How to Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brewed CoffeeCold brewed coffee is becoming more popular on the caffeinated beverage scene. Cold brewed coffee is NOT iced coffee. Traditionally coffee is brewed by pouring hot water over finely ground coffee beans. The heat speeds the brewing process, helping the coffee to release the flavor and caffeine from the beans, resulting in coffee as you know it. To make iced coffee, it is brewed at double strength to accommodate for the dilution by the ice cubes. The heat of the brewing process changes the chemical profile and creates the bitter, slightly acidic flavor that coffee is usually associated with.

Cold brewed coffee, on the other hand, is less acidic and has a slightly sweet taste. It also contains more caffeine, as the concentration of beans to water is higher than its hot counterpart. To cold brew, you simply pour water over¬†coarsely ground beans and let it steep at room temperature or in the refrigerator for eighteen to twenty-four hours. It is typically double-strained (to remove any stray grounds and sediment), and what you’re left with is a strong, smooth coffee concentrate. To drink, mix the concentrate with equal parts milk, cream or water and add a sweetener of your choice, if desired.¬†Recommendations vary on the amount of coffee, but we’ve found a 1:4 coffee to water ratio works best for us when we’re using AfroBrewtality’s Black Cocaine, since it’s a dark, bold roast with medium, buttery undertones. If you like a lighter brew, use a 1:8 ratio when brewing your coffee, instead of just watering down the concentrate. You can use a French Press or a large mason jar (or other jar with lid of your choice). On the subject of sweeteners, a simple syrup (a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar, melted together and brought to a boil, then cooled) is a better option in the coffee. Straight sugar won’t melt since the coffee isn’t hot.

Cold Brewed Coffee

Meal type Beverage


  • 1 cup whole coffee beans
  • 4 cups water
  • large jar
  • coffee filter
  • strainer


Step 1
Set your grinder to "coarse" or use a manual grinder to grind the beans to a size similar to breadcrumbs. This will be larger than traditionally fine ground coffee. Place in a large (sterilized) jar.
Step 2
Pour room temperature or slightly cool water over the beans and stir well.
Step 3
Seal the jar and place in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator for 18-24 hours. (12 will work in a pinch.) I will occasionally turn the jar upside down to mix it up as it steeps.
Step 4
To strain, empty the jar through a strainer (fine mesh if possible) and into a pitcher or mixing bowl with a spout. To strain a second time to remove the smaller grounds and sediment, place a coffee filter, cheesecloth or doubled paper towels in the (emptied) strainer. Pour the liquid through the filter and into the rinsed jar. Your coffee concentrate will last at least a week in the refrigerator, if you don't drink it all first.
Step 5
To mix a drink, use a 1:1 ratio of concentrate to milk, cream or ice, and simple syrup to sweeten if desired.


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