How To Make Cold Brew Coffee

Here’s how to make cold brew coffee relying on exactly the right ratio of coffee grounds to water and a little patience. This homemade version works in a French press although a Mason jar also works just dandy.

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

For the uninitiated, cold brew coffee is achieved without any heat. The coffee grounds are instead simply saturated with cold water and set aside at room temperature to steep. What results is an insanely smooth, ridiculously addictive brew that, compared to traditionally brewed coffee, is far less bitter. And, fortunately, it’s easy to make at home. The only trick is it requires quite a lot more coffee grounds than traditionally brewed coffee since there’s no assist from heat; however, the smooth, decidedly not-bitter result more than merits the slightly extra expense. Besides, making homemade cold brew coffee is exponentially less pricey than purchasing it at your local coffeehouse. And because this recipe results in a concentrate, you end up watering it down, stretching your caffeine fix even further.–Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee For Serious Caffeine Addicts

If you have a household of caffeine heads clamoring for coffee morning, noon, and night, you can easily double, triple, or quadruple the below measurements to make a super large stash.

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 D
  • Makes about 2 1/2 cups


  • 2 2/3 cups (about 7 ounces or 200 g) coarsely ground coffee
  • 4 cups (946 ml) cold water
  • Milk or half-and-half, for serving (optional)


  • 1. Combine the coffee and cold water in a large Mason jar, bowl, or vessel of some sort with a built-in filter (such as a French press or similar item for brewing). Stir with a spoon until all the coffee grounds have been saturated with water.
  • 2. Cover the container with a lid and let it sit on the counter at room temperature to steep for 12 to 24 hours. The longer the cold brew coffee steeps, the stronger the flavor.
  • 3. If you’ve infused the coffee in a bowl or jar, strain the cold brew coffee concentrate through a fine-mesh sieve, metal coffee filter, or fine cheesecloth into a bowl. If you’ve infused the coffee in a vessel with a built-in filter, deploy the plunger to press the grounds down or follow the manufacturer’s instructions for filtering.
  • 4. Pour the strained cold brew coffee concentrate into a container with a lid. You should have 2 1/2 to 3 cups. Cover the container and stash it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • 5. To serve the cold brew coffee, dilute the concentrate with ice and water, milk, or half-and-half to taste. (The amount of liquid needed for dilution is up to your discretion. It depends on the type of coffee used and how strong you fancy your coffee. A good place to start is 1 part cold brew coffee concentrate to 1 part water. Taste and tweak if need be.) Use within 1 week.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Ellen Fuss

Jun 03, 2016

I haven't been to a single coffee shop where the cold brew coffee costs less that 4 dollars but I must admit it’s delicious and addictive. I do enjoy making cold brew coffee at home. This time I used Dunkin Donuts pre-ground coffee. I allowed it to steep for 16 hours and the coffee was smooth and delicious. I like to dilute it with an equal amount of water and add a bit of milk and some sugar. I would estimate 6 servings iced coffee. I am on day four and the taste is still great without any bitterness. (I will admit that when I grind my own coffee and keep it quite coarse the flavor is even better.) Also, I always keep coffee ice cubes on hand which I make from my leftover morning coffee before it is allowed to sit and get bitter. As the deeply flavored ice melts, there’s no issue of watered-down coffee.

Testers Choice
Hillary Hawkins

Jun 03, 2016

Iced coffee in the summer is the best. Especially with a good amount of milk and some sugar and maybe some homemade flavored syrup if that's your style. This cold brew method is super easy and you don't need any fancy equipment. Not only will this save some money, your friends will be impressed as well! I used Kirkland Signature Columbian Supremo whole beans from Costco. I coarsely ground it myself in a regular coffee grinder. (I used about 6 short bursts.) I let it brew for 23 hours and I would soak it less when I make it again. It probably depends somewhat on the coffee used but that long of a soak was a bit too bitter for me. I diluted the cold brew coffee concentrate about 50/50 with milk.

Testers Choice
Jeanelle Olson

Jun 03, 2016

This was the most delicious cold brew coffee I've ever made and possibly the best cold brew I've ever had anywhere. The flavor was very clean and strong and really brought out the flavor of the coffee beans (which were not super pricey but still pretty nice). I let mine steep for a full 24 hours and liked the result. I used Allegro brand Costa Rica Dota. I tend to think I like strong coffee, but I diluted this 1:1 with water and sometimes I added a bit more water. I finished this in 3 days, enjoying a large glass of concentrate + water + ice each morning. The only downside to this recipe is that it seems to use SO much coffee. But then again, it's a concentrate, so the amount is understandable. I will definitely double or even triple this in the future!

Testers Choice
Martha T.

Jun 03, 2016

Assuming you plan ahead for your iced coffee, this cold brew coffee recipe is an easy, tasty option. I used a Columbian blend and made this in my giant measuring cup. It made two glasses or so using 1 cup concentrate with an equal portion of half-and-half. Yum yum.

Testers Choice
Dawn E.

Jun 03, 2016

I've enjoyed cold brew coffee at coffee bars but this was my first attempt at making cold brew coffee at home. Expect about an equal volume of concentrate as the volume of coffee grounds used (example 2 2/3 cups of grounds with 4 cups of water yields 2 1/2 to 3 cups cold brew concentrate). I used Peet's Coffee Garuda blend ground on #8 course grind (a notch or two coarser than French press). I soaked my grounds in a large glass measuring cup for a total of 21 hours. When it came time to filter out the grounds, I used a pour-over cone lined with an unbleached #4 filter. Flavorwise, I loved the taste. It yielded a nice mellow yet deep-flavored smooth/clean tasting cup of coffee. I used about 1/3 cup concentrate with 6 to 8 ounces of milk and it made a delicious iced coffee. One of my family members drank the coffee black without diluting and enjoyed it just as is. My only concern about the technique is that it uses quite a bit of coffee grounds for a small amount of concentrate so if you are using an expensive coffee it may be a bit more pricey compared to a traditional hot brewed cup of coffee.

Testers Choice
Deneen Mueller

Jun 03, 2016

This method produced a really delicious coffee concentrate with no bitterness or acidity. I ended up with 3 full cups of concentrate. Could've been the coffee I used (Counter Culture Forty-Six) but the concentrate is strong, VERY strong, so I'll most likely water it down a bit. I used about 1/3 cup of the straight brew in a 12-ounce glass, topped off with half-and-half. Based on the amount of concentrate I used, the recipe will yield 9 servings. I ground the coffee in a basic Krups grinder so I had to eyeball the coarseness. I used 8 ounces whole beans to yield 2 2/3 cups coarse grounds.

  1. larry rouch says:

    this is a little easier….one lb. of good beans ground coarse (medium to medium dark roast), 2 ¾ cups water, sit overnight. strain (i use a fine mesh strainer). refrigerate. dilute in the cup (i dilute about 50.50). makes a week’s worth of coffee @ two mugs a day.

  2. Bonnie says:

    The first time I had iced coffee was in Boston as a tourist at Faneuil Hall in 1980 or 1981 when the waitress looked at me funny and said, “Well, I guess I could bring a glass of ice and a cup of regular hot coffee…” Iced coffee just sounded so cosmopolitan then, and I needed all the help I could get! I have loved it ever since.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Love that story, Bonnie! I simply love it. Almost as much as I love this cold brew coffee. Many thanks for taking the time to share that with us.

  3. Penny Wolf says:

    Love iced coffee, and love the idea of this cold brew at home even more. As for the spent grounds well I’m thinking of mixing in some coconut oil and making a scrub.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Love the scrub idea, Penny! Crazy clever. As for my grounds, they’re ending up in our garden. But I like your idea better.

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