Using regular coffee grounds for cold brew: Is it possible?

Marlin Dariel

So you’ve been hit by a sudden craving for some refreshing cold brew, but wait, you don’t have any special coffee grounds on hand? Don’t fret! We’ve got some awesome news for you – you might be able to use regular ol’ coffee grounds for your cold brew fix! Yes, you heard that right. If you’re wondering whether your usual coffee can give you that smooth, rich, and chilled taste, stick around as we uncover the secrets behind this potentially game-changing hack. So grab a seat, get cozy, and let’s dive into the wonderful world of cold brewing with regular coffee grounds.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is a unique brewing method that involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time, typically around 12 to 24 hours. This slow extraction process helps to extract the flavors from the coffee beans while minimizing the acidity and bitterness that are often associated with traditional hot coffee brewing methods.

Why Choose Cold Brew Coffee?

There are several reasons why cold brew coffee has gained popularity among coffee enthusiasts. One of the main advantages is the smooth and less acidic taste it offers. The slow extraction method results in a rich and flavorful cup of coffee that is easy on the stomach. Cold brew coffee also tends to have a sweeter and cleaner finish compared to hot brewed coffee.

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Additionally, cold brew coffee can be enjoyed both hot and cold, making it a versatile choice for any season. When served cold, it is a refreshing and energizing drink, perfect for a hot summer day. On the other hand, when heated, it offers a comforting and aromatic experience during the winter months.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee with Regular Coffee Grounds

Step 1: Choosing the Right Coffee Grounds

To make cold brew coffee using regular coffee grounds, it’s important to select a medium to coarse grind. This ensures that the coffee grounds don’t pass through the filter and end up in your final brew. Using fresh and high-quality coffee beans will also ensure a more flavorful and enjoyable cup of cold brew.

Step 2: Mixing Coffee Grounds and Water

Measure out your desired amount of coffee grounds and add them to a glass or jar. For every cup of water, you’ll want to use approximately 1 ounce or 28 grams of coffee grounds. Slowly pour cold, filtered water over the coffee grounds, making sure all the grounds are saturated. Stir gently to ensure proper saturation.

Step 3: Steeping the Mixture

Once you’ve mixed the coffee grounds and water, cover the glass or jar with a lid or plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator and allow the mixture to steep for at least 12 hours, but up to 24 hours for a stronger brew. The longer you steep, the stronger and more concentrated the flavors will be.

Step 4: Filtering the Cold Brew

After the steeping period is complete, it’s time to filter your cold brew. You can use a fine mesh sieve, a cheesecloth, or a coffee filter to separate the liquid from the coffee grounds. Pour the cold brew through the chosen filter into another container. Depending on the filter used, you may need to repeat this process to achieve a cleaner final product.

Step 5: Serving and Enjoying

Now that you’ve successfully made your cold brew coffee using regular coffee grounds, it’s time to enjoy your creation. You can serve it over ice for a refreshing iced coffee or heat it up if you prefer a warm cup of cold brew. Feel free to experiment with adding milk, sweeteners, or flavorings to further customize your cold brew coffee experience.

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Difference between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee

While both cold brew and iced coffee are served cold, they are prepared using different methods. Cold brew coffee involves steeping ground coffee in cold water for an extended period, resulting in a smooth and less acidic beverage. Iced coffee, on the other hand, is made by brewing hot coffee and then chilling it with ice.

The main difference in taste between cold brew and iced coffee lies in the flavor profile. Cold brew coffee tends to have a richer and more concentrated flavor, while iced coffee maintains the characteristics of traditionally brewed hot coffee, but with a diluted taste due to the added ice.

Tips for Making the Perfect Cold Brew Coffee

1. Use the Right Coffee-to-Water Ratio

It’s crucial to maintain the correct coffee-to-water ratio to achieve a well-balanced cold brew. Start with a 1:8 coffee-to-water ratio and adjust according to your taste preferences. You can always experiment with different ratios until you find what works best for you.

2. Steep in the Refrigerator for Optimal Flavors

While it may be tempting to steep your cold brew at room temperature for a faster extraction, refrigerating it yields the best results. The colder temperature slows down the extraction process, resulting in a smoother and less bitter taste.

3. Filter Twice for a Cleaner Brew

To achieve a cleaner and grit-free cold brew, consider filtering the mixture twice. The first filter will remove the majority of the coffee grounds, while the second filter provides a finer filtration to eliminate any remaining sediments.

4. Store Cold Brew Properly

When storing cold brew coffee, it’s essential to keep it refrigerated in an airtight container. This helps to maintain its freshness and flavor for up to a week. Avoid storing it for too long, as the taste may deteriorate over time.

5. Experiment with Different Coffee Beans

Don’t be afraid to try cold brew with various types of coffee beans. Each variety offers its unique flavors and characteristics, which can enhance your cold brew coffee experience. Experiment with single-origin beans or blends to discover your preferred flavor profiles.

Advantages of Using Regular Coffee Grounds for Cold Brew Disadvantages of Using Regular Coffee Grounds for Cold Brew
  • Convenience and accessibility
  • Familiar taste profile
  • Lower cost compared to specialty coffee beans
  • Potential for increased bitterness
  • Limited flavor complexity
  • May not achieve the same gourmet results as specialty coffee
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Note: While using regular coffee grounds for cold brew is a viable option, specialty coffee beans are typically recommended for the best results. Their unique flavor profiles and higher quality can elevate the overall taste of the cold brew coffee.


In conclusion, making cold brew coffee with regular coffee grounds is a straightforward process that can yield satisfying results. It offers a smooth and less acidic alternative to traditional hot brewed coffee, making it an excellent choice for coffee lovers seeking a refreshing and flavorful beverage. By following the steps outlined above and experimenting with different variables, you can create your perfect cup of cold brew coffee. Remember to use fresh and high-quality coffee grounds for the best possible flavor. Cheers to enjoying a delicious cup of homemade cold brew coffee!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1: Can regular coffee grounds be used for cold brew?

Yes, regular coffee grounds can be used for cold brew. While there are specific coffee grounds available in the market that are labeled as “cold brew,” you do not necessarily need them to make a delicious cold brew coffee. Regular coffee grounds work just fine and can provide excellent results.

Question 2: What type of coffee grounds are best for cold brew?

When choosing coffee grounds for cold brew, it is recommended to use coarsely ground coffee. This is because the coarse grind helps in extracting the flavors slowly and reduces the likelihood of over-extraction. However, if you only have finely ground coffee, you can still use it, but it might result in a stronger brew that could be slightly bitter. Experimenting with different coffee grounds can help you find your preferred taste.

Question 3: How long should I steep regular coffee grounds for cold brew?

The steeping time for regular coffee grounds in cold brew can vary depending on your personal preference. However, a general guideline for steeping time is around 12-24 hours. Longer steeping times tend to result in a stronger and more concentrated cold brew. It’s recommended to start with a shorter steeping time, taste the brew, and adjust the steeping time according to your desired strength.

Question 4: Do I need any special equipment to make cold brew with regular coffee grounds?

No, you do not necessarily need any special equipment to make cold brew with regular coffee grounds. Cold brew can be made using simple items like a jar, a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth for straining, and a container for brewing. However, if you want to make the process easier, there are dedicated cold brew systems available in the market that can simplify the process and offer convenience.

Question 5: Can I use flavored or decaffeinated coffee grounds for cold brew?

Yes, you can definitely use flavored or decaffeinated coffee grounds for cold brew. Cold brew is versatile and can be made with various types of coffee grounds, including flavored ones or decaf. It’s important to note that the flavors of the coffee grounds will be intensified during the brewing process, so choose a flavor or decaf option that you enjoy.

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Marlin Dariel

A seasoned coffee connoisseur, reviews coffee shops, recommends unique places to enjoy a great cup of coffee. "Every coffee bean has an interesting story"


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