How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

by Kate Blaine Updated: October 19, 2021 2 min read
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Updated for 2021

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold Brew Coffee and a Mason Jar

Cold brew coffee is an alternative to iced coffee that is less acidic and generally sweeter.

The cold brew method is an extraction using cold water, introduced immediately--or, in the case of brewers like the Hario Cold Process Water Dripper Tower with a slow drip over time. The resulting coffee is impeccably smooth with vastly reduced acidity, and a taste that’s sweet or even syrupy.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

The Hario Dripper allows you to brew 26oz. (or 2-6 cups) of coffee in as little as five hours. Rather than immersing the grounds immediately, a valve controls the flow of water and the extraction rate. This setup allows you to step up your cold brew game with its ease of use, speed, and easy cleanup.

In general, iced coffee is double-strength coffee brewed hot, which is placed in the refrigerator to cool. Instead, the cold brew process takes all the great flavors from the grounds and leaves behind all of the undesirable compounds that would make your drink bitter or sour. The only ingredients are coarse coffee grounds, water, a refrigerator, and about 12 hours of time.

Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

Cold Brew Ratio

The ratio here is half a pound of coffee grounds to a gallon of water, which you can scale as needed. This will produce a coffee concentrate which you’ll want to cut with a 1:1 ratio of cold brew to water after the brewing process is complete.


  • A French Press (we used the Hario Dripper), Mason Jar, or another container
  • Whole Bean Coffee
  • A Grinder


Coarse Coffee Grinds for a French Press

Coarsely ground coffee works well for steeping and will be trapped by the filter of your French press.

  1. Grind your beans. You'll want a coarse, but consistent, grind for French press coffee (think sea salt).
  2. Add the ground coffee and room-temperature water to your French press. Stir.
  3. Let sit for at least 8-12 hours or overnight.
  4. Once the grounds have finished steeping, transfer the cold brew concentrate from your French press, mason jar or other container into a fresh container. With the French press, press down on the plunger to strain your coffee. For a mason jar or any other container, you can use a cheesecloth to filter out the grounds.
  5. Pour over ice and enjoy.

Tip: For an extra flavorful drink, brew some coffee, let cool. Use the coffee to fill an ice tray and freeze it. Use the coffee cubes in your drink instead of regular ice.

Cold brew is becoming an increasingly popular beverage, especially for the Spring and Summer, so don’t be surprised once you know this recipe like the back of your hand, and your friends and family start asking you to make batches for them to take home. Happy Brewing!