How long does it take to make cold brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee is made by soaking coffee grounds in cold or room temperature water. This soaking lasts between 12 to 24 hours. It’s a slow method that pulls out the coffee’s sweetness and oils. The result is a drink that’s less sour than regular iced coffee.

The best steeping time is between 16 to 20 hours. But let it sit longer than a day and it might taste too bitter and harsh. Cold brew coffee is strong by nature, so most people add water or milk to theirs.

Key Takeaways

  • Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold or room temperature water for 12-24 hours.
  • The ideal steeping time range is 16-20 hours, which allows for optimal extraction of the coffee’s natural flavors.
  • After 24 hours, the taste can become too bitter and woody.
  • Cold brew coffee is often served as a concentrated liquid that you dilute with water, milk, or anything you like.
  • The slow, low-temp process of making cold brew results in a drink less acidic than regular iced coffee.

Understanding Cold Brew Coffee Brewing

Cold brew coffee is made by soaking coffee grounds in cold or room-temperature water. This is done for 12-24 hours. The method draws out the coffee’s sugars and oils. It makes the coffee taste smoother and less bitter than regular iced coffee.

Your Perfect Brew Awaits with Our Premium Coffee Beans

Indulge in the rich, aromatic experience of our carefully selected coffee beans, sourced from the finest estates. Each bean is roasted to perfection, ensuring a smooth, full-bodied flavor that will awaken your senses and elevate your coffee moments.

Discover the difference quality makes - try our premium coffee beans today and elevate your coffee experience to new heights!

Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee

Iced coffee comes from hot coffee poured over ice. This sometimes makes it weak. Cold brew is different because it steeps longer, making it stronger and more flavorful. While there are quick iced coffee methods like “flash chilling,” they aren’t the same as cold brew’s slow brewing process.

Brewing Methods for Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee can be made using tools like the Toddy Cold Brew System or a French press. These let the coffee grounds sit in water for a while. Then, they’re filtered out. The main thing about brewing cold brew is letting it soak without heat. This is what gives cold brew its special, less acidic taste.

Factors Affecting Cold Brew Steeping Time

The coffee grind size, coffee to water ratio, and brewing temperature are big players in cold brew. Knowing how they work can help you make the perfect cold brew. Get these right, and your cold brew will be top-notch.

Grind Size

Choosing the right grind size is key for tasty cold brew. Aim for a medium-coarse grind, like kosher salt. If it’s too fine, the coffee can taste bitter and look cloudy. Coarser grinds stop this by brewing more slowly.

Coffee to Water Ratio

The coffee to water ratio in cold brew is different from hot coffee. You use more coffee, making a strong concentrate. Start with a ratio of 1 to 8-9 coffee to water. But experiment to find what you like, some prefer 1 to 4-8.

Brewing Temperature

Choose where to brew your cold brew. Room temperature is fine, but cooling it in the fridge is popular. The colder temperature makes the drink smooth and less bitter. It also keeps the coffee fresher longer.

coffee grind size

Cold Brew Coffee Steeping Times

The minimum suggested time for cold brew coffee is 12 hours. Brewing for less than 12 hours makes the brew weak and sour. The grounds haven’t had time to release their full flavor.

Ideal Steeping Time Range

The best time to steep cold brew coffee is between 16 and 20 hours. This timeframe lets the coffee extract fully and become smooth, sweet, and well-balanced. It’s a favorite among experts.

Experts suggest starting with 16 hours and adjusting to personal preference. This way, you get to tailor your brew exactly how you like it.

Maximum Steeping Time

For the longest steeping time, 24 hours is the maximum. More than 24 hours and the brew gets too strong and bitter. Sticking to 12-24 hours gets you the best flavor without the bitter aftertaste.


The way to make cold brew coffee starts with soaking coffee grounds in cold or room-temperature water. This happens over a long time, usually from 12-24 hours. Slowly brewing like this brings out the coffee’s sweetness and oils. It makes the drink taste smoother and less sour than normal iced coffee.

It’s best to soak the grounds for cold brew coffee for about 16-20 hours. But you can go from a minimum of 12 hours to up to 24 hours. Things like the size of the grind, how much coffee you use, and the water temperature change the taste. Knowing these details helps coffee fans make great cold brew coffee right at home.

Choosing cold brew over the usual iced coffee gives you a different, tasty drink. It’s smooth and even. This method shows off the unique flavors in your favorite coffee beans.


What is cold brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee is made by soaking coffee in cold or room temp water for a long time. This is usually from 12-24 hours. The cool process pulls out the coffee’s sweetness and body. So, it tastes smoother and less sour than normal iced coffee.

How does cold brew differ from iced coffee?

Iced coffee is made by cooling hot coffee with ice. However, this can make the coffee weak. Cold brew is different. It steeps in cold water for a long time, so it’s stronger and tastes richer.

What are the common methods for brewing cold brew coffee?

You can use an immersion brewer like the Toddy Cold Brew System or a French press to make cold brew. An immersion brewer lets the coffee steep in water. A French press works too, with its filter to separate the coffee grounds after brewing.

How does the grind size affect the steeping time and flavor of cold brew?

Grind size changes how long the coffee needs to steep and its taste. Use a medium-coarse grind, just like kosher salt. If it’s too fine, the coffee might be bitter and cloudy.

What is the ideal coffee-to-water ratio for cold brew?

Cold brew uses more coffee than traditional brewing. A common ratio is 1 part coffee to 8-9 parts water. But you can try ratios that are stronger or weaker, like 1 to 4-8, depending on your taste.

What is the ideal steeping temperature for cold brew?

Cold brew is often steeped in the fridge, which makes it less bitter. The fridge’s cold keeps the flavor smooth and fresh. This way, the coffee won’t lose its great taste.

What is the minimum recommended steeping time for cold brew coffee?

To get the best out of cold brew, let it steep for at least 12 hours. If you steep it for less, the flavor might be weak and not as sweet. The longer steep gives the coffee time to get richer and smoother.

What is the ideal steeping time range for cold brew coffee?

For the perfect taste, let cold brew sit for 16-20 hours. This sweet spot allows the coffee to develop its rich flavors fully. You’ll get a smooth and satisfying drink.

What is the maximum recommended steeping time for cold brew coffee?

Don’t steep cold brew for over 24 hours. Too much time can make the coffee taste bitter and not so great. Stick to under a day for the best flavor.
Avatar photo

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.

More to Explore