How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

Some years ago, I tried coffee in a new and quite magical way – by cold brewing. I have come to love this way of making coffee so much that I just have to share my cold brew coffee recipe with you. 

cup of cold brew coffee with ice.

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What is cold brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee is coffee that is ground and then allowed to steep in cold water in the refrigerator for about 10 to 12 hours. To use this cold brew store it in the refrigerator, then heat it to serve hot or use it to make spectacular iced coffee.

Why Cold Brew Coffee Tastes So Good

Cold brew coffee tastes really good because it is low in acid, which causes heartburn problems for some coffee drinkers. 

Cold brew coffee is coffee as it is meant to be – smooth, and you can taste many of the nuances that coffee offers. It isn’t sharp, it isn’t bitter, and it doesn’t have any off-flavors that you wish weren’t there. 

This cold brew coffee recipe never gets stale. When you brew hot coffee, the hot water extracts the oils from the coffee beans, which is where the acidity comes from. Since cold brew does not involve hot water, these oils aren’t extracted, resulting in very low acidity.

Why You Should Try This DIY Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

If you buy cold brew coffee, it is extremely expensive. When I say expensive, prices range all over the place. I promise it won’t cost you anywhere near as much to make this homemade cold brew coffee recipe.

I hope you will give this best cold brew coffee recipe a try. It’s so easy to do, and it tastes so good. When your homemade cold brew coffee is done steeping, you strain it, dilute it to your desired potency, then sit back and enjoy! Bonus – it’s always ready and waiting in the fridge.

CopyKat Tip: Start steeping your next batch of cold-brewed coffee as soon as your current supply is getting low. This way, you’ll never run out!

What Equipment Do You Need to for Making Cold Brew Coffee?

You may wonder if you need a specialized cold brew coffee maker to make DIY cold brew coffee. In a nutshell, cold brew coffee is easy to make, and you don’t need a fancy piece of coffee-making equipment (although such is available if you so choose). You can make cold brew at home in three ways:

  1. Mason jar – simple, but you will need to run the coffee through a filter before serving. You can buy a mason jar with a fitted filter.
  2. French press – if you have one, it’s easy to use it to make cold press coffee.
  3. Cold brew coffee maker – these range from inexpensive to high-end fancy coffee makers that do everything.

Cold Brew Coffee Ingredients

You only need two simple things to make cold brew:

  • Coarse Ground Coffee
  • Water
cold brew coffee ingredients.

Best Coffee for Cold Brew

When making cold brew coffee, it’s best to buy a slightly better quality coffee than you might drink every morning. A lighter roast works well to provide you with all of the wonderful fruity and chocolatey flavors coffee has to offer with no hint of harshness.

You will need to buy whole beans and grind them coarsely yourself with a coffee grinder or have them ground where you purchase the coffee. It’s also best to use filtered water, especially if your local tap water has a lot of chlorine in it. Filtered water ensures that you get the purest coffee flavor possible. 

Best Water for Cold Brew

It’s best to use filtered water, especially if your local tap water has a lot of chlorine in it. Filtered water ensures that you get the purest coffee flavor possible.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

  1. Pour cold, filtered water into a French press or Mason jar.
  2. Add coarse ground coffee.
  3. Refrigerate the gounds and water for at least 12 hours.
  4. Separate the cold-brewed coffee from the grounds. If using a French press, press down the plunger and pour off the water. If you are using a Mason jar, pour the coffee through the coffee filter.
collage of cold brew coffee recipe steps.
  1. Serve over ice. Enjoy!
pouring cold brew coffee into a cup with ice.

How to Serve Homemade Cold Brew Coffee

  • Serve it as iced coffee by simply pouring over ice.
  • Add cream, flavored creamer, or sweetener to give it some extra flavor. It is over-the-top good with French vanilla creamer
  • Heat cold brew and serve it as hot coffee.

No matter how you serve it, you will love your cold brew coffee.

pouring cream into a cup of cold brew coffee.

Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine Than Hot Coffee?

Homemade cold press coffee initially has much more caffeine due to the ratio of coffee to water. A cold brew concentrate can have more than 500mg of caffeine per 8 ounces of liquid, while a hot brew of equal volume usually has about 100mg.

However, the cold brew mixture is not a ready-to-drink beverage like regular coffee. It needs to be diluted.

You can also use decaf coffee. Decaf still has the tiniest bit of caffeine in it, closer to the amount tea has. 

What’s the Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee?

The difference lies in the way the coffee is brewed. Iced coffee begins life as hot coffee made the regular way, while cold brew is actually brewed cold, as the name implies.

The most important difference is in the flavor. Cold brew coffee will have very little acidity and bitterness, and the flavor is smoother and a bit sweeter.

What Does Cold Brew Coffee Go With?

Your deliciously smooth and tasty cold brew coffee deserves a delicious accompaniment, such as:

How to Store Cold Brew Coffee

Making cold brew coffee is simple, and you should store it in your refrigerator. Regularly brewed coffee’s flavor quality begins to degrade within 30 minutes after the water touches the ground coffee beans.

Cold brew keeps much better because it has higher flavor stability. Cold brews can last up to 10 days; although this coffee is so good, it probably won’t be in your refrigerator for that long.

I hope you will give this cold brew coffee a try. It’s so easy to do, and it tastes so good.

a cup of cold brew coffee with cream.

Love iced coffee drinks? Try these favorites!

Popular Cold Drinks

Check out more of my easy drink recipes and the best fast food drink recipes here on CopyKat!

a cup of cold brew coffee with cream.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

You don’t need to buy cold brew coffee, you can make cold brew coffee at home. 
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Coffee Recipes, Cold Brew Coffee
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Chilling: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 3kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup coarse ground coffee

Instructions

  • Pour 2 cups of water into a French press or Mason jar.
  • Add 1/2 cup of coarse ground coffee.
  • Place a lid on the container and refrigerate it for at least 12 hours.
  • After 12 hours, separate the coffee from the grounds. If using a French press, press down the plunger and pour off the water. If you are using a Mason jar, pour the coffee through the coffee filter.
  • Store cold brew coffee in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Video

Equipment

French Press

Nutrition

Calories: 3kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 5mg | Sugar: 0g | Calcium: 3mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Annette Taylor

    Using the recipe above, how much water would you add to the brewed mixture (2 cups water + 1/2 cup coarse ground coffee)?

  2. Kelly

    Do you heat the water before adding the coarsely ground beans or it it room temp? Then stir and refrigerate. Please advise, thanks!

  3. Glenda Wallace

    5 stars
    I love iced coffee or hot coffee. I drink it without milk, cream, or sugar. I hate, hate Luke warm coffee. Thank you for this post. I can’t wait to make my cool brew coffee. I love your posts and appreciate your hard work.

  4. stromy93

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I’ve given it a try myself. But I’ve tried using regular ground coffee grounds from like Folgers and such. Then run through a coffee filter using a funnel. Comes out pretty good. I’ve even experimented using a half gallon pitcher and making a double batch at once. Came out pretty good. Then I experimented around and made your Dunkin’ Donut iced coffee. Then saw you’re post and realized I had came up with the recipe on my own! So thanks there!

    • Stephanie

      I usually make my cold brew coffee in a French Press. It is so easy to do! I am glad you practiced this one your own. Cold brew coffee is so expensive when you buy it out.

  5. kevin1

    This recipe calls for an awful lot of grounds, the caffeine content will turn you into Cornholio. It only takes three ounces of grounds to 6 cups of water to make cold brew that tastes fabulous.

      • kevin1

        A coarse grind and longer steep is the secret, I steep mine for about 14 hours before serving. That way the stronger infusion can be be diluted into a few ounces of water. When you have GERD and love coffee you have to be creative.

  6. RoundPonda

    The only problem with this method and making cold brewed tea, is that nutritionists have WARNED consumers from making cold brewed coffee or tea, because mouse droppings and other nasty contents may be present in beans or tea leaves that will not be neutralized by heating… There is no cure for the Hanta Virus…

  7. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes

    I prefer iced coffees to hot coffee (I’m weird!) – this sounds like a great idea!

  8. Susan Savarese

    I can’t WAIT to try this. I’m going to go grind my beans now! Thanks so much for this recipe!!

      • Susan Savarese

        Oh my goodness! I just poured myself a cup. You are so right, it is REALLY good, Stephanie! It’s very smooth, no bitter taste at all. The only time I’ve purchased cold brew is at Dunn Bros. and it is $10 for a “jug”. This is, obviously, cheaper but moreso, it’s so much better. I’m so excited you posted this! Keep ’em coming!

      • stephaniemanley

        I love it! Now you don’t have to pay all of that money to enjoy the cold brew! It’s so easy to make.

  9. Mary

    What would be an easy way to sweeten (with sugar) the cold coffee? Sounds great but I gotta have my sugar! Thanks.

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