Everything You Need To Know About Making Cold Brew Coffee

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Coffee is an energy booster. One cup of coffee in the morning gets you started. And at the end of the day, another cup will replenish your energy so that you can spend a quality evening with your family and loved ones. But coffee isn’t always served warm. Cold Brew Coffee is growing in popularity in recent times. 

The recipe for Cold Brew Coffee is different from other brewing methods. Unlike other brewing methods, Cold brew coffee uses coarse ground coffee and water (room temperature). At no point in the brewing process should you be using warm water.

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Everything you need to know to brew a perfect cold brew coffee.

7 ways cold brew coffee differs from iced coffee?

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brew Coffee is not the same as Iced Coffee. There are some similarities, but they are different in several important ways.

1. Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee at room temperature in cold water for many hours (roughly 12) instead of brewing it hot and quickly with near-boiling water.

The result is a smooth strong cup that doesn’t have any of the bitterness you get from hot brewed coffee or the acidity that comes from adding hot water to your espresso grinds.

Iced Coffee on the other hand has many of these problems. It’s generally brewed with very finely ground beans so most of the resulting cup gets diluted by ice cubes within minutes or hours depending on how you store it or drink it so it quickly turns into weak bitter flavorless sludge.

2. Cold brew is less acidic than hot brewed coffee, and Iced Coffee has the highest acidity of all popular methods of brewing. This makes it too harsh for some people to drink without sweeteners or creamers, or just plain unappealing because your teeth feel gritty from the excess acid.

Cold Brew on the other hand was designed for you to enjoy it alone: pure, strong, and flavorful with none of those problems so it doesn’t need anything extra to make it taste good.

3. Cold brew can be stored in a fridge for about two weeks before its flavor starts to degrade noticeably which means you don’t have to drink as much as soon as possible like most iced drinks.

Iced Coffee usually tastes best within an hour or so, and tastes awful within a day or two.

4. Most iced coffee recipes involve some sort of oil like coconut which is why it’s not vegan. Cold Brew can be made using only water (and coffee) which makes it vegan-friendly.

5. Cold brew uses less caffeine than hot brewed coffee because the long steeping time reduces how much caffeine dissolves into your drink. Iced Coffee on the other hand has roughly the same amount of caffeine per cup as regular hot brewed coffee, even though it may seem weaker to you because you’re adding ice cubes.

6. Some people find that they need to add more sweetener to their cold brew than they do with their usual hot brewed cup of joe. This is because the flavor of cold brew isn’t diluted by steeping it in ice-cold water, so flavors come through stronger and there’s less bitterness to balance them out.

7. If you use a fine enough grind for your iced coffee you can get away with adding less milk or cream than usual to mask the bitter flavors, but this usually results in a weaker cup which is why finely ground beans don’t work well when brewing hot coffee either. Cold Brew doesn’t need any special grind: coarsely ground beans will do fine since their flavor won’t be diluted by ice cubes.

What do You need To Make Cold Brew Coffee?

Coarse Ground Coffee (1 Cup) – The first thing you are going to need is Coarse ground coffee. Using fine-ground coffee might turn the strained coffee muddy. Remember, you are not making drip coffee. Your coffee ground must have a slightly coarse texture. Also, if you are wondering what type of roast you should go with for a cold brew coffee, then dark roast it is. The dark roast will ensure an earthy and nutty flavor.

Filtered Water (4 Cups) – To get the best taste, you should try and use filtered water. Avoid using tap water as the taste of some tap water can ruin the taste of cold brew coffee.  

Coffee Grinder – If your local retail store does not have coarse-ground coffee, you can make a batch for yourself using a coffee grinder. There are many coffee grinders you can buy online. Their prices range from $10-$200. Most of them come with a dedicated Coarse Ground function. Try to buy a burr grinder or mill grinder. Avoid getting blade grinders.

Image Source: Boly

Strainer – After 12 hours of steeping the coffee grounds in water, use the strainer to separate the coffee ground from the brew.

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Flour Sack Cloth – To stop the coffee ground from making its way into the mixture, we will use the flour sackcloth with the strainer. This combo will ensure you get a sediment-free cold brew coffee.

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Measuring Cup – For this recipe, we will use 113 grams of coffee ground and 900 grams of water. If you do not have a measuring cup at home, you can use any cup. Just make sure you are adding four cups of water per one cup of coffee ground.

How do you Make Cold Brew Coffee?

You need coarsely grounded coffee for cold brew coffee. You can buy a grinder and grind the coffee at home yourself. On the other hand, you can also buy coarsely ground coffee from any retail store or online. 

Take the coarse ground coffee in a cup, add water, and put it aside for 12-24 hours. As a rule of thumb, you should add four cups of water for every cup of coffee. This step is the most important. Soaking the coffee ground overnight releases all the rich flavor and caffeine from the coffee ground, except for the bitter taste. This is why cold brew coffee is sweet and has a pleasant taste.

Straining the coffee for less than 12 hours might result in a lighter taste. Also, if you keep it for longer hours, the coffee ground will start to release the bitter taste. It is ideal to soak the coffee ground in water for 12-15 hours. 

Cold brew brewing Videos

The following are videos to help explain the cold brew process.

Source – Starbucks

How To Brew Cold Brew Coffee – Step By Step

  1. 1. Measure the Coffee  – Take 4 cups of coffee. It should not look like a fine powder; rather they will look like coarse cornmeal. When you take them in your hand, the ground will feel like beach sand between your fingers.
  2. Add into a Container  – Pour the coffee ground into the Glass/Ceramic/Plastic container. 
  3. Add Water  – Gently pour water on top of the coffee ground. 
  4. Stir  – After adding the water, use a big spoon with a big handle to stir the mixture. Make sure the grounds are not forming a bulge. Stir the mixture to ensure the mixture is evenly saturated with water. 
  5. Place a Cover – After the mixture is ready, use a small plate to cover the top. Steeping it overnight might attract bugs. It is better if you could use a jar with a lid with an airtight seal.
  6. Let It Steep – You can either place the jar in your kitchen at average room temperature. You can also store it in the refrigerator. No matter which method you are using, you must steep the mixture for at least 12 hours. 
  7. Strain the Coffee – Now, we are going to use the strainer. Take another jar, and first place the strainer inside it. Now take flour sackcloth and gently place it over it. Now slowly pour the coffee brew through the flour sackcloth and the strainer into the jar.
  8. Store – Do not make the mistake of drinking the coffee straight away. You should keep the cold brew coffee in the refrigerator for another week before you serve it. 
  9. Serve – You can store the coffee for less than a week if you want. But the general idea is, the more you store it, the richer the flavor will be.  


Cold brew coffee has a strong flavor, but it is served with ice to soften the bitter taste. The ice melts, and the extra water dilutes the caffeine content of the drink. If you still think your coffee is too bitter, you might want to add some more water, or milk to your drink. If you are allergic to dairy, you can add vanilla extract or maple syrup. 

If you like your cold brew coffee strong, you might want to try coffee ice cubes. This way your cold coffee will not be diluted. 

Contrary to popular belief, Cold Brew Coffee is also served hot. The process for a hot cup of cold brew coffee is the same. But after you are done steeping the beans in water, you pour it down on a cup and warm it up in the microwave.


If you want a stronger cold brew coffee, you can easily adjust the intensity by adding more or less water to one cup of coffee ground and letting it steep overnight. Most people love cold brew coffee as they can brew a large batch on Saturday night and enjoy it throughout the week.