How to Make Cold Brew

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Learn how to make cold brew coffee at home with just two ingredients and simple steps. It tastes even better than your local coffee shop and can be customized any way you like! 

A tall glass of homemade cold brew with ice cubes.

What Is Cold Brew? 

Cold brew is often confused with iced coffee, but they aren’t actually the same things. Both are served cold, but they’re made in different ways.

For instance, iced coffee is brewed using hot water. It’s regular drip coffee that is cooled and poured over ice. On the other hand, cold brew is brewed by steeping coffee grounds in cold or room-temperature water. As a result, it takes much longer to make, and the flavor is less bitter. 

Overhead photo of ice cubes and cold brew in a clear glass.

Why Make Cold Brew At Home?

We know the temptation to hit your your local Starbucks or coffee shop is strong, and we love treating ourselves as much as the next person. But there are so many reasons to make your cold brew at home!

  • Cost – Store-bought coffee is pricey, but homemade versions are actually incredibly cost-effective. 
  • Better Taste – With regular hot coffee, the hot water extracts the flavor of the beans, making the drink bitter. But cold brew has a much smoother taste, making it well worth the extra time. 
  • Time – Instead of brewing hot coffee every morning or running through a drive-thru you can make a big batch all at once! 
  • Customization – Adjust the strength, add extra sugar, cream, or syrup to make the recipe your own! 

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee (Step-By-Step) 

Making your own cold brew recipe might seem intimidating, but it’s actually really easy to do! 

A water carafe, glass French press and a bowl of coffee grounds on a countertop.

Ingredients

  • Ground Coffee Beans – Use any coffee you like best. 
  • Water – Make sure it’s filtered water and cold or at room temperature. 

Instructions

  1. Place the coffee grounds in the bottom of a French press
  2. Fill the French press with cold water, and stir to saturate the coffee grounds. Be sure to leave enough room for the lid to sit on top with the mesh filter pulled up! (Covering with plastic wrap versus the lid is an option too!)
  1. Chill in the fridge for 18-24 hours. 
  2. Slowly depress the plunger on the French press to filter the coffee. 
  1. Serve the coffee concentrate in a mason jar or glass with water or milk!

Tips for Success

  • Use coarse grounds. Beans that are finely ground and sand-like can seep into your coffee and cause it to become gritty. 
  • Don’t rush the steeping process. It really is key to a bold, delicious flavor. However, you also want to be careful not to steep the beans for longer than 15 to 24 hours, or the brew is likely to become bitter! 
  • Make cold brew ice cubes to prevent melting ice cubes from watering down your drink. 
Half and half pouring through a glass of ice and cold brew coffee.

Common Questions

How should I serve this recipe? 

Our favorite way to enjoy this recipe is by adding ½ cup of the cold brew concentrate to a glass filled with ice and adding ¼ to ½ cup almond milk and a splash of coffee creamer for sweetness. 

However, you can also pour it over ice with chocolate milk, sugar, simple syrup, or coffee creamer. Anything goes! 

Can I make this recipe ahead of time? 

Yes! Prepare a big batch, and store it in the fridge for up to ten days. 

Do I need a cold brew machine? 

Nope! If we’re being honest, we’ve never even used one. French presses are all you need, and they’re much cheaper than a machine!

How to Make Cold Brew

Skip the drive-thru, and learn how to make cold brew coffee with two ingredients and simple steps to enjoy cafe-worthy coffee at home!
Prep Time2 minutes
Chill Time18 hours
Total Time18 hours 2 minutes
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cold brew coffee, cold brew recipe, how to make cold brew
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 2kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup coffee grounds
  • 4 cups water

Instructions

  • Place the coffee grounds in the bottom of a French press.
    ¾ cup coffee grounds
  • Fill the French press with cold water and stir to saturate the coffee grounds. Leave enough room for the lid to sit on top with the mesh filter pulled up OR cover with plastic wrap when storing in the fridge.
    4 cups water
  • Place in the refrigerator for 18-24 hours.
  • Put the lid on the French press (if not already on) and slowly depress the plunger to filter the coffee.
  • Pour the cold brew coffee over ice in a glass. Add milk, chocolate milk, or flavored creamer.
  • Store the cold brew in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Video

Notes

Serving Tip – Our favorite way to enjoy this cold brew is adding ½ cup cold brew to a glass filled with ice. Stir in ¼ – ½ cup almond milk and a splash of coffee creamer for sweetness. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 2kcal

Did you enjoy this Cold Brew Coffee Recipe? We’d love it if you left a rating and review to let us know, and don’t forget to tag us in your recreations on Instagram!

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