How to Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home

Pouring cold brew into a glass

One of the main advantages of cold brew is its simplicity, and it’s really easy to make cold brew coffee at home. If you prefer a chilled coffee that is smooth tasting and has no acidity or residual bitterness from hot coffee, you should give cold brew coffee a try.

Rich, sweet, and mild, cold brew is wildly popular for a good reason. Here is a step-by-step guide for you on how to make cold brew coffee that tastes rival those of the best coffee shops. You will be a cold brew pro in no time. 

But wait, there is more. You can say goodbye to spending $5 per serving at a local coffee shop. Now you can enjoy your cold brew for less from the comfort of your own home.

What Kind of Coffee is Best for Cold Brew?

Coffee beans in a grinder

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.

What are the Benefits of Cold Brew?

Dark roast coffee beans and a thumbs up sign

First of all, cold brew is a refreshing drink on a hot summer day and boasts several benefits compared to hot or iced coffee

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 too. 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, which are 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 how much more coffee we are using relative to water than the hot brewing method. So, we will get more caffeine. We can make the final drink less intense than the cold brew concentrate by adding more water. 

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

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

Equipment

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

1. The first step is to grind the coffee beans. Using a burr grinder grind the beans to a coarse grind size. You want the ground to look like coarse cornmeal, and you do not want 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.

Pouring coarsely ground coffee beans into an RJ3 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 in an Ovalware RJ3

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 in mason jars inside a refrigerator

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

Serving the coffee drink with ice

Notes

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 Should You Store Cold Brew?

You can store your cold brew concentrate refrigerated for up to 10 days. Please keep it in an airtight pitcher, a large Mason jar, or can even use 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.

Summary

You are now well-versed on how to make cold brew coffee at home and save yourself a bunch of money and time in the mornings.

Get a cold brew maker for the easiest preparation. Just remember always to use coarsely ground coffee. Make a large batch over the weekend and store it in your fridge for an easy week-long cold brew coffee fix that tastes better than your local Starbucks brew.


Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock