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 of cold brew and will never have to buy it from the store again.

Pouring cream into cold brew coffee in a glass.

On hot days I’m no longer brewing my Chemex coffee (though it’s still a favorite). Instead, I’ve switched to cold brew coffee for a cooling and refreshing caffeinated beverage.

You’ve likely had cold brewed coffee before, either at a local coffee shop or from the supermarket in packaged containers, for the best grab and go drink. But when you find out how easy it is to make cold brew coffee at home (without refined sugar and colorings) you’ll wonder why you haven’t been making it yourself all along.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

That’s 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. 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 and bitter. Instead, it’s sweeter, more full-bodied in flavor, and truly the best when it comes to iced coffee.

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. Yes, you can meal prep coffee. Awesome, right?

Pouring cold brew concentrate into a glass with ice.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

Once you do this a few times it will become second nature. Here’s how you make it:

  1. Grind your coffee beans to a medium coarse consistency. 
  2. Add the ground coffee beans plus four cups of water to a mason jar or other glass storage container.
  3. Steep this coffee for 12-15 hours on your countertop.
  4. Strain the coffee through a fine mesh sieve or nut milk bag.
  5. Pour the strained cold brew concentrate into a clean mason jar or other container and refrigerate.
  6. Enjoy the cold brew coffee over ice or with your favorite milk or creamer.

Remember to Dilute the Cold Brew Concentrate

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 serving this up over ice or diluting 50/50 with water. I also recommend adding your favorite milk, like almond milk, cashew milk or oat milk, for a deliciously creamy, and definitely thirst-quenching beverage.

Pouring creamer into a glass of cold brew coffee.

Tips for Making Cold Brew Coffee

  • Grind your beans at a medium coarse consistency. 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.
  • Don’t forget to dilute the concentrate. As mentioned above, serve it with ice, water or some type of milk or creamer.

Cold brew coffee in several glasses next to creamer and coffee beans.

Cold Brew Coffee Recipe Video

While cold brew coffee is easy to make, it always helps to watch a quick step-by-step video tutorial. Give it a watch below!

How Long Will it Last?

The cold brew coffee concentrate will keep fresh for a week or so. You could go a little longer, but the flavor is best when consumed in the first week.

What to Pair With Cold Brew Coffee?

So many delicious options! But I highly recommend my:

Cold brew coffee in a glass with milk pouring in.

Easy Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

5 from 20 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 12 hrs
Total Time: 12 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 3 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Making cold brew coffee at home is amazingly simple. With just a little prep, you can enjoy delicious cold brew coffee all week long. Watch the video above!


  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup coffee beans


  • 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.


Calories: 1kcal, Sodium: 16mg, Calcium: 10mg
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.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @downshiftology and hashtag it #downshiftology.

Recipe originally posted July 2017, but updated to include new information and tips. 

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74 comments on “How to Make Cold Brew Coffee”

  1. I like the 4 part water ,4 cups to 1 cup of coffee makes a perfect cold brew concentrate ,i make mine in a 1 gallon glass jar 16 cuos of water to 328 grans of coarse ground coffee beans or if no scale 4 cups groung coffee, yeilds 3 quarts of cold brew just right, you dont want to small of a hatch

  2. Love this coffee and it’s so easy.  I make it once and it lasts for days,  no more watering down with ice,  I added vanilla and it’s great! Using almond milk also.  So smooth.  Thanks, this is great coffee! 😊5 stars

  3. You give the ratio of water to coffee beans as 4:1. What if my coffee is already ground? What would the proper ratio be? Thank you!

  4. I like the tips you provided for the coffee brewing. Thanks

  5. wow, this is so delicious and lovely recipe of brew coffee. I love coffee and this article helps me a lot to know more way to make cold coffee. Thank you for sharing it.5 stars

  6. Hi, I love cold brew but I prefer hot coffee, would it be OK to warm it up before drinking?

  7. Its smooth and refresh my body and mind i have tried your recipe myself i am gonna keep this recipe .when i make this coffee the colour of the coffee look so yummy just its test like .5 stars

  8. Great article. For the newbee, you hit all the high points. I’d like to add a few items that people might enjoy.
    1. Buy a gold mesh filter that normally fits into your 12 cup drip coffee maker. Place this gold metal filter into a 2 cup measuring cup to filter your cold brew. This is fast, easy, and cheap.
    2. Try adding 25% blonde coffee (better known as “white” coffee”. This will give your cold-brew a slight nutty flavor. We love it.
    3. I mix about 1/2 cup of course ground medium roast to a 1 quart mason jar.
    4. It really helps to have a big funnel to pour the grounds into the mason jar.

    Love your article.5 stars

  9. Hi! I only have 1L jug. Could you please give me the best ground coffee to water ratio? Not the whole bean coffee because I only buy pre-ground coffee since I dont have coffee grinder. I want to make cold brew concentrate. Thank you very much.

  10. The weather is getting warm, so it’s definitely time to switch to cold brew coffee again. :)5 stars

  11. I love cold brew coffee, I love that I can make it with this recipe without having to hit the coffee shop.5 stars

  12. That is a delicious looking cold brew. My husband is a big fan of cold brew coffee in summer and I enjoy a cup once in a while. Your clicks are so inviting and tempting that I want to grab it from the screen ;-)5 stars

    • Can never go wrong with prepping a batch of cold brew! Hope you two enjoy this recipe over the summer :)

  13. I am jumping out of my armchair to run to the kitchen to make it! Your pictures are so motivating! :)5 stars

  14. Oh my .. This cold brew coffee is to die for. Its been a while I have made. Now that the weather is getting hotter, I can’t wait to make some soon.5 stars

  15. Love this recipient. I probably soaked the coffee grounds for more like 24 hours and still delicious. Just a little stronger. Been looking for a good recipe for a while now, and this one was my favorite.5 stars

    • Hi Ella – So glad you found a cold brew recipe that you loved! Definitely keep this on hand for the upcoming summer :)

  16. I literally have been meaning to research how to make cold-brew coffee at home, so this makes me VERY HAPPY. You’re basically the best.5 stars

    • Hi James – So glad to hear that! Nothing beats like a cold brew coffee right in the comfort of your own home. Hope this method works out for you!

  17. What is the ratio of concentrate to water?

  18. Thank you very much for the excellent how-to video on cold-brew coffee. I will start my first batch immediately!5 stars

    • Hi Karl – so glad you loved the Cold Brew Coffee video! Can’t wait to see how your first batch comes out :)

  19. I wanted to leave a thank you note: Your making me believe I can do this healthier lifestyle. :D Your clean white photos and videos are what drew me in at first. Now it’s a developing vision of what I want to improve in my diet and, how do I phrase this, self love by slowing down to enjoy and value the process.

  20. Can you tell me which brand coffee beans you prefer to use?5 stars

  21. Hi Brittany – one cup of beans equals about one cup of ground coffee. :) Enjoy the cold brew recipe!

  22. Hey, I am using cold brew coffee beans that I get ground at the coffee shop beforehand. How much ground coffee should I use in comparison to 1 cup of beans? 5 stars

  23. Great tips and hints to make the most perfect cold brew coffee!5 stars

  24. I always love getting the cold brew coffee at Starbucks; glad to have a recipe I can make from home!5 stars

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

  25. 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.5 stars

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

  26. 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 stars

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

  28. 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.5 stars

    • 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. :)

  29. 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 

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

  31. 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!

  32. Hi,

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


  33. Keep the great ideas coming!?

  34. 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. :)

  35. 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!

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

  37. 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!

  38. 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!

  39. 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!