French Press Cold Brew is so simple to make at home. The perfect cup of cold brew is bold, smooth, refreshing, with no bitterness. One batch of cold brew will last for days. Let's get brewing!
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❤️ Why You'll Love This
"Working as a barista I learned how to make fantastic cold bew coffee. Now you can make the perfect cup of cold brew at home. It really is incredibly easy and tastes amazing." 🙂 -Kori
Here's why you'll LOVE French press cold brew coffee:
French press cold brew is the easiest method for making this coffee. Add water, beans, steep, then simply press to filter the coffee.
Since this makes a whole pitcher you'll have coffee made ahead for days! Perfect on busy days
Smooth and Refreshing
French press cold brew is smooth and refreshing with no bitterness or acidity. This is because of the way it's brewed. Using cold water prevents the acidity from releasing into the coffee when it steeps.
Unlike the hot water brewing process that causes the acids to decay into bitter compounds that are released into regular coffee.
☕ What is Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold brew is made with coarse ground coffee beans that have been steeped in cold filtered water for 12 to 24 hours.
Because of the extraction process through steeping, along with the use of cold water, it results in a smooth and refreshing coffee with very little acidic taste. This allows all the subtle bean flavors to come through resulting in a very delicious cup of coffee.
It can be served cold or hot and can be sweetened or flavored in any number of ways.
☕ How To Serve
Serving straight up cold brew is a cinch - just pour it over ice, add a little water to dilute if needed, and sip, but there are other delicious ways to serve. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Add a little sweetened syrup to the bottom of the glass, add coffee, ice, then top with cold foam, cream, or whipped cream.
- Serve hot. Mix with water and heat the coffee in the microwave for a hot cup of joe.
- Make a cocktail adding Irish Cream.
- Add a little chocolate syrup, some milk and whipped cream for a very tasty iced mocha.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this french press cold brew:
- Ground Coffee - you can use pre-ground coffee or grind your own. Coarsely ground coffee is preferable in cold brew, so I typically grind my own beans. I use a strong bold coffee for cold brew like French roast or another rich coffee but you can use any kind you like.
- Cold Filtered Water
- Optional - flavored syrups, cream or cold foam
Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions!
- French Press Coffee Maker - this Bodum Cold Brew Coffee Maker was very inexpesive but you don't need a French press if you have a pitcher or a large mason jar and a way to filter the ground coffee grinds from the water.
- Liquid Measuring Cup
- Coffee Bean Grinder - you can also buy pre-ground coarse ground coffee beans.
- Cold Foam Frother - this is optional and only needed if you want to top your cold brew with cold foam.
- Glass Cup with Lid - the perfect 24 oz size, and they're cute too!
Believe it or not, there are many variations and ways you can make cold brew! Here are several variations for making French press cold brew:
- Add a couple of chai tea bags, pumpkin spice, or other favorite tea to steep with the beans for a delicious chai spice-infused taste.
- Use decaffeinated beans to
- Use a flavored ground coffee beans to impart subtle flavors into the coffee. French vanilla, chocolate, pumpkin spice are great ideas!
Here's how to make this cold brew french press recipe:
For full instructions please see the printable recipe card below.
Place coffee beans in a grinder and pulse until coarse ground.
Add Coffee and Water
Cover the French press and store in a cool dark area or refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
Cover and refrigerate the coffee for 12 to 24 hours.
Attach the plunger filter lid and slowly press down to filter grinds from coffee.
Serve the coffee over ice and add water or milk to dilute as needed. Sweeten with sugar, honey, or flavored syrup, and top with cream or cold foam if desired.
Transfer to an air-tight pitcher and store in the refrigerator.
💭 Top Tips
For the best tasting cold brew I recommend the following:
- Use filtered cold or room temperature water.
- Use coarse ground beans. Grinding your own beans results in the best taste, but it is not required.
- Don't have a coffee bean grinder? You can purchase beans already ground or you can grind them at the store where you purchase the beans.
- If this recipes is too strong for you, adjust by adding more ice, water, or milk to dilute.
What's the difference between iced coffee and cold brew coffee?
The simplest explanation is that iced coffee is brewed with hot water. The coffee is then cooled and then served over ice. Hot brewing coffee brings out the acidity in the beans.
Cold brew is made with coffee grounds that have been steeped in cold water and then served over ice. Cold brewed coffee has a longer brewing process therefore it contains more caffeine than regular coffee. Because cold brew coffee is steeped with cold water, the coffee is less acidic and smoother in taste.
Can you heat cold brew coffee?
Yes, cold brew can be heated. The best way to heat is in your microwave for 1 to 2 minutes until it reaches the desired temperature.
What goes with cold brew?
Cold brew goes well with cream, milk, oat milk, almond milk, sweetened syrups, sugar, cold foam, and whipped cream.
Is cold brew stronger than espresso?
Cold brew is a coffee concentrate so it is quite strong, but the answer to this depends on what type of coffee bean you are using, how long you steeped the beans, and how much cold brew you are using compared to water when you serve.
The bolder and stronger the coffee bean the stronger the coffee. The longer you let the coffee steep the stronger it will be. The less you dilute the coffee with water when you serve, the stronger it will be.
Can I make cold brew without caffeine?
Yes, you can make cold brew by using decaffeinated coffee beans.
What is the best french press for cold brew?
I recommend the Bodum cold brew coffee maker simply because it has worked really well for me and it was less than $15 (when I wrote this it was only $12, actually) so it is very budget-friendly!
Ikea also makes an inexpensive french press that has really good reviews.
If you start making your own cold brew at home, you'll save money in no time at all.
Note: I was not paid by Bodum to say this, it is strictly my personal opinion. 🙂
Do I have to use a French press?
No, you do not technically need a french press, it is just easier. You can brew your cold brew in any container, pitcher, or mason jar that can be filtered. You can strain and filter the grinds with a cheesecloth, coffee filter, or a fine-mesh strainer.
What is the right French press cold brew ratio?
To ratio of cold brew concentrate to water when serving is a personal preference. To start I recommend filling your glass with ice then topping with cold brew, leaving room at the top to dilute with water or milk as needed.
I fill my glass with ice then pour coffee over the top, leaving enough room for 1/3 cup or so of cold foam or milk.
How long should cold brew steep?
Once the coffee grinds are added to the water, the cold brew should steep for a minimum of 12 hours, and up to 24 hours is optimal.
How long will cold brew coffee keep?
Cold-brew coffee will keep up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator with no change in flavor.
What type of coffee beans do I need for cold brew coffee?
You can use any favorite coffee bean for cold brew. It is recommended that you use coarse ground coffee beans, but I can tell you I have made cold brew with regular grind beans before and it still tasted good.
Can I use pre-ground coffee for cold brew?
Yes, you can use pre-ground coffee for cold brew. Coarse ground coffee is optimal, but in a pinch, you can use a standard ground coffee.
✔️ More Cold Brew Recipes
Here are a few more beverages you might like! FYI the sweet tea is nonalcoholic but the other three are cocktails. Enjoy!
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