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The Ultimate Guide on How to Make Cold Brew with a French Press: Simple Steps and Expert Tips

Cold Brew Coffee

June 9, 2024

Discover how to make cold brew with a French press – your straightforward path to a deliciously smooth and rich homemade caffeine fix. This article demystifies the process, guiding you through each step to harness the full potential of your French press. Cold brewed coffee is brewed at a cold temperature rather than a hot temperature, resulting in a chilled, aromatic coffee that’s easy to prepare and customizable to your taste.

Key Takeaways

  • A French press makes cold brewing simple, creating less bitter and more flavorful coffee that you can customize in both strength and batch size. Cold brewed coffee is brewed at a cold temperature, resulting in less bitterness and more flavor.

  • Coarse coffee grounds are essential for the perfect cold brew in a French press, allowing for a smooth taste and slower extraction that avoids bitterness and overextraction.

  • After steeping the cold brew concentrate for 12-24 hours at room temperature, dilute according to preference, and fine-tune the filtration for a clear, sediment-free beverage that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.


The French Press Method: Crafting Your Cold Brew

A French press with coarsely ground coffee and cold brew coffee


No longer is the French press just a tool for hot coffee. This common kitchen staple streamlines the cold brew process, allowing you to craft barista-level drinks in the comfort of your own home. Cold brewed coffee is brewed at a cold temperature, which extracts less bitterness and more flavor. By using a coffee grinder, you can fine-tune the grind size specifically tailored to your preferred brewing method.

Whether preparing an individual cup to energize your day or making enough to last throughout the week, rely on your faithful French press. It guarantees that every gulp will be smoother and tastier because it has been steeped in cold water – extracting less bitterness and more flavor from each coffee ground.

Gathering Your Supplies

To begin making cold brew coffee, you only need a basic toolkit, with the French press coffee maker being of utmost importance. Possessing this equipment might already tick all boxes necessary to commence brewing in a french press.

The Yama 6 Cup French Press is ideal for creating your cold brew with its generous 800ml capacity. Any available French press can effectively serve your needs. There’s no need for specialized gadgets—embrace the power of this ubiquitous and versatile coffee maker.

Selecting the Right Coffee Beans

Any coffee creation is fundamentally defined by its beans. To achieve the perfect French press cold brew, opt for medium to dark roast beans that can provide the deep and velvety taste loved by cold brew enthusiasts. Choose a bean variety you enjoy as a foundation for your personalized beverage.

Exploring various bean types may unveil an array of tastes that delightfully appeal to your individual flavor preferences, much like discovering a harmony of flavors suited uniquely to your taste buds.


The Perfect Grind: Preparing Your Coffee Beans

Coarse coffee grounds for cold brew


The journey towards the perfect cold brew begins with the grinding process. Imagine every coffee bean as a treasure trove brimming with flavors, where the grind serves as your master key. It’s essential to use coarsely ground coffee. It flawlessly releases all those desirable tastes and fragrances without falling into overextraction that could lead to bitterness.

Why Coarse Grounds Work Best

Using a coarse grind is essential for the art of cold brew perfection. The larger particles aid in decelerating the extraction process, which wards off unwanted bitterness and guarantees an even, velvety flavor. Finer grinds may cause excessive extraction resulting in a taste that isn’t as appealing. Coarse grounds deliver just the right level of filtration to produce a pure and tasty cold brew.

These coarser granules restrain the emission of acidic components, providing your coffee with a sweeter taste profile that’s less harsh on the palate while effectively utilizing coffee grounds during brewing. Checkout a few cold brew options here.

Grinding at Home vs. Pre-Ground Coffee

Just as the unmistakable aroma of freshly baked bread, the freshness of your ground coffee is incomparable. Grinding your beans immediately before making cold brew captures all their exquisite flavors, allowing them to permeate through every sip. Although using pre-ground coffee might seem convenient, grinding at home gives you control over the grind size and thus a more personalized brewing journey.

When employing an Encore grinder or another high-precision device for grinding your coffee beans, expect outstanding results due to its ability to produce even grinds essential for flawless extraction.


Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate: Mixing Ratios and Techniques

The heart of cold brew coffee is its strong concentrate, which serves as a versatile foundation for many different styles. To achieve the ideal balance, it’s suggested to use a 1:8 ratio of coffee to water when making this robust base that can then be fine-tuned according to preference.

Finding Your Ideal Strength

Mastering the strength of your cold brew is akin to an alchemist meticulously perfecting their elixir. While the conventional 1:8 coffee-to-water ratio serves as a foundational guideline, it can be adjusted to cater to individual taste preferences for potency or mildness. Ratios such as 1:10 yield a robust flavor profile, whereas a 1:14 dilution imparts a softer character on the beverage. It’s crucial to note that coarse grounds are essential. They act as the foundation where these ratios manifest, consistently delivering a harmonious and velvety concentrate with each batch.

The Art of Mixing

The first encounter between coffee and water is crucial. Follow these steps carefully.

  1. Right after the initial pour, stir quickly to avoid any dry areas, guaranteeing that each coffee ground joins in on the taste celebration.

  2. Once you’ve stirred initially, keep adding water progressively until your preferred ratio is achieved.

  3. Keep stirring consistently for a uniformly delightful cup of coffee.


Mastering the Steeping Process

coffee, brew, beverage, french press


Taking the time to allow coffee and water to mingle leisurely is rewarded handsomely. The French press advocates for a deliberate intermingling, usually lasting 12 to 24 hours, facilitating an unhurried extraction of the coffee bean’s core flavors.

This prolonged immersion period produces a brew that is not only robust and rich in flavor but also reduced in acidity. Such meticulously crafted coffee promises an enchanting experience for your taste buds.

Room Temp Water vs. Refrigeration

Some individuals may be inclined to place their brew in the refrigerator, yet conducting cold brewing at ambient temperature is actually the clandestine nod for enhanced flavor extraction. Chilling can decelerate the process, thereby trapping certain flavors within the coffee beans that would otherwise be released.

When Time Is Up: Plunging Technique

Once the steeping process has hit its optimum point, it’s the plunger’s turn to act. Carefully and with a gentle motion, depress the plunger to sift through the grounds without causing any disturbance, guaranteeing an extraction that is both unadulterated and clear.


Filtration Finesse: Separating Coffee from Grounds

Fine-mesh sieve for coffee filtration


Crafting a translucent cold brew coffee is truly an artistic endeavor. Although utilizing the French press filter serves as an excellent initial step, at times it becomes necessary to employ a supplementary paper coffee filter or fine mesh sieve in order to ensnare those finer particles that threaten to cloud your concoction. There are a lot of guides out there to help with cold brew coffee recipes as well.

Beyond the Built-In Filter

To achieve a clear and smooth brew without any sediment, think about fitting a strainer with either a paper filter or reusable fabric. Adding this process guarantees a silky consistency that will undoubtedly delight the taste buds.

Ensuring Clarity in Every Sip

Be mindful not to overlook the efficacy of a two-step filtration process. Apply soft pressure and take your time filtering in order to preserve the quality of your brew, which will result in an enhanced clarity that improves every single draught.


Flavorful Finishing Touches: Customizing Your Cold Brew

The allure of cold brew coffee stems from its adaptability. It caters to those who enjoy their coffee neatly as well as individuals who enjoy crafting unique beverage creations, offering boundless opportunities for customization. We have a great article on natural flavoring here.

Diluting Your Cold Brew Concentrate

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Adjusting the concentration of your cold brew can transition its profile from robust and intense to gently nuanced. To precisely calibrate both its potency and mouthfeel according to personal preference, you may use water, milk, or a dash of cream as diluting agents.

Sweeteners and Spices

Adding a touch of sweeteners such as agave or incorporating spices like cinnamon can elevate your cold brew into a distinct sensory delight. Interestingly, even a small amount of salt has the ability to enhance the inherent sweetness in your beer.


Preservation Pointers: Storing Your Cold Brew

To ensure that your carefully prepared cold brew retains its fresh flavor, it’s essential to store it in an airtight container inside the refrigerator. This is the optimal way to maintain the taste as if it were just brewed.

The Best Containers for Storage

The container selected for keeping your cold brew is just as crucial as the brew. To ensure freshness and maintain readiness for consumption, opt for glass vessels that feature lids which seal tightly.

Keeping It Fresh

Ensure the freshness of your cold brew is preserved by storing it in a refrigerator shielded from light. Doing so can maintain its optimal quality for as long as two weeks, but for the best flavor experience, it’s recommended to consume it within the initial seven days.


From Classic to Creative: Serving Suggestions

The versatility of cold brew has endeared it to coffee aficionados. You can enjoy its distinct qualities in a variety of settings, including:

  • Kick-starting your day

  • Serving as an after-dinner delight

  • Mixing into cocktails

  • Incorporating into non-alcoholic concoctions

Cold brew infuses a special character into any drink, particularly when enhancing the taste profile of iced coffee. To delve into these robust flavors yourself, you just need to make cold brew at home and indulge in the elevated experience it provides to your beverage.


Cold brew coffee, Guatemalan, smooth coffee


Hot Cold Brew? Yes, You Can!

Despite common beliefs, cold beer isn’t limited to being served chilled. If you heat up coffee that has been cold brewed gently, you’ll be able to savor a hot coffee while preserving the unique smoothness characteristic of its cold-brewed origins.

More Coffee Recipes to Explore

Watch for innovative recipes that take cold brew to new heights, encompassing everything from frosty indulgences to decadent, smooth concoctions.

Cold brew’s adaptability ensures that its potential is confined only by the limits of your creativity.



From the grind to the glass, crafting the perfect French press cold brew is a journey of discovery, patience, and personalization. With the simple steps and expert tips we’ve explored, you’re now ready to create a cold brew that’s uniquely yours. So grab your French press, and let your coffee-making adventure begin!


Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to make cold brew in a French press?

To prepare cold brew using a French press, it requires a steeping duration of 16 to 20 hours at room temperature.

Once the time for steeping has elapsed, you can enjoy your flavorful cold brew!

Can I use my regular coffee beans for cold brew?

Certainly, it is possible to utilize the coffee beans you typically use for making regular coffee to prepare cold brew. Although medium to dark roast varieties are often suggested, don’t hesitate to try out various kinds of beans until you discover the one that ideally suits your taste preferences.

Why do I need to use coarse grinds for cold brew?

To achieve a smoother and more flavorful outcome when you make cold brew, it is advisable to utilize coarse ground coffee. The larger particles of the grounds decelerate the extraction process, which helps in averting bitterness while also improving filtration.

Next time you decide to make cold brew in your own kitchen, remember to give this method a shot!

How do I know if I’ve diluted my cold brew concentrate correctly?

To ascertain whether the dilution of your cold brew concentrate is accurate, begin with a proportion of 1 part concentrate to either 1 or 2 parts water. Adjust this ratio according to your personal taste preference.

Experimenting by incorporating milk or cream can enhance the richness and flavor profile for those who prefer a more indulgent cold brew experience.

Can I heat my cold brew to make a hot coffee?

Certainly, it is possible to warm up your cold brew and combine it with either hot water or milk for a delightful cup of smooth, hot coffee that retains the distinctive taste imparted by the cold brewing process. Certainly, it is possible to warm up your cold brew and combine it with either hot water or milk for a delightful cup of smooth, hot coffee that retains the distinctive taste imparted by the cold brewing process.


Thank You for Stopping By!

We hope you found this guide helpful and inspiring on your journey to making the perfect cold brew with a French press. At Cooper’s Cask Coffee, we’re passionate about bringing you the best coffee experience possible. As a token of our appreciation for your visit, we’re excited to offer you a 10% discount on your first purchase. Use code FIRSTTIME at checkout to enjoy this special offer. Happy brewing!