How to make the perfect cold brew using a French press

Randolf Fredric

Ah, the blissful art of crafting cold brew coffee with a trusty French press. Picture this: you’re craving a refreshing cup of iced coffee on a warm summer morning, but don’t want to fuss with complicated gadgets or intricate brewing methods. Fear not, for the French press is here to rescue! Making cold brew with this humble yet reliable tool is a breeze, giving you a smooth and robust cup of chilled java without breaking a sweat. So grab your favorite beans and let’s embark on a relaxed journey to discover the secrets of concocting delicious cold brew using everyone’s beloved French press.

Welcome to the Ultimate Guide on How to Make Cold Brew with a French Press

Coffee is a beloved beverage that is enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Whether you are a die-hard coffee connoisseur or just someone who enjoys a good cup of joe, you’re in for a treat with this comprehensive guide on how to make cold brew with a French press. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about this brewing method, including what it is, why it’s popular, how to make it, and its advantages and disadvantages. So, grab your French press and let’s dive in!

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What is Cold Brew?

Cold brew coffee is a brewing method that involves steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period, typically 12 to 24 hours. Unlike traditional hot brewing methods, which involve extracting flavors from coffee quickly with hot water, cold brew takes its time to produce a smooth, less acidic, and naturally sweet coffee concentrate.

Why Cold Brew?

The rising popularity of cold brew can be attributed to its unique flavor profile and refreshing qualities. Here are a few reasons why coffee enthusiasts are drawn to this method:

  • Smooth and Low Acidity: Cold brew coffee is known for its smooth and mellow flavor. The extended steeping time reduces the acidity levels, resulting in a less bitter and more delicate taste.
  • Natural Sweetness: Without the heat of hot water, cold brew allows for the extraction of natural sugars from the coffee beans. This creates a pleasant sweetness without the need for added sugars or sweeteners.
  • Versatility: Cold brew can be enjoyed in various ways, including over ice, diluted with water, or mixed with milk or cream to create your favorite coffee beverages.

How to Make Cold Brew with a French Press

Items Needed
French press
Coffee beans (coarsely ground)
Filtered water
Measuring spoon
Stirring spoon
Optional: Milk, cream, or sweeteners

Now, let’s walk you through the step-by-step process of making cold brew with a French press:

Step 1: Measure the Coffee

Start by measuring out your coffee beans. Use a ratio of 1:4, meaning 1 part coffee to 4 parts water. For example, if you’re using 1 cup of coffee, you’ll need 4 cups of water. Adjust the measurements based on the amount of cold brew concentrate you want to make.

Step 2: Grind the Coffee Beans

Grind your coffee beans coarsely to ensure proper extraction and avoid a bitter taste. If you don’t have a grinder, many coffee shops offer a coarse grind option that is suitable for cold brew.

Step 3: Combine Coffee and Water

Add the coarsely ground coffee into the French press and pour room temperature or cold filtered water over it. Gently stir to ensure all the coffee grounds are saturated with water. Avoid using hot water as it can extract undesirable flavors.

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Step 4: Steeping Time

Place the plunger on top of the French press but do not press it down. Set a timer for 12 to 24 hours, depending on your desired strength. The longer you steep, the stronger the concentrate will be.

Step 5: Plunge and Filter

Once the steeping time is up, slowly press down the plunger to separate the coffee grounds from the cold brew concentrate. This will also filter out any sediments, resulting in a smooth brew.

Step 6: Dilute and Enjoy

Fill a glass with ice and pour the concentrated cold brew over it. Add water or milk based on your preferences. Feel free to experiment with different ratios until you find your perfect cold brew taste. You can also add sweeteners like sugar, honey, or flavored syrups. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Cold Brew


1. Smooth and less acidic flavor profile.

2. Natural sweetness without added sugars.

3. Versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways.

4. Longer shelf life when refrigerated.


1. Lengthy brewing time compared to hot methods.

2. Requires planning ahead due to steeping period.

3. Higher coffee-to-water ratio leads to higher coffee consumption.

Tips for Making Cold Brew with a French Press

To make your cold brew experience even better, here are some expert tips:

  1. Invest in a high-quality French press that can withstand the pressure of plunging down without breaking.
  2. Experiment with different coffee bean varieties to discover your preferred flavor profile.
  3. Use filtered water to ensure a clean taste and prevent any unwanted flavors.
  4. Store your cold brew concentrate in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  5. Consider grinding your coffee beans just before brewing to preserve the freshness of the flavors.

Important Note: Always remember to adjust the measurements and steeping time based on your personal taste preferences.

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In conclusion, cold brew coffee made with a French press offers a unique and delicious way to enjoy coffee with its smooth and less acidic flavors. By following the step-by-step guide and expert tips provided in this article, you can easily create your own cold brew concentrate at home. Remember to start with high-quality coffee beans, a reliable French press, and experiment with different brewing ratios to find your perfect cup of cold brew. So, why not give it a try and elevate your coffee experience to a whole new level?

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1: Can I use regular ground coffee for making cold brew with a French press?

Yes, you can use regular ground coffee to make cold brew in a French press. However, it is recommended to use a coarser grind size, similar to that of coarse sea salt. This allows for a smoother extraction and prevents your cold brew from becoming too bitter or over-extracted. Adjusting the grind size according to your taste preference is the key to a great cold brew.

Question 2: How long should I steep the coffee in a French press for cold brew?

Cold brew requires a longer steeping time compared to hot brewing methods. It is recommended to steep your coffee grounds in the French press for around 12 to 24 hours at room temperature. The longer you steep, the stronger and more flavorful your cold brew will become. However, keep in mind that if you steep for too long, your cold brew might turn out too strong and bitter.

Question 3: Can I refrigerate the French press during the steeping process?

Absolutely! If you prefer to steep your cold brew in the fridge, you can certainly do so. In fact, refrigeration helps slow down the extraction process and results in a smoother, less acidic cold brew. Just make sure to cover your French press with its plunger or seal it with plastic wrap to prevent any potential flavors from being absorbed from the fridge.

Question 4: How long can I store cold brew made with a French press?

When stored in airtight containers, cold brew made with a French press can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks without significant loss of flavor. However, it is best to consume it within the first week to enjoy its optimal taste. Remember to always refrigerate your cold brew to prevent any bacterial growth.

Question 5: Can I heat cold brew made with a French press?

Certainly! Cold brew made with a French press can be heated if you prefer a warm or hot cup of coffee. Simply pour your desired amount of cold brew into a microwave-safe container and heat it for around 1 minute, or until it reaches your desired temperature. However, keep in mind that heating cold brew may alter its flavor profile slightly, becoming more similar to regular hot brewed coffee.

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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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