Updated: April 19, 2022 by Owen Richardson
Cold brew is one of those types of coffee that everyone enjoys but not everyone knows how to make. It is understandable—whenever you get it from a coffee shop, it looks and tastes so professionally made that you might think there’s no way you can make it the same way at home. Today, I’ll teach you how to make cold brew in a French press, to show you how easy the process is.
Before I get into the step-by-step, I will share with you what kind of coffee beans you need, how much coffee and water you need, and what you need to know about the coffee after preparing it. Preparing the cold brew will take little time and effort, and I don’t doubt that you will enjoy it. So, let’s get right into the details and learn how to make some great cold brew!
What Is Cold Brew and Can You Make It in a French Press?
Before I tell you how you can prepare cold brew using a French press, I want to share some background on what cold brew coffee is. I’ve noticed that some people think cold brew is the same as iced coffee. But this is actually not the case as the two types of coffees have different preparation methods.
When it comes to cold brew, you prepare it by using coffee grounds in cold water. After mixing the two, whether in a French press or some other container, you need to put the mixture in the fridge and let it sit anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. This sums up pretty much everything you need to do to prepare cold brew coffee.
As mentioned, you can certainly use a French press to make cold brew. I recommend this method because it is very easy and the plunger in the French press makes it simple to remove the coffee grounds from the cold brew concentrate.
That said, there are some specific steps involved, so make sure to go through my guide and learn how to do that!
How to Make Cold Brew in a French Press: A Step-by-Step Guide
Before I get into the steps, make sure you have everything you need for this preparation method. So, get some of the coffee beans you want to use,water for brewing the amount of coffee you’ll want, something to measure the ingredients, and of course your French press.
When it comes to the coffee beans, I recommend that you get dark roasted whole coffee beans that you grind right before brewing. That way, you can make sure the grounds are as fresh as possible.
This also means you’ll need a coffee grinder of course. If you don’t have one, though, and don’t want to buy one, stick to buying pre-ground beans and keep them in an airtight container in a dark place at all times.
With that being said, we can go into the step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Prepare the Coffee Beans
Grab the coffee beans and your measuring scale. You will need about 150 g of the beans to make the coffee. If your coffee is whole bean, this is the time to grind them.
As mentioned, it’s a good idea to use dark roasted beans because they taste best when used to make cold brew in a French press. You should grind the beans to a medium-coarse size. Once you do that, put them in the French press and move to the next step.
Step 2: Prepare the Water
The ratio of water to coffee beans that you use for this process depends on your personal preference, but I always recommend using one part coffee to six parts water. Since you already added about 150 g of coffee, you need to add about 850 to 900 grams of water to the French press.
Instead of using tap water, I recommend you use filtered or distilled water. These types of water will usually give the coffee a better taste.
Don’t worry if you do not have a water filter at home. You can always measure the water, boil it, let it cool down completely, and then use it for brewing in the French press. By doing this, you will get distilled water without any harmful residue in it.
Step 3: Mix the Ground Coffee and Water in the French Press
After adding the coffees and the water to the chamber, you can mix them by using a spoon. Make sure that all the grounds have been mixed with the water.
Once that’s done, get some foil to use on top of the chamber. You will not be adding the lid or the plunger at this point.
Step 4: Wait It Out
Now that your mixture is done, you need to place it in the fridge and wait for the coffee to brew. You should leave the French press in the fridge anywhere from 12 to 24-hours. You can experiment with this time frame to see what works best for your taste.
Step 5: Prepare the Cold Brew
After the waiting game is over, grab the French press from the fridge and remove the foil from the top. At this point, you should add the plunger as well as the lid on top of the press.
Once you have everything set, press the plunger down slowly with controlled pressure. You will see all of the grounds going toward the bottom of the chamber, whereas the cold brew concentrate will stay above the plunger.
Step 6: Serve
You can pour all the cold brew into another container and keep it there. Pour as much of it as you need in a cup, mix with some milk to taste or some ice or whatever else you like. Then, remember to put the rest of the cold brew back in the fridge so it won’t go bad. You should have enough cold brew concentrate to last you about a week, while you can make some more using fresh coffee beans whenever you like.
At this point, you can also throw out or compost the used coffee grounds that are left in the French press and clean it, so it’s ready to go for the next batch.
FAQs About Cold Brew Coffee
How healthy is cold brew?
Cold brew coffee is not only one of the easiest types of coffee to make, but it is also one of the healthiest. Studies have shown that cold brew can help lower the risk of developing heart disease, improve metabolism, and lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.
Cold brew is also great for your stomach and will not cause digestive problems, while it is also known to have the ability to improve your mood.
Is cold brew stronger than regular brewed coffee?
Cold brew is one of the strongest types of coffee because of the preparation method. It contains a lot of caffeine, which makes it stronger than most types of coffee that people regularly drink. If you switch to cold brew, I do not recommend it in moderation—one or two regular eight-ounce cups of cold brew should be enough to get you going through the day.
Can you use regular ground coffee for cold brew?
There is not just one type of coffee that is suitable for cold brew. What type of beans you use depends on your preference, so I encourage you to try out as many types of coffee as possible before you settle on just one.
Even though my personal favorite is dark roast espresso beans, you can use regular coffee or any other beans you like.
The Easiest Way to Make Cold Brew Coffee
Thank you for sticking with me through this guide on how to make cold brew with a French press. I hope that you learned some valuable information you’ll remember for the next time you want to prepare a cup of cold brew with nothing more but a French press.
Make sure that you use some filtered or distilled water, your favorite coarse ground coffee beans, and that you let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least 12 hours before serving. If you do all this, no doubt you’ll end up with a cool cuppa joe you will enjoy!