Skip to Content

Homemade Cold Brew Coffee

Beloved Iced Coffee is so easy to make at home, learn how to make the best cold brew at home. This easy overnight recipe includes tips, pictures, and the perfect ratio so that you can make your own Homemade Cold Brew Coffee!

Links may be affiliate links.

milk being poured into a glass of homemade cold brew coffee making milk and coffee swirls in the glass

Making Cold Brew Coffee at Home

A good cold brew coffee is something that so many people cherish, including myself.

There is something so comforting about a nice large icy cold coffee on a hot day (or cold day no judgment). And it is no mystery as to why so many people are obsessed with the drink.

A big reason that so many people love the drink is the claim of better flavor!

Why?

Because the grounds aren’t subject to hot temperatures the coffee tends to be less bitter. Meaning that often cold brew coffee will have a smoother and sweeter taste that a traditional hot cup of coffee.

Now some people will also claim that cold brew coffee tends to be less acidic than a hot cup of joe, but recently according to Daily Coffee News there has been a lot more research into that subject. That the difference in acidity does not come from how the coffee was brewed (hot vs. cold) but what roast of bean you use.

Some research suggests that if you are looking for a lower acidity in your coffee to try a dark roast instead of a light roast. Although a lot of research is still being done on the subject, so if you are really looking for an answer on acidity in coffee search around!

glass of freshly made cold brew with ice and a straw

Okay so let’s get back to the flavor of things.

Another beauty about cold brew is that it is a concentrate so you are able to make a cup of coffee truly yours. You can play with the levels of different mix-ins to make it truly how you like it!

Some of the most common mix-ins are:

  • Water
  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Sugar

Plus cold brew can be used in more unique beverages like Coffee Lemonade or even Cocktails!

So let’s get into the nitty gritty of Homemade Cold Brew Coffee…

Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

Supplies & Ingredients Needed:

First you will need supplies. Cold brew can at first sound a little scary like you need a lot of supplies but don’t fret you most likely have everything or almost everything at home already!

Bowl/Jar:

You will need something to do the actual brewing in. I have tested a number of different ways including mason jars, French presses, bottles, and then my favorite way was using a ‘batter bowl’. Batter bowls are larger usually about 8 to 12 cup bowls that usually have measurements on the side as well as a handle and a spout, often time they even come with a lid. Using a batter bowl was my preferred method for a few reasons. I could make a large batch with ease at once, the ease of the handle and spout when filtering/pouring the brewed coffee, the measurements on the side is also nice, as well as some (I have a pampered chef one) comes with a lid so it was easy to cover and uncover.

No fret if you don’t have a bowl like this I have made cold brew coffee in common glass jars before just as easily.

Coffee Grinder:

To be fair you don’t actually need need one of these. You are able to make cold brew with pre-ground coffee but if you are going to for the best taste I would recommend getting your own coffee grinder.

I have a simple Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Electric Coffee Grinder and it totally does the trick!

ground coffee in a small black coffee grinder

Mesh Strainer and Cheese Cloth

While the mesh strainer will make it easier the most important thing you will want for a smooth cup is cheese cloth. Named because originally its main use was making cheese this can easily be found at grocery stores as well as Amazon.

You could also use a Nut Milk Bag OR a French Press if you already have those at home.

A fine mesh strainer is nice to place the cheese cloth into but if you don’t have one you could just have someone hold the cloth while you filter the coffee or MacGyver your own little device over a bowl.

Storage:

This will vary depending on how much you make but you will need a way to store your coffee. I am a huge supporter is using glass in a case like this so that the plastics don’t alter the taste of your brew.

I personally will use my Otis Classic Swing Top Glass Bottles or a Mason Jar to store my homemade cold brew coffee.

Water:

Seems obvious right… Just a note on the water. For best results I recommend using a filtered water, depending on where you live you might get mixed results using tap water. It comes down to personal preference but cold filtered water will yield the best results.

Coffee:

At the end of the day you are going to want to use your favorite coffee but there are a few things to consider.

  • Freshness (for example local coffee you grind yourself vs. pre-ground coffee from the grocery store)
  • Light vs. Medium vs. Dark Roast
  • Caffeine levels (yes you can use decaf coffee)
ingredients need to make cold brew coffee at home, coffee beans, water, and a coffee grinder

So how so you make Homemade Cold Brew Coffee??

First grind your coffee. You will need 1 cup of coffee grounds to make 4 cups of cold brew coffee. Grind your coffee (in batches if needed) to a medium to course setting. So you will want your grounds looking more like bread crumbs or course salt, no smaller than the size of granulated sugar. Avoid getting the ground too much like a powder.

medium/course ground coffee in a measuring cup

In your large bowl/jar fill with 4 cups of cold filtered water. Sprinkle the coffee grounds evenly over the top of the water. Let the coffee ‘bloom’ on top of the water for about 30 to 60 seconds (aka let the water soak in). Stir together.

step by step photos of the coffee ground starting to bloom in the water after being poured in the large bowl
coffee grounds being stirred in a large glass batter bowl with a wood spoon and what it will look like before you place it in the fridge

Cover and transfer to the refrigerator. Let rest 12 to 14 hours for best results.

Layer cheese cloth into a mesh strainer and place over a large bowl/jar. Strain the cold brewed coffee into the cheesecloth. Strain twice for extra smoothness. Keep your cold brew coffee concentrate covered in the fridge, keeps up to two weeks.

Pouring coffee concentrate and the used coffee grounds into a cheese cloth to strain out the coffee grounds
cheese cloth in a mesh strainer filled with used coffee grounds
small pitcher filled with freshly brewed homemade cold press coffee

To serve pour over ice, find your perfect ratio of added water, milk, and/or sugar to the concentrate.

(A little tip that I like share, use simple syrup as a sweetener, stirs right in opposed to sugar that you have to stir in until it melts)

Most people recommend a 50/50 water down of the the concentrate with either ice/water/milk. Personally I would say I am more of a 2/3 coffee 1/3 mix-in person but that is the beauty of cold brew my friends!

Pouring cold brew concentrate into a glass with ice cubes

Definitely don’t put your coffee grounds down the sink! Try one of these ideas with your used coffee grounds instead:

Can I use the ground coffee I bought at the store?

Short Answer: Yes

Long Answer: Yes BUT of course some people will argue that it might not taste as good as freshly ground beans so you can decide what works best for you. If ground coffee is what you have available, go for it!

What is the ratio for Cold Brew Coffee if I want to make more or less?

I made you a chart!

Amount of Coffee GroundsAmount of Water
1/4 Cup1 Cup
1/2 Cup2 Cups
3/4 Cup3 Cups
1 Cup4 Cups
1 1/4 Cups5 Cups
1 1/2 Cups6 Cups

What are the benefits to drinking Cold Brewed Coffee?

As talked about above there isn’t a huge difference between Hot and Cold brewed coffee as far as a difference between benefits. But some of the biggest benefits of drinking coffee include increased energy levels and a great source of antioxidants.

How long will homemade cold brew coffee keep?

Cold Brew when stored in the fridge can keep for up to 2 weeks. Although in my house it never lasts that long 😉

The cold brew coffee concentrate can also be frozen for longer lasting storage. You can even try freezing your coffee in ice cube trays to use for your coffee of you don’t like your coffee watered down!

glass of homemade cold brew coffee with swirls of freshly poured milk with a straw and ice
in the front a glass of cold brew coffee mix with milk next to a glass of plain cold brew coffee behind it
glass of homemade cold brew coffee with swirls of freshly poured milk with a straw and ice

Homemade Cold Brew Coffee

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Rest Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 5 minutes

How to make Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate at home with an easy overnight recipe!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 cup medium to course ground coffee

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl/jar fill with 4 cups of cold water. Sprinkle the coffee grounds evenly over the top of the water. Let the coffee bloom on top of the water for about 30 to 60 seconds. Stir together.
  2. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator. Let rest 12 to 14 hours for best results.
  3. Layer cheese cloth into a mesh strainer and place over a large bowl/jar. Strain the cold brewed coffee into the cheesecloth. Strain twice for extra smoothness.
  4. Keep your cold brew coffee concentrate covered in the fridge, keeps up to two weeks. To serve pour over ice, find your perfect ratio of added water, milk, and/or sugar to the concentrate.

Notes

Medium or course ground coffee works for making cold brew. Freshly ground coffee will yeild the best results. Avoid using fine ground coffee.

I personally prefer using a 'batter bowl' for making cold brew, it is easily large enough but also has a spout and handle to make pouring between containeres easy.

In place of using a cheese cloth and strainer you can also use a french press to seperate the coffee from the gounds.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below on the blog or share a photo with me tag @the_schmidty_wife! Can't wait to see what you made!

And make sure you are following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook for all the latest recipes!

Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

Overhead shot of a white plate with a teriyaki grilled chicken breast, grilled green beans with sauce, and white rice
Previous
Grilled Teriyaki Chicken and Green Beans Served with Rice
a white plate shot from overhead with sliced grilled chicken breast and a large serving of panzanella salad with tomatoes and grilled bread
Next
Easy Panzanella Salad with Grilled Chicken

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Anne @ fANNEtasticfood.com

Wednesday 10th of June 2020

This is such a great post and a helpful resource! Thanks for including my compost guide link. :)

Lauren Schmidt

Wednesday 10th of June 2020

Thanks so much Anne!! Was happy to share your post, so much useful info!