Homemade cold brew coffee is super easy to make at home and doesn’t involve any fancy equipment. Just follow my simple guide for the perfect glass of delicious cold brew coffee every time!
Homemade Cold Brew Coffee
My husband and I are obsessed with cold brew coffee. We actually drink it all year round! But when warmer weather hits, we forgo the hot coffee all together and just stick to cold brew.
We used to just buy our favorite brand of cold brew at the grocery store. The problem was it was pretty expensive to buy (at about $10 a bottle) and we went through a bottle in less than a week. It was becoming a very expensive obsession.
I decided to start doing research on how to make your own cold brew and discovered it’s rather simple and doesn’t involve fancy equipment. I started experimenting with different coffee bean/water ratios and coffee bean coarseness levels to achieve the perfect cup of cold brew.
But during my research and recipe testing (and seeing multiple different recipes on the internet), I discovered that the perfect cold brew is very much a personal preference. Therefore, in this post, I give you the tools you need to learn how to make your perfect cup of cold brew.
what is cold brew?
There is a common misconception that cold brew and iced coffee are the same thing. But they are actually quite different.
Iced coffee is just hot coffee, cooled, then poured over ice. The hot coffee is made in the traditional way (very hot water steeps finely ground beans), and once iced, can produce a bitter taste.
Cold brew coffee is coarse ground coffee beans mixed with cold water that steeps in the fridge overnight. Due to the slow, gradual brewing process, the nuances in the coffee bean really shine and it produces a much smoother cup of Joe.
why make your own cold brew?
As I stated above, the biggest reason I decided to learn how to make homemade cold brew coffee is from an economic stand point. But there are several other reason why I think this is a good skill to master:
- It’s super easy to make.
- You can make it in big batches (so don’t have to make it every morning).
- You can adjust the recipe to find your perfect cup of cold brew.
- It’s got a super smooth and sightly sweet taste.
- You can get creative and add your own flavorings, like buying flavored beans or adding vanilla beans during the brewing process.
- Already made for busy morning (who has time for brewing a cup of coffee in the morning when your child wakes up at 5am?!)
- It’s refreshing on a hot summer’s day.
Ingredients and Equipment Needed
You just need a few simple ingredients and gadgets that you likely already have at home:
- Coffee Beans
- Cold Water
- a Grinder (if you don’t have a grinder, you can grind it at your local grocery store in the coffee section).
- A large pitcher
- cheese cloth or old dish towel
My Ratio for the perfect glass of homemade cold brew
I tested this recipe several times to find my perfect cup of cold brew.
The coarse level for the grind
First, I found I preferred a medium coarse grind to achieve the right cold brew strength.
The coarse level of the beans makes a big different in the strength of the cold brew. A coarse grind exposes less coffee to water, whereas a finer grind exposes more coffee to water. With a coarse grind, the water interacts with the coffee very gradually, gently extracting the flavor from the grinds. The finer the grind, the quicker the water and coffee interact.
Brewing cold brew is a slow, gradual process so you don’t want to too finely grind your beans or your cold brew will be way too strong and almost bitter. However, if the beans are too coarse, then the end result will be a very weak cup of cold brew that’s almost the color of tea. Thus, I found that a medium coarse grind was the perfect middle ground achieve a strong but still smooth cup of cold brew.
the ratio of ground beans to water
My ratio to make the perfect cup of homemade cold brew coffee is two cups medium coarse ground coffee to 8 cups of cold water (I just used tap water). This produces a bold, smooth, and delicious cup of cold brew.
This ratio can be used as a concentrate or can be drank as is (just depending on your preference). Another great thing about cold brew is if it’s too strong for you liking, you can dilute it with water. My husband and I drink the cold brew with this ratio just as is, but if you find it too strong, add a little water.
how to make cold brew
It’s super simple. Mix the medium coarse ground coffee with cold water in a large pitcher. Stir so the water and coffee grinds are well-incorporated. (The coffee grinds with naturally rises to the top of the pitcher). Set the pitcher in the fridge to steep for at least 12 hours, preferably overnight (the longer it steeps, the stronger the cold brew will be).
Once the cold brew has steeped, you need to strain out the beans. You need to use a fine-mesh sieve and a piece of cheese cloth (an old, clean dish towel or coffee filter will also work) to strain out all the coffee grinds. Cover the top of another pitcher or liquid measuring cup with the fine-mesh sieve and cheesecloth and slowly pour the cold brew into the new pitcher. That’s it!
A few simple ingredients and equipment plus a little bit of patience gets you a delicious, homemade glass of cold brew.
If I would have known it was this easy, I would have been doing this ages ago (and would have saved a lot of money!).
Tips for making homemade cold brew coffee
- Use a good quality bean. It makes a big difference in the flavor and smoothness of the end product.
- Dark blends work best for cold brew. Creates a smoother, bolder taste.
- Steep the cold brew overnight. It will give it a bold, smooth taste.
- Don’t over brew!! It can make it bitter and too strong.
- Slowly strain the cold brew from the coffee beans. The process of slowly running the cold brew through the sieve to extract the concentrate leads to a smooth cup of cold brew.
- Use a medium coarse grind so the cold brew is the perfect strength level.
- Store in a sealed pitcher in the fridge.
- If too strong for your liking, you can dilute it with cold water.
- Serve over ice.
- Spice it up – Another great way to use the cold brew is in this delicious Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew.
Follow my tips and trick to produce the perfect, delicious, smooth and bold cup of homemade cold brew coffee at home. No fancy equipment needed, just a little patience and love!
If you make a batch of homemade cold brew coffee, please leave a comment below. I absolutely love to hear from you guys and your thoughts on my recipes. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or pin it on pinterest, cuz sharing is caring!
Homemade Cold Brew Coffee
The perfect coffee grind to cold water ratio to create the perfect, delicious, and smooth cup of cold brew.
- 2 cups medium coarse ground coffee
- 8 cups cold water
Pour cold water into a large pitcher or container.
Grind your coffee beans to a medium-coarse grind.
Gently stir the ground coffee into the water to make sure all of it is submerged. Cover the container and let sit in the fridge for at least 12 hours, preferably overnight.
When you’re ready to strain your cold brew, place a cheese cloth or a small, thin cotton dish towel over the mouth of a container and then cover with a small fine-mesh sieve. Pour the cold brew through the prepared sieve into a liquid measuring cup or pitcher. Store in fridge.
To serve, fill a glass with ice. Pour in the cold brew coffee (and. If too strong for your liking, add a little cold water to taste). Enjoy!