How to Make Cold Brew Coffee


Learn how to make cold brew coffee in the comfort of your own home. All you need is your favorite coffee grounds, water, a filter, and a mason jar. It’s easy to make and perfect for any day of the week.

Pouring cream into cold brew coffee

Homemade Cold Brew

Did you know that cold brew coffee is super easy to make? There are only two simple steps (steep + filter) that you need to take before you will have yourself a big glass of cold brew.

There are a few tips and tricks between those two steps that will make homemade cold brew in the comfort of your own home easy and delicious.

Reasons we love cold brew coffee

  • You can make cold brew coffee at the beginning of the week and drink it all week long.
  • It’s easy to make.
  • It makes a sweet, light, and less acidic coffee.
  • You can make many different coffee drinks with cold brew coffee.
  • Its a delicious caffeinated drink on a hot day.

Tools You’ll Need

There are only 2 ingredients a few tools that you will need to make homemade cold brew coffee at home! Here are few things we recommend getting before you start making cold brew coffee.

Cold brew coffee ingredients

What container do I use for cold brew coffee?

The best part of cold brew coffee (other than it tastes delicious) is that it is no fuss and very easy to make. When it comes to the container you should use to mix your cold brew coffee, you have a couple of options.

Ways to Filter Cold Brew

You want a smooth and coffee ground-free cold brew coffee. That means you want to make sure you filter the cold brew coffee through something that is strong enough to catch the coffee grounds but that won’t soak up all your delicious cold brew coffee.

Here are a few different ways you can filter your cold brew coffee after you have let it steep.

  • Basket Coffee Filters
  • A very thin tea towel
  • French Press (includes a fine sieve
  • A very fine sieve
Pouring coffee beans into a coffee grinder

Cold Brew Coffee Ratio

The ratio for cold brew coffee is 1:3 (1 cup coffee grounds to 3 cups water).

We tested many different ratios for this cold brew coffee recipe and loved the 1:3 ratio because the coffee turned out stronger but not too bitter.

Make it stronger or weaker

If you are a looking for a stronger batch of cold brew coffee that doesn’t mean you should let your cold brew coffee sit longer. Why? If you let cold brew coffee sit too long it can become bitter.

For stronger cold brew coffee – Add less water and more coffee grounds.

For weaker cold brew coffee– Dilute the cold brew with more water.

Coffee grounds

All About the Coffee Beans

There is only one other ingredient other than water in this cold brew coffee recipe; coffee beans! Here is everything you need to know about coffee beans for cold brew and how to prepare them for homemade cold brew coffee.

  • The last thing you want in your cold brew coffee is for it to be bitter or mucky. We suggest using coarsely ground coffee rather than finely ground coffee. If you end up with fine coffee, be sure you use a coffee filter.
  • You can use any type of coffee bean for cold brew coffee. Use your favorite coffee to give it a personal twist!
  • Use whole bean coffee beans so the coffee grounds are fresh.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

  1. Grind Coffee Beans – Place 1 cup of whole coffee beans into your coffee grinder. Grind the beans to a coarse grind and then place coffee grounds in a large jar or french press.
  2. Add Water – Pour 3 cups of water over the coffee grounds. Mix until the grounds are wet and let sit for 5 minutes. The coffee grounds will likely float to the top. Mix one more time and then cover.
  3. Let it Sit – Place the cod brew in the refrigerator and let it sit for 12-18 hours.
  4. Strain the Water– Filter the water through a coffee filter, a thin dish towel, or a dish towel with a fine sieve.
  5. Enjoy- Serve 1/2 cup of cold brew over 1/2 cup of ice. Serve black or add your favorite creamer and/or sugar.

quick tip!

1 cup of whole bean coffee will yield around 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee. So, if you buy your beans pre-ground, use 1 cup.

Pouring water over coffee grounds to make cold brew coffee.
Cold brew coffee sitting in coffee grounds


French Press Coffee

Start the day off right with the perfect cup of French press coffee! In this post, we’ll teach you how to use a French for coffee ready in less than 10 minutes.

Get Recipe

Pouring cold brew coffee into a glass

More Facts About Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brew Coffee is Less Acidic

Why is cold brew coffee less acidic? When coffee grounds are mixed with hot water an oil is released and that is the acid in hot coffee. There is no hot water used in cold press coffee so it is a bit easier. on your stomach.

How to Serve Cold Brew Coffee

Do you like your cold brew coffee black and strong? Go ahead and serve it over ice. If you like your coffee with cream or a little bit sweeter below are some ways to add flavor to your cold brew coffee.

  • Add 1- 2 tablespoons of heavy cream to your cold brew coffee
  • Serve your cold brew with 1-2 teaspoons of homemade simple syrup to sweeten things up.

How long does cold brew last?

Cold brew coffee can last up to 10 days in the refrigerator.

The Best Store bought cold brew

Don’t feel like making your own cold brew? Our favorite store bought cold brews are Chameleon Cold Brew Concentrate or Stumptown Cold Brew.

Cold brew coffee in a jar.
cold brew

cold brew in cup

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

Make the best homemade cold brew coffee with our fool-proof 1:3 ratio of coffee grounds to water. 

Prep: 18 hoursCook: 0 minutesTotal: 18 hours

Fat 0 Carbs 0 Protein 0

Yield 6 1x


  • 1 cup coarsely ground coffee beans (~1 cup whole beans)
  • 3 cups water
  • Optional: cream, for serving


  1. First, grind your whole bean coffee. Make sure to use a coarse setting. Grind around 1 cup of whole beans to get 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee.
  2. Combine coarsely ground coffee beans and water in a large jar or bowl. Mix to combine.
  3. Let sit for 5 minutes. The coffee grounds will likely float to the top. Mix again.
  4. Seal your jar and either let it brew on the counter or in the refrigerator for a minimum of 12-18 hours.
  5. In the morning, place a tea towel or 2 pieces of cheesecloth on top of a fine mesh sieve and sieve the grounds. 
  6. Serve cold brew coffee over ice and enjoy.

Tips & Notes

  • The 3 to 1 ratio is a stronger cold brew. You can always dilute your cold brew before serving with some cold water if you don’t like it as strong.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/6 Calories: 8 Sugar: 0 Sodium: 5 Fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 0 Fiber: 0 Protein: 0 Cholesterol: 0

Author: Linley RichterCategory: DrinkMethod: No BakeCuisine: AmericanDiet: Low Calorie

Keywords: Homemade Cold Brew Coffee

About Linley Richter

Linley is a 5′ nothing spitball of positive energy who joined Team Fit Foodie in the Spring of 2014. Linley has worked on the digital side of small businesses and nonprofits since 2011, where she specialized in social media community management. Lin has a passion for food and an incredible palate. She is FFF’s chief recipe developer, so you can thank her for these incredible recipes!

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