How To Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home?

by | Dec 28, 2017 | HOWTOs & Guides

Steaming hot coffee in a multitude of different flavors and variations is enjoyed by billions of people all year round in every country of the world, no matter the weather.

However, when the temperature hits hot, sometimes, there’s nothing better than a nice, tall glass of refreshing cold brew coffee and it can be made at home too.

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brew Coffee

There’s no need to go to the supermarket and buy it ready-made because put frankly, it tastes a whole lot better when it’s prepared in the comfort of your own home.

Yes, it may mean a little extra work for you (and it can be a little messy) however, there’s nothing more satisfying than a delicious home-prepared drink.

The added bonus is you can make it in large batches as it lasts a while, just refrigerate and when you’re ready, add milk and sugar if you want it and you’re good to go!

Before we start with the methods, you need to get your brewing ratios right. Now, there’s no one-size fits all because everyone likes to enjoy their coffee differently so you’ll have to play around before you find the right one for you.

Brewing Ratios

The best way to make cold brew coffee well is to get the ratio of coffee to water right and to also take note of the correct brewing time.

For cold brew coffee, you need coarsely ground coffee. Don’t be tempted to use fine ground beans because the end result won’t be as good, you’ll actually get a glass full of bitty pieces of coffee particles because they won’t break down any further.

To work out the best ratio for your preference, prepare a glass of water and let it settle until it reaches room temperature. Then, soak the coffee in the water until it’s at the strength that you enjoy most. Then up the ratio according to the number of batches you want.

Unsure what ratio to start with? There are different ratios to try.

Start by trying with a ratio of 6 parts water of water to 1 part of coffee.

You should also brew your coffee for 24 hours which gives you a really deep, intense and delicious flavor.

Another ratio to try is 6 parts water to 2 parts coffee – this gives a strong flavor but you only need to brew it for twelve hours so that’s great-tasting coffee in half the time. If you find either of these ratios too strong for your home cold brew coffee, just dilute more water or reduce the amount of coffee you use.

It’s very much based on trial and error but once you find the perfect recipe for your palette, you’ll know it!

Method One – Traditional Cold-Brewing

How to Brew?

Once you’re ready to brew, you need a French press. For 8 cups, simply 470 ml of coffee in 700 ml water for 12 hours. Then use the plunger to push the remaining coffee grounds to the bottom.

French Press

French Press

Another good method is using a mason jar. For this, place 8 ounces of coffee with 36 fluid ounces of water. Pour both of these into your jar and wait for 12 hours. Then pour the now cold brew through a sieve and you’re ready for the next step.


This step is diluting. You’ll need to ratio out your cold brew 1 part to 1 part of water.

Then, add milk and sugar (you can also add cream). Pour over ice if you want to and you’re ready to enjoy your freshly prepared cold brew coffee.

Method Two – Japanese Iced Coffee

Of course, if all of the above sounds like too much trouble there is another, very easy and almost mess-free method that you can try. You might hear this referred to as the Japanese Ice Method which involves using a Chemex machine. If you don’t have one, they can be purchased cheaply although the more expensive the machine, generally, the better quality of the coffee.

Japanese Iced Coffee

Japanese Iced Coffee

The beauty of this method is that it makes coffee fast, you don’t have to wait 12 or 24 hours to enjoy cold brew and you can enjoy it in a few minutes. However, the drawback is that the equipment usually only makes enough for one cup so if you want multiple cups, be prepared to stand there preparing it for a while, or buy a large Chemex.

Some tips before you make your Japanese Iced Coffee:

  • Only use a finer grind coffee so the particles dissolve better
  • Try using large ice cubes so they melt slowly. This keeps them above the coffee for longer, intensifying the brewing process
  • Always use more coffee than water, 1:10 is recommended. This is because when using a Chemex you’ll already have water filtering in (through using ice)

The following is good, tried and tested Chemex Japanese Iced Coffee recipe:

  • Use 40g of coffee and set the grid size to 4.5 (which is a medium setting)
  • Use 420 ml of water and 240g of ice
  • The best water to coffee time ratio is 17 to 1

Start by rinsing the filter and removing any remaining water. Add the ice to the base of the Chemex and put the filter back in place. Add ground coffee to your filter and pour over 40ml of water.

This should evenly wet all the grounds. Wait 30 seconds and then pour water over the grounds up to 250ml. Then you should for the water line to drop, this takes up to 30 seconds.

Following that step, simply pour the remaining water over the grounds and then wait for the coffee to drain from the filter. Your final brewing time should be just under four minutes. It’s up to you whether you want to serve with or without ice.

Method Three – Crash Cooling

Our final method for cold brew coffee at home is crash cooling and this is great if you don’t own a Chemex. All you need is a stainless steel cocktail shaker or a large jug and then you brew your coffee as normal, place it inside the vessel and place the vessel into a bucket full of ice. Stir your coffee gently while it chills and wait a few minutes.

Crash cooling cold coffee

Crash Cooling Method

Your coffee will taste deliciously cool. You can even use the freezer if you’re not in a hurry (although this process will take up to an hour).

As a tip, to really get the most out of crash cooling, use a higher strength of coffee as when the liquid cools, the flavor usually dissipates.

Make Big Batches To Last!

Now, while all of the above recipes take time, they can actually save you time in the long run. Why not try making a large batch at the weekend and then store it in jars or large jugs in the fridge for the rest of the week?

That way you’ll have a quick, tasty drink in seconds ready for you every day of the week, without brewing, measuring or chilling.



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