How To Make Cold Brew Coffee: A Complete Guide For 2024

Are you a coffee lover looking to switch up your routine? Cold brew coffee might be just the thing for you! Not only is it a refreshing alternative to hot coffee, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. In this article, we’ll teach you how to make cold brew coffee, so you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee at home.

First things first, let’s talk about what cold brew coffee actually is. Unlike traditional hot coffee, cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time. This results in a smooth, less acidic cup of coffee that’s perfect for those hot summer days.

The best part? You don’t need any fancy equipment to make it!

What Makes Cold Brew Coffee Special?

Want some inspiration? Here are 3 ways to prepare cold brew coffee

If you’ve ever wanted to make cold brew coffee, you’re in for a treat. Unlike its hot counterpart, cold brew boasts a milder, less acidic flavor, perfect for sipping on balmy days. The method involves a prolonged steeping process, yielding a robust coffee concentrate. Once done, you can tweak its strength with a splash of water or milk, tailoring it to your taste.

Short overview of making cold brew coffee

Making cold brew coffee involves steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time, usually between 12 and 24 hours. The slow brewing process results in a smoother and less acidic flavor profile compared to traditional hot coffee. The coffee grounds are typically strained out before serving, and the resulting concentrate can be diluted to taste.

Cold Brew Coffee Maker with Black Lid Pitcher
$26.93

Pros

  • Effective Fine-Mesh Filter: Keeps grounds out of your freshly brewed pot, unlike other coffee machines.
  • Durable Tritan Pitcher: The BPA-free Tritan pitcher includes an airtight lid and non-slip silicone handle for durability and convenience.
  • Smooth Cold Brew: Produces four servings of smooth, less acidic cold brew with any type of coffee grounds.

Cons

  • Cleaning Challenge: The filter can be challenging to clean grounds out of.


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02/25/2024 05:27 pm GMT

Necessary Equipment

To make cold brew coffee, you will need a few pieces of equipment. Here are the essential items you will need to make your perfect cup of cold brew:

1. Coffee Beans

Finally, you need coffee beans. Choose high-quality beans that are freshly roasted. You can use any type of coffee bean you like, but it’s best to use a medium or dark roast for cold brew. The coffee should be ground coarsely so that it doesn’t over-extract in the water.

Close up coffee beans on a white cloth
IG: k_climovich

2. Coffee Grinder

First, you need a coffee grinder to grind your coffee beans. A burr grinder is usually a better choice than a blade grinder, which chops up coffee beans sort of like a blender would. Burr grinders grind coffee between two abrasive surfaces, which helps to extract more flavor and aroma from the beans.

Vintage Coffee Grinder Lehnartz Wood
IG: retrosterdams

3. Large Container

Next, you need a large container to hold the coffee and water. A pitcher or a mason jar works well for this purpose. Make sure the container is large enough to hold the amount of coffee and water you plan to use.

Two Cold Brew Coffee and One Milk in Maison Jars
IG: sustainablesabs

4. Coffee Filters

You will also need coffee filters to strain the coffee grounds from the liquid. Read more about the filtering methods in the section “Filtering cold brew coffee”.

Filtering coffee on the left and hands holding filtered coffee on the right
IG: co_____ffee

Choosing the Right Coffee Beans

Before you make cold brew coffee you’ll need the right coffee beans. The type of beans you use will greatly impact the final taste of your cold brew. Here are some factors to consider when selecting your coffee beans:

Whole Coffee Beans in a cup on the left and grinded coffee beans on the right in a cup
IG: gretagotcoffee

Arabica Vs. Robusta

Arabica and Robusta are the two most common types of coffee beans used for making cold brew. Arabica beans are known for their sweeter, fruitier flavor and lower acidity, while Robusta beans are known for their stronger, more bitter flavor and higher caffeine content. If you want a smoother cold brew coffee, we recommend using Arabica beans.

Light Roast Vs. Dark Roast

Another factor to consider when selecting coffee beans for cold brew is the roast level. Light roast beans are typically more acidic and have a brighter, fruitier flavor, while dark roast beans are less acidic and have a stronger, more bitter flavor. For a smoother and more balanced cold brew, we recommend using light roast beans.

The Brewing Process

Brewing Process of Cold Brew Coffee

1. Grinding the Beans

To make cold brew coffee, start by grinding your coffee beans to a rough consistency. This is important because a finer grind can lead to over-extraction and a bitter taste. We recommend using a burr grinder for the most consistent grind.

2. Use cold, filtered water for brewing

Depending on the quality of your tap water we recommend using cold, filtered water for the brewing process. Tap water can contain impurities that affect the flavor of the coffee. We recommend using a 4-to-1 or a 5-to-1 ratio of water to coffee grounds.

3. Mixing Water and Coffee Grounds

Once you have your coffee grounds and filtered water, mix them together in a large container. Make sure all the grounds are wet and submerged in the water.

4. Stirring to ensure even saturation

Stirring the mixture is important to ensure even saturation of the coffee grounds. This helps to extract the maximum amount of flavor from the beans. We suggest stirring the mixture a few times during the brewing process.

5. Allowing the mixture to steep for an appropriate duration

The steeping time for cold brew coffee can vary depending on your personal preference. However, a general rule of thumb is to steep the mixture for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature. 

6. Filtering the coffee concentrate to remove grounds

After the steeping process, it’s time to filter out the coffee grounds. Read more about cold brew filtering methods in the next section. You can filter the mixture twice to ensure all the grounds are removed.

7. Refrigeration and Duration

Once the coffee concentrate is filtered, it’s ready to be refrigerated. Cold brew coffee can last up to two weeks in the fridge, making it a convenient option for those who like to drink coffee throughout the week.

Filtering cold brew coffee

Filtering Cold Brew Coffee

If you want to make a smooth and sediment-free cold brew coffee, you need to filter and strain the concentrate. There are various methods for filtering and straining cold brew coffee, each with its pros and cons.

If you do not have a coffee filter at home, don’t worry. You can filter your coffee without a specific coffee filter. For example you could use a tea bag, a paper towel, cheesecloth or even a sock (no joke).

Methods of filtering cold brew coffee

  • Paper filter
    a paper filter will remove almost all the sediment, but it takes longer to strain the coffee.
  • Fine mesh strainer
    One of the easiest and most popular methods for filtering cold brew coffee. To do this, pour the cold brew concentrate through the strainer into a clean container. The strainer will catch most of the sediment, but some may still pass through. For best results, use a strainer with a fine mesh.
  • Cold brew-specific filter or coffee sock
    A cold brew-specific filter or coffee sock is another popular method for filtering cold brew coffee. These filters are designed to fit over the mouth of a container and are made of fine mesh or cloth. To use a filter or coffee sock, place it over the mouth of a clean container and pour the cold brew concentrate through it. The filter will catch most of the sediment, leaving you with a smooth and clean cold brew coffee.

Serving Cold Brew Coffee

Now that you know how to make cold brew coffee, it’s time to enjoy it! Here are a few serving suggestions to help you get the most out of your cold brew experience.

Two glasses of iced coffee on a white table
IG: mariolaszopinska

Serving Cold

Cold brew coffee is best enjoyed cold, so be sure to chill your coffee before serving. You can either pour it over ice or refrigerate it before serving.

Adding Milk or Cream

If you like your coffee with milk or cream, cold brew is a great option. You can use any type of milk or cream you like, from whole milk to almond milk. To make cold brew coffee the classic way mix it with an equal part of milk in a glass. You can also add a little sweetener if you like, such as honey or simple syrup. Stir well and enjoy!

Storing Your Cold Brew

Once you’ve made a batch of cold brew coffee, it’s important to store it properly to ensure that it stays fresh and delicious. Here are some tips for storing your cold brew:

Tips for Storing Cold Brew Concentrate in the Refrigerator

When storing your cold brew concentrate in the refrigerator, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Use a glass container: Glass is the best material for storing cold brew because it won’t absorb any flavors or odors from the coffee. Mason jars or glass bottles with airtight lids are great options.
  • Keep it airtight: Make sure the lid is tightly sealed to prevent air from getting in and oxidizing the coffee. Oxygen is the enemy of fresh coffee, so the less air in the container, the better.
  • Store it in the back of the fridge: The back of the fridge is the coldest part, which will help keep your cold brew fresh for longer.
  • Don’t store it for too long: Cold brew can last up to two weeks in the fridge, but it’s best to consume it within the first week for optimal freshness.
  • Dilute it before storing: If you’ve made a concentrated batch of cold brew, it’s best to dilute it with water before storing it in the fridge. This will help prevent any bitterness from developing over time.

Key Takeaways

That’s it! You now learned how to make cold brew coffee on your own. And you don’t even need any fancy equipment, just a few basic kitchen tools.

Remember:

  • Cold brew coffee is different from regular coffee because it’s made with cold water
  • It takes longer to steep
  • It is less acidic and has a smoother taste

You can customize your cold brew coffee to your liking by…

  • … using a different coffee-to-water ratio
  • … adjusting the steeping time

But, you should stick to the following guidelines:

  • Use a rough coffee ground
  • Filter the coffee once it’s done steeping
  • Drink with filtered water as tap water can contain impurities that affect the flavor of the coffee

FAQ – How To Make Cold Brew Coffee

What is the difference between cold brew and iced coffee?

Cold brew and iced coffee are two different types of coffee. Iced coffee is made by brewing hot coffee and then cooling it down with ice. On the other hand, cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for a long period of time, usually 12-24 hours.

Can I make cold brew with regular coffee?

Yes, you can make cold brew with regular coffee. However, it’s important to note that not all coffee beans are created equal. Some beans are better suited for cold brewing than others. For example, lighter roasts tend to work better as they are less bitter and have more subtle flavors.

What is the Ratio for Cold Brew Coffee?

To make the perfect cold brew coffee, you need to get the coffee to water ratio just right. The standard ratio for cold brew coffee is 1:5, which means one part coffee to five parts water. This ratio provides a smooth and refreshing taste that is perfect for hot summer days.

Is Cold Brew Just Hot Coffee Cooled?

No, cold brew is not just hot coffee that has been cooled. The two methods of brewing coffee are fundamentally different. Cold brew is made by steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time, typically 12-24 hours.

Can hot coffee become cold brew?

No, cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, usually 12-24 hours. Attempting to turn hot coffee into cold brew by simply adding ice or refrigerating it will not produce the same smooth and rich flavor that cold brew is known for.


If you liked our guide on how to make cold brew coffee, don’t forget to leave us a comment down below to tell us about your experience with it.

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