How to make cold brew coffee at home

It’s finally spring, and temperatures are warming up.

That means it might be time to turn the temperature down on your coffee. 

Cold brew coffee is the hottest—or should we say coolest—trend in coffee, and you don’t have to fork over a pile of cash at a coffee shop to enjoy it.

It’s simple to make cold brew coffee at home. Intimidated? Don’t sweat it. We’ll show you how to make cold brew without losing your chill.

Step 1: Select your coffee.

Any coffee will work, though coarse-ground coffee works best. For the best flavor, try a coffee that has been roasted especially for cold brewing (including our fan favorite City Girl Coffee Co. Cold Press Blend). And make sure to use filtered water.

Step 2: Fill.

It’s best to use a device designed for cold brewing, though in a pinch you can do this in any carafe. A great ratio of coffee to water is 12 ounces of coffee to 7 cups of room temperature water. Add four cups of water to the bottom of the container, along with all the ground coffee. Wait 5 minutes, then add the final 3 cups of water, making sure all the grounds are wet.

Step 3: Wait.

We know—you want your coffee yesterday. But this is where the magic happens. Steep your coffee grounds at room temperature for 18 to 24 hours for a smooth, rich flavor. 

Step 4: Filter.

Follow your manufacturer’s instructions on how to extract the brewed concentrate into a separate container. If you used a non-specialized carafe, you can filter via coffee filters or a cheesecloth.

Step 5: Serve.

We recommend starting with a ratio of 1 part coffee concentrate to 2 parts water or milk of choice. Mix to taste, making your coffee as strong or weak as you prefer.

Before we go, here are a few common questions about cold brew coffee:

Does cold brew coffee taste better?

Hot water extracts flavor from coffee beans quickly, but it also brings additional acidity along with it. The cold brew extraction process works much more slowly but produces a result that many people find far less acidic and easier to drink.


Does cold brew coffee have more caffeine?

Because it’s brewed in a concentrated formula over a long period of time, cold brew coffee is strong. This could be a good thing if you’re looking for a major pick-me-up, but could also be unpleasant or even dangerous if you’re sensitive to caffeine. Cold brew concentrate is meant to be diluted, and you can dilute it to your personal taste.


Does cold brew coffee have to be stored in the fridge?

You can brew your coffee at room temperature, but it’s best stored in the fridge after being filtered. It will typically keep for up to two weeks in the fridge.


Can I heat up cold brew coffee?

Absolutely! Pop it in the microwave or use whatever method you prefer. Cold brew coffee heats up well and lets you have your favorite steaming hot mug of coffee with less acidity.


What’s the difference between cold brew coffee and iced coffee?

Traditional iced coffee has been brewed with hot water and then is quickly cooled down over ice, whereas cold brew is never heated and is typically served over ice with water or milk to dilute the concentrate.