Using Regular Coffee for Cold Brew: Is it Possible?

Marlin Dariel

Cold brew coffee has swiftly become a favored choice for coffee enthusiasts who crave a smoother, less acidic brew. While many may wonder if regular ground coffee can be used for this trendy brewing method, rest assured, the answer is a resounding yes! Forget the need for fancy equipment or specialized beans – your go-to bag of ground coffee is more than capable of producing a delicious, refreshing cold brew that will chill you out during the sweltering summer months. So, grab your trusty mason jar and prepare to embark on a laid-back, flavor-packed journey into the realm of cold brew coffee using your everyday grounds.


Cold brew coffee has been gaining popularity among coffee enthusiasts in recent years. The smooth and rich flavors, combined with the lower acidity, make it a refreshing and enjoyable beverage. While many people use special coarse coffee grounds specifically made for cold brew, you might be wondering if you can use regular ground coffee for cold brew. In this article, we will explore what cold brew is, why you might consider using regular ground coffee, and how to effectively make cold brew using this method.

What is Cold Brew?

Cold brew is a coffee brewing method that involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, usually around 12 to 24 hours. The slow extraction process allows the coffee to develop a rich, smooth, and less acidic flavor compared to traditional brewing methods. The resulting concentrate can be diluted with water or milk to create a refreshing cold beverage.

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Why Consider Using Regular Ground Coffee?

While it is recommended to use coarse coffee grounds for cold brew to prevent over-extraction and a cloudy brew, regular ground coffee can still be used with some adjustments. Here are a few reasons why you might want to try using regular ground coffee for your cold brew:

1. Accessibility

Regular ground coffee is readily available in most grocery stores and supermarkets. If you don’t have access to coarse coffee grounds specifically made for cold brew, regular grounds can be a convenient alternative.

2. Experimentation

Using regular ground coffee allows you to experiment with different flavors and roasts. You can try different brands or even blend different types of coffee to create unique flavor profiles in your cold brew.

3. Cost-Effective

Coarse coffee grounds specifically made for cold brew can be more expensive compared to regular ground coffee. By using regular ground coffee, you can save some money while still enjoying the benefits of cold brew.

How to Use Regular Ground Coffee for Cold Brew?

To use regular ground coffee for cold brew, follow these step-by-step instructions:

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before starting the cold brew process, make sure you have the following supplies:

A large glass container or a cold brew maker
Cold, filtered water
Regular ground coffee
A fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth
Airtight storage container

Step 2: Measure Your Coffee and Water

For a standard cold brew ratio, use a 1:4 coffee-to-water ratio. For example, if you have 1 cup (8 ounces) of regular ground coffee, you would use 4 cups (32 ounces) of cold water. Adjust the measurements according to your preference and the size of your container.

Step 3: Combine Coffee and Water

Place your regular ground coffee in the glass container or cold brew maker. Slowly pour the cold water over the coffee, ensuring all the grounds are saturated. Stir gently to ensure even extraction.

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Step 4: Steep the Coffee

Cover the container and let it steep in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. The longer steeping time will result in a bolder flavor. Feel free to experiment with different steeping times to find your preferred taste.

Step 5: Strain the Cold Brew

After the desired steeping time, carefully strain the cold brew using a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove the coffee grounds. Transfer the liquid into an airtight container for storing.

Step 6: Dilute and Serve

To enjoy your cold brew, dilute the concentrate with water, milk, or any other additives of your choice. Start with a 1:1 ratio of concentrate to liquid and adjust according to your taste preferences. Serve over ice and enjoy!

Tips for Using Regular Ground Coffee for Cold Brew

Here are some tips to help you achieve the best results when using regular ground coffee for cold brew:

1. Use a Coarser Grind

While regular ground coffee is finer than coarse coffee grounds specifically made for cold brew, you can still achieve good results by using a slightly coarser grind. This helps prevent over-extraction and reduces the chances of sediment in your cold brew.

2. Longer Steeping Time

Regular ground coffee may require a longer steeping time compared to coarse coffee grounds. Experiment with different steeping times to find the right balance between flavor and strength.

3. Strain Carefully

When straining the cold brew, take your time to ensure all the coffee grounds are properly filtered out. Using a fine-mesh strainer or multiple layers of cheesecloth can help achieve a smoother and sediment-free cold brew.

4. Store Properly

To maintain the freshness of your cold brew, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Cold brew can last up to two weeks when stored correctly.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Regular Ground Coffee

Using regular ground coffee for cold brew has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore them below:


  • Accessibility in most stores
  • Allows for flavor experimentation
  • Cost-effective compared to coarse coffee grounds
  • Convenient alternative when specialty cold brew grounds are not available


  • Possible over-extraction due to finer grind
  • Potential sediment in the final cold brew
  • May require longer steeping time for optimal flavor
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Difference Between Regular Ground Coffee and Coarse Coffee Grounds

The main difference between regular ground coffee and coarse coffee grounds lies in the grind size. Regular ground coffee is finer, suitable for traditional brewing methods like drip or espresso, while coarse coffee grounds are coarser and specifically designed for cold brew. The coarser grind helps create a smoother extraction and reduces the chance of over-extraction and sediment in the cold brew.


In conclusion, while it is recommended to use coarse coffee grounds for cold brew, you can still achieve good results using regular ground coffee. The accessibility, potential for flavor experimentation, and cost-effectiveness make regular ground coffee a viable option for cold brew enthusiasts. By following the steps and tips mentioned in this article, you can enjoy a delicious and refreshing cold brew using regular ground coffee. So go ahead, give it a try, and discover your own unique cold brew flavor!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can regular ground coffee be used for cold brew coffee?

Yes, regular ground coffee can be used for cold brew coffee. However, it is important to note that the grind size of the coffee will affect the flavor and smoothness of the cold brew. For best results, a coarse grind is recommended as it helps to extract the flavors more slowly and reduces the chances of the coffee becoming bitter.

2. How much ground coffee should I use for making cold brew?

The amount of ground coffee you should use for making cold brew depends on your personal taste preferences and the strength you desire. As a general guideline, a ratio of 1 part coffee to 4 parts water is a good starting point. However, you can adjust the ratio to your liking by adding more or less coffee to the water.

3. How long should I steep the ground coffee for cold brew?

The steeping time for cold brew can vary depending on the desired flavor strength and personal preference. Generally, steeping the ground coffee for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator is recommended. However, you can experiment with different steeping times to find the strength and flavor profile that suits your taste.

4. Can I use flavored ground coffee for cold brew?

Yes, you can use flavored ground coffee for cold brew. The flavors of the coffee will infuse into the cold water during steeping, resulting in a delicious flavored cold brew. However, it is worth noting that some flavored coffees may have artificial additives or oils that could affect the taste and texture of the cold brew. It’s always a good idea to use high-quality flavored coffee to ensure the best results.

5. How should I store the cold brew coffee made with regular ground coffee?

Once the cold brew is ready, it is recommended to transfer it to a sealed container or jar and store it in the refrigerator. Cold brew can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks without any significant loss in flavor. It is best to consume the cold brew within this time frame to enjoy its freshness and taste. Remember to give the container a gentle shake before serving to mix any sediments that might have settled.

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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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