How to Cold Brew Coffee

Two Parts:Preparing Coffee and EquipmentBrewing Your Coffee

Do you want some coffee but it's too hot out for a steaming cup of joe? Consider making cold brewed coffee instead of the traditional hot brewed methods. It is a tasty and easy way to brew your coffee, although it does take quite awhile to make. Everything you will need to make cold brew coffee is likely in your kitchen already, so get that coffee started now!

Part 1
Preparing Coffee and Equipment

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    Buy good quality medium roast coffee beans. The best coffee comes from beans that have been recently roasted, so try to get beans that have been roasted locally. If you can't find local beans, just find a coffee bean that you have enjoyed in the past.
    • If you have a grinder, buy coffee beans that have not been ground yet. Grinding your own will give you fresher and better tasting cold brew coffee.
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    Find a large container to brew your coffee in. This can be a pitcher, a large jar, or your french press coffee maker, with the presser taken out.
    • To avoid flavors or chemicals leaching into your coffee, try to find a container that is made of glass. Glass will not react with the coffee and will not leach any chemicals into it either.
    • There are some specialty products that are made specifically for brewing cold brew coffee. If you want to make a lot of cold brew and you like gadgets, consider investing in one of these systems.[1][2]
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    Grind your coffee beans. You will want to grind about one ounce of coffee for every one cup of water you will use. Determine how many cups of water your container can hold and then use that many ounces of coffee.
    • If you like really strong cold brew, use more coffee per cup of water. It's up to you, so experiment with the ration to find one you like!
    • There is some debate about what grind to use. Some experts say that you want medium to course ground coffee beans as opposed to finely ground. This is because it makes for a slower, longer extraction of the coffee flavor into the water.[3] Others advocate for a finely ground coffee, as you will get more extraction out of the beans.[4] Since opinions vary, try grinding your beans both ways and figure out which you like better.

Part 2
Brewing Your Coffee

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    Put the grounds into your container and then pour room temperature water in over the grounds. Remember, you want to stick to a specific ratio of one cup of water to every ounce of coffee beans. So if your container holds six cups of water, you should put six ounces of coffee grounds into it.
    • Once the grounds have been in the water for about ten minutes, stir the grounds in the water.[5] This will make sure that you are getting full extraction of flavor from all of the grounds.
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    Cover your coffee and water mixture, then leave it on your counter. Allow the coffee to steep for 12 - 24 hours, depending on how strong you want your cold brewed coffee.[6]
    • You can occasionally stir the mixture while it is steeping to ensure even saturation of coffee grounds.
    • Some recommend placing your coffee mixture into the refrigerator. While this is not necessary, as the coffee will not spoil at room temperature, it will result in a colder cold brew when the process is finished.
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    Filter the coffee and water mixture. You can filter the mixture several different ways. A simple way is to put a wire mesh strainer with a piece of cheesecloth or a large coffee filter in it over a pitcher. Then simply pour the steeped coffee through it. The goal is to get rid of all of the coffee grounds, leaving you with a smooth and delicious cold brew.
    • If you are using a french press, place the plunger on your press and gently press it down until all coffee grounds are at the bottom of the french press.
    • If after your first filter you still have some grounds in the coffee, run the coffee through a filter a second time.
    • After all the brewed coffee is poured out, there will be left over grounds at the bottom of the container. Do not pour these excess grounds into the filter. They will not add anything to your finished product.
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    Chill your coffee and serve when ready. You now have have a non-diluted iced coffee drink to enjoy with ice, milk or cream, and the sweetener of your choice.
    • Consider making some simple syrup to add to your cold brewed coffee.[7] Unlike regular sugar, which will not dissolve in cold coffee, simple syrup will combine with the cold brew nicely.
    • Cold brewed coffee can be kept in your fridge for several weeks, just keep it covered. Unlike hot-brewed coffee, cold-brewed coffee will not become stale over time.[8]


  • Your cold brew coffee can be very strong. To fix this, dilute it with water or ice. Some dilute with 50-50 water to coffee ratio. The ratio will depend on your preferred strength of coffee.

Things You'll Need

  • Pitcher, large container, or a french press
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 ounces of coffee beans
  • Wire mesh strainer
  • cheesecloth, coffee filter, or nut milk bag

Article Info

Categories: Coffee