How to Make Cold-Brewed Coffee

And why it's different from iced coffee.

May 17, 2019
Photo by James Ransom

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Maybe you wait for the summer months to enjoy your coffee over ice. Or maybe you're someone who has iced coffee all year round. Either way, for coffee fans, there's no denying how refreshing an iced coffee can be when the weather warms up. But buying a cup of cold brew from the local coffee shop every day adds up, which is why we like to make ours at home—and it couldn't be easier.

But first, what's the difference between iced coffee and cold brew? Cold-brewed coffee (or just cold brew) is like iced coffee’s cooler sibling. They’re made of the same stuff, but one’s a little more “in”—and one’s well-known and loved, but a bit passé. Dare we say it: Cold brew is the summer beverage—caffeinated and cold, two adjectives you and your money can get behind.

The main difference between cold brew and iced coffee involves temperature and how you make it. That is, cold brew is brewed cold and never heated, while iced coffee is normal coffee that's brewed hot and then cooled down. For more detail on how this affects taste, concentration, and all that coffee jazz, see below.

Here are a few things that transformed cold brew from alternative iced coffee to ubiquitous coffee shop darling (and why we’re all about it):

  • Lower acidity level: The grounds aren’t subjected to the intense heat of boiling water, making the chemical profile of the final brew different than that of conventionally brewed or drip coffee. Lower acidity creates a smoother cup that’s mellower on the stomach. Similarly, rapidly cooling hot coffee yields a slightly bitter taste. Cold brew’s lower acidity means it naturally tastes sweeter.
  • Watery problems, no more: Ever poured hot coffee over ice? Then you’re familiar with diluted coffee. And watery coffee is sad. Cold brew puts the dilution in your hands. Since it’s already cold or at room temperature, the addition of ice or added water is entirely optional.
  • A more caffeinated cup: While caffeine is more soluble and extracts more easily at higher temperatures, cold brew’s high bean-to-water ratio and longer brew time give it more buzz. Add milk or cream to temper intensity, if you like.

While iced coffee’s expensive, cold brew’s even pricier when you're buying it at coffee shops. It’s an issue, though, with an easy solution: Make cold brew at home—in 3 steps. It can be done in any sort of large container, French press, or even a Mason jar (there’s also specific cold-brewing contraptions, if this is going to be your new morning drink). Really, if it holds coffee and water, you can cold brew in it. We’re focusing on the container and French press methods because those are the contraptions we (and likely you) use most and will readily have around. Here’s why cold-brewing might just be the easiest coffee method out there:


The ratio of coffee grounds to water is subjective and depends on personal taste. A good place to start is to grind 3/4 cup beans for 4 cups of cold water—the size of a 32-ounce French press. You can double—with 1.5 cups beans for 8 cups water—or even triple the quantities depending on the size of your container. Next, grind the beans very coarsely. We mean it. A smaller grind will result in cloudy coffee.

Soak and wait (and wait, and wait…)

Put the coffee in your container, which can be plastic, glass, or ceramic and doesn’t need to have a lid. The container should be deep enough to hold the coffee and water and light enough you can pick the whole thing up to strain. For a French press, pour the coffee into the bottom of the canister. For both a container or a French press, gradually add the water. Stir gently, making sure all the coffee grounds are moistened.

If using a large container, cover the top with cheesecloth. For a French press, place the top on (but don’t press down on the plunger). Let stand at room temperature for at least 12 hours. Don’t rush this. The long steep time is important for proper extraction.


If you’re using a container, take the cheesecloth from the top of the container and use it to line a fine mesh sieve set over a large pitcher (or bowl or whatever else you’d like to store your cold brew in). Pour the coffee through the sieve, waiting a minute or two until the coffee’s filtered out, and discard solids and cheesecloth.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I have been brewing cold coffee for a long time. I preffer a coffe that is clear and free from clouds. I have found the for me perfect solution. Maybe it will become yours too. Find a large jar or a food thermos. I use the later, so easy to pur from when the brew is done. Buy a pair of knee-high nylon stockings. The best ones are those that are silky and run free. Place the grind in the stocking and tie. dunk the whole thing in your water and leave. when the brew is ready, just remove the stocking. The stocking can be used forever. just rinse it Note, do not use any detergent. just rinse and dry. After this I slowly decanter my brew into recycled bottles and place them in the fridge. No messing with filtering. Hurray. Greetings from the Swedish Coffee Bean”
— lenaeke

For the French press, simply press down on the plunger to move grounds to the bottom. Pour.

That’s it! You have cold brew. The concentrate will keep for up to 2 weeks covered and chilled in the fridge. Add ice, milk, or your other favorite coffee things and enjoy.

Have a method for making cold brew you'd like to share? Tell us in the comments below!

Written by Amelia Vottero and Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm. Photos by James Ransom. Video by Mark Weinberg.

This post originally ran on July 8, 2015, but we're re-running one of our summertime favorites because cold brew really is the easiest coffee method out there—as simple as one, two, steep.

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Maureen B. July 5, 2019
I’ve been drinking cold brews coffee for about 2years now—rarely drink hot. I love and use the Cold Brew Toddy Maker (bought for around $35 on Amazon). Comes with reusable filter that fits in bottom of “bucket” that has a rubber stopper on the bottom, as well as a glass carafe with lid. I layer 3 cups water, 6 oz coarsely ground coffee beans, another 3 cups and another 6 oz beans, pouring water over coffee in a spiral to fully wet beans. Wait 4 minutes and add 4 cups of water, for a total of 10 cups water, 12 oz. coarse ground coffee. Cover with foil and let sit on counter for 24 hrs. Remove rubber stopper and place “bucket” (fits perfectly over included glass carafe) and gravity works its magic as the perfect cold brew flows into the carafe. Makes enough for a week. I dilute 1 part concentrate to 3 parts water for a perfect 16 oz beverage. Even mull in some fresh mint, 2% and a little Stevia for a real treat:-)
Linda V. June 11, 2019
I’ve been drinking cold brew for a couple of years. Have to drink decaf - it’s a heart thing - and discovered Barrie House decaf by accident. It’s the best decaf cold brew I’ve ever tried. Velvety chocolate notes that are sublime (especially from a decaf). Now I can really enjoy a cup of coffee again!
Mark P. May 27, 2019
We found Civilized Coffee Cold Brew African Blend on Amazon . It has a larger grind and produces amazing flavors ( and my wife loves their packaging)
Margaret N. September 8, 2018

When My Coffee Container is
Down to 1/4 full
Then I fill it with Water &
Steep 24 hours room temp.
24 Hours Steep Best.
jvallas December 7, 2018
So that’s basically a 1:3 ratio, just to point out the obvious for people who might find that too strong. I like the idea of just using your remaining grounds and container!
Jen September 1, 2018
I always have fine grounds at the bottom of my cup is this normal?
Margaret N. September 8, 2018
Yes, fine grind will find its way through.
If it bothers you...
Filter twice & Finer filter,
ie paper after cloth.

Try coarser grind,
although I believe all grinds end up w fine dusting.

Harrison April 7, 2019
I discovered a one micron filter material that I filter my cold-brewed grounds from the water. The supplier is Duda Energy, LLC. It comes in a large sheet - which I then cut down to fit into an old Black & Decker Brew'nGo filter I kept around. I rinse the filtration material and let it drip-dry after each use; it is ready for easy re-use the next morning. To fully clean the filtration material, I've found that using the high-pressure water spray nozzle that comes out of the sink spray device does the trick perfectly.
Product Name: 1 Yard Sheet of Polyester Filter Media, 72" width, 36" Length, 1 Sheet per quantity, 1 Micron (+$1.50)
. Unit Price: $12.75
Monica July 8, 2018
I make cold brew and I found these cylindrical metal mesh filters that fit into the mouth of a large mason jar. I use 1 - 1/4 c of coffee and about 7 c of water and let it sit overnight. Then you just remove the mesh cylinder and vwah-lah! Ya got yerself a mason jar of concentrated cold press, man!
Margaret N. September 8, 2018
Where to buy metal mesh?
Susan M. January 2, 2019
Look up County Line Kitchen, Mason jar brewery infuser - I got a large one that was maybe $30, seems sleek and simple, and it had a lot of good reviews :)
LULULAND July 6, 2018
I use the magic coffee recipe here. Awesome. I make it in a glass container, 2/3 cup of coarsely ground beans, and 4 cups of water. I grind cinnamon sticks, 1teaspoon, and add 2 tablespoons brown sugar, or organic palm sugar. Let it sit overnight, strain. I add ice cubes in a tall glass, pour it 3/4 full and about 1-2 tablespoons organic half and half. Wow it is good! I have also used already store bought already ground coffee, it turns out fine. Little bits of coffee grounds in up in my glass, but I don't care. Great!
Monica July 8, 2018
I found these cylindrical metal mesh filters on Amazon that fit in a large mason jar, like a core. You just pull em out and rinse them (they're reusable) and you've got ground-free, mess-free coffee. No straining, just sweet, sweet caffeination. They're cheap too. I think I paid ten bucks for two.
Hansie March 28, 2018
1:5 Coffee:Water in a mason jar when I knock off. Use aeropresso when I get to work next morning.
Timothy M. March 28, 2018
Ok wait what? That’s brilliant. I’m going to try that tomorrow. Does it come out gritty???
Hansie March 28, 2018
Medium grind + paper filter doesn't come out gritty. I do prefer sweeter taste of coarse grind soaked for two days pressed through cheesecloth but Aeropress is way more convenient.
Timothy M. March 28, 2018
I’ve got some brewing now. I put my handheld burr grinder to where it literally cuts the beans into 2-3 pieces and put it in mason jars.
Manda R. October 29, 2017
Can you warm up cold brew coffee if you decided you wanted it warm but want to keep the acidity low?
Timothy M. October 30, 2017
Yep, just add hot water when you are diluting it instead of ice and cold water.
Kira J. October 15, 2017
Where are these amazing 2 liter plastic containers from?
mark May 8, 2018
If you haven't found any info on those containers, they look like a standard restaurant style food storage container, probably Cambro
Kira J. May 8, 2018
Thanks Mark!
Michelle M. October 3, 2017
it is basically your preference on strength. I use 2 1/2 cups course ground per gal water, put in muslin bag and drop into water, leave set on counter for a day the put in frig.
Alice P. October 2, 2017
The proportions I use are 1 cup of ground coffee to 4 1/2 cups of water. Cold brew is somewhat of a concentrate so it might be strong, but if you drink it iced there is no need to add any water to it when drinking. The ice will do that for you.
James October 2, 2017
I am new to this cold brew. I have a 12 oz bag of ground coffee so how many cups of water should I put in my gallon container to let it steep for 24 hours. I hate strong coffee and weak ones. Any help with this in the water?
James October 15, 2017
No comments to this post, nut I think I found the right amount os water and it was great. To the 11 Oz bag I put in 10 cups of cold water and let it set 19 hours. I strained the coffee and water twice and it made 2 quarts and 1/4 cup of concentrate and placed it in the fridge until the next day. Really good and smooth after putting in half and half 4 Oz's alone with coffee ice cubes and chocolate syrup.
Barbara R. September 4, 2017
Oh, my! Great entry! I hadn't realized how simple cold brew coffee can be! But I did manage to overlook that it brews up a concentrate! I have been brewing an 8:1 ratio, so basically a slight dilute, and I drink it black. Very smooth. And finding out I could just concoct it in my $10 IKEA French press, with cold filtered water from the fridge - win/win! Now the only problem is remembering to put it together the night before! Thank you for posting this!
Benandbrad W. September 4, 2017
made 4 quarts this morning. hope it comes out good.
DD August 29, 2017
Incredible recipe! I used a ratio of 4:1 (water to coffee) using the beans I purchased from Ikea! (yeah, that Ikea) It was simple to prepare, exciting to wait for and delicious with semi-skimmed milk from La Fresca (a local brand here). The aroma is rich and it is very smooth to drink (because of low acidity maybe?). Thanks a bunch.
Teri July 23, 2019
Silly question but when you say 4:1 ratio, is that measured in whole beans or ground coffee?
ollie August 28, 2017
This recipe is using a ratio that's close to 5:1 (water to coffee grounds), which means it's a cold brew concentrate. The Toddy concentrate is about 4:1. Either way, you'll want to dilute this about 1:1.

Most cold brew ratios are around 10:1 to 14:1 once they're diluted. Traditional hot coffee is about 16:1, just for reference.

Another option that I found is to buy cold brew bags. That way you don't have to deal with grinding, straining, or messing with ratios. The ratio they use is 10:1 so it's ready to drink, but you can also dilute it if you want. I found some I like from Cold Coffee Co. ( Worth checking out if you struggle with cold brew like me.
Chris V. March 2, 2018
Are you sure traditional coffee is 16:1?
I'm running through some calculations, and I think the 5:1 for cold brew here is regarding volume, but it seems the 16:1 you mentioned for traditional coffee may be regarding mass...
Here is my main reference for data, a nice chart with volumes and masses of coffee and water:
Chris V. March 2, 2018
And according to this website, if I'm correct we're dealing with volumes here as the cold brew is 5:1, then the standard brewing ratio is 6:1 (volume)... or ~16:1 (mass)
gaysunboy August 21, 2017
I'm not seeing the suggestion on diluting the concentrate for drinkable coffee. I know I can read, so did I miss something?
suzygregory August 21, 2017
No, I don't think it is super clear in the directions. I am doing 1/2 concentrate, 1/2 hot (or cold) water. Plenty strong, but you will find your own favorite ratio. Cheers!
gaysunboy August 21, 2017
Thank you ma'am. Seems a blog post on an item should be clear from beginning to end.
Margaret N. September 8, 2018
Apparently you missed
· 2nd Bold Print Bullet!
"· Watery problems, no more
Cold brew puts the dilution in your hands."
Margaret N. September 8, 2018
It is quite clear.
Watery problems, no more

Dilution in your hands.
Justin August 5, 2017
I've been brewing mine in the fridge for 24 hours. I'll try at room temperature.

Wouldn't the cloudy coffee from finely ground beans be more of the goodness of the coffee compounds?
Chuck August 29, 2017
This is what I was thinking. You own a french press but don't like cloudy coffee? That doesn't make any sense at all.
Sharon V. July 22, 2017
I've been trying to drink coffee for years because everyone else does. Finally, I discovered cold brew. Smooth. Never bitter. The easiest is a tall stainless steel strainer (like the smaller "permanent" filers for coffee makers) for the coffee. It sits in a large mason jar, pitcher, or a Chemex. I'm glad to hear how long it lasts. Now I can have coffee ready for guests.
suzygregory July 13, 2017
Can the writer clarify if this "concentrate" should be diluted for those of us that enjoy black coffee? Thanks!
Timothy M. July 13, 2017
Yes. Dilute it by about 50% - 75% depending on how strong you like your coffee. If you want to drink it hot then just use hot water to dilute it.
suzygregory July 13, 2017
Thanks! ;)
chefrockyrd July 13, 2017
Does anyone know what the slice of cake is in the first shot? It looks great.
Judy S. July 13, 2017
I've had a cold brew toddy maker for over 30 years... before it was cool! You can also add hot water to the brew for an incredibly smooth cup of hot coffee! Enjoy!
Paul F. June 16, 2018
I bought one of these at a yard sale about 12 years ago - right before Cold Brew really started taking off. Everyone thought the caraffe of concentrate I kept in my work fridge was bizarre.
maria July 12, 2017
P.S. Good suggestion about using the coffee grounds in the garden or indoor pots if you don't have a garden. Also, coffee grounds will absorb smells; keep a container in the fridge or even in the bathroom with a few drops of essential oils.
maria July 12, 2017
Thanks to Amelia, Riddley, James and Mark: for the easy steps and for the great photos and video. I have several different blends of coffee in my freezer which now makes me eager to try this method! Sure beats paying big bucks at the overpriced coffee shops. I would avoid using plastic; glass is the best to give a pure flavour..... I'm sure everyone must have glass jars
around!! To BEEJAY 45: WHY would you suggest closing this thread? I'm sure there's lots of people like me who haven't seen this article before, and learning about the different products which are being used is helpful. I'm sure we can all make up our minds and aren't going to rush out to buy what is being suggested. Lighten up!
beejay45 July 23, 2017
Oh, I'm not worried that people will rush out to buy anything, it's just annoying to see a reply to a thread I have commented on and have it be the same cold brew thread. Which would be okay, but there was a period earlier in the life of this thread when the ads were totally blatant, with no comment other than delicious! with a link and blurb to a product. I'm sure we can all recognize comment spam when we see it, but this thread seems to have garnered more than its fair share. ;)
Ken July 12, 2017
Okay, I admit it. I'm frugal. I mix my brew in a plastic food storage container and filter the deliciousness using my Chemex.
Chusana July 12, 2017
I highly recommend the TAKEYA Cold Brew pitcher. It has a filter that screws into the lid. Easy-Peasy!!! Get it at Target/Amazon/Costco. I was lucky enough to find a large one at my local thrift store - $2.00!!!!! SCORE!!!
josh R. July 12, 2017
This is missing a crucial step: mixing ration of 1:1 for concentrate; the article acts like you can just pour your finished cold brew into a cup and drink it. That would not only be a waste but also pretty strong.
Andreas D. July 13, 2017
I was just about to say the same thing. This is a concentrate, not the finsihed drink.
beejay45 July 12, 2017
Can someone please close this thread to comments??? There probably haven't been anything but borderline subtle ads for products for sale in years!!!!
Ellen W. July 12, 2017
Not sure what you're talking about. Mine was not an "subtle ad". I honestly found this product and thought I was sharing it with people who honestly might benefit from it. And I enjoy reading how people are making their coffee.
beejay45 July 12, 2017
I guess that's what I meant by a subtle ad. ;) There are a lot of more blatant adspam ones in the pack. This thread has gone on so long that people are mostly reiterating product recommendations. Not really my decision to make, but I just got tired of seeing the same things again and again. It's been going on for years now. No intention to offend anyone. ;)
Trish B. July 23, 2017
Don't like it? Don't read it.
beejay45 July 23, 2017
I stopped reading this thread ages ago, except when I was feeling cranky one day and came back to post the above comment...and respond to yours. If I weren't worried that unchecking the "send me emails" option would stop all emails relating to threads I have commented on, I would have done that *literally* years ago.
DeAnn S. July 12, 2017
Don't toss the grounds! Scatter them in your flowerbeds or pots.
jdeprima July 12, 2017
I haven't read all the comments, so maybe someone else has already said this: my favorite cold-brew secret is to put two or three fresh mint leaves into the mixture to steep (I just give them a stir---no crushing or chopping), then discard them when I strain. You can't really detect a mint flavor, but it makes the concentrate even smoother tasting.
Ellen W. July 12, 2017
I have been using this method for a few years and absolutely love it! I discovered this funnel setup and it works great. I make 8 quarts at a time so this is awesome!
Anna P. July 12, 2017
We've been using the Toddy for years and years. This is the only large quantity piece of equipment I've seen (affordably priced), that seems like it'd work great! Thanks for sharing!!
Brenda S. July 12, 2017
OMG how awesome. I am sooooo buying this. I strain cold brew and chicken stock through all muslin towels and my own funnel 'system', which can get a bit dicey. This is a perfect set up and well priced with a 20% off coupon BBB coupon. thanks!
Nicole H. June 6, 2017
This method is fantastic! I tried it last night to make coffee for this morning. As a person that just had a cold brew coffee from Starbucks within the last week, I can say this tastes exactly the same! I used a french press (that happens to be what we use to make coffee when we are camping) and it worked like a dream. So easy and delicious! Thank you for demystifying cold brew for me!
BakerRB May 30, 2017
I really dislike coffee grounds, no matter how fine, so I strain through a cloth bag then through a coffee filter. Using only a filter was very slow (maybe because I have small ones for my coffee pot), but the coarse then fine method is quick and effective.
saracooks May 27, 2017
I had a dedicated flour sack towel that lined my strainer. Just shook the strained grounds into the garden, let the towel dry, shook out remaining grounds and tossed it in the laundry. Did this for years before the Toddy came along.
tastysweet May 26, 2017
I was told to put the coffee in refrig to brew. My cold brew ice tea is left on the counter till ready.
I add cinnamon to the grounds and a pinch of salt before brewing.
Also, sometimes I make coffee ice cubes so is doesn't dilute the brew. Brooklyn Water Bagel, which has stores on the East Coast of Florida, has the coffee ice cubes in their machine. BTW, great fabulous bagels, especially the russian pumpernickel. We have to drive from Bonita Springs, FL over to the east coast just to buy them.
Starbucks has the nerve to charge for the coffee cubes. They are testing them I hear in Maryland and some other state.
Christine May 25, 2017
I have to deal with migraines almost daily. Caffeine is one of my triggers. I can handle chocolate & regular tea, but not regular coffee. It tends to take the fun out of going to a brand name coffee shop. Is the process the same for de-caffeinated coffee?
BakerRB May 30, 2017
Yes! I use decaf to make my cold brew and it tastes much better to me than when I brew decaf for hot coffee.
Valerie C. July 2, 2017
Not only does decaf work (been doing this for years), but Starbucks also has wonderful decaf :)
I have cold brewed in the refrigerator. Have you compared the 2 techniques?
Boomdog02 May 25, 2017
Done this many times: another way to measure is with ground coffee: 1 Tablespoon per 1 cup H20. Works really well.
Lisa M. May 25, 2017
I use a wide mouth mason jar . And make little bags of coffee grounds tied with cotton string. How many I use per jar is how strong I want it. Nothing to strain just fish out the bags when you think it's the right strength.
Alice P. May 21, 2017
I make my own cold brew using decaf coffee as I can't have (a lot of) caffeine and there are no commercial brands or coffee shops that cold brew decaf. I know it's a buzzkill but hey, a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do. Still gives a smooth cup of cold brew!
Christine May 25, 2017
Thank you, Alice Rittberg Palombo. You're a lifesaver! I suffer from migraines. Caffeine is only one of my triggers. 😭 Again, thank you for your input!
Jennie May 11, 2017
Use a nut bag! It's a mesh bag for making nut milks, i.e. almond milk. I found mine at WF. I use 2 cups with about 2.5 quart pitcher of water (I use a tea pitcher) and it's perfect. The bag cleans up easily with soap and water. Cold brew is great for taking camping or to games because it just keeps in the cooler. I get my Pleasant Morning buzz. :)
Deena B. May 5, 2017
The French press works great. I put about a cup of grounds in the 8 cup Bodum and fill with cool water. Set the top on, but don't plunge. Put in the fridge overnight. Plunge in the a.m., and voila!
David M. May 2, 2017
I use a 2.5 quart pickle jar and a cold brew bag that came with my cold brew coffee beans, I like it strong, so I use 2 cups of ground coffee in the 2.5 quart jar for 12 hours. I I have a selection of beans (cold brew and regular) and all taste delicious. This method might be a little strong for the casual coffee drinker, but you can always add water to weaken it if you wish.
PHIL April 28, 2017
My wife buys coffee from Brooklyn roasting company , she makes it hot, whatever she doesn't use I put in the fridge. Does that make me a bad person? I have to say its as good a any ice coffee I have bought without all the work. Also, I like to drop a espresso shot on top sometimes.
X May 21, 2017
Nah--you're not a bad guy. I can't tell the difference between cold brew and regular coffee myself. Besides, cold brewing uses way to much coffee grounds for my budget, so I just make a pot of coffee on the stove in an old fashioned percolater and let it sit till it comes to room temperature. Then I pour it into a glass milk bottle and stick it in the fridge. Tastes great and easy clean-up.
witloof April 27, 2017
Actually it lasts a whole lot longer than two weeks. I make two huge batches every summer, one at the beginning of June and one in mid July, and it lasts for at least 6 weeks. I store it in half gallon mason jars.
Michele S. April 28, 2017
Do you use the Toddy ?
Valeigh April 17, 2017
I LOVE me some bitter-free, sweet, smooth and clear cold brew concentrate! I just can't stomach spending so much money at artisanal shops for it, when it actuality it is simpler and stays fresher than brewing hot coffee al day. DIY homemade methods can be quite messy though. After experimenting A LOT I found Toddy home brew system for $40 (on their site, or Amazon) and love it!! Super easy to make and clean-up. Put your grounds in your garden everyone! Enjoy!
Chris G. April 16, 2017
J Actually you put some quantity of grounds in cold water and let it steep for at least 8 hours! (I used a pound of grounds to a gallon of water). Otherwise you were to just pour it through, you would just be making cold coffee. But then again, my method made an "extract" that I filtered and would add "x" amount to a cup of hot water! (the amount to suit the strength of the coffee I wanted to drink) the advantage to this process is the oils and acids are left behind because you brewing with cold water! I explained what my process was about two years ago. It was less than comment 100 I think!
J April 1, 2017
I'm very interested in cold brew. However, if I may give some constructive criticism, the steps are convoluted and unclear. I'm going to have to go to another article, because I can't tell if I need to mix grounds with water and let it sit, or pour water through grounds and let it sit. You might think about rewording parts of it.
SMSF May 30, 2017
The video shows the process clearly. Ground coffee and water are mixed together, then allowed to sit/steep.
Michelle M. March 10, 2017
Benjamin that sounds ds intresting please let us know if you try it
beau September 22, 2016
I use a gadget called Fridge Barista it was on Kickstarter. It is hands down easiest to use & clean.
Carol A. September 8, 2016
There's more than one way to make cold brew coffee and I've been using my Mr. Coffee 12 cup coffee maker. No, I did not plug it in and brew it. I put my expresso roast coffee in a quart Mason jar with cold filtered water and leave it in my fridge for 12 to 24 hours. I then put a paper coffee filter under the permanent filter basket, put the permanent basket in and then put another paper coffee filter in the basket. I then pour the coffee from the mason jar into the coffee basket to filter it. Make sure you have the coffee decanter under there to catch the coffee. The paper coffee filters filter out the silt and keeps the coffee maker cleaner. It is ready to drink immediately. I absolutely love my cold brewed coffee. I thought of buying a fancy cold brew system but why when I already have something to make it with. The paper filters were 200 for $1.28, so why waste good money on an expensive cold brew system?
ed August 30, 2016
I've been measuring 8 oz of coarsley ground Coscto French Press coffee mixed with a gallon of clean filtered water, let it set on the counter overnight, stays bitter with only 8 hrs-maybe I should try more time?
Punchy March 16, 2017
French Roast is too dark. Try cold brewing with a medium roast coffee.
Michelle M. August 17, 2016
I use a muslin bags! love it better then straining then take grounds and put in my garden and potted plants.
lori August 16, 2016
I have been using The Pioneer Woman's recipe: 2 gallons cold water and 1 l coffee, steeped on the counter for 8 hours, then strained through cheesecloth. I am gonna try the nut bag method next time; the only downside to my process is the straining, so hope this works. I am now a cold brew addict for the summer; my poor Keurig is collecting dust!
Sheri August 16, 2016
That's why I do the nutmilk bag method. Much easier to wring out the bag, then filter the coffee. I find filtering with the paper filters leaves a paper taste, that I don't get with the nutmilk bag.
shy August 16, 2016
Ana A. August 10, 2016
You're more likely to get cancer if you eat meat and cheese rather than drink cold brewed coffee; coffee has a lot health benefits then eating chicken and process dairy cheese. also you are contributing to harming an animal killing a life by eating chicken. You're not helping the economic status of our country either
cattyb August 10, 2016
Don't feed the trolls, Dear. ;-)
Christelle November 20, 2016
You are an awful person. Ranching and farming are essential to our economy. Meat is awesome.
ArlisT January 14, 2017
If God didn't mean for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?
SeaTreasure March 1, 2017
Don't forget you are made out of meat too...should we eat you?
ArlisT March 1, 2017
Unlike vegetarians, who are a tiny minority of humans, I think pretty much everyone is in agreement that cannibalism is wrong, so the answer to your question would be 'No, you should not eat me. Or any other human, for that matter.' I only Jeffry Dahmer had asked me that in time. Oh well. At least I have saved *you* from making a terrible mistake. They put you in jail for eating people. Don't forget that.
lenaeke July 26, 2016
I have been brewing cold coffee for a long time. I preffer a coffe that is clear and free from clouds. I have found the for me perfect solution. Maybe it will become yours too. Find a large jar or a food thermos. I use the later, so easy to pur from when the brew is done. Buy a pair of knee-high nylon stockings. The best ones are those that are silky and run free. Place the grind in the stocking and tie. dunk the whole thing in your water and leave. when the brew is ready, just remove the stocking. The stocking can be used forever. just rinse it Note, do not use any detergent. just rinse and dry. After this I slowly decanter my brew into recycled bottles and place them in the fridge. No messing with filtering. Hurray.
Greetings from the Swedish Coffee Bean
jennifer August 1, 2016
Great idea! I like my coffee crystal clear as well. I make cold brew from time to time - I have a nut bag that I use for almond milk - do you think I could use this in the same capacity as the stocking?
lenaeke July 26, 2016
I have been brewing cold coffee for a long time. I preffer a coffe that is clear and free from clouds. I have found the for me perfect solution. Maybe it will become yours too. Find a large jar or a food thermos. I use the later, so easy to pur from when the brew is done. Buy a pair of knee-high nylon stockings. The best ones are those that are silky and run free. Place the grind in the stocking and tie. dunk the whole thing in your water and leave. when the brew is ready, just remove the stocking. The stocking can be used forever. just rinse it Note, do not use any detergent. just rinse and dry. After this I slowly decanter my brew into recycled bottles and place them in the fridge. No messing with filtering. Hurray.
Greetings from the Swedish Coffee Bean
BuckeyeBeth July 16, 2016
I have read through all of the comments for this wonderful article but can't find an answer to this question.
Is there a reason why everyone is saying you should let the coffee steep at room temperature instead of in the refrigerator? Does the cold effect/impede the steeping process or are both ways completely fine?
Jade W. October 12, 2016
I've been wondering the same thing. I let it steep in the fridge too, but that's how I've always done it not realizing everyone else was steeping at room temp. Any chance you found an answer to whether it makes a difference in taste?
ArlisT January 14, 2017
I've read brew it 16 hours on the counter, or 24 hours in the fridge.
Kenzi W. May 19, 2017
I've done it both ways too! And they both work—the fridge took slightly longer for me as well.
Michelle M. July 2, 2016
I steep on counter for a day then refrigate it. sometimes I just leave the muslin bag with grounds in gal jug in frig for a day or 2 VERY INTENSE
Barbara July 2, 2016
I've been using the bags from Grady's for a year now and love them--so easy and I like the chicory. One question I do have, though. I always put the bag and water right in the fridge and let it steep there for about 24 hours. I've always been happy with this but wonder if it would be better if I let it steep at room temperature and THEN refrigerate. I'd be interested in any feedback.
ArlisT January 14, 2017
24 hours in the fridge is right, or you can brew it on the counter at room temp for 16 hours.
Naomi G. May 21, 2016
I’ve been lazy over the years and only bought bottled cold brew from my favourite local coffee roaster (Dispatch in Montreal — try their affogato on your next visit!). Anyway, they temporarily stopped selling their small format takeaway bottles, so I figure I’ll take a stab at making cold brew at home using the NYT recipe*. Do you think I could use a plastic pour-over brew cone** lined with a coffee filter for the "press" step of the recipe? I wasn’t sure if it would work, or if the coffee needs to be passed through a sieve lined with some sort of a filter. Thanks!
**I have this one:
Del May 26, 2016
I use something like this: You just put coffee and cold water then stick it in the fridge for 12 hours. Take out the filter and flavor to your taste. :)
Naomi G. May 27, 2016
Interesting! Thanks Del!
Naomi G. July 2, 2016
FYI... Just wanted to let you know that using a plastic pour-over brew cone lined with a coffee filter works great for the "Press" step of this method. In fact, we only pass it through the filter once, not twice.
Neal E. May 10, 2016
To filter, put the coffee in a paper filter, then tie the filter. Put the paper filter in a nut bag and tie that. Place the coffee in it's "cold brew bag" in a pitcher large enough to hold it and the amount of water you want. Let it sit for 12 hours. Remove the bag and squeeze it out. Done.
lm June 28, 2016
To Neal Edwards: You've got the right idea. Paper coffee filters are inexpensive as is the butcher's twine. Putting the coffee filter in an inexpensive nut bag in cold water avoids buying new equipment that requires replacement filters etc.
Timothy M. May 1, 2016
Venti Iced coffee at Starbucks is $2.95 and Venti Cold Brew is $3.25. So, "While iced coffee is expensive cold brew is even pricier when you are buying it at coffee shops" means: even though iced coffee is expensive cold brew costs even more when you buy it in a store.

Not sure what part of that is confusing but hope this helps.
Keith W. May 1, 2016
"While iced coffee’s expensive, cold brew’s even pricier when you're buying it at coffee shops." This sentence makes no sense...Proofread.
Sam C. May 2, 2016
Iced coffee and cold brew are two different things. Buying cold brew coffee at a Starbucks costs more than hot coffee poured over ice.
Pisanella May 6, 2016
Made sense to me...
SueHeck July 3, 2016
While iced coffee is expensive, cold brew is even pricier when you buy it at a coffee shop.
Timothy M. April 24, 2016
Here is what I did; I bought 12, 1 quart Mason jars for $9.99. I bought a gallon of filtered water, $.99. I had some old blank address labels so i put them on four of the jars and since a quart is about 4 cups I used 3 cups of water for each jar to allow for the coffee. I did four different concentrations.

1/2 cup Coffee to 3 cups water
3/4 cup Coffee to 3 cups water
2/3 cup Coffee to 3 cups water
1 cup Coffee to 3 cups water

I didn't cheap out on the coffee. I bought a one pound bag of Kenya coffee from Starbucks and had them grind it for me at the most course setting, $14.00. They are brewing right now, and tomorrow I plan on taking them to work and doing a blind taste with my coffee snob co-workers.

So all in all, it cost me $15 for a gallon of cold brew coffee, (I'm not including the price of the jars because they are reusable), and I only used half of the bag of Kenya coffee so I can get another 4 jars or two gallons total. Starbucks charges $3.25 for a venti cold brew which is 20oz so doing the math in my head, that is roughly $40 if you bought the coffee. This was my first go at this but my plan is to continue with the four jars but from now on I will brew one every day, so I will have 3 in the fridge and 1 brewing at all times. From what I have read they will keep anywhere from 1 -2 weeks in the fridge so to be safe I will make sure to drink them within a week.
Timothy M. April 24, 2016
Oh and I meant to say that I will comment tomorrow what the results of the taste test are.
Timothy M. April 24, 2016
And I don't see how to edit comments but I meant Coarse not course. :P
Michele S. April 24, 2016
Im looking forward to hearing about your results
Timothy M. April 28, 2016
So here is what I have learned.

1) Everyone, (9 of 10), liked the 1:4 coffee to water ratio.
2) Coarse ground may not affect the taste much but coarser is better when you are filtering.
3) I did 4 1-quart jars all at once and it took me almost an hour to filter them.
4) You must must must use a paper filter for the last step. I filtered through a large metal strainer, then a fine metal strainer and then I filtered through a "reusable" filter that had a VERY fine mesh. When I took the jars out the next day there was about an 8th of an inch of fine sediment at the bottom of each jar. One more run through a paper filter and they sat for a few hours and this time not a speck of coffee left over.
4) I will be buying a commercial unit like either a 32 ounce french press or a Toddy. It is too time consuming to filter the coffee. I had 4 jars at once so I had a nice stock and I am brewing a jar a day now and it is more work than I would like. Still worth it though.
5) I first used $15/ pound Kenya coffee from starbucks. The other day I got Dazbog coffee (the medium Columbian), for $7.99 a pound and it was as good if not better than the Kenya coffee. At $7.99/lb and about $1/ gallon of filtered water I can make 2 gallons of coffee for $10. It would cost $40 at Starbucks for the same amount. When I get a machine to help with the filtration process it will be more than worth it.

Take aways:
Use 1 part coffee to 4 parts water. Try an expensive coffee in one jar and a cheap coffee in another then do a blind you pick the cheap one. Get a commercial machine if you are serious about this and you plan to drink a lot of cold brew. Expect the filtration process to be a hastle until you get the hang of it. I have already gotten 150% more efficient at filtering. Just waiting for the weekend to go get a comercial unit.
Sandy M. May 6, 2016
An easy way to filter is by taking a white pillow sheet! :) Most of the time I used paper filter, it broke..
Sandy M. May 6, 2016
And as for the roast, cold brew gets all the notes that we don't usually taste in a conventional coffee. Maybe that's why you thought the Kenya from Starbucks was not as good as the columbian. It had citrus and juicy notes, that you might simply not like. (The pike place might have been a better choice for a cold brew.) For what I have tried, I tended to prefer the mellow roasts with caramel or earthy notes, not the citrus or floral ones, and no dark roasts! Hope this helps! :)
Timothy M. May 6, 2016
Good notes. I actually bought a Toddy. Actually two of them. I love it. It is so fast and easy. I put the water and coffee in in the morning and then the next day before bed I set it to drain. Then repeat. I have 5 one quart jars in the fridge now. Toddy also has a coffee delivery service and since they are here in Colorado I get the coffee in a day.
Elizabeth R. March 15, 2016
Thank you Michelle - I will have another go!
Michelle M. March 15, 2016
Elizabeth, I put 3 cups of course ground coffee beans in a Muslin bag tie shut with rubberband and drop into a gal container filled with cold water and leave sit on my counter for a day or two, take bag out of water and kinda squeeze out it does absorb some of the water but I just add more water to fill gal jug also I use DARK RST coffee so adding more water does not dilute it much. I then take and put the used grounds in a container too ad to garden when that time comes. if you need more info i would be happy too help.
Elizabeth R. March 15, 2016
I have just tried making cold brew coffee. I soaked 1 part by weight ground coffee beans with 4 parts by weight of water. When I filtered them the coffee grinds appeared to have soaked in lots of water, and at the bottom I only collected about 1/3 of the volume of the amount of water I originally used, despite leaving the filter set up for several hours. Is that what everyone else finds too, or am I doing something wrong? Many thanks!
aleeda March 15, 2016
What you are really making is a concentrate, which can be diluted with cold water, hot water, and/or milk. If you were to drink the concentrate, you would get the caffeine buzz of a lifetime.
Michelle M. March 15, 2016
Elizabeth, I put 3 cups of course ground coffee beans in a Muslin bag tie shut with rubberband and drop into a gal container filled with cold water and leave sit on my counter for a day or two, take bag out of water and kinda squeeze out it does absorb some of the water but I just add more water to fill gal jug also I use DARK RST coffee so adding more water does not dilute it much. I then take and put the used grounds in a container too ad to garden when that time comes. if you need more info i would be happy too help.
Michelle M. March 15, 2016
also the Muslin bag is reusable I just throw in dish washer. I got mine on amazon but probly get it in the canning section of any farm and fleet store?
kckowshik February 25, 2016
In my country summer is just about the corner, already feeling the heat here. I have kind of a coffeeholic, can't live a day without coffee and HOT is not something gonna work for me in summer so cold brew coffee is what gonan give me the relif.
Melissa D. February 1, 2016
Start with Cold Brew Coffee bags by Cornucopia, sold by Amazon, then buy these beautiful Bormioli Rocco Gelo 2-Piece Glass Pitcher Set with Lids, Red and Green holding 41 oz each, also from Amazon, then use Cow Tipper coffee for caramel notes or one of the other types of Verena Street coffee. Don't grind too fine or you end up with a lot of soot. Absolutely divine!!
Michelle M. January 22, 2016
I make 2 gal at a time of cold brewed coffee. mostly use fine ground coffee and find there is alot of "black mucky dirty settlement" at the bottom of container if I use course ground coffee would this elimate the "yuck"?
cattyb January 22, 2016
Either courser ground coffee or use muslin bags like I do. The bags (for 2 gallons, I'd suggest either two 6x8" or one 8x10") can be found on Amazon. I use a rubber band to close up the tops - can't rely on those drawstrings to be tight enough - and fill them a little loosely for good flow-through. I find very little sediment at the bottom of my 3 quart pitcher, even using the cheapest/finest grind.
Michelle M. January 22, 2016
do you still pour though a cheese cloth to strain even more of just the muslin cloth?
Michelle M. January 22, 2016
is the Muslin reusable?
cattyb January 22, 2016
I just use the bags, no straining after brewing. I even leave the bags in the pitcher until most of the coffee has been used -- just makes it stronger :-) -- then pull them out, give them a squeeze to get all the goodness I can, dry them on a little wire rack, sprinkle the grounds in the garden/yard, then gather about a month's worth of bags in a lingerie bag and wash them. They don't look as pretty after being used, but they still work fine!
Yan S. January 7, 2016
I do cold brew coffe yesterday is ready good that coffe is not realy strong is really good that coffee
Steve December 28, 2015
More a question than a comment, once cold brewed, can it be heated if desired. To me, cold brewing has definite benefits, especially in regards to acidity. If I could cold brew and then heat to get my hot cup of coffee in the morning that would be the best of both worlds. Any reason this might be a bad idea?
Iggy504 December 28, 2015
Oh, of course! I've had cafe au lait from cold brew for breakfast most mornings of my life. If you like it black, or with cream, just add the water you need and heat. It's great!
aleeda December 29, 2015
I make a large batch of cold brew then I heat the coffee and then add milk (to bring it to a drinkable temp), or drink it cold (with milk) when desired. Enjoy!
beejay45 December 29, 2015
If you made cold brew concentrate, then you could just pour in the appropriate amount to a cup, or whatever, let it come to room temp, then add boiling water. The whole idea of cold brew is mildness with lots of flavor. I'm not sure that heating it doesn't defeat the purpose.
Steve December 29, 2015
Thank you
Christine E. December 10, 2015
I'm not understanding the reason for the prohibition against stirring. Common sense tells me that, the more thoroughly the coffee and water are mixed, the better will be the resulting flavor. In fact, I whisk the water into the coffee grounds before storing for the brewing period (2-3 days), and I find the result to be exceptional flavor.
cattyb December 14, 2015
I don't think it's a prohibition as much as a statement that you don't HAVE to stir. I agitate my brew several times, even though I'm brewing through a muslin bag, I can understand the basic physics of how "stirring things up" can give a stronger, more flavorful result. :-)
The only time I wouldn't mix it up would be within an hour or so of filtering if you are using the loose grounds directly in the water...give the sludge a chance to settle so that less gets in your filter (if you pour carefully.
Hmmm... there's an idea -- how about siphoning an almost sediment-free concentrate from the TOP of the brewing vessel?!?!?
Paige N. November 12, 2015
I used a slightly different recipe; 1 cup of coarsely ground beans to 3 cups of water. I steeped it in an old tea pitcher for about 30 hours. The coffee turned out brown, but not as dark as I'd thought it'd be. There is still a good amount of transparency, which makes me nervous to taste it. Is this normal?
beejay45 December 29, 2015
The coarse grind might be the cause of the light brew. I'd guess that you are going to have weak favor, but there's nothing unsafe about it. I use either regular fine grind and get very dark color (and strong flavor) with my concentrate.
Morris L. June 15, 2016
Try to grind it a bit finer, perhaps medium-coarse.
Gregory E. October 10, 2015
anyone ever hear of "coffee ice cubes"? I make them all the time! no more diluted iced coffee. takes a little time, but worth the effort.
cattyb October 11, 2015
At this very moment, I'm sipping on a frappe made with cold brew, half and half, creme de menthe simple syrup, half regular water and half coffee ice cubes. I have a tray dedicated to my coffee cubes that is always kept "going" -- as I use some from the tray, I'll put the rest in a zipper bag and refill the tray.
This makes a pretty powerful frappe that goes down soooo smooth!
Paul September 13, 2015
I just drop a cup and.a.half.of the foot of a pair of nylons,tie the knot.and drop it in a 64 ounce jar. No straining.and.I hang the whole bag outside to dry then discard the grounds and.wash the nylon pouch for next time.
Michele S. August 25, 2015
what is the ratio of GROUND coffee to water?
Sean S. September 17, 2015
At our shop we use a lb of coffee to a 1/2 gal of water
wabblewoe September 29, 2015
1 gal of water weighs 8.3 lbs. Thus a half gallon = 4.15 lbs for every lb of coffee. So your shop uses about a 1:4 ratio of coffee to water by weight. (thanks, imperial system for making no sense!)
Glenn October 6, 2015
Roughly .188 cups of coffee per cup of water
.188 x 4 = .75 = 3/4 cup
3/4 Cup of Coffee to 4 Cups of water

So for a 650ml container = 2.75 cups of water
.188 x 2.75 = .52 (rounded 1/2 cup of coffee?)
Tina October 22, 2015
If you use the recipe above of 1.5 cups of coffee to 8 cups of water, then it's 3 tbsp (3/16 cup) of coffee to every 1 cup of water.
16 tbsp = 1 cup
Leigh August 25, 2015
Oh yeah - if you want to make traditional hot brew for ice coffee just make the coffee ice cubes with whatever is left over from breakfast. That way you never dilute, only add to the wonderfulness.
Leigh August 25, 2015
I make my cold brew in a gallon water container that has a spigot near the bottom. I put in 3 cups of ground coffee (I use a pretty fine grind contrary to conventional wisdom.) Add room temp water to fill the container and cover it - leave it alone for about 20-24 hours. When it comes time to filter it I use a cone with a paper filter and just use the spigot to pour it into the container with the cone. The grounds have all settled to below the spigot so the coffee is pretty clear already. It takes a while, and I usually go through a couple of filters but the results are just fantastic. I always reserve about a quart to make coffee ice cubes, and then store the rest in the fridge. We live on this rocket fuel all summer.
Christian August 17, 2015
If you're worried about watering it down with ice, use some of your cold brew to make a tray of coffee ice cubes, then pour the coffee over those.
Brian July 25, 2015
A lifelong avid coffee freak, I just learned about the cold-brew method and was so impatient to try it I didn't first research preparation methods and just put some canned (probably too-finely ground) coffee into my trusty stainless steel tea infuser, put into a tall glass of room temp. water and steeped overnight. Next day, a beautiful dark brew ready to drink, no pressing or filtration necessary. As advertised, smoother than hot brewed.
Brian July 25, 2015
Reading down a few comments I see Marika has already shared the tea infuser idea 9 days ago!
Live P. July 19, 2015
Thank you for this. I've always made hot brew coffee and cooled it down. The problem was that it always made for a watery beverage. :-( I've tried a number of contraptions that allow you to cool it down with ice without letting the ice actually be in the drink, but 2 of them actually warped slightly slightly from the heat! Thank you again.
bejugo July 17, 2015
My current approach works very well, and uses two very simple tools: 1) a 1-qt mason jar (wide-mouth, 3inches), and 2) a Cold Brew Coffeesock filter ( Weigh roughly 3 oz (85ish grams) of medium-ground coffee (which is approx. 1.5 cups), put the sock in the mason jar, with its neck stretched around the mouth of jar (thereby sealing all grounds inside the sock), put grounds in sock, bloom the grounds with a little water, let sit for 60 seconds, then pour cold water into the sock until the jar is full. Take sock off jar mouth, roll that top inch or two into a tight bunch, then wrap it with a few revolutions of the little strap, and then put that bunch through the class ring. Tuck it in, put on the lid, and let sit in room temperature for 10-12 hours.

It's important to use the wide-mouth jar, b/c with the smaller mouth jar it is very difficult to get the sock out of the jar in the end, b/c the grounds bunch up larger than the lid. This isn't a problem with the 3 inch wide-mouth mason jar. Squeeze the water out of the sock of grounds, then you're done. The mason jar takes up little space in the fridge, and is concentrated (so mix with water to taste.) The bag is real easy cleaning, and is supposed to last a pretty long time.
beejay45 July 18, 2015
I went to the site for this sock, but the info was minimal. In your
experience, does the sock retain a lot of odors? For example, if you made
a flavored coffee, like hazelnut mocha, will subsequent batches taste of
Hazelnut and mocha?

I'm also thinking of using this for tea, and I don't want everything to taste like Earl Grey, or whatever.
bejugo July 20, 2015
I've only ever used it for coffee, so i can't say for sure. The filter, right now, doesn't seem to be holding coffee scent, after hand-rinsing with some water and mild soap.
Marika July 16, 2015
I have discovered my tea steeper which I rarely used is the perfect tool for cold brew coffee since the filter is included.
Amanda C. July 15, 2015
Pro tip: Add mint. It tastes even more refreshing that way. Just include a few sprigs when you mix your water and grounds and steep them with the rest of the brew.
Riddley G. July 15, 2015
What a wonderful suggestion! I am doing that with the next batch.
Roy C. July 20, 2015
There is more contact surface with ground coffee. It's like when you have little ice cubes they melt faster than bigger ones.
aleeda July 14, 2015
I've always done my cold brew with whole beans. Is there a better reason to use ground coffee?
Riddley G. July 15, 2015
Ground coffee allows for more to be extracted from the beans!
Roy C. July 20, 2015
There is more contact surface with ground coffee. It's like when you have little ice cubes they melt faster than bigger ones.
Wendy P. July 13, 2015
Acidic coffee has always bothered me so I switched to cold brew a few years ago. After much experimenting I use the Bodum bean french press which holds 6c water. I prefer to just make full strength coffee, not a concentrate and the ratio I use is 1/8 cup coarse ground (3 clicks shy of coursest setting on my cuisinart burr grinder) to 1 cup coffee. So for the Bodum Bean that means 3/4 cup coffee to my 6 cup press. (On the burr grinder if you set it at the 8 cup setting you get 3/4 cup of ground coffee). I also throw in half a cinnamon stick into the french press with the grounds for flavor and as an additional acid neutralizer. The Bodum Bean comes with a separate lid for storing coffee during "brewing" phase. You then swap that out for a lid with plunger and pour spout when you want to press it. I've experimented with then transferring what I don't drink in 24 hrs to glass bottles for storage but quite honestly I've also let it just sit in the press in the fridge for a week or so until I finish it all and I haven't noticed a difference. It takes a bit of getting used to the sludgy bottom you get with unfiltered grounds but I am now used to that and it doesn't bother me to leave that last little bit in the cup. For a delicious mocha cold brew try Jim's Organic Double Chocolate coffee beans!
Antonia A. July 13, 2015
I've been making cold brew since I first tasted it in Ecuador 40+ years ago (where they mix the concentrate with hot water—no iced coffee for them—as I do in winter). The easiest recipe I've found, because it uses a standard 12 oz. bag of coffee, is one from the Wine Spectator: 1) 12 oz. coarsely ground coffee beans (roast depends on your preference) + 7 oz. tepid water. 2) In an 8 cup or larger container (I use an old lemonade pitcher), pour in a cup of water; add some coffee; take care to NOT stir; repeat (finishing with coffee) until water and coffee are all in container. Allow to sit 8-12 hours at room temperature—without stirring!!—then, filter. (I use paper.) You can keep the concentrate in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, but it never lasts that long in my house.
Sharon July 19, 2015
Why no stirring? I have never read that before so I always stir mine.
Antonia A. July 20, 2015
I don't know—but I do know that it makes a difference. If there's what looks like "dry" grounds on top, I give it a stir before filtering but never do so during the brewing period. Both the Ecuadorian cook who first showed me the method and the venerable Wine Spectator are in agreement on this.
Antonia A. July 20, 2015
Joyce, If you like the flavor of espresso, buy the espresso roast beans and coarsely grind them. You'll get the espresso flavor you're looking for.
Nick July 28, 2015
Antonia... What is the total amount of water used in your recipe? 7oz looks like a typo. Thx.
Antonia A. July 28, 2015
7 oz. is correct. This makes the Ecuadorian cold brew "syrup" that has cold water and ice or hot water added. You're able to make as strong or mild a cup as you wish. (I confess, I've made it w/ 8 oz. of water but for strength not much water should be used.)
Nick July 29, 2015
I'm sorry but I don't understand. Your instructions say to add one cup of water and then some coffee and to repeat this until both the water and coffee are all in the container. One cup is equal to 8oz. Your first addition of one cup of water to the container already exceeds the total 7oz you initially indicated. I apologize if I'm missing something. I just want to get it right and not waste good coffee. Thanks!
bluegrass August 5, 2015
Atonia AT……Would you please follow up on NIck’s question? I too am confused and would like to use your method. thanks.
Antonia A. August 5, 2015
Nick & Bluegrass, not enough caffeine these days, I guess: It's 7 cups, not 7 oz. of water. Massive apologies all around!!
Joyce July 12, 2015
my thanks to Kate McGinnis, after an 8 hour steep the decaf was perfect. Has anyone cold brewed Espresso? If so did you use coarse ground and for how long did you steep it? Thanks Joyce
Kate M. July 13, 2015
Glad it worked out Joyce! in regards to espresso, Espresso is the result of boiling water being forced through very fine grounds of coffee to give you a strong black coffee. Espresso in the coffee aisle will typically be super fine coffee grounds. I have tried cold brewing coffee before with finer grounds and it just does work. You end up with a lot of coffee particles in your drink. My rule of thumb is always course ground coffee so it is easier to filter. And if you are looking for just a stronger coffee to say make a Iced Latte (half cold brew coffee and half milk) I would say buy a stronger coffee bean, course ground, and then let it steep for about 8-10 hours.
Kate M. July 13, 2015
"finer grounds just does not work"
Xenia B. July 10, 2015
My favorite way of making the most Primo Iced Coffee, an inexpensive coffee cone, a glass of ice, boiling water and a tablespoon or two of grounds....caffeine perfection! I have described it right here,
Mike July 9, 2015
I love it!
Do you just let it sit or do you riddle it somehow?
Also, do you dump the bags after and then rinse, wash or what?
I was going to ask where to get them but then had an immediate 'duh' moment and looked on Amazon.
GretchinF July 9, 2015
I always keep two gallons of cold brew in the fridge and I have found the best short-cut is to use jelly strainer bags, twist-tie closed, like gigantic tea bags for the coffee grounds. I use to do the brew&sieve method but this is just SO! Much! Faster! and cleanup is a breeeeeeeze.
jpriddy July 12, 2015
Riddley G. July 15, 2015
I will have to try this method! Thanks for the tip.
Arthur S. July 8, 2015
Harvard Medical School's Harvard Health Publications notes that filtered coffee likely has little effect on cholesterol levels since the cholesterol-raising ingredients in coffee - oily substances called diterpenes (cafestol and kahweol are trapped by paper filters. Any evidence that cheesecloth works as well as paper filters in trapping cafestol and kahweol?
Mike July 8, 2015
I'll weigh what I actually use and post it in the near future (as soon as I aquire a scale).
It hadn't occurred to me how much faster and accurate weighing it all will be. Thanks for the idea. =-)
Johanna July 8, 2015
Coffee should be weighed, in grams. Could you please post appropriate grams and liters for coffee:water. Thanks
Jacen July 9, 2015
3/4 cup is 12 Tbsp, which is 63.8 g of coffee, to 4 cups water, which is just under a liter (.95 L)
Mike July 8, 2015
I continue to brew my coffee for 5 days or more (yes, 120 hours). I make a gallon at a time and have three 1.25 gallon containers that I keep in constant rotation. I put 2.5 cups of ground coffee in 1.15 gallons of water (when filtered = 1 full gallon). I don't dilute it at all.
I share it with 8 co-workers, all of whom get almost giggly whenever I bring them some. 2 drink it black, no sugar, 3 like it with a little cream, the others (and I) go cream and sugar (but not too much of either).
I'm sure some people are more sensitive to 'bitterness' than others but there are also those of us who love bold coffee.
My technique makes strong, delicious coffee that has more caffeine than anything I've found elsewhere.
Please forgive my shaky handwriting. Lol!
ForkKnifeSpoon July 8, 2015
1) you should weigh your coffee
2) 24 hours is way too long 8-12 hours is perfect.
3) the pH level doesn't actually differ in cold press, but the flavor people identify as being acidic is lower in cold press
Rona G. June 14, 2015
24 hours may be too long. I used decaf (see comment below) with the proportions recommended and waited 12 hours. I dilute the concentrate to my taste , the coffee is delicious.
Joyce June 14, 2015
Hi All,
Has anyone done this with coarse ground decaf coffee? I did it a while ago letting it steep in the fridge 24 hrs, the taste was very bitter. Did I steep it too long or should you not do this with decaf coffee. Thanks Joyce
Kate M. June 15, 2015
24 hours is way too long. I only steep mine for about 6-8 hours.
Rona G. June 12, 2015
After initial experiences using recipes demanding filtering, I decided to use my French press. PERFECT! My press must be really good, no residue, delicious coffee. Thank you soo much!
Keita J. June 10, 2015
I worked at a coffee house for years and we made our cold brew by using a giant filter. The coffee comes out excellent and you avoid the straining and the mess.
Kate M. June 10, 2015
This is exactly the way I have been making cold brew coffee for years! I have found that one 10oz gag of beans in any flavor ground COARSE, dumped into a 10 Quart Stock Pot with lid, fill stock pot with water leaving 1 inch of space at the top so it doesnt over flow. Stir. Put lid on. and let it sit on the counter for 6-8 hours. I have found if you let it over 8 hours it can become a bit bitter and too strong. 6-8 hours gives it a really nice mellow and smooth flavor.

Also you have to make your own simple syrup to give that baby a little sweetness! simple syrup ratio is 1:1... so one cup sugar and one cup water dissolve over low heat in small pot. let cool. and pour into a condiments bottle and refrigerate. Tablecraft condiments bottle works best!
Jim W. June 10, 2015
At the end you mention something about no caffeine. Does cold brewing affect the caffeine content?
Jessica M. June 10, 2015
I think she meant ising the french press in the morning isceasy enough to do before you've had your morning cup of coffee.
Iggy504 July 8, 2015
I don't know about affecting the caffeine content, but I do know from personal experience that it makes a very weak brew. I enjoy a strong dark roast (I like coffee and chicory) and when I tried to make decaffeinated I had to throw it out was undrinkable.
Liz S. June 9, 2015
I just use two k-cups with the smallest amount of water in my Keurig add whole milk and sugar-free flavoring over ice. If I have it half and half for a treat!
Chris G. June 9, 2015
I made coffee extract or coffee concentrate a "few years ago, for a while." I used 1 pound of ground coffee, which I put in a one gallon jar with lid, filled it with water, and let it steep or infuse for approximately 24 hours in the refrigerator. I then strained it through a large, very fine mesh nylon filter bag that I purchased from my employer, while working at a meat packing plant.My next step, since this did not remove all the grounds and fine particles was to do a secondary straining though a very tightly woven cotton terry cloth hand towel. (One I had permission to "RUIN" from the wife person.) If I remember correctly, I think I got about 3 quarts of extract and a big mess! One must be dedicated to use this process but it yields a very concentrated extract that I used for making my hot coffee. (never been one to drink Iced Coffee, but might try it with some sweetened condensed milk and some Kahlua Liqueur.) How much of this extract you use to make hot coffee or iced coffee, would be up to personal taste, that is, how strong do you like your Hot or Iced Coffee? This process yielded very good coffee without the oils and acidic taste you get from making coffee in the usual way. (I made my coffee by filling a coffee mug full of hot water and adding about a tablespoon of the extract.) This extract makes a superior cup of coffee!
suziqcu January 12, 2015
The cost of the lab friend rules it out for me. Staying with my tea brewer or mesh strainer. Regardless of apparatus: cold brew is worth it! Loved the homemade vanilla syrup recipe idea!
falko September 11, 2014
Very nice article (especially I like the Pictures with cream) on how a Cold Brew Coffee can be easily done with a traditional steeping method.
You also mentioned the way using a French Press and there are a bunch of other methods avialable. We from compared them (e.g. French Press, Toddy, Cold Drip...) and gave some comments on each methods advantages. Feel free to have look.
Sheri August 24, 2014
I use a nut milk bag and a 2 quart pitcher. Easy filtering. When I'm ready, I wring out the nut milk bag. Very few containers, and the only waiting time is the brewing.
cattyb August 29, 2014
I've tried the nut milk bag route, but the mesh wasn't quite fine enough for the cheapie store brand ground coffee I use most of the time...lots of gritty sediment. I plan to try again with some coarse ground coffee, though!
I'm still loving my muslin bags -- a 6x8" one holds a good 1.5 cups of grounds with room for them to swirl around a bit for maximum grounds to water contact in my 2 quart pitcher!
STCY August 13, 2014
I'm employing a somewhat more haphazard/renegade cold brewing system right now...

Empty fresh juice bottle from a uk supermarket full of ground coffee and water. Refrigerate 12-18 hours.
Filter through aeropress into mug, then pour into jug (yup- super time consuming).
Wash bottle. Pour filtered cold brew back into juice bottle and return to fridge.

It worked pretty well when I tried it a few days ago, though It didn't come out quite as concentrated as I was hoping. I've now changed quantities a bit- I'm actually taking a punt at the ratio I go for when brewing a cup of aeropress (1 level scoop, inverted method plunger at about number four, water up to just below the end of the device- theres about 4.5 times that mix in the juice bottle) hoping that will produce a meatier concentrate that will last longer and will stand up to milk a bit better (last brew was a bit weak for the milk, though was fantastic with a dash of extra cold water and some ice)
cattyb July 7, 2014
I've tried the "loose in a bucket" method described above, but got tired of waiting for FOREVER for it to strain through, plus too many vessels and tools. I then bought a 1.25 quart french press, but it doesn't make enough at once - having to wash it out every day sucked. I still had to filter out some grounds, too (cheapie press, filter has tiny gaps at the edges).
I then thought of big muslin bags! Ordered sme 5x7 cotton bags from amazon, park 1.5 cups grounds in one, use a rubber band to clse and plunk it into my 2.5 quart pitcher in the fridge. I just leave the bag in until I've finished the pitcher and let the brew get stronger each day...even sometimes adding a bit more water if I see there's not going to be quite enough for the next morning. When I'm done, I squeeze the loosely packed bag of the last drops I can get, then 'flatten' it out on a small wire rack over a plate to dry for a day or so, then dump it out in the garden or sprinkle it over the lawn.
The bags are totally washable, reusable and I never have to mess with a strainer or filter. I never worry if my grind is too fine because the bags hold all but the very finest silt (less than a tsp per pitcher) inside.
beejay45 July 8, 2014
Are you making this regular strength? Because I'm one of the French press users, and I make mine very, very strong -- coffee concentrate in fact. If you make it that strength, no matter what your method, you'll have plenty to last more than one day. Just be sure to keep the concentrate refrigerated, then just dilute to the strength you desire. You can even make a hot coffee with the concentrate.
cattyb July 8, 2014
Hi, beejay45 -- The main reason my press didn't work out for me is because my son and I both consume cold coffee drinks at a phenomenal rate! Even with the 3 cup yield of concentrate (1 part coffee 3 parts water) from my press, we still would have to set it up every night and wash it out every day. More grounds added, the less actual liquid yield...and since I also strongly believe that there's a certain saturation point where the water just isn't extracting any more goodness, adding much more coffee would be a pointless waste of money.
I've experimented with ratios and found that the 1.5 dry cups (probably a bit more as I use a heaping 1/4 c. scoop times 6) of grounds in 2 quarts (8 cups) of water (so that' 1:5? I think that's the ratio most recipes I've seen recommend) gives the results that suit us. We use it with flavored simple syrup and half n half either over coffee ice cubes or blended into a frappe. I will fill a 1 liter bottle halfway with the coffee/syrup/half n half, freeze it overnight then fill up with more in the morning before work to have cold coffee all day (I use a nifty crocheted 'bottle cozy' to carry and prevent condensation drips). My son jokes that he'd do a coffee IV, but then he wouldn't be able to taste the flavors he's come to love from "Mom's Brew". His friends envy his great tasting drinks and I can't keep the pitcher full when one of them visits our house.

I'm very glad that your press works so well for you, though!!
beejay45 July 8, 2014
Hi, cattyb! Wasn't touting the press, just the concentrate. ;) Are you familiar with kakegori (if I'm spelling that right), the Japanese shaved ice thing? I use my coffee ice cubes in that for hot weather, top with sweetened condensed milk, or your choice of creamer and/or syrup or liqueur. Whatever you like, it's great and really hits the spot when you're sweltering.
I'm not supposed to drink coffee at all, but the cold brew doesn't release all the oils that cause me problems, so I can have the occasional indulgence. Have to choose my moments, though. ;)
cattyb July 9, 2014
Oh my stars and garters, that sounds heavenly! It was 98 degrees here yesterday and I could have used two or three coffee 'snow cones' throughout the afternoon.

About the press/concentrate thing... I didn't mean to de-mean, if you know what I mean. :-} I really AM glad it suits your needs so closely! I just tend to get all wordy and go off on tangents when I get excited about something.

We'll occasionally use our "dregs", which are pretty concentrated, to make coffee ice cubes that strengthen rather than dilute... or for baked goods...or just as an excuse to add even more sweet creamy goodness to the last cup. >^..^<
jpriddy July 12, 2015
The best variation here!
paulinchen June 11, 2014
Hmmm so if you only have to let it sit over night, why not just use coffee pads that you can take out and discard after?
maggie June 11, 2014
Is the water supposed to be hot (boiling?) or cold when added to the ground coffee?
dymnyno June 11, 2014
cold water to make cold brew
suziqcu May 29, 2014
I make cold brew as per instructions above and strain thru a few un bleached coffee filters (I need to use them as my brewed coffee is made with keurig style refillable pods or an old school italian Moka pot). It works pretty well and I'm rewarded with wonderful coffee! May try my tea infuser "kettle" , but this works. Tomorrow I'm definitely tryng the martini shaker idea with almond milk, sans agave!
Marky May 19, 2014
I make cold brew all the time. After many times of straining the grounds out of the coffee I found a better way, for me anyway. I use NEW knee highs/panty hose. I wash them and put my grounds in and tie them up. You can get several out of one knee high. It's the same as nylon bag/filter. When coffee is done just remove bag and use it on plants discard. Nothing fancy at all but it works good.
maria May 13, 2014
When my favorite coffee pot finally expired yesterday, I looked for a 'back up pot' which I think I sold in my last move. (I knew better) But I remembered my old cold brew system which honestly always made the best coffee but I quit using it because it is so good I drink way to much and coffee prices are so high. Anyway I'm trying to remember the water to coffee ratios and the time to 'brew'. I'm starting with 1 1/4 cup ground to 2 cups water. But it seems like I remember a pound of ground coffee to make the entire carafe. Of course the best feature is the concentrate can be diluted as much as you like. Herein lies my issue as an old New Orleans girl I like it strong! I would like to get the most concentrate from the amount of grounds used. Any suggestions appreciated. To the design system and the cook, the Toddy System (which is what I think mine is a great way to handle the messiness and easy to clean rinsing and then into the dishwashet. I've never tried the French Press which is in the cabinet for that reason plus the cold brew keeps in frig so well. You only have to wait for the microwave
dymnyno February 18, 2014
I first tasted delicious cold brew coffee at my New Orleans friends and noticed that they used a vintage Toddy maker. I bought one of my own on Amazon...the design has never changed and it makes perfect cold brew coffee which I have every morning.
jkraus10 February 18, 2014
I am an industrial design student doing research for a client that intends to manufacture a cold brew coffee system, not entirely unlike the Toddy Cold Brew System. I’ve noticed that there is a multitude of articles on how to make cold brew coffee with common household items, but there is not a great number of commercially available cold brew coffee makers.
Is there a sense of pride associated with making your own cold brew coffee with your own assembled equipment? Is this a trait of the cold brew culture? I am trying to identify the motivation for the home made systems and the possible preference over commercially manufactured ones.
If you could design a cold brewer, what features would you most like? Which features (or lack thereof) are frustrating?
Any replies are greatly appreciated. Thank you
beejay45 February 18, 2014
For me, a cook who's infusing, then filtering, things all the time for one use or another, I just went to my fallback French press for cold brewing coffee. I am not a fan of single use appliances, but having said that, if your client were to make a cold brew coffee system that would streamline my infusing and filtering of various things, I'd definitely give it a go. My number one requirement is something that will give me a good infusion yet not leave me with a sludgy mess that needs to be filtered and refiltered and infinitum. The French press does this quite well, even for things like ground coffee. The lack of bitterness in cold brewed coffee is a factor of the low temp, so that wouldn't be an advantage in an "appliance." But something that allowed me to just pour off an almost clear (of particles, not color) liquid would be ideal.
Iggy504 February 18, 2014
I've never tasted a commercial cold brew that is as strong as what I achieve at home. And I follow the proportion of water to coffee that the manufacturer intended.
Ollie B. December 30, 2013
More gentle taste. Voila. As much better as sun tea is to tea that was scorched by the boil.
bernard October 23, 2013
I use my large pour over cone. put grinds and water in a plastic bag in the cone and freeze overnight. Remove from plastic bag in the morning and place back in cone with filter paper. Allow to thaw for several hours or more.
Angie October 9, 2013
I use a 1-to-1 ratio for everything the whole way through. Delicious.
jimnjoy October 8, 2013
Great to know for when the power is off. Thanks.
obi7690 September 8, 2013
hi, i've just made 500 ml of cold brew yesterday. something that i improvised was using the hario v60 as the filter. Can anyone tell me what they think about my method?
sansan123 August 8, 2013
What is the toddy system? I'm loving summer with the french press method. However you make it, I agree with John about the bacteria. Keep it in the fridge whatever the method. I was explaining the cold brew concept to my mom over the phone who thought it sounded great. Since she was at a book store with a coffee bar she dutifully asked if the iced coffee was cold brewed. Uh well, she does live in Floriduh. She got a sweet tea
john August 8, 2013
This works for tea also. Approximately 1 tsp Ceylon tea (which give the best results I've had) per 6 oz in a pitcher in the fridge. You have to let it sit for longer--4 days--to get a full bodied iced tea. Strain before drinking. It's really crisp and clean. I also make sugar syrup to sweeten it--a cup or sugar and a cup of water in a Pyrex (microwave) or saucepan (stove) heated up slowly to dissolve the sugar. It's better than trying to dissolve granulated sugar in a glass full of iced tea. My only addendum to the brewing method at the top of this page is, I would not recommend leaving cold brew coffee, or cold brew anything on the countertop overnight. That welcomes bacteria.
Steve July 25, 2013
Just bought the Toddy system and love it. Some disagreement as to grind: is there a real downside to finer grind, which allows more flavor extraction?
Breanna July 28, 2013
I love the Toddy system! I sell it at my coffee shop and use it for making the cold brew that we sell as iced coffee. I also have one at home and gave one to my parents and my brother :) To answer your question: with the Toddy system, a finer grind can clog the specially-made filter and reduce the amount of coffee you're going to get out of your brew. The filter is good for up to 10 brews but you can damage it by using a finer grind. So if you use the coarse grind (as required by the Toddy instructions), you will get great brewed coffee and save yourself some money in the long run! :)
Sarah J. July 21, 2013
Made some cold brewed coffee yesterday for the first time - I love it!
Jen M. July 18, 2013
I've been using my french press all summer for cold brew, and my trick is adding some ground cinnamon to the coffee grounds before stirring and soaking. It adds a delicious and easy new flavor!
sansan123 July 18, 2013
Great idea Jen. I've been adding mine after but your method sounds much better
Sarah J. July 21, 2013
I like this idea! I use a french press for hot coffee but never thought of it for cold brewed coffee. I'm trying that next time, thanks for sharing :)
Jacque D. July 17, 2013
I use the Filtron (or Toddi) Cold water method of coffee brewing for ALL of my coffee needs. It makes a cold syrup which I then add in ounce+ portions to either hot or cold water. The syrup keeps in the refrigerator or freezer...and like a liquid instant coffee that everyone can make to the strength of their preference in their own cup. Oh, and there is less acid and oil when made this way, so it is healthier, too!
Erica K. July 16, 2013
I have a tea infuser similar in design to Teavana's PerfectTea Tea Maker that I can use to try this recipe. Now my unitasker has become a multitasker. :)
julesues July 15, 2013
The Oskar French press (you can buy it at Oren's) is the easiest and best cold brew I've tried - worth the money!
Foodiewithalife July 15, 2013
Coffee is certainly in my food pyramid! I'm usually lazy about my iced-coffee and just use cooled Bialetti espresso. Try this: cold expresso in a martini shaker, add a few ice cubes, almond milk and agave... shake and serve the frothy goodness!

BurgeoningBaker July 15, 2013
Could a cold brewed coffee be used in recipes that call for strong cup of coffee for baking or ice cream making?
sansan123 July 15, 2013
why not? try espresso
dymnyno July 15, 2013
Yes, I have made coffee ice cream using cold brew...delicious!

sansan123 July 15, 2013
Having developed caffien issues, I have hd to lmost completely cut out coffee. But with summer here,hd the urge for an iced coffee. Tried the cold brew method. YEAH! Had my first cup this morning and it was great. I used preground arabica in the french press finished off with crushed ice,cold milk and tespoon of vanilla sugar.
beejay45 July 15, 2013
I use decaf since I don't really need that caffeine. No reason to miss out on cold brew for that. I have read that the best (healthiest) methods use to decaffeinate tea and coffee is to "wash" it with water. That first flush through takes out the bulk of the caffeine. So, if that is true, then that would mean that this method is a caffeine bomb...unless you use decaf. ;) I can't say I've investigated this, but I do know that decaf tea is always weaker than regular, so it makes sense.
Marylin99 July 14, 2013
Love cold brew, I have a couple of ways I do it I have the french press and the filtron system. The french press takes care of a day where I can use filtron and make enough to last a week or two just depends on how much I am home to drink it,...I use real whole cream and honey with a couple of tsp of cinnamon. I have a special storage that pours 4 ounces at a time,...if you use 1 lb of coffee to 64 oz of water you can delite with milk or water. I use hot water to melt the honey then either ice or just drink it warm not hot just awesome it's so smooth and tasty.
beejay45 July 14, 2013
I use the French press, too. It lets me use pretty much any type or grind of coffee, eliminates the sludge. If I'm worried about it, I run it through a coffee filter, too. I have a sensitivity to the coffee oils, and cold brewing eliminates most of them since the water isn't hot enough to really bring them out (and I wouldn't be surprised if the coffee filter doesn't catch what little oils have been released). I've lost most of my taste for coffee, but every once in a while, I just have to have a cup, and with cold brew, I can. ;)
Ron July 14, 2013
Skip the plastic container and I think you have yourself a winner!
Iggy504 July 14, 2013
We've made cold drip coffee concentrate for at least four generations in my family. We always have the coffee concentrate in the fridge, but use it more for hot coffee than iced. Just add milk to get the ratio you prefer and microwave. No coffee pot needed in my house. My grandmother had a glass filtration system that I used till it broke, then all I could find was a plastic one. Tastes the same, though. I always use Community New Orleans Blend coffee and chicory.
Stuart C. July 15, 2013
Another chicory drinker! I actually mix Community's New Orleans blend with their dark concentrate ever.
Paul C. July 14, 2013
I use the toddy system. Easy as can be. My only tips are that lighter roasted beans are better for cold brewed. Leave the dark roast for your hot coffee. Also, I use agave nectar as a sweetener since sugar is much harder to dissolve in iced coffee. A cheaper alternative to agave nectar is simple syrup. boil equal parts sugar and water for one minute. Cool and keep in a squirt bottle, just like the coffee shops do.
Scribbles July 14, 2013
I, too have been making the cold brew coffee and enjoying it so much more than my previous cold coffee option - pouring whatever was left from the morning brew into a pitcher in the fridge. Making cold brew is such a huge difference. I do, however, pour the morning brew coffee into ice cube trays then use those in my cold brew so that the cold coffee does not get diluted by water from the melting ice. And, I love to sweetend with condensed milk.
HolisticHunny July 14, 2013
I learned how to make cold-brewed coffee last year from Monica at The Yummy Life. I use her tea basket method, which makes the process a breeze. I have not consumed a hot cup of coffee since. Yes, I drink my coffee iced all winter too. :) Here is Monica's post:
witloof July 14, 2013
After I bought a Cuppow last summer {} I started cold brewing coffee a pound at a time, making and storing it in large mason jars, then pouring it into a small jar to take with me on the subway. A pound of coffee will make about three weeks worth of iced concentrate. The total expense, along with the cheesecloth to strain it, is about ten dollars, which means that it pays for itself after three days. {An iced coffee in NYC costs anywhere between three and four dollars.}
I calculate that I saved about five hundred dollars last summer not buying iced coffee. The cold brew {I use French roast, coarse ground in a burr grinder} is so much more delicious than anything you can buy out; the iced coffee served in most delis in NYC tastes like battery acid.
Katie H. July 14, 2013
Would you use Arabica or Robusta beans?
Mr_Vittles July 14, 2013
Arabica beans are known for their subtle flavor and complexity. While Robusta are, as the name suggests, full flavored and less complex. If you grew up on perc'd coffee those were Robusta beans. Since this recipe does not call for dilution of the coffee, Arabica would probably be better, but if you are going to be adding sweeteners and diary, then cheaper Robusta beans should be used.
shelly July 14, 2013
Sorry for the ignorance, but.. what kind of coffee grounds? Is instant coffee a viable option?
Mr_Vittles July 14, 2013
Instant coffee is actually the easiest way to make iced coffee, but the flavor is not comparable to actually grinding the beans yourself and making cold brew coffee. Using pre ground coffee can be used and actually should be if you are going to add copious amounts of diary and sugar. But if you want to go minimalist, then buying good whole coffee beans, grinding them at home, and cold brewing them is the best option.
Cathy July 14, 2013
We NEVER dump out extra coffee from the percolator, we simply add sugar & place in fridge till needed, if we have plenty in there all ready, we add a little 1/2 & 1/2 & pour into ice cube trays to add to our iced coffee!
hitpas July 14, 2013
Best use for a French Press since, well, ever. I put in ground coffee to the bottom band, fill the baby with water, let it sit on the counter for however long I feel like, press it and throw the whole lot in the refrigerator. When it's gone, claw out the grounds and start all over. Wonderful.
Mr_Vittles July 14, 2013
I will often leave the coffee in the fridge for two days to make a concentrate. Using a 3:1 coffee to water ratio.
Indrani July 12, 2013
My husband and I have an embarrassingly complicated system for this, involving five mason jars in a rotating line in the door of the fridge, each filled with 1/3 a cup coffee grounds and cold water. Whenever one of us wants a coffee we pour it through a filter in the Chemex. And we get snippy with each other when we forget to refill the jar immediately.
Sevimin A. July 12, 2013
looks super
Sevimin A. July 12, 2013
looks super
LRoss July 12, 2013
What a fabulous and well-written article!
Trena H. July 11, 2013
This looks delicious! I can't wait to try this soon.
ericlovelin July 11, 2013
Love my Toddy for summer cold brews!
dymnyno July 11, 2013
They make it easy to enjoy New Orleans coffee!
Mr_Vittles July 14, 2013
bergamotdreams July 11, 2013
i love my aeropress. make two shots, let it cool a bit and pour over my travel tumbler full of ice, agave and cold cold milk. a really perfect morning.
Sharon N. July 11, 2013
I do this at work in the morning for iced coffee in the afternoon, with a French press. I make it stronger for the shorter 'brew' time :)
dymnyno July 11, 2013
Cold brewed coffee may have less caffein than hot coffee, but it is not caffein free. So if you are sensitive to caffeine you can use decaffeinated coffee to make the cold brew.
smitty July 11, 2013
I use one of these ( for all of my coffee--hot and cold-brewed. And I use regular grind coffee. I swear it's totally delicious, and the paper filter means it's never cloudy.
calendargirl July 11, 2013
I'm with Michael Hoffman: strain twice, first through a fine wire mesh strainer, then through a paper filter. Have been using 6-7 cups of water to about 10-12 ounces coffee; play with it to see what ratio you prefer. But making it in quantity means I have a nice carafe of strong concentrate keeps in the fridge. I like iced coffee better than hot and drink it with a lot of milk, no sugar, sometimes topped with a decadent scoop of coffee ice cream.
Can I. July 11, 2013
This is exactly how I make mine. When fixing a glass, I use 1 part coffee concentrate and 1 part water, then add ice and milk.
dymnyno July 11, 2013
I have a Toddy that I ordered from I also buy Community Coffee which is from New Orleans and always have a carafe (part of the Toddy) of cold brew in my fridge all year around.
OC C. July 14, 2013
I have a Toddy system also and love it. Easy to use and no cheesecloth required. Makes the best iced coffee.
Michael H. July 11, 2013
Here's my trick: I like to strain the brew through a wire mesh strainer, and then thorough a rinsed and cooled Chemex filter. Ultra clarified cold brew!
Mr_Vittles July 14, 2013
Haha! That is good! I usually just use a an old cotton t-shirt rag, I cut up to originally strain stocks through. Of course I washed and boiled it in a baking soda solution first!! Ha!
CatherineTornow July 11, 2013
This iced-coffee addict is so happy you posted this! Going to try the french press tonight.

One question: do you all make simple syrup to sweeten it, or what other sweetener options are there with iced coffee?
darksideofthespoon July 11, 2013
I love using condensed milk. Then you have a vietnamese-coffee-type concoction.
EmilyC July 11, 2013
I too like condensed milk, and I also have a weakness for vanilla syrup (I make my own with 1 cup raw sugar, 1 cup water, 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract). Agave is also a good option because it readily dissolves in cold beverages.
carswell July 11, 2013
I use my Bodum to make cold brewed coffee. Easy peasy. Actually making cold brewed coffee is the only thing it gets used for these days since I acquired an espresso maker for the hot stuff.
Marian B. July 11, 2013
I used my French Press in the same way before it shattered on the floor one morning before I'd had my coffee. RIP.
_lotus July 11, 2013
Can someone from Food52 kindly bring this to me now? *bleary eyed*