How To Make The Best Cold Brew Coffee

by Ashley

This cold brew coffee recipe will teach you how to make the best cold brew at home, and its so easy! And while you’re at it, try this homemade cold brew coffee syrup.

Pouring Creme into cold brew coffee. Text overlay "How To Make Cold Brew Coffee"

The Best Cold Brew At Home

This might sound crazy, but I ALWAYS drink iced coffee. Year-round. No matter what. I drink cold coffee when it’s 100 degrees outside and when it’s snowing. Don’t ask why. I’ve never been a fan of hot drinks. I usually use our inexpensive De’Longhi espresso machine we bought on Amazon to put shots over ice.

Why Make Cold Brew At Home?

My mornings are busy, and I don’t always have time to make coffee. I decided to try making cold brew at home so that my coffee would always be in the fridge waiting for me.  And guess what? I love it! With disposable cold brew coffee filters, the home brewing process is easy-peasy! Not to mention they are available on Amazon!

cold brew coffee filtersHow To Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home

Making cold brew at home is easier than you’d think!  Follow the steps below to make the best tasting cold brew at home.

Supplies For Making Cold Brew At Home

Choosing Your Coffee Beans

Some coffee roasters make beans labeled specifically for cold brew.  After making several test batches of cold brew at home, we found that it didn’t make a difference if the label said cold brew or not… good beans make good coffee!

The aromas and subtle flavors of different coffee beans will make their way into your cold brew. My favorite coffee beans to use for cold brew are Donut Cafe Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee.

Fresh Coffee Beans

Freshness matters. Freshly roasted beans are always better, so try to make sure you are using quality coffee beans that have not been sitting on a shelf forever.

Grind Size

Another important factor that will have a big impact on the final taste of your cold brew is the coarseness of the grind. Finely ground coffee beans will yield the strongest flavor with less brew time, and coarsely ground coffee will result in milder taste.

Coffee beans start losing freshness after grinding. I recommend grinding your coffee at home with a burr mill grinder.  When you grind your beans at home, you can start the brew immediately after grounding for optimal freshness.

Coffee grounds will maintain peak freshness for several hours after grinding, so you can also buy your coffee beans at a local store and ask them to grind the beans.  The coffee grounds will still be very fresh as long as you start your brew the same day (preferably within the next few hours).

You can use pre-ground coffee in a pinch, but the taste does suffer a little bit.

Step 1: Fill The Filter Bag

Add 8oz of your favorite coffee grinds into a disposable cold brew coffee filter bag. Pull drawstring tight to tie to seal in grounds.  8oz of coffee to 8 cups of water is a good balanced ratio to start out with. If like mild coffee, or prefer extra strong then you can adjust this ratio by adding a little bit more or less coffee.

pouring coffee grinds into cold brew coffee filter bag

cold brew coffee bag filled with coffee grinds

Step 2: Add Cold Brew Filter To Pitcher

Place the disposable cold brew coffee filter bag inside a standard 2qt pitcher. Make sure to place the coffee bag into the pitcher before you add the water.  This makes it easier to get the bag inside of the pitcher.

Step 3: Add Water

Soak water into all of the coffee grinds by gently pressing on the filter.  The coffee float to the top when you are first adding the water, so you may need to add water slowly and push the bag down into the water while you’re filling the pitcher.

Water Quality

The water you use while making cold brew at home will have a big impact on the taste.  Make sure to use clean, good tasting water.  The well water at our home has a slight mineral taste, so we always filter our water with this Brita Pitcher from Amazon.

putting cold brew coffee grinds into water

Step 4: The Brewing Process

Place the pitcher in a refrigerator.  Over the next 24-48 hours, coffee will seep into the water creating an amazingly delicious cold brew at home!

How Long To Brew?

Don’t obsess over the timing.  It is pretty forgiving. Your coffee will taste great and a few hours +/- won’t make much of a difference. The general rule is to brew your coffee somewhere between 24-48 hours.

If you prefer mild tasting coffee, taste the coffee after 24 hours in the refrigerator. It it is too mild and doesn’t quite have a full bodied flavor, let it continue brewing in the refrigerator.  Keep tasting the cold brew as needed until it reaches your desired taste.

If you prefer strong, bold coffee, then brew for 36 hours before you start taste testing.

When the coffee has reached your preferred taste, remove the disposable filter bag and dispose of the used coffee grounds.

Discarding the coffee grounds from the pitcher is the final step! Your cold brew at home is now completed.

Store the cold brew in the refrigerator and enjoy!

Cream being poured into a cold brew coffee in a mason jar

cold brew coffee in a mason jar with a cinnamon stick

What Affects Cold Brew Coffee Taste?

There are tons of factors that will affect the final taste of your cold brew coffee.  To make the best cold brew at home, pay special attention to all of these variables.

Coffee Beans

The coffee beans you use will have the biggest overall impact on the taste of your cold brew coffee. The variety of coffee bean, as well as the roast type can make a big difference. Using amazing coffee beans, will almost always yield delicious cold brew!

Grinding

The size of your coffee grind will affect how strong your cold brew turns out.  Grinding immediately before brewing helps to ensure the best possible taste.

Brew Time

With a large recommend range of 24 to 48 hours, you can make your cold brew however you like, from mild to wild(ly) strong!

Water Quality

Using great tasting water is the start to great tasting cold brew coffee.

Coffee to Water Ratio

The recommend ratio of coffee to water is 8oz to 8 cups.  Use this as a starting point, and change the ratio to make the perfect recipe for you!

How Much Caffeine Does Cold Brew Contain?

The caffeine content of cold brew coffee varies significantly.  Many factors affect the final caffeine content of cold brew including: coffee bean variety, grind size, brew time, coffee roast, and ratio of coffee to water.

Depending on these variables, 12oz of cold brew coffee made at home will contain somewhere between 150 and 300 milligrams of caffeine. To put this in perspective: 12oz of cold brew contains roughly the same amount of caffeine as 3 shots of espresso.

How Long Does Cold Brew Last In The Refrigerator?

Cold brew coffee tastes great for several days after the brewing process is completed.  After about a week, the tastes starts slowly degrading but is still enjoyable.  Our batches of cold brew were still tasty and enjoyable well into the second week, but I would recommend throwing out cold brew coffee if you haven’t finished it within 14 days.

Homemade Cinnamon Dolce Coffee Syrup in a mason jar

Bonus: HOMEMADE CINNAMON DOLCE COFFEE SYRUP!

Ingredients

1/2 cup of light brown sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup water
1 5-inch cinnamon stick

Directions

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through and the sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes).
Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes.
Remove cinnamon stick.
Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

After you’ve made cold brew at home, try this recipe for yourself and let me know what you think! For more of my recipes, click here!

Comment below if you’re a little nutty like me and enjoy cold brew coffee year-round! For all of you normal coffee drinkers, pin the image at the top and save this post for the warmer months so you can enjoy some homemade cold brew coffee too!

 

Want to save this recipe for later? You can pin it here:

cold brew coffee recipe

You may also like

8 comments

Elizabeth October 9, 2017 - 9:12 am

Looks delicious Ashley! We love our coffee…thanks for sharing this.

Reply
Ashley October 9, 2017 - 11:06 am

Same here! So glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

Reply
shannon October 9, 2017 - 4:48 pm

You must have gotten your preference for cold drinks instead of warm from your mother…ha ha.
You know me…ice, ice, ice.

Reply
Ashley October 12, 2017 - 2:48 pm

Haha never thought of that, but probably true!

Reply
Megan October 10, 2017 - 11:53 am

This looks sooooo good!! I’m obsessed with iced coffee so I think I need to try it out!

Reply
Ashley October 12, 2017 - 2:49 pm

Yes, you will love it! No more watery coffee!

Reply
James October 24, 2019 - 6:22 pm

Yummy! I love making coffee drinks at home – you know what’s in them and so much cheaper!!

Reply
Ashley October 30, 2019 - 3:57 pm

Yes same here!

Reply

Leave a Comment