Can I Make Cold Brew with a French Press?

Randolf Fredric

Are you a coffee lover on the hunt for a refreshingly smooth and less acidic alternative to your usual brewing methods? Look no further! If you own a French press, you may be delighted to know that it can be used to whip up a delightful batch of cold brew. That’s right, your trusty French press can help you achieve that velvety, chilled sensation you crave on those warm summer days. In this article, we’ll explore the simple steps involved in making cold brew with a French press, so you can indulge in a beautifully balanced cup of iced coffee whenever you please.


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on making cold brew coffee with a French press. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about this trendy brewing method, including what it is, why it has gained popularity, and how you can make the perfect cup of cold brew using a French press.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee refers to the process of steeping coffee grounds in cold or room temperature water for an extended period, typically 12 to 24 hours. Unlike traditional hot brewing methods, such as drip or espresso, cold brew coffee is not exposed to high temperatures, resulting in a smooth and less acidic flavor profile.

Cold brew is loved for its refreshing and less bitter taste, making it a favorite among coffee enthusiasts, particularly during hot summer months. By using a French press, you can easily create your own cold brew coffee at home.

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Why Choose a French Press for Cold Brew?

The French press, also known as a press pot or plunger pot, is a popular brewing device that millions of coffee lovers use worldwide. While primarily used for hot coffee, a French press can also be used to make cold brew.

One advantage of using a French press for cold brew is its simplicity. With just a few easy steps, you can achieve a flavorful and satisfying cup of cold brew coffee. Additionally, the French press allows you to control the brewing time and strength according to your preferences.

Furthermore, using a French press eliminates the need for additional equipment, such as filters or specialized cold brew systems. This makes it a cost-effective and convenient choice for making cold brew at home.

How to Make Cold Brew with a French Press

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients and Equipment

To make cold brew with a French press, you will need:

  • – Coarsely ground coffee (preferably a dark roast)
  • – Cold or room temperature water
  • – A French press
  • – A spoon or stirrer

Make sure all your equipment is clean before starting the brewing process.

Step 2: Measure and Add Coffee

Measure out the desired amount of coarsely ground coffee according to your taste preference and the size of your French press. A general rule of thumb is to use a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:4 or 1:5.

For example, if you have a 32-ounce French press, use around 8 ounces (227 grams) of coffee. Adjust the amount according to your desired strength.

Step 3: Add Water and Stir

Pour cold or room temperature water over the coffee grounds in the French press. Use a ratio of 1 part coffee to 4 or 5 parts water.

Using a spoon or stirrer, gently mix the coffee grounds and water to ensure all the grounds are fully saturated.

Step 4: Steep for 12-24 Hours

Place the plunger lid on top of the French press but do not press it down. This will prevent any foreign objects or insects from entering the mixture. Let the coffee steep at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

Keep in mind that the longer the steeping time, the stronger and more concentrated the cold brew will be.

Step 5: Press and Pour

After the desired steeping time has passed, slowly press down the plunger to separate the coffee grounds from the cold brew liquid.

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Pour the extracted cold brew into a separate container, such as a glass bottle or jar, for storage in the refrigerator. The cold brew can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Advantages of Making Cold Brew with a French Press

Using a French press to make cold brew offers several advantages:

  • – Convenience: The French press is a versatile brewing device that can be used for both hot and cold beverages.
  • – Cost-effective: A French press is an affordable and durable option, eliminating the need for additional cold brew-specific equipment.
  • – Customization: With a French press, you have control over the intensity and flavor profile of your cold brew.
  • – Versatility: Apart from cold brew, a French press can also be used for various other coffee brewing methods.

Difference between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee

Many people confuse cold brew with iced coffee, but they are different in terms of brewing process and taste.

Cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold or room temperature water for an extended period, resulting in a smoother and less acidic flavor. On the other hand, iced coffee is brewed using hot water and then cooled down with ice, which generally retains more acidity and can taste more like traditional hot coffee.

Furthermore, cold brew is typically served without ice and is concentrated, requiring dilution with water or milk. Iced coffee, on the other hand, is served over ice and can be enjoyed immediately.

Tips for Perfecting Your Cold Brew

Here are a few tips to enhance your cold brew experience:

  • – Use coarsely ground coffee: Coarse grounds prevent over-extraction and ensure a smoother cold brew.
  • – Experiment with brewing time: Adjust the steeping time according to your taste preference. Longer steeping times result in a stronger brew.
  • – Dilute to taste: Cold brew concentrate can be diluted with water, milk, or your preferred liquid to achieve the desired strength and flavor.
  • – Store properly: Keep your cold brew refrigerated in an airtight container to maintain its freshness and quality.
  • – Try different coffee origins and roasts: Explore the flavor variations by using different types of coffee beans for your cold brew.


In conclusion, making cold brew with a French press is a simple and cost-effective way to enjoy this popular coffee trend. By following the steps and tips outlined in this guide, you can create a flavorful and refreshing cup of cold brew coffee right in the comfort of your home.

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Remember to experiment with different coffee bean varieties, brewing times, and dilution ratios to find the perfect cold brew recipe that suits your personal preferences. So grab your French press, get creative, and enjoy the delightful world of cold brew coffee!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1: Can I use any type of coffee beans to make cold brew with a French press?

Yes, you can use any type of coffee beans to make cold brew with a French press. However, some beans may yield a better taste compared to others. It is generally recommended to use beans that are medium to coarse grind, as fine grind beans may result in a sludgy texture. Experimenting with different types of coffee beans can help you find the flavor profile you prefer for your cold brew.

Question 2: How long should I steep the coffee in the French press for cold brew?

The steeping time for cold brew in a French press can vary depending on personal preference. However, a common recommendation is to steep the coffee for around 12 to 24 hours. Steeping for a shorter time will result in a milder flavor, while steeping for a longer time will yield a more robust and concentrated brew. It’s best to experiment with different steeping times to find the perfect strength and flavor for your taste buds.

Question 3: Can I use hot water instead of cold water for making cold brew in a French press?

No, cold brew is specifically made with cold or room temperature water, not hot water. The slow extraction process of cold brew requires time rather than heat to draw out the flavors from the coffee beans. Using hot water will result in a different brewing method known as hot brewed coffee, which produces a different taste profile. Therefore, it is important to stick to using cold water for making cold brew in a French press.

Question 4: How should I store the cold brew made with a French press?

After making cold brew with a French press, it is best to transfer the brewed coffee into a separate container for storage. You can use a glass jar with an airtight lid or a pitcher with a cover. Always ensure that the container is clean and sterile. Cold brew can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week without losing its flavor and freshness. It is important to note that cold brew should be refrigerated promptly after straining to prevent bacterial growth.

Question 5: Can I make smaller or larger batches of cold brew using a French press?

Yes, you can adjust the quantity of coffee and water to make smaller or larger batches of cold brew using a French press. The general ratio for making cold brew is 1 part coffee to 4 parts water. For example, if you want to make a smaller batch, you can use 1/4 cup of coffee grounds and 1 cup of water. Similarly, for a larger batch, you can use 1 cup of coffee grounds and 4 cups of water. Adjusting the quantities allows you to make the desired amount of cold brew without compromising the taste and strength of the brew.

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Randolf Fredric

Randolf Fredric

A young brewmaster of words, crafting captivating tales over coffee's rhythmic symphony, stirring minds with each blog post.


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