If you’re tired of the same old hot coffee all of the time, cold brew is the solution. In addition to tasting delicious, cold brew offers a different flavor profile than its hot-brewed counterpart.

Cold brew is lighter and earthier while still packing a full punch of caffeine. Follow the steps in this guide to learn how to make cold brew in a French press, and you’ll soon have a great morning routine.

What is cold brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee is coffee made by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans with cold tap water for 12 to 24 hours.

The flavor profile of cold brew is very mellow and smooth, while the taste of hot brewed coffee can be bitter and acidic. Cold brew also has a lower acidity level, making it easier on your stomach.

The best part about making cold brew coffee is that you can make it using your favorite coffee beans and your French press; what’s not to love?

Read along to find out everything you need to brew French press coffee at home, like the best coffee to water ratio, steeping time, the best coffee beans to use, and so much more!

Can you make cold brew with a French press?

If you’re looking for an easy way to make cold brewed coffee at home, a French press is a perfect way to go. A French Press is the easiest way to enjoy fresh coffee ready to be served over ice or mixed with milk.

Cold brewed coffee offers a smooth, mild flavor that you can enjoy any time of the day.

If you already own a French press, you can easily make cold brew coffee using it. It works perfectly for it, as it uses the same components as a dedicated cold brew maker.

You’ve got the beaker where you’ll add the ground coffee and cold water, and after steeping, you can easily press the coffee grounds to the bottom, so you’re left with a clean cold brew.

Cold brew French press coffee to water ratio

The best coffee to water ratio for cold brew coffee made with a French press is a 1:10 ratio. This will make for a strong-tasting coffee that is perfect for drinking as is but works remarkably well in cold brew recipes.

Depending on the size of your French press, you can make a good amount of cold brew coffee at once. Below, I’ve listed a table with the coffee to water ratios:

Amount of water:Amount of coffee:
200 ml20 grams
400 ml40 grams
600 ml60 grams
800 ml80 grams
1000 ml100 grams

Now that you know how much coffee you will need to make a batch of cold brew coffee with your French press, it’s time to read a bit more about the steeping time, grind size, and coffee beans to use:

How long to steep cold brew in a French press?

The perfect steeping time for cold brew coffee in a French press is 15 hours. Shorter than this, and the coffee might be a bit underwhelming. On the other hand, steeping longer might extract flavors you don’t want.

I’ve been making cold brew coffee for a long time now, and I’ve tested many steeping times in the past.

The 15-hour mark is the perfect steeping time, in my opinion. It will make for a cold brew coffee that is enjoyable drinking as is and in various cold brew recipes. It’s very versatile.

For this recipe, you’ll be using the 15 hours as mentioned above. But if you want to change the steeping time, I highly suggest steeping your cold brew coffee for at least 12 hours.

Shorter than 12 hours will result in a cold brew coffee that doesn’t taste as good as it could be. Those extra few hours make a big difference in taste.

You can also steep your cold brew for longer than 15 hours if you don’t mind getting bitter tones in your coffee. I’ll talk a bit more about this below, as the grind size also impacts this:

The best grind size to use for cold brew coffee

For the perfect cold brew coffee at home, you want to use a coarse coffee grind size. Because cold brew coffee has a long steeping time, you want the grind size to be coarse, so the coffee beans can slowly release their flavor.

  • If you go too fine, you’ll over-extract the coffee, and you’ll be left with a sour-tasting cold brew coffee.
  • If you grind your coffee beans too coarse, you’ll under-extract your cold brew coffee, and you’ll be left with a bitter-tasting coffee.

It’s all about finding that perfect balance in steeping time and grind size. Have a look below for the grind size I like to use when making cold brew with my French press:

Coffee grind size when making cold brew in a French press.

What coffee beans are best used?

The great thing about making cold brew coffee at home is that you can make it however you want. I recommend using a medium or dark roasted coffee to make cold brew in a French press.

Over the years, I’ve tested many coffee beans with different roasts, and the medium and dark roasted coffee beans have always tasted great.

A light roast doesn’t taste that great and is better used to brew pour over coffee, where the coffee can really show its true flavor.

  • If you prefer an easygoing cold brew coffee, I will go with a medium roasted coffee.
  • If you like a robust cold brew coffee with distinct flavors, I suggest going with a dark roasted coffee.
Medium roasted and dark roasted coffee beans next to each other.
Medium roasted coffee beans on the left, dark roasted coffee beans on the right.

If you get the chance, I will try this recipe with both coffee beans. This way, you can taste them side by side and see which of the two you like better.

How to make cold brew in a French press

Below, I’ve listed an easy step-by-step guide on making cold brew in a French press. There are photos for each step, so you can easily follow along with me. Let’s get started:

1. Coarsely grind your coffee beans and add your ground coffee to the French press beaker:

Ground coffee beans added to the French press.

2. Pour cold tap water on top of the ground coffee beans:

Pouring water on top of the ground coffee beans.

3. Give this a stir, so all the coffee grounds are equally wetted:

Stirring cold brew coffee in the French press beaker.

4. Cover this and let it steep for the next 15 hours:

Covering the French press, so that the cold brew coffee can steep.

5. After 15 hours, add the plunger to the French press:

Filtering the French press cold brew by adding the plunger.

6. Press on the plunger and pour your freshly made cold brew coffee into a nice glass:

Freshly made French press cold brew coffee.

Now that you’ve seen how to make cold brew in a French press, you can use the recipe card as a future reference, or have a look below for the ratio’s I’m using:

Yield: 4 cups

Cold Brew in a French Press

Cold brew made in a french press recipe.

Cold brew coffee is the perfect summer drink; making it using your French press is awesome!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 15 hours
Total Time 15 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 80 grams of medium or dark roasted coffee beans.
  • 800 grams of cold tap water

Instructions

You can prepare your cold brew coffee by following the steps listed below:

  1. First, it's time to grind your coffee beans. You can choose to use medium or dark roasted coffee beans for this.
  2. Grind them coarse; you can have a look above for the grind size I like to use.
  3. Once you've ground your coffee beans, add them to the French press beaker.
  4. Pour the cold tap water on top and give this a good stir.
  5. Once the coffee grounds are fully wetted, cover the beaker.
  6. Now, leave the coffee to steep in the French press for 15 hours.

After the 15-hour mark, you can follow the next steps:

  1. After steeping your cold brew coffee, place the plunger on the beaker.
  2. Slowly press down on it. The slower you go, the cleaner your cold brew coffee will be.
  3. Now, slowly pour the cold brew coffee into a jar or glass of choice.
  4. You've now made amazing cold brew coffee!
  5. Don't forget to clean the French press so you can use it to make amazing coffee again!

Notes

Depending on the size of your French press, the recipe can change. Have a look above for the coffee to water ratio that will fit your French press.

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Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1

Conclusion

The moment I got my first French press, I was hooked. The flavors are amazing, and making cold brew coffee with it is a breeze.

The only downside I have to make cold brew coffee this way is that you don’t have access to your French press when the cold brew coffee has to steep.

However, if you make your cold brew batch right before going to bed, or maybe a bit earlier, you’ll have a batch of cold brew coffee waiting for you, and you can then use it to make a cup of morning coffee.

Now that you’ve made this easy cold brew coffee using your French press, you can drink it as is, or you can make amazing recipes with it. Have a look below for some awesome cold brew recipes!

Do you prefer drinking cold brew as is, or do you like it in recipes? Let me know by leaving a comment down below. If you have any other questions regarding coffee, you can also contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!

Cold brew recipes to try

Author

On my coffee blog you will find everything you need in order to start brewing coffee at home. Ranging from the basics; to the newest coffee recipes everybody talks about!

2 Comments

  1. Deborah Smith Reply

    I haven’t used my French Press yet but can’t wait to make cold brew in it. Thanks for your recipe.

    • Hey Deborah,

      You’re welcome! I hope your cold brew turns out amazing.

      If you have any questions, please let me know, as I’d be happy to help.

      -Jeffrey

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