

It’s Not Acidic

Cold brew is not acidic so you do not have to worry if your stomach is sensitive. In fact, cold brew coffee is 67% less acidic than regular coffee, which means you don’t have t worry about heartburn or indigestion that can be caused by regular coffee.

It Can Boost Your Metabolism

Caffeine can boost the metabolism rate to more than 10%.

It Lowers The Risk Of Heart Disease

You may think that people who don’t drink coffee have a lower risk for heart disease but that couldn’t be less true. In reality, people who drink coffee in moderation (3-5 cups per day) have a lower risk of developing heart disease. In addition, cold brew contains antioxidants, magnesium, and other compounds that also reduce the risk of heart disease. On top of it all, cold brew has anti-inflammatory agents that are also amazing for heart health.

Steps For How To Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home?

You can learn how to make cold brew coffee at home and you should make a bigger batch ahead of time so you can simply focus on enjoying it. All you have to do is use the techniques that large coffee shops use right now.

  • Make sure that you get enough coffee beans, a quality cold overnight soak, and a jar.
  • Mix the ground coffee and the cold water.
  • Put the mixture in your fridge and let it cool overnight.
  • In the morning, strain the mixture.

As a result of this cold brew coffee recipe, you get a concentrated coffee you can store for 14 days or mix it with water, milk or ice and serve it right away.

The Most Common Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

With the simple steps highlighted above anyone can make their own cold brew at home. However, if it’s your first time making cold brew coffee, I highly recommended following this tried and tested recipe:

1. Grind coffee beans

Use the coarse grind setting on your grinder. If you use a spice grinder, use one-second pulses. The grounds need to look similarly to cornmeal, not powder. 1 cup of ground beans produces just slightly less grinded coffee in most recipes.

2. Combine coffee with water

Pour the ground coffee into a container of your choice, based on quantities in the used recipes. For 1 cup of ground coffee beans, add 4 cups of water at room temperature. Take a wooden spoon to mix the water with the coffee.

3. Steep

Cover the container and wait. Simply leave it on your kitchen counter for half a day. You can also use the refrigerator, as with the Starbucks method, but this will make the coffee weaker.

4. Strain

After the 12 hours passed, take a strainer lined with cheesecloth or flour sackcloth. Put it over a large bowl and start pouring the coffee. Do this step 2 times to remove absolutely all sediments.

5. Serve

Transfer the coffee to a mason jar or a small bottle. You can keep it inside your refrigerator for around one week. Serve it diluted with cold water or milk.

Different Cold Brew Coffee Recipe Flavors

Using the most common recipe mentioned above, you can mix things up by adding some extra ingredients. A regular cocktail shaker can be used. Some of the recipes you want to consider:

Maple Vanilla Cold Brew

For a 1/4 cup of cold brew add half a cup of milk, half a teaspoon of vanilla extract and half a teaspoon of pure maple syrup.

Mocha Cold Brew

For a 1/4 cup of cold brew, add the same quantity of milk, half a teaspoon of pure maple syrup, half a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and half a cup of hot water. Then, add a pinch of salt and ground cinnamon, based on personal wishes.

Cold Brew Affogato

For a 1/4 cup of cold brew concentrate, add half a cup of vanilla ice cream.

Toasted Coconut

If you want to add coconut flavors to your cold brew, toast some shredded coconut in a pan and mix it with the ground coffee. The follow the steps recommended for all the coffee brew recipes we discussed.

Tips For How To Make Cold Brew Coffee

Use The Proper Grind

What is really important is to use the proper grind. You should only make cold brew with a larger grind, one that is similar to raw sugar coarseness. When you use a finer grind, the coffee might end up becoming bitter as you leave it inside the fridge to cool.

Strain The Coffee Slowly

Always strain the concentrate slowly. Starbucks uses a Toddy System that relies on gravity. At home, you can use a strainer and a cheesecloth. Do not squeeze or press the grounds or you will end up with bitter coffee.

When you use paper filters, be careful that they do not tear. Also, straining is slower than necessary with the paper filter.

Always Use Really Good Beans

A really good cold brew can be obtained with beans that are weeks old. However, you need to be careful that they are not too old. Coffee age is not an important factor to take into account for recipes but your coffee will be better if the ground beans are not too old or not too fresh.

Do Not Use Fine Grinding

When you make cold brew, you steep the coffee for hours. This is a coarse grind is mandatory. If the grind is too fine, the cold brew will over-extract flavor. You end up with a bitter taste that you will not like. When the taste of the cold brew you drink is bitter, it is most likely because of a grind that was too fine. You can look for brands that sell cold brew coffee grounds, go to your local coffee shop and purchase coffee there because you can ask the barista to grind the coffee grounds on coarse for you or grind the grounds yourself, at home. Either way, make sure you always use a coarse grind to get that perfect and smooth cold brew flavor.

Dilute The Cold Brew Concentrate

Cold brew is usually made after a steeping time of one full day (24 hours). As a result, you get a coffee concentrate with intense flavor and caffeine content. Due to this, you need to dilute it with cream, milk, alt-milk or water.

The common ratio of 1 pound of coffee beans per 1 gallon of water results in a cold brew that has 2 times more caffeine as when you use the hot drip coffee method.

Because making cold brew takes a lot of time, you might not want to dilute the flavor. If this is you, make some coffee ice coffee cubes to add to your preferred drink. The result is a drink that is robust and cold.

Use Filtered Water

When you use filtered water, the coffee ends up with a clean flavor. Using tap water does not produce the same result. In fact, in most cases, the coffee ends up sweeter.

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee With A French Press

If you own a French press, you can use it to make cold brew coffee. All you have to do is:

  1. Add the ground coffee to the bottom of the French press.
  2. Pour room temperature or cold water over the grounds.
  3. Stir gently to get all the coffee grounds wet.
  4. Let the coffee grounds sit in water for 14 to 16 hours at room temperature.
  5. Strain.
  6. Mix the cold brew concentrate with water or milk before serving. You can add ice to make an iced coffee cold brew.

What Is The Ratio For Cold Brew Coffee?

The most common ratio used is one gallon of filtered water per one pound of quality ground coffee. Most people do not need to make that much though so you can easily scale down the ratio to the appropriate quantities you need. The easy ratio to remember is a quarter pound of beans added to 4 cups of water.

Can You Use Regular Ground Coffee For Cold Brew?

Every single heavy coffee drinker is particular with what they like. There are people who like some expensive brands and others who prefer regular brands. The problem is that the coffee you normally love is most likely not appropriate for a good cold brew.

It is always better to use ground coffee that is recommended for cold brew. You can definitely use the regular ground coffee you often drink but this often means that the flavor will not be as good as it could be.

Should You Use Light Or Dark Roast?

The choice is always based on what you prefer. There is no type that is preferred. However, most people appreciate the darker roasts. This is due to the fact that the result is a flavor that is richer and darker. It can also be syrupy, nutty, earthy or chocolaty. Although floral notes can be extracted from coffee grounds, the robust flavors are those that are stronger.

Darker roasts are also preferred because they are cheaper. Lighter roasts with single origins and with a fruity or floral flavor are more expensive than what is found at the local store. You eliminate the fruity and floral flavors due to cold brewing so why spend more money on the grounds?

Is Cold Brew Stronger Than Regular Coffee?

Cold brew coffee drinks are usually less caffeinated than regular coffee drinks. This is because the concentrate obtained through cold brewing is diluted. The big difference is that a cold brew coffee recipe uses a much higher coffee to water ratio but, since you use cold water, the caffeine percentage is lower than the one of hot coffee. Simply put, when you use hot water, more caffeine ends up in the coffee.

As an example, when you buy a cold brew of 16 ounces from Starbucks, you get 200 milligrams of caffeine. The same cup of coffee has up to 360 milligrams of caffeine when hot, based on chosen beans.

Should You Grind Coffee Beans Yourself Or Buy Pre-Ground Coffee?

This is a matter of personal preference. Both options are suitable for cold brewing but there are advantages and disadvantages that have to be known before you make your choice.

Making cold brew coffee with pre-ground coffee


• Convenience – If you do not have the time needed to grind the coffee, the pre-ground option is perfect.

• Quick Access – You can easily buy large cans and have them on your shelf whenever they are needed.


• Freshness Problems – With pre-ground coffee, your cold brew will not be as fresh as it could be. Around 60% of coffee aroma can be lost in 15 minutes after grinding so expect less flavor.

• Odors – Because beans are delicate, it is possible they take on some odors when improperly stored. Also, CO2 appearing during roasting disappears. This reduces the presence of essential oils in pre-ground coffee.

• Moisture – Oils found in coffee are soluble in water. This is great when you make coffee but if air moisture reaches the area where you store your coffee, oils end up diluted.

Making cold brew coffee with your own coffee beans


• Better Flavor – This is the most important and only advantage that needs to be mentioned. When you use a good coffee grinder, you always get a stronger flavor from coffee beans. A mill grinder or a burr grinder can be used.


• Costs – Grinding your own beans can be much more expensive than buying pre-ground coffee. The coffee you buy comes from much better stocks. Poor quality beans cannot be hidden when you sell them for grinding purposes.

• Time-Consuming – The process can take a lot of time and it can be pretty messy.

• You Need To Use Beans Quickly – Freshly roasted beans just last 2 to 3 weeks. After this time, they are no longer fresh.

How Long Does Cold Brew Coffee Last?

Hot coffee loses most of its taste after just hours from when it was made. A cold brew can last for up to 14 days. Even so, flavor quality is going to start degrading after a week. When cutting concentrate with water, shelf life is reduced to just around 3 days.

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