Here’s how to make cold brew coffee. All you need is 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.
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. Originally published June 3, 2016.–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
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 1 D
- Makes about 2 1/2 cups
- 2 2/3 cups coarsely ground coffee (7 oz)
- 4 cups 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.
Recipe Testers Reviews
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.