How to Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home with Ratios & Tips

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One of the main advantages of cold brew is its simplicity. It’s really easy to make one at home. If you prefer a chilled coffee that is smooth and not bitter, then you will enjoy cold brew coffee.

Rich, sweet, and mild, cold brew is wildly popular for several reasons. The nitro-infused version, Nitro Cold Brew With Sweet Cream is one of the most popular cold drinks at Starbucks.

Here is our step-by-step guide with ratios and proven tips for making cold brew coffee that tastes rival the best coffee shops.

Read on if you are ready to learn how to make cold brew coffee at home!

What Kind of Coffee is Best for Cold Brew

Best beans for cold brew

You could use any coffee beans to make it, but we can especially recommend brewing a medium or a dark roast. Cold-brew has a heavy, chocolatey, or nutty flavor, and coffees with such a flavor profile are your best bet. Think of origins from South and Central America.

While you are not required to buy the most premium coffee beans to prepare a quality brew, you will always want to use a coarse grind size. The latter is important because cold brew is prepared with the immersion brew method submerged in the water. The flavor is best extracted from the coffee beans using a chunky and coarse grind.

The Benefits of Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee benefits

Cold brew is not only an amazingly refreshing drink, it also boasts several benefits compared to iced coffee or similar cold coffee drinks.

The extraction method makes all the difference. Using cold water instead of hot makes this process much slower and will pull all the delicious flavors from the coffee beans and the caffeine. Heat destroys antioxidants quicker. With cold brewing, you can preserve a higher amount of the natural antioxidants in the coffee.

Cold brew has no bitter-tasting compounds, often present in hot coffee. Heat can change the chemical structure of coffee, often leaving bitter flavors in the cup.

There is less acidity, and it is more friendly on your stomach. Your coffee will seem sweeter and perfectly smooth. 

You can also batch brew, and enjoy it for up to 10 days, granted you keep it covered in the fridge.

Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine Than Hot Coffee? 

Yes, due to the higher coffee ratio relative to water, cold brew has more caffeine. You could make the cold brew concentrate less intense by changing the ratio. You just need to add more water to the concentrate.

If you are looking for a caffeine-free refreshment, you can make your cold brew with decaf coffee.

Cold Brew Coffee Ratio

What’s the best coffee to water ratio for making cold brew? There are various schools of thought, and we suggest that you try out a few different ratios and see what you enjoy the most.

A Cold Brew Coffee Ratio of 1:5 works well in most cases. This means adding one cup of coffee grounds to five cups of water. That is a good amount of coffee grounds and will result in a delicious cold brew concentrate. You can add more water and milk after brewing.

If you prefer a stronger concentrate try a 1:4 cold brew coffee to water ratio. And if you feel that this is too concentrated we suggest a 1:6 or 1:7 ratio.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home

Prep Time: 5 mins

Steeping Time: 12 hours

Total Time: 12 hours 5 mins

Servings: 2 drinks


  • Cold brew maker or French press
  • Coffee grinder
  • Refrigerator

Ingredients for a 1:5 Cold Brew Ratio

  • 2 oz medium or dark roast coffee beans (coarse ground)
  • 10 oz filtered water (room temperature or cold)


1. The first step is to grind the coffee beans. Use a burr grinder grind the beans to a coarse grind size. You want the ground to look like coarse cornmeal, and not like a fine powder. If you use a spice grinder, short 2-3 second pulses will get you the desired grind size. 

Coarsely grounded coffee beans in an electric grinder

2. Add your ground coffee to your cold brew maker or your French press. You could also use a mason jar, pitcher, or any large container.

Cold brew maker

3. Add cold filtered water into the cold brew maker or French press. Don’t forget to place the lid on top to seal it properly.

Cold brew coffee to water ratio

4. Leave it in your refrigerator and let it steep for 12 hours. It’s also acceptable to steep at room temperature if the cold brew maker is sealed and kept out of sunlight.

5. Remove the coffee grounds when your cold brew is fully brewed. If you are using a mason jar or your cold brew maker doesn’t have a great filter, then you may want to strain your brew through a cheesecloth or use a coffee filter.

6. Store your cold brew concentrate in the fridge. You can transfer it to a bottle or jar for more extended storage. 

Cold brew coffee in mason jars

7. Serve with as much milk, cream, or water as you prefer. Pour over ice cubes.

Cold brew coffee in a glass

Tips for Better Tasting Cold Brew Coffee

We recommend brewing the first time for 12 hours, then let your next batch brew slightly longer if needed. Depending on how strong you prefer your coffee, you can let it steep for up to 20 hours. Any longer than this and your cold brew will become undrinkable, bitter, and over-extracted. 

If possible, use filtered water. Since water makes up most of the coffee, your cup will have a cleaner, smoother flavor if you make it using filtered water.

Are you looking for an undiluted cold brew experience? Prepare your coffee ice cubes to chill your cold brew without watering it down.

Coffee iced cubes in a rock glass and a pitcher full of milk

How Long Can You Store Cold Brew Coffee

You can store cold brew coffee for 7-10 days refrigerated. The best is to keep it in an airtight pitcher, Mason jar, or in a large water bottle glass.

If you are adding water to your cold brew concentrate to dilute it, that will reduce its shelf-life. You want to consume this within two days from the moment you make it. 

Finally, while you can prepare cold brew at room temperature, you do need to make sure to store it airtight in your refrigerator.


You are now ready to make cold brew coffee at home while also saving some time and money in the mornings.

We recommend that you experiment with different cold brew ratios. And please remember to use coarsely ground coffee!

If you make a large batch over the weekend and store it in your fridge, you could enjoy cold brew coffee all week long. Happy brewing & caffeinating!

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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