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How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee is amazingly simple to make at home. With my tips (and quick little video) you’ll have the perfect glass – and never have to buy it from the store again.

Cold brew coffee is amazingly simple to make at home. With my tips (and quick little video) you'll have the perfect cup - and never have to buy it again.

We’re smack dab in the middle of summer and it sure is hot out. Temps are in the 90’s in Southern California. That means I’m not longer brewing my Chemex coffee (though it’s still a favorite). Instead, I’ve switched to cold brew coffee for a cooling, refreshing and caffeinated beverage. And I’m seriously loving it.

You’ve likely had cold brewed coffee before, either at a coffee shop like Starbucks or from the supermarket in packaged containers, for the best grab and go drink. My favorite is Chameleon Cold Brew, because it’s one of the few that’s organic.

But when you find out how easy it is to make cold brew coffee at home you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it all along.

Watch this Video of My Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

Cold brew coffee is easy to make, but it always helps to watch a quick step-by-step video tutorial.

So What is Cold Brew Coffee?

An important question. Because cold brew coffee is not the same as drip coffee or regularly brewed hot coffee that’s been cooled or served over ice. Nope.

Cold brew coffee never gets hot and instead of brewing in just a few minutes, it’s slow-brewed and steeped over 12-15 hours. This translates to coffee that’s slightly less acidic, less bitter and sweeter, more full-bodied in flavor.

But here’s why you’re really gonna love cold brew coffee. You can make a batch on Sunday and have fresh, homemade cold brew for the entire week. With no additional work. Awesome, right?

Cold brew coffee is amazingly simple to make at home. With my tips (and quick little video) you'll have the perfect cup - and never have to buy it again.

Remember to Dilute the Cold Brew Concentrate

Watch the video above to see how easy it is to make cold brew at home. Then give it a try. One thing to keep in mind is that you’re actually making cold brew concentrate. And this is pretty potent stuff. Only drink this straight up if you want to feel jittery and buzzy for the rest of the day (which I don’t recommend).

Instead, what I recommend is to serve this up over ice or dilute 50/50 with water. I also recommend adding your favorite milk or creamer for a seemingly decadent, deliciously creamy, and definitely thirst-quenching beverage.

Cold brew coffee is amazingly simple to make at home. With my tips (and quick little video) you'll have the perfect cup - and never have to buy it again.

A Few Tips for Making Cold Brew Coffee

  • Grind your beans at a medium coarse consistency ( the same consistency for brewing Chemex coffee). You don’t want finely ground coffee beans, which is what you’d use for drip coffee. I recommend this coffee grinder, if you’re looking to grab one.
  • You’ll brew at a ratio of 4:1. Four cups of water to one cup of coffee beans. If you want more cold brew, just double this. And if you’re using a mason jar (as I am in the video), you’ll need to use slightly less to get it to fit – 3 cups of water to 3/4 cups coffee beans. Just keep the ratio consistent.
  • You can steep the coffee in pretty much any container (though I recommend glass). I use a mason jar, but you could also use a french press or KitchenAid even has a nifty cold brew maker.
  • Use filtered water for the cleanest cup of cold brew.
  • Steep for at least 12 hours. After that, you can play around with the flavor. If you’d like it stronger, brew it longer – up to 24 hours. But I find that 12-15 hours usually keeps most coffee lovers happy.
  • While the cold brew can steep on your countertop at room temperature, once you’ve strained it, keep the concentrate in the refrigerator. This will keep it fresh for a week or so. You could go a little longer, but the flavor is best when consumed in the first week.
  • Don’t forget to dilute the concentrate. As mentioned above, serve it with ice, water or some type of milk or creamer. I usually add my favorite cashew milk, but you could also make a batch of slightly thicker, vanilla-flavored cashew creamer (just make the sweet version of my cashew cream – so good).

For a little breakfast inspiration and what to pair with this cold brew coffee, I highly recommend my paleo pancakes, cranberry almond biscotti or banana bread. Which all just so happen to be gluten-free and grain-free. Enjoy!

Cold brew coffee is amazingly simple to make at home. With my tips (and quick little video) you'll have the perfect cup - and never have to buy it again.

Cold brew coffee is amazingly simple to make at home. With my tips (and quick little video) you'll have the perfect cup - and never have to buy it again.
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How to Make Cold Brew Coffee (Easy Recipe!)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 12 hrs
Total Time: 12 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 3 servings
Making cold brew coffee at home is amazingly simple. With just a little prep, you can enjoy delicious cold brew coffee all week long. 
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Ingredients

  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup coffee beans

Instructions

  • Grind your coffee beans to a medium coarse consistency. 
  • Add the water and ground coffee beans to a mason jar or other glass storage container. Then, leave it on your counter to steep for 12-15 hours. 
  • Strain the coffee through a fine mesh sieve that's lined with a couple layers of cheesecloth over a large measuring cup or bowl. Alternatively, you could use a nut-milk bag or coffee filter on top of the sieve. 
  • Pour the strained cold brew concentrate back into a clean mason jar and store in the refrigerator. 
  • To serve, pour the cold brew concentrate over ice, with water or with your favorite milk or creamer. 

Lisa's Tips

  • The recipe make approximately 3 cups of cold brew concentrate.

Nutrition

Calories: 1kcal, Sodium: 16mg, Calcium: 1%
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cold Brew, Cold Brew Coffee, How to Make Cold Brew Coffee
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
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34 comments on “How to Make Cold Brew Coffee”

  1. Great tips and hints to make the most perfect cold brew coffee!

  2. I always love getting the cold brew coffee at Starbucks; glad to have a recipe I can make from home!

    • Yep, no more starbucks with this cold brew! Thanks for the kind comment, Sara! :)

  3. I am a coffee snob, and like my cold brew well done so I make it at home but you have great tips grinding is essential.

    • Thanks Adriana! I appreciate the kind comment from self-identified coffee snob ;)

  4. Thank you for making this so easy! I was wondering how to make this for awhile and now I know just in time for summer!

  5. This was so easy to make thanks to all of those helpful tips!! mmmm Thank you!

  6. Great website for the single guy (me) who wants to better plan and refine diet and nutrition. One of the most useful websites I have come across with valuable information and very user friendly. Please continue to keep up the good work for all you subscribers. Would like to mention when giving nutritional break down, Calories, fats, carbs, etc; can you be more specific relative to serving size such as 1 cub, 8 oz, etc. This would be helpful for those that are watching macro break downs on daily consumption of food. Again, you are doing a great job keeping people informed and healthy.

    • Hi Patrick – Thank you so much for your kind words and I’m so glad you love my site! Yes, I’m aware of the lack of “yield” on my recipes, I’m trying to get it fixed on the back end, so stand by. :)

  7. I only need 1/4 cup concentrate for an ice cream recipe. What ratio would I use to get close to that? Or can I freeze the rest of the concentrate? I can’t drink cold drinks. Thanks 

  8. Where are your straws from? I’ve been looking for reusable straws that don’t have those notches in the straw’s bend!

  9. I just made my second batch with 8 oz coarsely ground coffee in a one gallon container. Just put in the coffee, fill the container with water and let sit for 18-24 hours. Strained through cheesecloth twice. First batch lasted 2 weeks. Fabulously smooth!

  10. Hi,

    Have you ever tried with a thinner grind? Do you know what would happen?

    Thanks!

  11. Keep the great ideas coming!?

  12. I don’t have a coffee grinder. Could I use store bought coffee like Folgers or similar brand?

    • Unfortunately, that type of store-bought coffee is finely ground and meant for drip machines. You really want a medium to medium-coarse grind for cold brew coffee. Some supermarkets have grinders where you can grind your own in store, so I’d recommend doing that so you can control the grind. :)

  13. It’s still cold here in Australia, but the moment it warms up I’m definitely going to make cold brew coffee – thanks for all the tips! I feel like it is so much easier than I thought it was!

  14. Never tried cold brew coffee and this one looks so enticing, it piqued my attention to brew one as well.

  15. I’ve started to drink cold brew coffee (store-bought) and I really like it! I can’t wait to make my own! Thanks for the tips!

  16. I LOVE a great cold brew coffee! I seriously run on it. This looks great and I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  17. I have never tried making my own cold brew, but you may have just convinced me to give it a go. And I LOVE your pour shot with the creamer – my mouth seriously watered!