Cold brew coffee is all the rage right now, and for good reason. It's flavorful, refreshing, and has half the amount of caffeine as regular hot coffee.
If you want to make your cold brew at home, where do you start? Read on for a guide on how to make a cold brew in a French press, a mason jar, or a Chemex.
1. Ground Beans
- When making cold brew, it's important to use coarsely ground coffee beans. Coarse grinds yield a smoother cup of cold brew and less sediment when you're ready to strain the coffee.
- Always use freshly ground coffee beans. This ensures that the best flavor is extracted from your grounds and gives you more control over how strong or how mild your final drink will be.
2. The Ratio
Depending on how strong you like your coffee, you can adjust the ratio accordingly.
- The concentrated ratio is 1:4 of one cup of ground coffee to 4 cups of filtered water.
- The mild ratio is 1:8 of one cup of ground coffee to 8 cups of cold, filtered water.
3. The Brewing Time
No matter how you choose to make your cold brew, the brewing time is the same. Cold brew needs 12-24 hours of steeping in the water for optimal results. So if you plan on making cold brew, plan well in advance.
3 Ways To Make Cold Brew Coffee
1. Making Cold Brew In A French Press
Making cold brew in a French press is super simple and requires no extra equipment. All you need is coarsely ground coffee beans, water, and your trusty French press.
- Place the grounds at the bottom of your press.
- Add 2 cups of filtered water per 1/2 cup of coffee grounds.
- Stir the grounds and water with a spoon or stir stick until they’re evenly distributed.
- Then fill up the French press with cold water until it's almost full and stir once again.
- Cover with a lid (but don't plunge!) and let sit overnight in the fridge (at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours).
- After that time has passed, place your plunger on top of the French press and slowly push down until all the grounds are at the bottom of your carafe.
- Strain through a fine mesh and pour into a glass—you're ready to enjoy!
2. Making Cold Brew In A Jar
Mason jars are great for making small batches of cold brew since they're easy to store or transport.
- Start by adding 1/2 cup coarsely ground beans into a clean mason jar
- Add 2 cups filtered water—stir until combined.
- Fill up the jar with more cold water so that it's almost full.
- Seal the jar tightly with its lid or with plastic wrap.
- Let sit overnight in the fridge (at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours).
- Once brewed, strain through cheesecloth or use a fine-mesh strainer to remove any remaining grounds.
- Pour into a glass—Enjoy!
3. Making Cold Brew In A Chemex
Chemex coffeemakers are ideal for large batches of cold brew since they have larger capacities than other brewers such as mason jars or French presses.
- Start by adding 8 ounces of coarsely ground beans into your cleaned Chemex.
- Add 32 ounces of filtered water.
- Gently stir everything together until all grounds are submerged.
- Seal the Chemex tightly with its lid then let sit overnight in the fridge (at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours).
- Once brewed, pour through cheesecloth or filter paper or use a fine-mesh strainer to separate any remaining grounds.
- Transfer the coffee to an airtight container to reserve for a few days serving.
- Pour into a glass—enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
- When stored in a refrigerator, the brewing process reduces its pace for about 3-4 hours in comparison to the room temperature length. So if you’re planning to drink your cold brew in a shorter time, store it at room temperature.
- If you find your cold brew too bitter, it may be due to over-extraction. To reduce bitterness, try using a coarse grind size or reducing the brew time.
- You can also adjust the strength of your cold brew by how much coffee you add to the water (more coffee = stronger) and how long you let it steep (longer time = stronger).
- Use filtered water for the best taste.
- You can keep cold brew for up to 10 days in the fridge, however, the taste will start to decline after a few days.
- Cold brew coffee can be served as is. You can add ice cubes to a glass of cold brew and top it with your favorite milk or cream for an amazing iced coffee experience.
There you have it — three easy ways how to make cold-brew coffee at home! Whether you prefer making larger batches in a Chemex coffee maker, a medium amount in a French press or more moderate amounts in Mason jars.
Need one of these tools to make your cold-brew coffee cup? Check out our picks of best manual coffee makers below and find your favorite gadget!
You now have all the information needed to brew a cold-brew coffee in what method works best for you. Happy brewing!