Cold Brew Made Easy: Mastering the French Press Method

Randolf Fredric

how to make cold brew in a french press

Hey there! If you’re looking for a super easy and convenient way to whip up some refreshing cold brew coffee at home, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll show you the step-by-step process of making cold brew using a French press.

No fancy equipment or intricate techniques needed – just a relaxed and laid-back approach to enjoying a smooth and delicious cold cup of joe.

So grab your French press and get ready to brew up some chilled goodness!

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Cold Brew in a French Press

Gone are the days when a piping hot cup of coffee was the only way to start your mornings.

With the rise in popularity of cold brew, a refreshing and smooth alternative, coffee lovers now have the opportunity to enjoy their favorite beverage in a whole new way.

In this article, we will explore what cold brew in a French press is, why it has become so popular, and how you can make it yourself right at home.

What is Cold Brew?

Cold brew is a method of brewing coffee where the grounds are steeped in cold water for an extended period of time.

This slow extraction process allows for a more concentrated and less bitter coffee compared to traditional brewing methods.

The result is a smooth and refreshing beverage that can be enjoyed over ice or blended into specialty coffee drinks.

Why Choose a French Press?

When it comes to making cold brew, a French press is an excellent choice for several reasons. First and foremost, French presses are readily available and relatively affordable.

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Additionally, they offer a convenient and efficient way to steep your coffee grounds, ensuring a consistent and flavorful brew.

The French press also allows for easy experimentation with different coffee-to-water ratios and steeping times, giving you complete control over the final product.

How to Make Cold Brew in a French Press

Making cold brew in a French press is a simple process that requires just a few basic ingredients and tools.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin, make sure you have the following items:

French press
Coffee beans
Cold, filtered water
Measuring spoon
Stirring utensil
Optional: Flavorings (e.g., vanilla extract, cinnamon)

Step 2: Measure and Grind Your Coffee

For a standard batch of cold brew, you’ll want to use a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:4. This means for every 1 part coffee, you’ll use 4 parts water.

Measure out your desired amount of coffee beans, and grind them to a coarse consistency.

Coarse grounds are ideal for cold brew, as they allow for a more even extraction and prevent over-extraction, which can result in a bitter taste.

Step 3: Combine Coffee and Water in the French Press

Once you’ve ground your coffee, transfer it to the French press.

Pour the cold, filtered water over the grounds, ensuring that they are fully saturated.

Give the mixture a gentle stir to ensure all the grounds are evenly mixed with the water.

Step 4: Steep and Time

Place the plunger on top of the French press but do not press it down. This will help to keep the heat out and maintain a consistent brewing temperature.

Set your timer for 12-24 hours, depending on your desired strength and flavor profile. For a lighter brew, opt for a shorter steeping time, and for a bolder flavor, leave it to steep longer.

Experimentation is key!

Step 5: Plunge and Pour

After the steeping time has elapsed, slowly press down on the plunger to separate the grounds from the liquid.

Pour the cold brew into a separate container for storage, such as a glass pitcher or mason jar.

It is now ready to be enjoyed over ice, diluted with water, or mixed with your favorite milk or flavorings.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Cold Brew


Cold brew offers several advantages over traditional hot coffee. One of the primary advantages is its lower acidity, which makes it a gentler option for those with sensitive stomachs.

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The slow extraction process also brings out the natural sweetness and flavors of the coffee, resulting in a smoother and more nuanced taste profile.

Cold brew is also highly customizable, allowing you to experiment with different beans, blends, and flavorings to create your perfect cup.


While cold brew has a multitude of benefits, it also has a few drawbacks to consider. The extended steeping time required for cold brew means that it requires more planning and foresight compared to traditional brewing methods.

Additionally, cold brew tends to have a higher caffeine content due to the longer extraction time, which may not be ideal for those who are caffeine-sensitive.

Finally, the smooth and subtle flavors of cold brew may not appeal to those who prefer a bolder and more robust coffee taste.

Top Tips for Cold Brewing in a French Press

Tip 1: Use Freshly Roasted and Specialty-Grade Coffee Beans

The quality of your coffee beans plays a vital role in the taste of your cold brew.

Opt for freshly roasted beans from a reputable source, ideally with a specialty-grade designation.

These beans will have a higher flavor profile and result in a more exceptional cold brew experience.

Tip 2: Experiment with Different Coffee-to-Water Ratios

While a 1:4 ratio is a good starting point, don’t be afraid to adjust the amount of coffee and water to suit your personal preference.

You may find that you prefer a stronger brew with a higher coffee-to-water ratio or a milder flavor with a lower ratio.

Feel free to experiment until you find your perfect balance.

Tip 3: Try Different Brewing Times and Temperatures

Although a 12-24 hour steeping period is typical for cold brew, don’t hesitate to experiment with different brewing times and temperatures.

Shorter steeping times will result in a milder and less concentrated brew, while longer times will yield a bolder and more intense flavor.

You can also play with the water temperature by using filtered warm water instead of cold water, which can shorten the steeping time.

Tip 4: Store Cold Brew Properly

Once you’ve made your cold brew, it’s important to store it correctly to maintain its freshness and flavor.

Transfer the cold brew to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. Cold brew can typically be kept for up to two weeks before the flavors start to degrade.

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Remember to give it a good stir before each use, as the oils and sediments may settle at the bottom.


In conclusion, cold brew in a French press offers a delightful and refreshing way to enjoy your favorite coffee.

The slow extraction process of cold brew results in a smoother and less acidic taste compared to traditional brewing methods.

By following a few simple steps and experimenting with different ratios and brew times, you can create your perfect cup of cold brew right at home.

With its versatility and customizability, cold brew is sure to become a beloved addition to your morning routine.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can I make cold brew in a regular coffee maker?

Yes, you can make cold brew in a regular coffee maker. However, it might require some modifications to the brewing process. Instead of using hot water, you would need to use cold water and a longer brewing time. You can still follow the same ratio of coffee to water (usually 1:4) and adjust the brewing time accordingly. Keep in mind that cold brew made in a regular coffee maker may not have the same smoothness and concentration as the one made in a French press.

2. How long should I steep the coffee grounds in the French press?

The recommended steeping time for cold brew in a French press is around 12-24 hours. However, you can experiment with different steeping times to find the strength and flavor profile that suits your taste preferences. If you prefer a weaker brew, you can steep it for a shorter duration, such as 12 hours. On the other hand, if you prefer a stronger concentrate, you can steep it for a longer period, like 24 hours. Remember to adjust the quantity of coffee grounds and water accordingly.

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

Yes, you can use any type of coffee beans for cold brew. However, certain beans may result in different flavor profiles and levels of acidity. Many people prefer using medium or dark roast beans for cold brew as they tend to bring out richer and bolder flavors. However, you can also use light roast beans if you prefer a lighter and more nuanced taste. Ultimately, it is a matter of personal preference, so feel free to experiment with different types of beans to find your preferred flavor profile.

4. How long can I store cold brew made in a French press?

Cold brew made in a French press can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. It is best to transfer the brewed cold brew into a separate airtight container or jar after the desired brewing time to prevent further extraction or bitterness. This way, you can enjoy a fresh and flavorful cold brew throughout the week. Remember to give it a good stir or shake before serving to ensure an even distribution of flavors.

5. Can I dilute cold brew with hot water or milk?

Yes, you can dilute cold brew with hot water or milk according to your taste preferences. Cold brew is typically more concentrated than regular hot coffee, so you may want to dilute it before consumption. Diluting with hot water will give you a similar experience to traditional hot coffee, while diluting with milk or cream can create a smoother and creamier taste. Experiment with different ratios and additions to find the perfect balance for your palate.

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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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