This recipe makes 24 ounces of double-strength coffee. It will keep in the fridge for a week, assuming it lasts that long. Perfect in the summer over ice or warmed up in the winter. Just remember to dilute it with water, or you’ll end up with an extremely strong cup of coffee that even I find overwhelming.
You can easily be scaled the recipe up or down as needed (see Note #1).
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10-15 minutes active
10-12 hours waiting
What you need
- 8-cup French Press (see Note #2)
- 3 ounces medium roast coffee, coarsely ground
- 24 ounces water (see Note #3)
- Storage container
- The beauty of this recipe is that it scales really well. If you don’t drink a lot of coffee, you can make as little as 8 ounces of concentrate at a time. It can also be used to make a gallon (128 ounces) if you have large containers. The basic ratio is 8 ounces of water for every 1 ounce of coffee. I typically make it in 40 ounce batches, because I have French Press that can hold 51 ounces.
- If you don’t have a scale, get one. It’s the best way to improve your all-around cooking or baking game.
- Otherwise, try 2-3 tablespoons of ground coffee per cup of water.
- The French Press works really well because it has a steel mesh filter built-in. If you don’t have a French Press, you can use any 1 quart Mason jar or other glass container. You will just need to filter it separately. We’ve found using the brew basket and paper or metal filter from a drip coffee maker works. Just be aware that the paper filter can take time to drain. And if you don’t even have those, you can use a metal strainer lined with two layers of cheesecloth. However, this will drain even more slowly and requires a lot of patience.
- I don’t like bottled water for two reasons: It’s usually just tap water that’s been filtered and treated with a mix of minerals to give it a uniform taste (link); and, it’s wasteful, both in terms of money and other resources. If you don’t like the taste of the water from your tap or well, get a pitcher-based filtration system, add a filter that fits your fridge (if possible), or go all-out and get an under-sink filtration system.
- Weigh out 3 ounces of whole coffee beans (if using already-ground coffee, weigh out 3 ounces and skip to step 3)
- Grind coffee on coarsest setting (depending on your grinder, this might need to be done in batches)
- Dump the ground coffee into French Press or other glass container (see Note #1)
- Add the water.
- Stir until all the ground coffee is wet. Don’t be surprised if the ground coffee floats on the top; I’ve found that medium roasts tend to form a raft of grounds on the top, while darker roasts start on top, but start to sink after a few minutes.
- Cover and place in a cool location on the counter for 10-12 hours (overnight usually works).
- Uncover and filter.
- If using a French Press, simply use the plunger to press down slowly until it won’t travel further.
- If using a different container, you will need to set up a filter (see Note #2). If possible, filter directly into your storage container.
- Put filtered cold brew into a storage container and keep in the fridge for up to a week.
The cold brew is double-strength, so you want to make sure you add a roughly equal amount of water when it’s time to drink. If you want it cold, serve over ice. If you want it hot, place it in a microwave safe mug and heat until the desired temperature.
Add any milk, cream, sugar, etc., you’d like.