Can you cold brew with a French press?

Randolf Fredric

Are you a fan of iced coffee but tired of the same old methods? Well, you’re in luck! If you’ve got a French press lying around, you can easily use it to whip up a refreshing batch of cold brew. Yes, you heard it right – that same trusty French press you use for your morning cup of joe can be your new go-to tool for making rich, smooth cold brew coffee.

Can You Use a French Press to Make Cold Brew?

Introduction: The popularity of cold brew coffee has been on the rise in recent years. With its smooth and rich flavor, it has become a favorite among coffee enthusiasts. But can you use a French press to make cold brew? In this article, we will explore the process of making cold brew using a French press and discuss its advantages, disadvantages, and tips for achieving excellent results.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is a brewing method that involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, usually around 12-24 hours. This slow extraction process creates a smooth, low-acidity coffee concentrate that can be enjoyed over ice or diluted with water or milk.

See also  The Perfect Amount of Coffee for French Press: How Many Grams?

Why Choose Cold Brew?

Cold brew offers a unique flavor profile compared to traditional hot brewed coffee. The extended steeping time extracts different compounds from the coffee grounds, resulting in a less acidic and less bitter drink. This makes cold brew an excellent choice for people with sensitive stomachs or those who prefer a milder coffee taste.

How to Make Cold Brew Using a French Press

Making cold brew using a French press is a relatively simple process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Coarsely grind your coffee beans. Aim for a consistency similar to kosher salt.
  2. Add the ground coffee to your French press. The general ratio is 1 part coffee to 4 parts water.
  3. Pour cold, filtered water over the coffee grounds. Make sure all the grounds are fully saturated.
  4. Stir gently to ensure even extraction.
  5. Place the plunger on top of the French press but do not press it down.
  6. Let the coffee steep in the fridge for 12-24 hours, depending on your desired strength.
  7. After steeping, slowly press down the plunger to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid.
  8. Pour the cold brew into a separate container, and it’s ready to enjoy!

Advantages of Using a French Press for Cold Brew

Using a French press for cold brew offers several advantages:

1. Convenience

A French press is a common kitchen item, so using it for cold brew eliminates the need to purchase additional equipment.

2. Control over Strength

With a French press, you can easily adjust the brew time and the coffee-to-water ratio to achieve your preferred strength and concentration.

3. Rich Flavor

The French press allows the natural oils and flavors to remain in the final cold brew, resulting in a full-bodied and rich-tasting coffee.

See also  How Many Coffee Grounds for French Press?

Disadvantages of Using a French Press for Cold Brew

While a French press can produce excellent cold brew, it also has a few drawbacks:

1. Sediment

The mesh filter in a French press may not catch all the fine coffee particles, resulting in some sediment in the final drink.

2. Limited Quantity

French presses typically have a smaller capacity compared to dedicated cold brew devices. If you want to make larger batches, you may need multiple presses or opt for a different brewing method.

Important Tips for Making Cold Brew with a French Press

1. Use Coarse Grinds

Using coarse coffee grinds helps prevent the fine particles from passing through the mesh filter, resulting in a cleaner cold brew.

2. Experiment with Ratios and Brew Times

Adjust the coffee-to-water ratio and brew time to find your preferred strength. Start with a 1:4 ratio and a 12-hour steeping time, and then make adjustments based on your taste preferences.

3. Filter Twice

If you want to reduce sediment further, pour the cold brew through a paper filter or a fine-mesh sieve after pressing it in the French press.

Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee

Many people confuse cold brew with iced coffee, but they are actually different:

1. Brewing Method: Cold brew involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water, while iced coffee is made using hot water and then cooled.

2. Flavor: Cold brew tends to be less acidic and smoother, while iced coffee retains more of the traditional coffee flavors.

3. Dilution: Cold brew is typically served over ice or diluted with water or milk, whereas iced coffee is brewed at double strength and poured over ice.


Cold brew made using a French press is a convenient and delicious way to enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee. By following the right techniques, such as using the correct grind size and steeping duration, you can achieve a flavorful and smooth cold brew. Remember to experiment with ratios, brewing times, and filtering methods to find your perfect cup. Cheers!

See also  How long should French press steep?

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Can you use a French press to make cold brew?

Yes, you can definitely use a French press to make cold brew coffee. In fact, a French press is one of the most popular and convenient ways to make cold brew at home. Its design allows for easy immersion of coffee grounds in water, resulting in a rich and flavorful cold brew.

Q: How do I make cold brew using a French press?

To make cold brew using a French press, start by coarsely grinding your coffee beans. For a standard-sized French press (around 1 liter or 34 ounces), use approximately 1 cup of coffee grounds. Add the grounds to the French press and pour in cold, filtered water. Stir gently to ensure all the coffee grounds are saturated. Place the plunger on top of the French press, but do not press it down. Let the coffee steep in the refrigerator for about 12-24 hours. Once the steeping time is complete, slowly press down the plunger to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid. Pour the cold brew coffee into a separate container, and it’s ready to be enjoyed!

Q: How long should I steep the coffee in a French press to make cold brew?

The recommended steeping time for cold brew in a French press is typically around 12 to 24 hours. Steeping for this duration allows for maximum extraction of flavors from the coffee grounds and results in a smooth and delicious cold brew. However, you can experiment with shorter or longer steeping times to find your preferred taste.

Q: Can I use pre-ground coffee for making cold brew in a French press?

Using pre-ground coffee is possible when making cold brew in a French press, but it may not yield the best results. Cold brew requires a coarser grind size than traditional hot coffee brewing methods. Pre-ground coffee is often more fine, suited for hot brewing methods like drip or espresso. Using a burr grinder to coarsely grind whole coffee beans just before brewing will ensure a better extraction and flavor profile for your cold brew using a French press.

Q: How long does cold brew made with a French press last?

Cold brew made with a French press can generally last up to two weeks when stored properly in the refrigerator. The cold brewing process results in a concentrate that is less prone to spoilage compared to hot brewed coffee. However, for the best flavor and freshness, it is recommended to consume the cold brew within 5-7 days of brewing. Always make sure to store the cold brew in an airtight container to maintain its taste and prevent any absorption of other odors in the refrigerator.

Rate this post

Also Read


Randolf Fredric

Randolf Fredric

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


Leave a Comment