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How to Make Cold Brew Coffee? (Detailed Guide)

In the sweltering heat of summer or even during the mild chills of spring, a glass of cold brew coffee stands out as a refreshing elixir. Unlike hot coffee, cold brew offers a smooth, mellow, and less acidic taste, making it a favorite among coffee enthusiasts. If you’re curious about how to make cold brew coffee at home, you’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything from the basics of cold brew coffee to the detailed making steps with tools you already have in your kitchen. Read on!

Make Cold Brew Coffee

What Is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is often mistaken for iced coffee, but they are totally different. It is a unique brewing method where coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for an extended period. This slow extraction process can range from 12 to 24 hours, resulting in a concentrate that is smoother, less acidic, and can be more caffeinated than traditional hot brewed coffee. The beauty of cold brew lies in its versatility - it can be enjoyed straight, diluted, or even used as a base for various coffee-infused recipes.

Benefits of Making Cold Brew Coffee at Home

Making cold brew coffee at home comes with several benefits, from financial savings to personalized flavors. Here's a detailed look at some of these advantages:


Brewing your own cold brew can significantly reduce your daily coffee expenses. Purchasing cold brew from coffee shops can add up quickly, whereas making it at home requires only your choice of coffee grounds and water, making it a more budget-friendly option over time.


When you make cold brew at home, you have full control over the strength and flavor of your coffee. You can adjust the coffee-to-water ratio to suit your taste preferences, and experiment with different brewing times to find your perfect match. Additionally, you can try various coffee beans from different regions to explore a wide range of flavors.


Having a batch of cold brew ready in your fridge means you can enjoy a cup of coffee any time of the day without any preparation time. This is particularly convenient for busy mornings or when you need a quick caffeine fix without the hassle of brewing a fresh pot.

Less Equipment Required

Making cold brew coffee does not require expensive coffee machines or gadgets. All you need is a jar, your coffee grounds, water, and something to strain the coffee with, like a cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve. This makes it an accessible option for everyone, regardless of the kitchen equipment they own.

How Do You Make Cold Brew Coffee? (Step-By-Step)

Cold Brew Coffee Making Steps

Making cold brew coffee at home can be done using two popular methods: the French Press Method and the Strainer and Coffee Filter Method. Both methods begin with coarsely grinding coffee beans to ensure optimal flavor extraction without over-extraction, which can lead to bitterness.

Make Cold Brew Coffee Using a Coffee Filter

  1. Choose a coarse grind similar to sea salt for optimal flavor extraction.
  2. In a large jar, combine one part coffee to four parts water, ensure all grounds are submerged.
  3. Cover and let sit at room temperature or in a fridge for 12-24 hours.
  4. After steeping, place a fine mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter over a container with a spout. Pour the coffee mixture through, allowing the filter to catch the ground. Use a spatula to gently press the coffee through the filter. If using a paper filter, be cautious to avoid tearing. A double layer might be needed for strength.
  5. Transfer the cold brew concentrate to a clean bottle or jar and refrigerate.

Make Cold Brew Coffee in a French Press

  1. Add coffee grounds to the bottom of the French press and cover with cold water.
  2. Gently stir the mixture, then place the lid on without pressing down. Ensure all grounds are soaked.
  3. Let it steep at room temperature for about 12 hours or overnight.
  4. Slowly press down the plunger and pour the brew through a coffee filter if a cleaner drink is desired.
  5. Store your cold brew concentrate in the fridge.

Tips to Make Cold Brew Coffee

Tips to Make Cold Brew Coffee

Making a smooth, flavorful, and less acidic cup of coffee needs patience and practice. Here are some tips to help you make cold brew coffee at home:

  • Grind Size Matters: For cold brew, you want a coarse grind, similar to raw sugar. A coarse grind ensures optimal extraction over the long steeping time and prevents your cold brew from becoming too bitter or muddy.
  • Water Quality: Use clean, filtered water, as impurities in water can affect the taste of your coffee.
  • Coffee-to-Water Ratio: Making cold brew coffee ratio should be 1:4 of coffee to water by weight. You can adjust this ratio based on your taste preference; more coffee will result in a stronger brew.
  • Steeping Time: Let your coffee steep in the fridge or at room temperature for 12-24 hours. The longer you steep, the stronger and more developed the flavor will be. However, steeping for too long can make the coffee taste bitter.
  • Filtering: After steeping, filter the coffee grounds from the liquid. You can use a fine mesh sieve, a cheesecloth, or even a French press. If you prefer a clearer brew, you can filter it a second time through a coffee filter.

How to Serve Cold Brew Coffee?

Serving cold brew coffee can be a delightful experience. You can enjoy it in various ways. Here's how you can serve it for the best experience:

  1. Dilution: Cold brew coffee concentrate is often very strong, so you might want to dilute it with water. The typical ratio is 1:1, but you can adjust it according to your taste preference. Some people prefer it straight, especially if it's brewed to be drunk as is.
  2. Ice: Serve the cold brew over ice to keep it chilled and refreshing. Use large ice cubes if possible, as they melt slower and dilute the coffee less.
  3. Milk or Cream: Adding milk, cream, or a non-dairy alternative can create a richer beverage. The amount can vary depending on personal preference.
  4. Sweeteners: While cold brew is naturally sweeter than its hot brewed counterpart, some may still prefer to add sweeteners. Simple syrup works better than granulated sugar since it dissolves easily in cold liquids.
  5. Flavors: Enhance your cold brew with flavor syrups such as vanilla, caramel, or hazelnut for a personalized touch.


In conclusion, making cold brew coffee at home is a simple and rewarding process. By understanding what cold brew is, its benefits, and following our detailed step-by-step guide, you can craft the perfect cup using a coffee filter or French press. Remember our tips for an enhanced brewing experience, and explore various serving suggestions to personalize your drink.

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