Cold Brew Mastery: French Press Secrets

Randolf Fredric

So you want to learn the art of making a delicious cold brew using a French press? Well, get ready to embark on a journey of coffee goodness that will leave you refreshed and satisfied. Forget about complex brewing techniques and fancy equipment – the French press cold brew method is all about simplicity and relaxation. With just a few steps, some patience, and a little bit of love for coffee, you’ll be able to enjoy a smooth, rich, and aromatic cup of cold brew that will make your taste buds sing. So grab your French press, your favorite coffee beans, and let’s dive into the world of laid-back cold brew brewing, perfect for those lazy mornings or a chill afternoon.


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to French press cold brew! In this article, we will take a deep dive into the world of cold brew coffee and explore the what, why, and how of using a French press to make this refreshing and aromatic beverage. Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast or a casual coffee lover, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to perfect your cold brew technique.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee refers to a brewing method that involves steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period, usually between 12 to 24 hours. Unlike traditional hot brewing methods, cold brewing eliminates the use of heat, resulting in a smoother, less acidic, and naturally sweeter coffee concentrate.

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Why Choose Cold Brew?

There are several reasons why many coffee enthusiasts prefer cold brew over hot brewed coffee:

  • Low Acidity: Cold brew coffee has lower acidity levels compared to hot brewed coffee, which makes it easier on the stomach for those with acid sensitivity.
  • Smooth and Less Bitter: The slow extraction process of cold brewing produces a coffee that is smooth, less bitter, and less likely to be over-extracted.
  • Convenience: Cold brew coffee can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, allowing you to enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee whenever you want.
  • Versatility: Cold brew coffee can be enjoyed over ice, diluted with water, or mixed with milk or other flavors to create a variety of refreshing beverages.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee with a French Press

Now that we understand the benefits of cold brew coffee, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of using a French press to make this delightful beverage:

Step 1: Measure and Grind

Start by measuring out the desired amount of coffee beans. For a standard ratio, use 1 part coffee to 4 parts water. For example, if you want to make 1 liter of cold brew, use 250 grams of coffee beans.

Next, grind the coffee beans to a coarse consistency. The coarse grind is essential for preventing over-extraction during the long steeping process in cold water. A burr grinder is recommended for achieving a consistent coarse grind.

Step 2: Combine Coffee and Water

Add your coarsely ground coffee to the French press, followed by cold, filtered water. Stir the mixture gently to ensure all the coffee grounds are fully saturated with water. Use a wooden or plastic spoon to avoid damaging the glass of the French press.

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French Press Size Coffee Amount Water Amount
3 cups (12 oz) ⅓ cup (85 grams) 3 cups (700 ml)
4 cups (16 oz) ½ cup (125 grams) 4 cups (950 ml)
8 cups (32 oz) 1 cup (250 grams) 8 cups (1900 ml)

Step 3: Steep

Place the plunger lid on top of the French press without plunging it down. This will help retain the heat during the steeping process. Let the coffee steep in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, depending on your desired strength.

Note: Longer steeping times will result in stronger and more concentrated cold brew coffee.

Step 4: Plunge and Serve

After the steeping time is complete, firmly push the plunger down, separating the coffee grounds from the liquid. Slowly pour the cold brew into a separate container, discarding the coffee grounds that remain at the bottom of the French press.

Your cold brew coffee is now ready to be enjoyed! You can serve it over ice, dilute it with water or milk according to your preference, and add sweeteners or flavors if desired.


Mastering the art of French press cold brew can elevate your coffee experience to a whole new level. The slow, gentle extraction process of the French press allows you to unlock the rich flavors and low acidity of this popular brewing method. Experiment with different coffee beans, ratios, and steeping times to find your perfect cup of cold brew. Enjoy the refreshing and smooth taste of cold brew coffee, and savor every sip!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1: How long should I let the coffee steep in a French press for cold brew?

Answer: For the best results, it is recommended to let the coffee steep in a French press for cold brew for at least 12 hours. This extended steeping time allows for a slow extraction of flavors and creates a smooth and rich cold brew coffee. However, you can adjust the steeping time according to your personal preference. If you prefer a stronger taste, you can let it steep for up to 24 hours.

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Question 2: Can I use regular ground coffee for making cold brew in a French press?

Answer: Yes, you can use regular ground coffee for making cold brew in a French press. However, it is best to use a coarse grind to prevent over-extraction during the long steeping process. A coarse grind allows for a slower extraction and helps to avoid any bitterness or overpowering flavors in the cold brew. If you only have pre-ground coffee, ensure it is not too fine and has a coarse consistency.

Question 3: How do I store the cold brew coffee made in a French press?

Answer: After you have extracted the cold brew coffee in the French press, it is advisable to transfer it to an airtight container for storage. This will help maintain its freshness and prevent any unwanted odors or flavors from affecting the taste. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks without compromising the quality. Always ensure the container is clean and free of any residues to avoid any contamination.

Question 4: Can I dilute the cold brew concentrate made with a French press?

Answer: Yes, you can dilute the cold brew concentrate made with a French press. Cold brew concentrate is highly concentrated and can be quite strong. To adjust the strength according to your taste preferences, simply add water or milk to dilute the concentrate. Start by adding equal parts cold brew concentrate and water, and then adjust based on your desired strength. You can also experiment by adding ice, sweeteners, or cream to create your own customized cold brew beverage.

Question 5: Can I use a plastic French press for making cold brew?

Answer: It is generally recommended to use a glass or stainless steel French press for making cold brew. Plastic French presses may not provide the same level of insulation or temperature retention as glass or stainless steel, which can impact the quality and taste of the cold brew. Additionally, plastic may absorb flavors and odors over time, affecting the taste of future batches. However, if you only have a plastic French press, you can still use it but be mindful of its limitations and consider upgrading to a more suitable material for the best cold brew experience.

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Randolf Fredric

Randolf Fredric

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


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