Learn how to make your own cold brew at home using a French press coffee maker! Skip buying a special cold brew coffee maker and use this easy recipe instead!
Cold brewing coffee at home may sound intimidating, but it’s actually really simple with a French press!
This is pretty much the easiest way to make cold brew at home. The brewing method is a lot easier than traditional cold brew methods because it brews and filters the coffee at the same time!
Now one of the main reasons that people choose cold brew over hot brew is that cold brew tends to be smoother and less acidic-tasting than regular coffee. Here’s a video where I taste tested hot brew coffee vs. cold brew coffee in case you’re interested in my opinion on that!
Ingredients and Equipment:
Okay. To make cold brew in a French press coffee maker, here’s everything you’ll need:
- Cold Water (room-temperature will also work): You’re not going to use hot water for this recipe. Instead, use cold or room temperature water. If your tap water is chlorinated, it’s best to opt for filtered water.
- Coarsely Ground Coffee: I suggest selecting a darker roast. Using a dark roast can actually cut back on the acidic taste even more. But you can definitely use a light roast coffee if you prefer! Now of course (ha!) if you use a high-quality coffee, the final cold brew flavor will be superior.
- French Press: If you’re going to be making a single serving of cold brew each day, you’ll only need to purchase a small French press. But if you’d prefer to make up a bigger batch a couple times a week, you’ll want to opt for a larger French press. This is the copper French press I own.
How to Grind Coffee for Cold Brew:
For the most fresh tasting cold brew, you can purchase whole beans that have just been roasted and grind them yourself right before starting the extraction process.
You’ll want to grind your coffee beans coarsely.
If you don’t own a coffee grinder at home, you can always purchase your coffee from a grocery store that has a grinder that allows you to adjust the grind size.
Or you can purchase from a local coffee shop and ask them to use a coarse grind.
Pre-ground coffee will also work, but make sure it’s coarsely ground!
How to Make Cold Brew in a French Press:
The brewing process is sooooo easy!
Okay, place 1 ounce of coarse ground coffee in the base of your French press.
Next, pour 1 cup of cold or room temp water over the coffee grounds.
Then stir everything well with a spoon.
Finally, place the lid on top (without plunging it down), and set aside and let the coffee steep for 10 to 20 hours. Of course how long the cold brew steeps will affect the strength of the final coffee.
You could stir together the cold brew mixture the night before, and then it will be ready for your iced coffee in the morning.
After the coffee has brewed for 10 to 20 hours, push down the French press plunger.
I love this way of making cold brew because it doesn’t require any special equipment: just a French press!
Do you Need to Strain the Cold Brew?
Now I find that the French press filters out the coffee grounds nicely. But if you’re finding that too many of the grounds get through, or you’re getting some sludge at the bottom of your cup, you can always strain the coffee through cheese cloth or a coffee filter (aka paper filter).
Place a fine mesh strainer over a mason jar, line it with the cheesecloth or coffee filter, and pour the cold brew through it.
Cold Brew French Press Recipe:
Just remember the water ratio: for every 1 ounce of coarsely ground coffee, use 1 cup of water and brew for 10 to 20 hours.
In other words, you use 1 part coffee to 8 to 8.3 parts water by weight.
Feel free to double, triple, or quadruple this cold brew recipe if you want to make a big batch of cold brew. For example, you could use 2 cups of water and 2 ounces of coffee, or 3 cups water and 3 ounces of coffee.
This makes a classic cold brew.
For more of a cold brew coffee concentrate, you can adjust how much coffee you use. Use 1.5 to 2 ounces of ground coffee for every 1 cup of water to make a cold brew concentrate. That will make some strong coffee!
Pour the coffee over some ice, add sweetener to your preferences, and top with cream, oat milk, almond milk, cold foam, or sweet cream, and you’re good to go.
What to Do with Cold Brew:
Now seasoned cold brew lovers will probably already have their favorite recipes down pat. But here are some ideas for different ways to use it for cold brew newbies!
- Pumpkin Cold Foam
- Sweet Cream Cold Foam
- Honey Cinnamon Iced Latte
- Toasted Coconut Shakerato
More Coffee Recipes:
- How to Make a Mocha Latte
- Oat Milk Latte
- Healthy Dalgona Coffee
- Starbucks Bottled Frappuccino Recipe
- Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso
- Mocha Frappuccino Recipe
- Dirty Chai Latte
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
Studies about cold brew acidity:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-34392-w https://www.foodandwine.com/news/hot-and-cold-brew-coffee-difference-science https://wokelark.com/is-cold-brew-less-acidic-coffee-ph/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6207714/
Why is Cold Brew Coffee Less Acidic? Here Are the Facts