How long does it take to make cold brew coffee?

Marlin Dariel

If you’re someone who can never resist a refreshing cup of coffee, you’ve probably heard about the wonders of cold brew. But have you ever wondered just how long it takes to whip up a tasty batch of this chilled delight? Well, we’ve got the scoop! In today’s article, we’ll walk you through the simple steps of making cold brew coffee and delve into exactly how much time you’ll need to invest for that smooth, full-bodied goodness to infuse. So grab your mason jars and let’s embark on the cold brew journey together, one leisurely steep at a time!

Making the Perfect Cold Brew Coffee


Coffee lovers rejoice! Cold brew coffee has been gaining popularity over the years due to its smooth and rich flavor. While traditional brewing methods may take minutes, cold brew coffee takes hours or even overnight to prepare. In this article, we will explore what cold brew coffee is, why it’s different from regular coffee, and how you can make it yourself at home.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is a method of brewing coffee by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period – usually 12 to 24 hours. It’s different from regular hot brewed coffee as it doesn’t involve heat during the extraction process.

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Why Choose Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee offers a range of benefits that make it a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts. Here are a few reasons why you should consider trying cold brew:

  • Less acidity: The cold brewing process reduces the acidity levels in coffee, resulting in a smoother and less bitter taste.
  • Flavorful and aromatic: Cold brew coffee extracts more flavors and aromas from the coffee beans, resulting in a more complex and flavorful cup of coffee.
  • Lower caffeine content: Cold brew coffee typically has less caffeine than hot brewed coffee, making it a suitable choice for those who are sensitive to caffeine.
  • Convenience: Cold brew coffee can be brewed in larger batches and stored in the fridge for several days, providing a ready-to-drink and refreshing coffee option.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

Now that we understand the appeal of cold brew coffee, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making it at home:

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

Before you begin, make sure you have the following ingredients and equipment:

Ingredients Equipment
Coarsely ground coffee beans Mason jar or pitcher
Cold, filtered water Fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth

Step 2: Coffee to Water Ratio

The key to a good cold brew is the coffee to water ratio. A general rule of thumb is to use a ratio of 1:4 – one part coffee to four parts water. However, you can adjust the ratio according to your personal preference.

Step 3: Combine Coffee and Water

In a mason jar or pitcher, combine the coffee and water, ensuring all the coffee grounds are fully saturated. Stir gently to mix the coffee and water together.

Step 4: Steep for 12-24 Hours

Cover the mason jar or pitcher and let the coffee steep in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours. The longer you steep, the stronger and more concentrated the cold brew will be.

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Step 5: Strain the Coffee

After the steeping period, strain the cold brew coffee using a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. This removes the coffee grounds and ensures a smooth and clean final product.

Step 6: Dilute and Serve

If the concentrated cold brew is too strong for your taste, you can dilute it with water or milk. Serve the cold brew over ice and enjoy!

Tips for the Perfect Cold Brew

To enhance your cold brew coffee experience, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Use quality coffee beans: Opt for freshly roasted and high-quality coffee beans for the best flavor.
  2. Grind the beans coarsely: A coarse grind allows for better extraction and prevents over-extraction.
  3. Experiment with steeping time: Adjust the steeping time to find your preferred strength and flavor.
  4. Store properly: Cold brew can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
  5. Get creative: Add flavorings like vanilla extract, cinnamon, or chocolate syrup to customize your cold brew.

Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee

Cold brew and iced coffee are two popular chilled coffee options, but they differ in preparation and flavor:

Cold Brew Coffee Iced Coffee
Steeped in cold water for an extended period Hot brewed coffee cooled and poured over ice
Less acidic and smoother taste Retains the acidity and flavor of hot brewed coffee
More concentrated Less concentrated than cold brew


Now that you know how to make cold brew coffee, why not give it a try? With its smooth and rich flavor, it’s definitely worth the wait. Remember to experiment with the coffee to water ratio, steeping time, and serving preferences to find your perfect cup of cold brew.

So, grab your favorite coffee beans, follow the steps outlined above, and indulge in a refreshing and delicious cold brew coffee whenever you’re in need of a caffeine boost!

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the recommended ratio of coffee to water for making cold brew coffee?

For a well-balanced and flavorful cold brew, the general rule of thumb is to use a ratio of 1 part coffee to 4 parts water. This means that for every cup (8 ounces) of coffee grounds, you should use 4 cups (32 ounces) of cold water. However, you can adjust the ratio according to your taste preferences. If you prefer a stronger brew, you can increase the amount of coffee grounds or decrease the amount of water.

2. Can I use any type of coffee beans for making cold brew coffee?

Yes, you can use any type of coffee beans for cold brew coffee. However, it is recommended to use medium to coarse grind beans as they allow for a better extraction during the extended steeping process. Additionally, darker roasted beans tend to bring out a smoother and deeper flavor profile in cold brew coffee. Experimenting with different coffee beans can help you discover the flavor profiles that you enjoy the most in your cold brew.

3. How long should I steep the coffee grounds in water to make cold brew?

Typically, cold brew coffee requires a steeping time of at least 12 hours. This extended steeping period allows the water to extract the flavors and natural oils from the coffee grounds, resulting in a smooth and less acidic beverage. However, you can experiment with different steeping times to achieve the desired strength and flavor. If you prefer a milder flavor, you can steep the coffee for around 10 hours, whereas a longer steeping time, such as 16-24 hours, can produce a more robust and concentrated cold brew.

4. Can I make cold brew coffee without a specific cold brew coffee maker?

Absolutely! While having a cold brew coffee maker can make the process more convenient, you can still make cold brew coffee without one. One popular method is using a large mason jar or any container with a tight lid. Simply add the desired amount of coffee grounds and cold water, ensuring the ratio is maintained, and stir well. Then, cover the jar tightly and let it steep in the refrigerator for the recommended amount of time. After the steeping period, strain the mixture using a fine mesh sieve or a coffee filter to separate the grounds from the liquid.

5. How long can I store cold brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee has a longer shelf life compared to traditional hot brewed coffee. When stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator, cold brew can remain fresh for up to 2 weeks. However, it is important to note that the flavor may gradually change over time, becoming less vibrant. To enjoy the best flavors and freshness, it is recommended to consume the cold brew within the first week after brewing.

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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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