Have you ever tried to make cold brew coffee at home? It’s something that many people will have heard of, but not many people have tried.
Cold brew coffee is really easy to make at home, and it’s also really cheap too. You don’t need a lot of equipment to make it, and you can use whatever coffee beans you like.
The process of making your own cold brew coffee at home is simple and efficient. Here are some tips on how to make cold brew coffee at home the easiest way, using various techniques.
What is cold brew coffee?
Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time (usually 12-24 hours). This process extracts a lower level of acidity from the beans, resulting in a smoother, more mellow cup of coffee.
Cold brew coffee has become increasingly popular in recent years as people have grown tired of the over-the-top bitterness that you can often find in hot-brewed coffees.
It’s especially popular among people who don’t like to drink their coffee with milk or cream, as the lack of acidity makes it less harsh on the palate.
However, there are many variations to sweeten and spice up your cold brew coffee at home, which I’ll cover further down in the article.
What is the ratio of coffee to water for cold brew?
The ratio of coffee to water for cold brew depends on how strong you want your coffee to be.
- For a weaker coffee, use a ratio of 1:10 (1 part coffee to 10 parts water).
- For a stronger coffee, use a ratio of 1:5 (1 part coffee to 5 parts water).
It’s best to start with a weaker coffee to water ratio (1:10) for your first cold brew batch at home. (Or you can even make a decaf cold brew)
This will produce a perfectly balanced cold brew that you won’t need to dilute with additional water, milk, or other liquids such as cold foam.
The stronger version will allow you to make cold brew concentrate (which is best served by diluting it first) or to make espresso cold brew instead.
For the recipes that I’ll cover today, a 1:10 coffee to water ratio is used. If you prefer a more potent cold brew, I suggest reading along to find out how to make it at home as well!
Tip: Did you know you can also drink cold brew coffee hot? Check out this article for an in-depth look!
What ingredients are needed to make cold brew coffee at home?
To make cold brew coffee at home, you’ll need:
- Coarsely ground coffee beans
- Cold tap water
The best part about making cold brew coffee at home is that you can decide the coffee beans to use.
Do you have coffee beans that taste great? Why not try it in cold brew coffee and see how it turns out?
I’ll talk more about some of the best coffee beans to use in cold brew coffee further down in the article.
When making cold brew coffee, you want to use a coarse grind size. This will give you the most extraction and flavor from your coffee beans.
Using a finer grind size will make your coffee more bitter and less flavorful. There is a way you can make great-tasting cold brew with regular ground coffee:
Can I make cold brew with regular ground coffee?
You can make cold brew with regular ground coffee – but there are a few things to consider.
First of all, regular ground coffee is designed for hot brewing methods, so it will be less soluble in cold water and may produce a weaker final brew.
Secondly, the grind size is important when brewing cold brew – a finer grind will result in a more intense flavor, while a coarse grind will be more mellow.
So if you’re using regular ground coffee, you may want to experiment with the grind size to see what produces the best results.
The best grind size for cold brew coffee is coarse, which looks like this:
If you’re using regular ground coffee, which is usually a lot finer, you can steep your cold brew for a shorter amount of time.
I’ve tested making cold brew with fine ground coffee with great results. Although more steps are involved, you can make great-tasting cold brew coffee with a finer grind than the coarse grind size.
You can check out this article to learn more about making cold brew coffee with fine ground coffee.
Which coffee beans are best used in cold brew coffee?
There are a few different types of coffee beans that you can use for cold brew coffee. The best type of coffee bean to use for cold brew coffee is typically a darker roast.
This is because the flavor of the coffee beans will be more pronounced when they are brewed at a lower temperature.
Cold brew coffee is also typically less acidic than hot brewed coffee, so using a light roast might make the final product taste more acidic than you would like.
I prefer either a medium or a dark roast for my cold brew coffee. These coffee roasts make a robust cold brew coffee that I love.
Ultimately, it is up to you to experiment with different types of beans until you find the perfect one (or ones) for your cold brew coffee.
If you’re still on the hunt for some great coffee beans for your cold brew coffee, you can check out my recommendations here.
How to make cold brew coffee in a French press
The process of making cold brew coffee in a French press is simple.
It’s actually one of the best ways to make cold brew at home, as it doesn’t require the cold brew coffee to be filtered an additional time.
You can check out the quick guide to making cold brew coffee in a French press below:
- Fill the French press with your coarse ground coffee beans.
- Pour cold water over the grounds, then stir well to wet all of them.
- Set the plunger and top part of the French press aside, and let the coffee sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours. The longer it steeps, the richer and more bitter the flavor will be.
- When you’re ready to drink your coffee, slowly push down on the plunger to filter out all of the grounds. Serve over ice!
I’ll go over the complete recipe for making cold brew in a French press in the recipe card listed below.
Do you have a French press at home? Why not check out this article where I go over everything you need to know about making cold brew in a French press?
How to make cold brew coffee in a mason jar
Another way to make cold brew coffee at home is to use a mason jar or other resealable container you have on hand. To get started, collect the following items:
- A container with a lid (like a quart-sized mason jar)
- A sieve or fine mesh strainer
- Cheesecloth or paper coffee filters
- A rubber band to secure the cheesecloth or filters around the jar’s mouth
After collecting the above-listed items, you can follow the easy steps listed below:
- Add coffee grounds to a quart-sized mason jar.
- Fill the jar with cold water, and stir to combine.
- Place the lid on the jar, and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
- Strain the coffee through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the grounds.
- Serve over ice, or store in the fridge for later use.
You can also filter the cold brew with a paper coffee filter if you want the cleanest cold brew coffee without any coffee particles.
To do so, rinse your paper coffee filter (I like to use a Chemex filter) and place it in a jar. Secure the filter with a rubber band, or use the Chemex to catch the liquid instead (no rubber band needed).
Now, simply pour the cold brew coffee onto the filter and let your cold brew coffee drip through the filter. I found that it takes about 10 minutes to finish filtering, depending on the size of your cold brew batch and the grind size used:
If you want to get an in-depth look at making cold brew coffee in a mason jar, you can check out this article to learn more about it.
I’ll also cover this recipe in the recipe card below:
- 100 grams of coffee beans
- 1000 ml of cold tap water
- Start by coarsely grinding your coffee beans.
- Then, add them to the container of choice (your mason jar or French press beaker)
- Pour the cold tap water on top.
- Stir to combine and wet the coffee grounds equally.
- Cover your container and let the cold brew steep for the next 15 hours.
- After 15 hours, remove the cover and press on the plunger of your French press. Or, filter through a fine-mesh sieve when using a mason jar.
- Now, you can serve your cold brew coffee over some ice. You can use various add-ins to make it extra special!
- It's best to store your cold brew coffee in the fridge for only a few days. It'll gradually lose its flavor, so make sure to drink it as soon as possible!
You can leave your cold brew to steep for 12 to 24 hours. I like to go 15 hours for a well-balanced flavor.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1
How do you sweeten cold brew coffee?
One of the great things about cold brew coffee is that you don’t need to add any sweetener because the coffee itself is naturally sweet.
But if you prefer a sweeter taste, you can add a little honey or sugar syrup to it just before serving it.
You can also serve your cold brew with cold foam. This delicious drink is perfect for the summer and will slightly sweeten your cold brew as well as give it some more depth.
Did you know you can easily make cold foam at home in just a few minutes?
All you need is low-fat milk. You can check out this guide for five different ways to make cold foam.
The best part? You can even flavor it, for example, with some pumpkin spice to create an even better drink!
Tip: If you want to check out even more ways to sweeten your cold brew coffee, you can check out this article.
How do you make cold brew coffee stronger?
If you’re looking to make your cold brew coffee stronger, there are a few things you can do:
- First, you can start by using a higher ratio of coffee to water. Using more coffee will make the drink more concentrated and therefore stronger.
- You can also experiment with different brewing times; longer brewing times will produce a stronger drink.
- Finally, you can try using a darker roast of coffee beans, giving the coffee a richer flavor and making it stronger.
Of course, how strong you like your cold brew is ultimately up to you, so feel free to experiment until you find the perfect recipe for your taste buds!
If you like a strong cold brew coffee, I recommend making cold brew concentrate. You can dilute this concentrate to a strength level you prefer, which is perfect if you want to switch things up every now and then.
Another way to make cold brew stronger is making espresso cold brew. It’s made with a finer ground coffee and requires a bit more work to get a clean cold brew, filtering it through a coffee filter before drinking it.
Cold brew is stronger than espresso, so if you love to drink espresso coffee, you’ll also love the easy cold brew recipes mentioned above.
So there you have it – two ways to make cold brew coffee and the best way to filter it. I hope you give one of these methods a try, especially if you’re looking for a smoother cup of joe.
Making cold brew coffee at home is a great way to save money and have delicious, fresh coffee whenever you want it.
I love the fact that you can easily let it steep overnight, so you can quickly make a delicious cold brew in a matter of minutes the next day.
If you have just made a batch of cold brew at home, you can check out a few recipes I’ve listed below that you can make!