How can I make cold brew coffee with a French press?

Cold brew coffee is a hit because it’s smooth and less acidic. Making cold brew at home with a French press is easy. It lets you steep and strain coffee without extra filters or gear.

Making cold brew with a French press is a snap. Just soak ground coffee in cold water for 12-24 hours. This extracts the tasty oils and creates a cold brew concentrate. You can mix this concentrate with water or milk for drinks like Japanese iced coffee or Kyoto-style cold brew.

A French press is perfect for cold brew coffee at home. It cuts the need for a toddy coffee maker or special gear. With easy steps, you’ll have a low-acid, flavorful coffee for any brew.

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Key Takeaways

  • Cold brew coffee is made by steeping ground coffee beans in cold or room-temperature water for 12-24 hours
  • Using a French press is a convenient method for making cold brew at home, as it allows you to steep and strain the coffee in one device
  • The French press method eliminates the need for additional filters or specialized cold brew equipment
  • Cold brew coffee is less acidic and results in a rich, smooth concentrate that can be used to make a variety of iced and hot coffee drinks
  • Popular cold brew coffee styles include Japanese iced coffee, New Orleans iced coffee, and Kyoto-style cold brew

Understanding Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew is a unique way to make coffee that’s becoming very popular. It makes coffee taste rich, smooth, and not as sour. Instead of using hot water like regular coffee, it’s made by soaking ground coffee beans in cold or room-temp water. This soaking process can last anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, pulling out a strong coffee taste that can be mixed with water or milk. The result is a cool, great-tasting iced coffee.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew is coffee that’s made by putting ground coffee beans in cold or room-temperature water. We let them sit like this for a long time, which is different from making it with hot water quickly. Because it sits for so long, the coffee slowly seeps out, making the flavor smooth, less sour, and strong.

Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee has some cool advantages over making coffee the usual way:

  • Lower Acidity: Since cold brew is made without heat, it’s less sour. This makes it a good choice for people who find regular coffee too tart for their tummy.
  • Smooth, Rich Flavor: The longer soaking time brings out the best in coffee. It tastes smoother and more layered because it gets more time to mix.
  • Increased Caffeine Content: Because cold brew is extra strong, it’s like an energy boost in a cup.
  • Versatility: Cold brew makes a great base for different kinds of iced coffee or even cocktails.

Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee

Characteristic Cold Brew Iced Coffee
Brewing Method Steeping ground beans in cold or room-temperature water for 12-24 hours Brewing hot coffee and then chilling it over ice
Flavor Profile Smooth, rich, and less acidic Bolder, more acidic flavor
Caffeine Content Generally more due to the strong brew Changes based on how strong the hot coffee is made
Serving Style Served over ice or thinned with water or milk Iced with or without milk and sweeteners

cold brew coffee

Making cold brew coffee with a French Press

Cold brew coffee is easy to make at home, especially with a French press. This process gives you a tasty, smooth drink. Follow these steps to enjoy cold brew whenever you want.

Equipment Needed

To make cold brew with a French press, gather these items:

  • A French press
  • A coffee grinder (if using whole bean coffee)
  • A measuring cup or scale
  • A spoon for stirring
  • A container or pitcher for storing the cold brew concentrate

Ingredients and Ratios

The secret to top-notch cold brew coffee is the coffee-to-water ratio. Try 1-part coffee to 4 or 5 parts water. For one cup of ground coffee, use four or five cups of water.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. If you have whole beans, grind them coarsely.
  2. Put the coffee into the French press.
  3. Slowly pour the water over the coffee, stirring lightly until all grounds are wet.
  4. Put the French press lid on, but don’t plunge it.
  5. Let the mix sit for 12-24 hours for strength preference.

Brewing Time and Temperature

Steeping time determines how strong your brew will be. 12 hours gives a mild taste, while 24 hours is stronger. Aim to keep the temperature between 50-70°F.

Straining and Storing

Once brewed, slowly push the plunger down to filter out grounds. Store the liquid concentrate in a pitcher in your fridge. It will last for up to two weeks.


Making cold brew coffee with a French press is easy and clean. It lets you enjoy a smooth and less acidic cold brew at home. Just get the coffee and water ratio right, and brew for the correct time. You’ll end up with a tasty concentrate perfect for both cold and hot coffee drinks.

The French press simplifies the process. It steeps and strains the coffee all in one. This makes it perfect whether you’re just getting into cold brew or you’re already a fan.

To make the best cold brew, you need the right gear and know-how. Try various coffee beans, water amounts, and steeping times. This way, you can find what tastes best to you. The French press method is both simple and versatile. It enhances your cold brew experience. Plus, you get to enjoy smooth, low-acid coffee in every cup.


What is cold brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee is made by soaking ground coffee beans in cold water. This is done for up to 24 hours. The result is a coffee that’s smooth and less bitter than hot coffee.

What are the benefits of cold brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee has several advantages:

How do I make cold brew coffee with a French press?

You can use a French press to easily make cold brew. This way, you’ll need less gear. It’s a straightforward process.

What is the difference between cold brew and iced coffee?

Cold brew and iced coffee differ in how they’re made. Cold brew steeps coffee in cold water, so it’s made without heat. Iced coffee, however, is hot coffee that’s then cooled with ice.

What equipment do I need to make cold brew coffee with a French press?

For cold brew with a French press, you’ll just need a French press and the usual coffee and water.

What is the best coffee to water ratio for cold brew in a French press?

The perfect ratio for cold brew in a French press is between 1:4 and 1:5. This means 1 part coffee to 4 or 5 parts of water.

How long should I steep the cold brew in the French press?

Steep your coffee in water for 12 to 24 hours for cold brew. The longer you brew, the stronger it gets.

How do I strain and store the cold brew concentrate?

To strain your cold brew, push the French press’s plunger down. This separates the grounds. Then, you can store your concentrate in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
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Emily Reynolds

I am an unapologetic coffee aficionado with an insatiable passion for all things java. Pour-overs, French presses, espresso machines—each holds its own thrill, a chance to unlock new levels of taste and aroma. So let the aroma of freshly brewed coffee guide us through the world of flavor and inspiration that is coffee.

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