How much coffee beans for cold brew?

Marlin Dariel

Are you ready to dive into the world of cold brew coffee? Well, grab your favorite mug because we’re about to embark on a refreshing journey. When it comes to making cold brew, one of the most commonly asked questions is how much coffee beans do you need? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll break it down for you in relaxed and easy-to-understand language, so you can confidently prepare the perfect cold brew coffee right at home. Let’s get brewing!


Welcome to this comprehensive guide on how much coffee beans to use for cold brew! Cold brew coffee has gained immense popularity in recent years due to its smooth and rich flavor. Unlike traditional hot brewing methods, cold brew requires a different coffee-to-water ratio to achieve the perfect balance. In this article, we will explore what cold brew is, why it has become so popular, and how to make it using the right amount of coffee beans.

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 12 to 24 hours. The slow extraction process extracts the coffee’s flavors, resulting in a less acidic and smoother cup of coffee compared to hot brewing methods.

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Why is Cold Brew Coffee Popular?

Cold brew coffee has gained popularity for several reasons:

  1. Less acidity: Cold brew coffee has lower acidity levels, making it easier on the stomach and teeth compared to hot brewed coffee.
  2. Smooth flavor: The long extraction process enhances the natural flavors of the coffee beans, resulting in a smooth and mellow taste.
  3. Convenience: Cold brew can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator, making it convenient for those busy mornings or when you need a refreshing pick-me-up.
  4. Versatility: Cold brew can be enjoyed as is, or mixed with milk, cream, or flavored syrups to create a variety of delicious coffee-based beverages.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

Making cold brew coffee is relatively simple. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Choose the Right Coffee Beans

The quality and type of coffee beans play a crucial role in the flavor of your cold brew. Opt for beans that are freshly roasted and have a medium to dark roast profile. Since the cold brew process extracts flavors differently, bold and robust flavors are preferred.

Step 2: Grind the Coffee Beans

Grind the coffee beans to a coarse consistency. This helps with the extraction process and prevents over-extraction, which can result in a bitter taste. Use a burr grinder for consistent results.

Step 3: Measure the Coffee-to-Water Ratio

The coffee-to-water ratio determines the strength and flavor profile of your cold brew. A general guideline is to use a ratio of 1:4 coffee to water. However, you can adjust the ratio based on your taste preferences. For a stronger brew, increase the amount of coffee. For a milder brew, decrease the amount of coffee.

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Step 4: Combine Coffee and Water

In a large container or pitcher, combine the coffee grounds and cold water. Stir gently to ensure all the grounds are saturated with water.

Step 5: Steep for the Right Duration

The steeping time depends on the intensity of flavor you desire. The standard range is between 12 to 24 hours. If you prefer a lighter flavor, steep for less time. For a bolder flavor, steep for a longer duration. Experiment with different steeping times to find your perfect balance.

Step 6: Strain and Store

After the steeping time is over, strain the cold brew mixture using a fine-mesh sieve or a coffee filter to remove the coffee grounds. Store the strained cold brew in a refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Important Tips for Making Cold Brew Coffee

  1. Filtered Water: Always use filtered water for better taste and to prevent any impurities from affecting the flavor of your cold brew.
  2. Experiment with Ratios: Adjust the coffee-to-water ratio according to your taste preference. Start with the recommended ratio and make adjustments until you achieve your desired flavor.
  3. Use the Right Equipment: Invest in a high-quality coffee grinder, a large container or pitcher with a lid, and a fine-mesh sieve or coffee filter for optimal results.
  4. Play with Flavors: Enhance your cold brew by adding flavorings such as vanilla extract, cinnamon, or even a splash of your favorite liqueur.
  5. Enjoy it Cold: Cold brew coffee is meant to be enjoyed over ice. Pour it over ice cubes or serve it chilled for the best experience.
Advantages of Cold Brew Disadvantages of Cold Brew
– Smooth and mellow flavor – Long steeping time
– Less acidity – Requires planning in advance
– Versatile for various coffee-based beverages – Requires specialized equipment
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Note: Cold brew coffee is not the same as iced coffee. Iced coffee is made by pouring hot brewed coffee over ice, while cold brew is brewed with cold water from the start.


Cold brew coffee is a fantastic alternative to hot brewed coffee, offering a smoother and less acidic taste. By following the right coffee-to-water ratio and steeping duration, you can create your perfect cup of cold brew coffee. Experiment with different coffee beans and ratios to find the flavor that suits your taste buds. Enjoy the refreshing and delicious world of cold brew coffee!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What is the ideal coffee-to-water ratio for making cold brew?

A: The ideal coffee-to-water ratio for making cold brew is generally 1:4 or 1:5. This means that for every cup of coffee beans, you should use 4 to 5 cups of water. However, you can adjust the ratio based on your personal preference for the strength of the cold brew.

Q: Can I use regular coffee beans for cold brew?

A: Yes, you can use regular coffee beans for cold brew. However, it is recommended to choose beans that are specifically labeled as “cold brew” or “coarse ground” as they are ideal for this brewing method. Regular coffee beans can still be used, but they may require some adjustments in the brewing time and grind size.

Q: How long should I steep the coffee beans for cold brew?

A: The steeping time for cold brew can vary, but generally, it ranges from 12 to 24 hours. It is best to experiment and find the right steeping time that suits your taste preferences. Keep in mind that a longer steeping time will result in a stronger and more concentrated flavor, while a shorter time will be milder.

Q: Should I grind the coffee beans for cold brew or use them whole?

A: It is recommended to grind the coffee beans for cold brew. Grinding the beans to a coarse consistency allows for better extraction of flavors during the steeping process. Whole beans may not provide the same level of extraction and may result in a weaker cold brew.

Q: Can I reuse the coffee grounds for a second batch of cold brew?

A: Yes, you can reuse the coffee grounds for a second batch of cold brew. However, the second batch might be slightly weaker in flavor compared to the first batch. Make sure to properly store the used coffee grounds in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them again.

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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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