Try This Surefire Ratio For Cold Brew Coffee Done Right

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Cold brew vs. iced coffee
How to french press cold brew
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Cold brew coffee difference

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Ahhhh, cold brew. The deliciously refreshing morning beverage that gets us out of bed each day.

But you don’t have to run to your local coffee shop for cold brew. You can have it already waiting for you in the fridge when you wake up!

Making cold brew at home isn’t complicated, but getting the proper coffee to water ratio for cold brew coffee is critical in achieving a perfect brew.

Here we’ll run through the steps to making epic cold brew at home, and soon you too will be waking up to its smooth, caffeinated goodness.

But before we get to the ideal ratio for cold brew coffee, let’s go back a few steps.

What’s Cold Brew?

What makes cold brew different from other cold coffee drinks is the brewing process (more on that in a moment).

The term “cold brew” actually refers to the brewing method and not to the serving temperature.

Cold brew coffee is also smoother and less acidic than traditional iced coffee.

Cold brew lacks the bitterness often associated with iced coffee, so many prefer to drink cold brew coffee black.

How To Cold Brew

As the name suggests, cold brew coffee is brewed with cold or room temperature water, which is one significant difference between iced coffee and cold brew.

Another big difference is the brewing time.

Cold brew is steeped slowly (like 12+ hours slow), allowing all of the fruity, bright notes to be extracted from the coffee grounds without any bitterness.

It’s a time commitment for sure, but cold brew remains the best iced coffee to make at home because it is so easy, and the result is so delicious.

No special equipment is needed to make cold brew. In fact, our favorite method for making cold brew is the french press.

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Ratio For Cold Brew Coffee

The ideal ratio for cold brew coffee is 1:5 coffee to water. 

This ratio for cold brew coffee will work well with most roasts. We like to use a medium roast coffee for our cold brew.

We use ¾ cup coffee to 3 ¾ cup water when making cold brew in our french press.

If you’re using a scale, shoot for around 60-70 grams of coffee.

Remember, the best cold brew ratio will result in a potent cold brew concentrate that’s diluted with milk or water before consumption.

Now let’s put that cold brew ratio to good use.

How To Make Cold Brew In A French Press

Step 1: Gather What You’ll Need To Cold Brew

  1. French press
  2. Filtered water 
  3. Coffee beans
  4. Coffee grinder
  5. Paper filter
  6. Sealable container(s) 
  7. Spoon
Using filtered water for coffee
Best quality coffee beans in the world
Best coffee beans to use for cold brew
Best iced coffee you can drink
Brewing ratio
Cold brew coffee or iced coffee

Step 2: Measure Coffee

Working with the 1:5 ratio for cold brew coffee, measure 60-70 grams (or ¾ cup) of your coffee of choice. (we think these are some of the best coffee beans to use for cold brew)

Step 3: Grind Your Coffee

Now that you’ve selected your coffee beans, it’s time to grind them

To make cold brew in a french press, you’ll want to use a coarse grind that is slightly larger than what you’d typically use for hot french press coffee.

Grab your grinder and grind your coffee, then pour it into your french press.

Step 4: Add Filtered Water

Again using the 1:5 ratio for cold brew coffee, measure 3 ¾ cups of cool or room-temperature filtered water

Using filtered water for coffee dramatically improves the flavor of the brew.

Slowly pour the water over the grounds in a slow, circular motion. Do not stir.

Use the back of a metal spoon to gently press down any floating grounds near the top, ensuring all coffee is submerged.

Step 5: Steep Cold Brew

Cold brew steeping time isn’t an exact science. A good rule of thumb is to steep for at least 12 hours.

We like to steep ours for 16 hours, but start with 12, then adjust as needed.

We recommend steeping at room temperature, provided you’ll be available after 12 hours to finish the process.

Steeping cold brew in the refrigerator slows the brewing process. If you plan to be away longer than 12 hours, it might be best to steep in the fridge for best results.

Step 6: Finish Your Brew And Store

Congratulations! You survived the long wait, and it’s time for cold brew!

Plunge your french press as you normally would, but move very slowly with cold brew. Shoot for a full 30 seconds, and don’t rush it.

Be careful not to press the plunger all the way down.

Place a secondary filter (any pour over paper filter is fine) in the top of your sealable container(s) and, with the screen in place, pour your cold brew into the container(s).

What’s cold brew
Cold brew vs. iced coffee
How to french press cold brew
How to cold brew 
Tips for making cold brew coffee
Cold brew coffee difference

Step 7: Enjoy Your French Press Cold Brew

Now that you know the perfect ratio for cold brew coffee, you’ll likely become obsessed like us. It’s ok, we’re here for you.

Just remember that cold brew is incredibly concentrated!

For best results, you’ll want to dilute your cold brew a bit. So pour it over ice and add water (or milk) to taste. A 1:2 coffee to water ratio (or coffee to milk) works well in most instances.

Remember that your ice will eventually melt and further dilute the cold brew (after all, something so smooth and refreshing is meant to be savored, right?).

But wait, how much caffeine does cold brew have?

Caffeine Content

Those who are sensitive to caffeine should consume cold brew with caution. Because cold brew is steeped over such an extended period, the result is a highly caffeinated cold brew concentrate.

When you’re learning how to cold brew at home, don’t forget to dilute before drinking. If you want to reduce caffeine in your brew, simply add more water or milk to your concentrate rather than adjusting your brewing ratio for cold brew coffee.

As with all coffee beverages, the actual amount of caffeine in cold brew varies greatly. The average 16 oz cold brew has about 200 mg of caffeine

Keep in mind that when you order a 16 oz cold brew from Starbucks or another coffee shop, it’s already been diluted, resulting in a caffeine content that’s comparable to regular coffee (about 95 mg of caffeine per 8 oz).

Getting the correct dilution ratio for cold brew coffee is critical.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you heat up cold brew coffee?

Umm, sure? 

But we’re not sure why you’d want to. If you’re looking for a hot cup of coffee, several brewing methods will yield a better cup of coffee than microwaved cold brew. Cold brew is meant to be enjoyed cold, so we recommend keeping it that way.

Can cold brew coffee go bad?

Yes, cold brew coffee will eventually expire. While it may not spoil like other perishable foods, it will lose its flavor and become sour over time. 

An adequately stored batch of cold brew should last up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Make sure to store your cold brew in an airtight container for best results and consume within 10 days or so.

What is cold brew nitro?

Nitro cold brew is cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen for an ultra-creamy, velvety texture. It’s sinfully delicious.

Nitro cold brew is served without ice, which is an essential factor to consider when ordering. While you won’t experience additional dilution from the ice, your beverage won’t stay cold very long unless it’s in an insulated mug.

Chug, chug.