Cold Brew Coffee (Recipe & Tips!)

I know, fall is coming and everyone’s psyched about pumpkin spice lattes. But, it’s still blistering hot outside and I’ve been working on my cold brew coffee game all summer. I’ve become a self-proclaimed cold brew lover, so hear me out!

Homemade cold brew coffee is:

  • Smooth, little sweet and incredibly refreshing
  • Easy to make \sMore economical than buying at a coffee shop
  • Ready-made for hectic mornings
  • Easily heated up if you’re in the mood for hot coffee
  • You can create cold brew on the weekend, then pour your coffee from the fridge every morning. No boiling water. No bothering with a coffee maker.

As someone who is 100% not a morning person, cold brew coffee is a total game changer.


Fun Facts about Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew can be strong.

This depends on a lot of factors, including the beans used, steeping time, and dilution. The dilution is the factor that is the easiest to control. Don’t drink cold brew concentrate straight—it’s highly caffeinated!

Cold brew is less acidic.

If regular drip coffee or espresso upsets your stomach, cold brew might not. The only way to know is to try it, and you’ll have more control over the end result if you make it yourself.

You can heat up cold brew and drink it hot.

Indeed, it’s true, and it’s very good. The flavor stays about the same.

Cold brew takes longer to make than drip coffee.

Since the water is cold, it needs to steep for about 12 to 18 hours to soak up the coffee’s color, flavor and caffeine. The cold extraction process brings out fewer of coffee’s bitter compounds, which produces a sweeter and smoother result.

Coarsely-ground coffee makes the best cold brew.

No coffee grinder at home? No problem. Just grind your coffee at the grocery store using their big coffee grinder machine, with the dial set on the coarse/French press option. I’ve provided approximate amounts of ground coffee to use if you don’t have a scale for a more accurate weight measurement (don’t worry about it).

Use any coffee variety you enjoy to make cold brew.

Any variety will work, and you’ll find that it tases less bitter when its steeped in cold water instead of hot. It would be fun to compare a glass of cold brew coffee with hot coffee of the same variety.


Basic Ratio for Cold Brew Coffee

Let’s get to it: This ratio can be changed. If you have a kitchen scale, it will be useful, but it is not required. When the cold brew concentrate is ready, you can re-dilute it to your preferred strength.

  • You will need 1 ounce (by weight) of coarsely ground coffee for every cup of water. That amounts to approximately 1/4 cup of whole coffee beans, which makes about 1/2 cup of ground coffee. Using the metric system, 1 ounce is equivalent to 28 grams.
  • Given that some of the water will be absorbed by the coffee grounds, the amount of concentrate you produce will be slightly less than the amount of water you used. Your final yield will double because you’re going to mix it with an equal amount of water. The mud is clear? What about coffee? Good.


In a standard 1-quart wide-mouth mason jar, let’s make cold brew coffee (affiliate link). You’ll put 3 ounces of coarsely ground coffee and 3 cups of water in the jar (or about 3/4 cup of whole coffee beans converted to 1 1/2 cups of coarsely ground coffee).

You will have enough cold brew concentrate after steeping and straining the mixture to make 5 cups of cold brew. You just made yourself enough coffee to get you through Monday through Friday!

  • Simply double the above amounts if you have a 2-quart jar.
  • Use 5 ounces of coffee (roughly 1 1/4 cups of whole coffee beans ground into about 2 1/2 cups of coarsely ground coffee) and 5 cups of water if you have an extra-large French press, as I do. You’ll have enough concentrate left over to make 8 1/2 cups of cold brew, or about 4 1/4 cups total.
  • Recommended Time for Steeping The time for steeping is also adjustable. Do what fits into your schedule; I’ve read suggestions for “overnight or 12 hours” and “at least 18 or up to 24 hours.” Cold brew from Starbucks steeps for 20 hours.

It’s okay if you unintentionally steeped yours for a longer period of time (even more than 24 hours). Although it might taste a little bit more bitter than it normally would, your concentrate is probably fine. You may want to add more water to dilute it because it might be too strong.

Also read: Apple & Carrot “Superhero” Muffins

Methods for Straining Cold Brew

After the coffee has finished steeping, you must strain the water to remove the coffee grounds. It is insufficient to use a fine-mesh sieve or French press filter (you will produce a murky, sluggish concentrate). The majority of techniques advise using cheese cloth, but I detest it! It’s challenging to work with and seems like such a waste.

I experimented with various alternatives and discovered two that really work. For illustrations of each, see my photos. Select one:

  • Use paper coffee filters that spread out like a round seashell when brewing coffee. These are known as “basket” filters. As opposed to a thicker material that would take a very long time to filter through, make sure your filter is made of very thin paper. I applied these filters.
  • old-fashioned handkerchief Yes, a cocktail napkin or any other small, thin, clean, lint-free cotton cloth will do. It ought to be big enough to drape over your sieve and cover it.
  •  My handkerchief is easy to wash and reusable, and I discovered it at the bottom of my photo props. However, don’t use your favorite white handkerchief because you might end up with a light coffee stain.
  • Simply put the coffee filter into a tiny, fine-mesh sieve or cover the sieve with cloth to strain. Pour the concentrate through it while holding it over a pitcher or liquid measuring cup. I’m done now!


  • 3.0 ounces (85 grams) Coffee that has been coarsely ground, or roughly 1 12 cups* of whole coffee beans converted to coarse coffee.
  • three water cups (filtered water if you have it)


  1. Coffee and water should both be combined in a 1-quart wide-mouth mason jar. To combine, stir. The coffee grounds seem to get more water exposure this way, so I like to let my mixture rest for about 5 minutes before stirring it again.
  2. Your container should be sealed with a lid and kept chilled for 12 to 18 hours.
  3. Place a small, thin cotton napkin, cloth, or handkerchief over a small fine-mesh sieve when you’re ready to strain your cold brew. Through the sieve you’ve prepared, pour the concentrate into a pitcher or liquid measuring cup. Allow it to rest for a while so that the last of the cold brew can seep in.
  4. A glass should be half-filled with water and ice before being served. Next, pour the cold brew concentrate into the remaining space in the glass and stir to combine. Although I believe the first week is when the flavor is at its best, cold brew concentrate keeps well in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


*MEASUREMENT NOTE: These are ounces by weight, not by volume. This is always the case with non-liquid measurements. “1 ½ cups coarsely-ground coffee” is the least exact measurement I can offer (the volume of the ground coffee depends on the exact coarseness of your grind)—but it will work. Just adjust the concentrate-to-water ratio to suit your liking as your pour your glass of cold brew and you’re all good.