How to Make Cold Brew with a French Press



First, how do you make cold brew coffee and what is it? I’s a coffee brew made with cold or room temperature water instead of hot water. The process is to soak ground coffee in cold water and is left to sit for 12 to 24 hours. The mixture can then be filtered and stored. The result is usually a smooth, slightly chocolaty, and naturally sweet coffee.

This is in contrast with other typical coffee that is made by boiling water. Cold brewed coffee has continued to gain more awareness due to its health benefits. It is less bitter and even less acidic than other regular brewed coffee.

Because cold brew coffee is less acidic, people with stomach issues can enjoy it without any worries. Here are some words from a coffee expert about cold brew coffee: “Because of the way cold brew is processed, it’s less bitter and easier on the palate and stomach. It also leaves out all those harmful acidic notes found in regular hot brewing coffee”.

So, basically, regular brewed coffee tastes more bitter and it’s more acidic. This occurs because when hot water is used in making brewing coffee the water breaks down the coffee bean further, making it bitter, and acidic.

Equipment for Brewing Cold Coffee

Cold-brewed coffee doesn’t require any special devices to make it. You can use a simple French press coffee maker for this purpose.After trying it out I found out that it’s incredibly easy to make a cold brew coffee. So if you have a French Press that you’re using, or it’s covered with dust, it’s time to make it useful. If you don’t have one, French Press coffee makers are very affordable.

In essence, you can get started right away brewing cold coffee without spending extra money on other coffee makers. So, let’s jump into how to brew your delicious cold coffee with a French Press.

Facts You Should Know About Cold Brew Coffee

  • Less acidic content. The acidic concentration of cold-brewed coffee is lower than the regular or espresso coffees. If the typical coffee discomforts your stomach, then you can try out cold brew coffee. The difference would amaze you. The only way to find out for you is to give it a shot.
  • Cold-brew is concentrated. This depends on some factors like the beans used, water dilution, and the steeping time. Factors such as dilution can be easily controlled if you make the coffee yourself. Avoid drinking cold brew concentrate straight as it contains high caffeine dosage.
  • Coarsely ground coffee is required for making the finest cold brew. Do you have a coffee grinder at home? If you don’t, it’s still fine. Simply grind your coffee at any grocery store with their commercial coffee grinder. However, the dial should be set at French press or coarse option.
  • Use any variety of coffee you choose to make your cold brew. For cold brew It doesn’t make a difference what variety of coffee you use.

What You Need

You’ll need a list of items for your French press coffee. They are as follows:


  • A Bodum French Press for Cold Brew – This device is perfect for making cold brew. The French press has a built-in filtration system and most are big enough to accommodate a 34 oz of cold brew.
  • Coffee beans – Any coffee will be a good fit for making cold brew. Coffee beans with chocolate and caramel notes are good options.
  • Burr grinder– You need a burr grinder to make fresh coffee. It is one of the most important coffee-brewing items you need to own. Good coffee is a function of an even extraction that can only be achieved with even particle size. A good burr grinder would deliver any even particle size of your choice. If you don’t own a grinder then have the store must grind the coffee for French Press coarse option.




  • A good scale – You need a scale to maintain balance. Any kitchen scale will suffice.
  • Filtered Room temperature water.
  • Sealable container.
  • Filter to remove left over coffee grinds.

How to Prepare Cold Brew in a French Press



1. Grind the Coffee Beans

First, measure out the quantity of the coffee beans needed and grind them. The ideal coffee to water ratio to create a cold brew is between 1:5 and 1:4. It essentially depends on how strong you want your coffee to be. But for the sake of this article, we would stick to 90 grams of ground coffee. Note that the coffee needs to be coarsely ground because we want to make cold brew with a French press.

The grind can be a bit larger than the French press grind. The coarse grind does help to ensure that the grounds are filtered out and it also makes it less bitter. This is where a good burr grinder comes in handy. Once you have your ground coffee, you can simply pour it into the French Press.

2. Add Water to The Grounds

Measure up to 3 ¾ cups of filtered water and pour it into the French press. Pour the water in a slow and circular motion and stir the mixture. You may need a metal spoon to gently press any floating grounds that get close to the top.

This is to ensure that the grounds are all submerged. Note that, filtered or bottled water is the best for making cold brew as bad water would spoil the taste. Essentially, don’t use water you don’t enjoy drinking to brew your cold coffee; you won’t like the result.

3. Leave The Brew for 12 Hours or More

Allow your brew to be in the French press for 12 hours. This seems to be the easiest step, but it isn’t because waiting for 12 hours can be somewhat frustrating. Nonetheless, the steep stage is integral in cold brewing as you don’t need a decanter that is full of considerably coffee-flavored water.

Unlike the typical hot brewing methods, cold-brewed coffee replaces heat with time for adequate coffee flavor extraction. Giving your grounds 12 hours to soak will make it release all the oil and flavor trapped inside the beans.

It’s also fine to leave it for lesser hours, but it shouldn’t be below 7 hours. This helps to facilitate the extraction of all the coffee soluble components. If 12 hours seems too long for you, then I would suggest you leave your brew overnight.

Just mix the coffee ground with water before you go to bed, and allow it to stay over the night. This would take away the pain of waiting for 12 hours or longer before decanting.

4. Pour And Filter

Push down the plunger after leaving the coffee to sit for 12 hours. This would enable the grounds that are below the filter to be trapped. Your cold brew would be ready to decant after allowing it to sit for half of the day (12 hours).

Before decanting, place the top of the French press on, and push the plunger a few inches down. It helps to give the French press some level of firmness for the upcoming pour.

It’s now time to pour your brew into a sealable container. You may need a secondary filter if the French press has not filtered all the coffee sediments. The French filter may leave you with murky, sludgy concentrate. So a pour-over dripper should suffice for this.

Or you can also use cheesecloth as a filter. Doubled-layered cheesecloth is preferable for filtering cold brew. Cheesecloth is a suitable alternative because it is made of unbleached material which makes it eco-friendly.

In addition, it filters your cold brew perfectly without any sediments (tiny coffee particles), and finally, makes the filtering process less annoying because liquid passes faster through the fabric.

Just tie it around your container and pour the concentrate. Let the sieved brew in the cup or pitcher rest for a couple of minutes to allow it to settle down. It is also worth mentioning that some coffee lovers have had success with a thin paper coffee filter and a vintage handkerchief as a secondary filter.

Using the paper coffee filter produces a cleaner brew that is void of any coffee particles. Nonetheless, some people may find paper coffee filter somewhat annoying because it takes time for the liquid to pass through them. Making cold brew coffee should rather be fun than annoying. But in the end, follow what works for you.

5. Enjoy Your Cold Brew

You can enjoy your cold brew once you’ve decanted it. It’s important to note that French press cold brew should be first diluted before consumption. This is because it is more concentrated than ordinary brewed coffee, and has a higher concentration of caffeine.

You can either dilute your coffee with water or add some extra non-dairy milk to make it super-rich. It’s best for iced coffee because it’s already cold. Nevertheless, you may also add some hot water to have a hot cup of coffee. Your coffee will still be less acidic than the typical hot-brewed coffee.

To serve the brew, fill a cup or glass halfway with water and ice. Then fill it with the cold brew concentrate. For storage of the brew, use an airtight container to preserve the cold brew. This helps the cold brew concentrate to last longer without losing much of the flavor.




The Takeaway

Cold brew coffee does consume a bit of time to make, but it’s worth it. It is one of the most versatile and easiest brew methods that anybody can make at home. More so, it is eco-friendly, very affordable and makes a very good iced coffee.




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2 thoughts on “How to Make Cold Brew with a French Press”

  1. Great article. and also

    Basic Cold Brew Coffee Ratio

    You’re making cold brew concentrate, and you can dilute the concentrate to taste once it’s finished. Per 1 cup of water, you’ll need 1 ounce (by weight) coarsely ground coffee. That’s about 1/4 cup whole coffee beans, which yields roughly 1/2 cup ground coffee.


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