How To Make Cold Brew Coffee

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 or a Mason jar. (For the uninitiated, cold brew coffee is achieved without any heat. The coffee grounds are instead saturated with cold water and set aside at room temperature to steep. What results is an insanely smooth, ridiculously addictive brew that’s not at all bitter.

A glass of cold brew coffee with a French press and jar of cream in the background.

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 10 M
  • 1 D
  • Makes about 2 1/2 cups
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Combine the coffee and cold water in a large bowl or Mason jar or, preferably, a vessel of some sort with a built-in filter (such as a French press or similar item for brewing). Stir until all the coffee grounds have been saturated with water.

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.

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. You may want to press on the grounds to remove more coffee. 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. You may want to press on the grounds to remove more coffee.

Tester tip: You can line your strainer with a paper coffee filter if you like, but there’s really no need as the coffee grounds swell during steeping.

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 fridge for up to 1 week.

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 diluting is up to your discretion. A good place to start is 1 part cold brew coffee concentrate to 1 part water. Taste and tweak if need be. Originally published June 3, 2016.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

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 weren't 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!

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 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.

I like to dilute my cold brew with an equal amount of water and a bit of milk along with some sugar. I would estimate 6 servings iced coffee.

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