Did you know that you can cold brew coffee in a French Press? It’s incredibly simple to make and far less expensive than purchasing it ready to drink at your local grocery store.
Before you know it you will be making a batch of cold brew the easiest way and save some money too!
This brewing method is an easy way to make coffee. No coffee filter, like a paper filter, or special equipment, like a cold brew coffee maker, is needed when you use the French press method. The brewing process to make cold brewed coffee easier than hot brew coffee.
This cold brew recipe is a great way to replicate your favorite coffee shop drinks on hot summer days.
There are just a few simple steps that you do at first, a long time to steep, then finally a press of your French Press plunger and you have your own inexpensive cold brew.
One thing to note is that the french press cold brew concentrate will be stronger than brewed coffee. You will either thin it out with water or make it super-rich with extra non-dairy milk.
It’s perfect for iced coffees since it’s already cold. But you can also just add hot water to it to make yourself a hot cup of cold-brewed coffee.
It will still have less acid in it than hot-brewed coffee. Can you believe how simple that was?
The good news is that the concentrate will have less acidity, so you may find that you past personal preference for sugar and creamer may change.
I find that cold brew is the best coffee for those with stomach issues.
Can I make cold brew without caffeine?
One of the best things about brewing cold brew concentrate at home is you can use any coffee, and that means that decaf will work perfectly if that’s your drink.
In fact, it’s what I make because I can’t even get a decaf iced cold brew at my local coffee shop!
Can I cold brew grain coffee substitutes?
You sure can! And my favorite, Teeccino, get nice and strong with the overnight steeping time. I’ve never seen this out, so it’s just one more good reason to make your own concentrate at home.
Why do people drink cold brew?
It may seem like coffee, is coffee, is coffee, but when you cold brew you get a coffee that has less acid. I’m not a fan of the bright acid flavors that hot coffee has and neither is my stomach lining, but if you love the bright acidic flavors cold brew coffee may not be for you. But makes it better for people with acid reflux.
Many people who have stomach issues with acids are able to drink cold brew coffee. I happen to be one of those. Personally, I love the smooth flavor that’s achieved by cold brewing. Plus it takes less effort than driving to the store.
What goes with cold brew?
My homemade lavender syrup will add some spring into your morning iced coffee and my favorite DIY cardamom vanilla syrup will also have you looking forward to waking up!
Harry Potter fan? Why not add some butterbeer syrup to start your day off magical?
Turn yours into a vegan pumpkin spice latte for fall with my pumpkin coconut caramel sauce, pumpkin spice syrup, or with some homemade pumpkin-spice cashew creamer.
The caramel and syrup have actual pumpkin in it and the creamer has no actual pumpkin – just spices. Or for something more plain try my homemade vanilla nut vegan creamer.
Or keep it simple and just add a little homemade almond milk or oat milk.
Do I need a special brewing device to brew cold brew coffee?
The short answer is no. You can make cold brew in French Press Coffee Maker that you might already have hidden in your cabinet, or even in a plain old mason jar.
There are a ton of specialty devices that are for cold brew too. I love mine that has a glass pitcher with a metal infuser.
Kitchen Aid has a fancy one that’s glass and lives in your fridge, and there’s the original Toddy Maker, but I suggest you try it first with what you have on hand.
But the bottom line is you don’t have to spend much if any, money to get started.
Can you make iced coffee with a french press?
Making cold brew in a french press is so easy, you’ll wonder why you ever bought ready-made. If you have a French press gathering dust in the cabinet, now you have a new use for it.
Cold-brew makes the best iced coffee because you store the concentrate in the fridge. Just pour over ice with your favorite coffee syrups or non-dairy milk, stir and drink.
Is it hard to make cold brew coffee?
Brewing cold brew concentrate is ridiculously simple with my French Press recipe. Cold brew coffee is ridiculously simple to make.
You just mix ground regular coffee, coarse grind size, with water, let it sit 24 to 48 hours, then strain the coffee out, and store the concentrate in the fridge.
My recipe uses a French Press or a mason jar and a fine mesh strainer or nut milk bag. The only other thing you need is coarse ground coffee, but you can get by with packaged ground coffee.
But it’s better to avoid drip coffee, and get an extra coarse grind, or a french press grind if you can find them or if you have a coffee grinder.
Photo by Ann Oliverio
French press cold brew recipe
All you need is a coarse ground coffee that you love. It could be a light roast or dark roast, flavored or natural, you even get to choose between regular or decaffeinated coffee!
I think this is the best reason to make your own cold brew concentrate over buying it pre-made. Well, that and the fact that it’s a fraction of the cost.
Can you make cold brew in a french press?
Yes you can and it’s just this simple: Add the ground coffee and water to your French press and let it sit 8 to 24 hours. I usually just do 8, but the longer it sits the stronger your concentrate will be.
When the amount of time you want it to steep has passed, you will simply push down the plunger.
That will trap the grounds below the filter. A few grains may pour out with the concentrate, but you can filter it through a fine-mesh strainer if it bothers you. I’m fine with it, or maybe I’m just lazy!
What kind of coffee do you need for cold brew coffee concentrate?
You can use any kind of ground coffee but it’s best if you buy whole beans because if you use coarse ground coffee there will be fewer fine particles of grounds in your final concentrate.
I usually look for what’s on sale, but the beauty of making your own is that you can use your favorite roast or flavored coffee, regular or decaffeinated.
If you start with great coffee, be it light roast or dark roast, your own cold brew will be just as good, if not better than the concentrates you can buy at the store.
How to make cold brew coffee in a French press:
Fill the base of your French Press halfway with the grounds and then halfway with cold water. Replace the plunger but leave it at the top of your French Press, like the photo below.
Then store it in a cool, dark place for 12-15 hours (we use our refrigerator). Then, press the plunger and pour over the ice. If needed, add milk, flavorings, or simple syrup.
How much coffee to water for cold brew?
The ratio of coarse ground coffee to cups of water to make your cold brew is subjective. If you want a stronger concentrate you would add more ground coffee, for a weaker one add less.
That’s great, but if this is your very first time making it where should you start? In a 4 cup, 32 ounce, or 1 liter French press add about 3/4 to 1 cup ground coffee to about 4 cups water to start with.
After the first batch you can tailor it to suit your taste. I usually start with this water ratio of 3 parts water to one part coffee grounds, but you can use the amount of water that makes the cold brew mixture strength that you prefer.
After all, a higher ratio of coffee grounds makes a strong morning brew, while the brew time will also change the brew strength.
Does cold brew coffee have more caffeine?
The concentrate certainly does and that’s why you drink it diluted. I’ve seen people drink concentrate straight and if you are sensitive to caffeine I would never try it.
Another great reason to make your own concentrate is you can make your decaf if you don’t do well with caffeine.
Is cold brew coffee stronger than espresso?
It really depends on the type and roast of coffee you use to make your cold brew. While it’s not traditional, you could even cold brew espresso roasted beans that are coarsely ground.
Steeping time will play a part in the concentrate strength as well, so brew longer to make it stronger and less time for a more mellow coffee.
The best part of making your own coffee concentrate is that you can get beans that are your favorite roast and grind them.
Does cold brew coffee have less acid?
Cold brew coffee is made by steeping ground coffee beans in cold or room temperature water for 12 to 24 hours. Because the cold-brew method results in less acidic than standard brewed coffee.
It’s so much easier on your stomach and actually allowed me to start drinking coffee again.
For the best cold brew use coarsely ground coffee
A coarse grind size may appear to be chunky, even when you start to add the water. You can stir the ground with a spoon or shake in a mason jar to wet all the grounds.
The coarse grind helps keep the grounds filtered out of the concentrate and makes it less bitter. The actual grinding process can heat the grounds which adds that bitter flavor from the acids produced.
If you mixed everything together in a mason jar, you will need to strain it through a nut milk bag or a fine-mesh strainer.
How do I use coffee concentrate?
You can dilute the concentrate with water or your favorite non-dairy milk. You can even add in maple syrup or coffee syrups to make drinks that rival expensive coffeehouse drinks.
How much concentrate should I use per cup?
Well, I have to tell you that’s this is super subjective. I like my coffee with lots and lots of soy milk, so I add about 1/3 concentrate to 2/3 nondairy milk. But I like a little coffee with. my soy milk!
I recommend that you experiment to find your perfect ratio. Also if you like it black just add water until it’s the strength that you like.
Can you heat cold brew coffee?
You can heat up the concentrate as is in the microwave or on the stove. If you use just a little concentrate to your water you can even heat it up by adding hot water from the kettle.
Personally, I like to heat mine up with some nondairy milk at the same time to make a latte.
How long is cold brew concentrate good for?
In the refrigerator it will last for 3 to 4 weeks, that is if it lasts that long. If you are the only coffee drinker, brew a large batch and freeze part in ice cube trays to defrost later.
The cubes will last months in the freezer, and you can brew less frequently. Or you can serve iced cold brew over the coffee ice cubes to keep your summer coffee from getting watery.
Does the concentrate go bad if not refrigerated?
Even though coffee is acidic, it will go bad fast if not stored in the fridge. The awesome thing about cold brew is you can just pop it in the refrigerator while it’s brewing in the French press to make it last even longer.
Can you make an iced cold brew coffee?
If you are into iced coffee, cold brew is amazing served over ice. Just add the concentrate and your liquid of choice to dilute it.
Some people use water if they drink theirs black, but I’m team lots of non-dairy milk. Then pour over ice cubes and serve.
Coffee Recipes that use cold brew concentrate
You can drink cold brew coffee as is, or with your favorite non-dairy milk or creamer, hot or iced. But if you’re like me you may want to break out of the coffee box, so here are some of my favorite recipes that use cold brew coffee in them.
- Be Different and Drink Sweet Potato Spice Frozen Lattes
- Middle Eastern Iced Coffee
- Slow Cooker Maple Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Vegan Pumpkin Spice Frozen Coffee
How to Make Cold Brew Coffee in Your French Press (or Mason Jar)
Coffee concentrate is dirt-cheap, and you get to make it with the roast you like best. The hands-on time to make it is about 5 minutes—maybe 10 if you grind your own beans—and it keeps in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
- 1/2 cup course ground coffee (can use more or less to suit your taste)
- enough water to fill French press or Mason jar
Add the ground coffee to your French press or Mason jar.
Carefully place the filter/plunger so that it is just on top of the grounds, keeping them under the water. Let sit overnight up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
In the morning, gently press down the plunger to push the coffee grounds to the bottom. Pour into your favorite pitcher (with a lid) or mason jar(s) and store in the refrigerator.
This makes a concentrate. You can make this as strong as you want by adding more coffee grounds.
I add in nondairy creamer to dilute mine, but you can also you water if you prefer your coffee black. I use about 1/3 concentrate and 2/3 nondairy milk.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 0Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 0mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 0g
Nutrition information is provided from nutritionix.com as a close estimate. If you have specific health issues please put the recipe information, including the exact ingredients you use, into the nutritional calculator your Dr. recommends.
Laura @MotherWouldKnow says
I have a French press that sits gathering dust on my shelf. But now I’m going to make use of it finally – this is genius!
Kathy Hester says
You will love it!
allie @ Through Her Looking Glass says
Amazing cold brew coffee Kathy, and I must have that gorgeous coffee scoop!
Kathy Hester says
It’s Ann’s, but I may have to steal it from her ;p
Lauren @ Wicked Spatula says
I adore my french press! This is exactly how I make cold brew coffee, my husband is a coffee addict! Ha!
Kathy Hester says
It’s so much easier to grab it from the fridge than brewing it everyday!
Levan @ Crazy Vegan Kitchen says
OMG I could do with this right now. I have 2 more classes to teach and I need a ZING of ENERGY that this coffee could give me. Need. Now! Thanks for the amazing instructions and for sharing the cookbook too 🙂
Nutmeg Nanny says
Cold brew coffee is my favorite! It tastes amazing without any hint of bitter flavor.
Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen says
I really just need to make my own! You made it look so easy 🙂
Lydia Claire says
OMG, I must be making Jet Fuel. I use 2 1/2 cups of ground coffee (on the coarsest grind) to 3 or 3 1/2 cups of water and I let it brew for a few days. I mix about 4 ounces of my cold brew with some Silk Vanilla Creamer and unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. So yummy! I just scoop the coffee into a 1 1/2 liter glass jar and then add water. I use a wooden chopstick to mix it all up so the grounds sink to the bottom, but I have to wait a couple of hours so they can absorb the water and be heavy enough to sink. Then I just strain it using a 4 cup glass measuring cup, with a strainer on top and a coffee filter in it. My stomach can’t handle coffee regularly brewed with hot water. Cold Brew has saved me!
Leigh Ann Long says
So the recipe above is for the concentrate? If so, how much concentrate per cup of coffee? I love this idea.
Kathy Hester says
It is a concentrate. I usually pour about 1/3 concentrate and 2/3 nondairy milk, but it will depend on how strong you like your coffee. You can even make your concentrate stronger by adding more coffee to water in the French Press. If you like your coffee black you can add water to dilute it to your desired strength.
This is probably a dumb question, but I’ve never seen or had cold pressed coffee so I must ask anyway! You actually drink the coffee cold, you don’t add hot water, only cold water when you mix the concentrate with your choice of liquid? My husband enjoys cold coffee, even espresso, but I am not a fan. I have started a batch in our FP and will see if he’d like some in the morning before work. Thanks for your help!
I keep cold brew coffee concentrate in the frig. In the morning I put 1 or 2 ounces in a coffee cup, add hot water and half and half and enjoy smooth hot cofcee with no acid or bitterness. It’s also wonderful for iced coffee. Just put a lkt of ice in a glass, tben wafdr, then cold brew concentrate to taste, then half and half. Delicious!
LeCase Paris says
This is very well-detailed blog about making a cold brew coffee. Thank you for sharing this one.
I used to make this once per week. I’d divide it between two quart mason jars, add chocolate syrup and sugar then top with cashew milk. Then I just had to shake and pour over a glass of ice for an iced mocha in the morning. I think it’s time to go make some cold brew!
This recipe looks amazing, thanks for sharing!
Love this ‘how-to’ cold brew tutorial, and your extra recipe links look so yummy! Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Turn About. I’ll be featuring you at tomorrow’s party! Pinned!
Kathy Hester says
I’m so excited!