How to Make Cold Brew in a French Press

French Press Cold Brew
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I just love sipping on some refreshing cold brew coffee on a hot summer day. It’s cooling, delicious, and has a nice amount of caffeine for an uplifting effect.

Cold brew coffee is also less acidic than hot brewed coffee, which results in smoother taste and makes it easier on your stomach.

But buying it everytime from a coffee shop is quite expensive. So why not make it at home?

The best thing is that you don’t even need any expensive equipment — a regular French press will do just fine. Next, I will tell you why I like making my cold brew with a French press and explain precisely how to do it.

Why I Make My Cold Brew Coffee with a French Press

There are many ways to make cold brew coffee at home.

You can use a mason jar or buy a special pitcher with a built-in strainer. But I prefer using a French press instead.

Here are a few good reasons to make your cold brew with a French press:

  • You don’t have to buy any new equipment
  • Easy and convenient
  • No need for a separate strainer

Are there any disadvantages in using a French press for cold brew?

Well, not really. The whole idea is just to have the coffee grounds submerged in water and then strain the coffee when it’s ready.

The only thing is that if you have the plunger of the French press all the way up, it’s quite tall and might not fit in your fridge.

But you don’t really need to keep it all the way up — the coffee will be infused just fine even if you press the plunger down a bit. Just don’t press it all the way down.

While I like making my own cold brew, I have to admit that I get lazy sometimes and just drink some Kirkland Cold Brew Coffee that comes in cans. So you might want to also try it out and see if you like it!

How to Make Cold Brew in a French Press

Making your own cold brew is not that hard.

Just follow these step-by-step instructions and you can’t go wrong:

Step 1: Measure and Grind the Coffee

French Press and Coffee Grounds

I made my cold brew coffee using a 1:8 coffee-to-water ratio.

This means that you will use 4 ounces of coffee and 24 ounces of water, which will produce about 3 cups of cold brew coffee.

Start by scaling 4 ounces of coffee beans and grinding them. If you don’t have a scale, measure 1 cup of whole coffee beans or 1/2 cup of coarsely ground coffee.

If you want to make a cold brew concentrate or learn more about this topic, check out my guide with different cold brew coffee-to-water ratios.

So what kind of coffee beans should you use for cold brew?

I recommend using dark or medium-dark roasted coffee and coarse or medium-coarse grind for the best result. But you can also experiment with other roasts and grind sizes and see what is the result.

For example, Starbucks cold brew is made with a blend of 100% Arabica coffee beans.

Just remember that finely ground coffee will be ready faster than coarsely ground because it has a much larger surface area that is in contact with water. Also, with a finer grind you might get some small coffee particles into your cold brew.

How to grind the beans?

It’s best to use a burr grinder for a consistent grind.

Unfortunately, my manual burr grinder just broke so I had to use an electric blade grinder — and as you can see in the photos, the coffee grind size is not consistent.

Step 2: Brew the Coffee

French Press with Coffee Grounds and Water

Now you have the right amount of ground coffee and water and it’s time to start cold brewing.

Pour the water into the French press and add the coffee grounds. Put the lid on and press the plunger down a bit so that all of the coffee is submerged in the water. You can use either cold water or room temperature water.

I recommend brewing the coffee in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours but you can also brew it at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.

This time I brewed my coffee for about 20 hours in the ref.

Step 3: Strain and Enjoy!

Cold Brew Coffee French Press and Pitcher

Once the cold brew has been steeping for long enough press down the plunger of the French press. Then just take it from the ref and pour the coffee in a glass or a pitcher.

You can enjoy it right away as it is, or with ice cubes, milk, or your favorite coffee syrup. You can also put some in a pitcher or jar and store your cold brew in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

My cold brew turned out great despite using a grinder that is not optimal for grinding coffee.

Final Thoughts on French Press Cold Brew

So as you can see making your own cold brew in a French press is very easy and convenient.

And don’t worry about making a mistakes. Instead, have fun with experimenting with different types of coffee beans, brewing times, and coffee-to-water ratios.

But what if your cold brew is too strong or too weak?

If you think it’s too strong, simply add some cold water. Or you can add plenty of ice cubes and wait for them to melt a bit before drinking it.

If your cold brew is too weak and watery, you can’t really fix it. Just use more coffee beans or steep it for longer next time.

Enjoy your refreshing cold brew!

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