How to Make Cold Brew Coffee in French Press – Recipe and Guide

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Why we love cold brew coffee? It tastes smoother with less acidity and bitterness, and what’s more, it’s cold! Imagine in the hot summer. It takes forever for a cup of hot coffee to cool down for the first sip.

And there’s one more reason, cold brew coffee is ridiculously easy to make at home! We love to share easy brew guides for home baristas. Today, we are going to share another way to make cold brew coffee at home, using a French Press.

Most coffee lovers have a French press sitting somewhere gathering dust at home. It’s time to take your hidden French Press out of the cabinet in your kitchen and make great cold brew coffee in just a few steps.

We shared a guide about making cold brew in a mason jar. It’s a cheap and simple way to make Cold brew coffee as well. However, French Press works better than a mason jar. Since the mesh filter is handy for separating the coffee grounds, you don’t have any extra hassles finding some cheesecloths or strainer. Of course, if you want to make a larger batch of coffee at a time, it’s best to invest in a cold brew coffee machine.

Things we need to make Cold Brew in A French Press


A French Press

It doesn’t matter what French press you have, as long as it’s large enough to hold the amount of coffee and water.

Best Coffee beans for Cold Brew

Any coffee beans will work for cold brew. Many people will just use stale and old coffee grounds to make cold brew coffee since this method is very forgiving. Due to the low temperature, the coffee beans’ oils are more difficult to release, the same as other bitter, acidic or more complicated compounds. So it makes a less noticeable difference between old and fresh beans.

Even though we still recommend using fresh beans to make cold brew, some more fruity profiles still present in the final cups to make the coffee more wonderful. We tested and picked the best coffee for cold brewing in another article, so you can narrow down your list and pick one easier.

Coffee to Water Ratio

How much coffee for cold brew depends on how many cups of coffee you need. The coffee to water ratio we use for cold brew concentrate is 1:6. In other words, if you use 50 grams of coffee beans and you’ll make 300 grams (10 oz) of coffee. However, the coffee grounds will absorb the water, so in the end, you will get less than 300 grams (10 oz) of coffee. In our recipe, we weigh the brewed coffee on a scale, only 221 grams in the mug. Then you can use one part of concentrated coffee and dilute it with one or two parts of water or milk. In the end, you will get about 2-3 cups.

Grinder – Coarsely Ground coffee

If you are not using the preground coffee, you’ll need a coffee grinder to grind the coffee beans. Set the grind setting to coarse, which is similar to ground peppercorns. Since the water and coffee will have a long contact time, the coffee will be over-extracted if the grounds are too fine since there are more contact surfaces using finer grind size. Coarsely ground coffee is best for cold brew. It’d be great if you have a burr grinder for more consistent coarseness.

Filtered water at room temperature

Both cold or room temperature water work. If your tap water doesn’t taste good due to the chemicals used to clean it, use filter water instead. Your coffee doesn’t taste good if the water is not good.

Coffee filter (Optional)

The mesh filter in the French press is not fine enough to stop all the finer particles from getting into your cup. If you have a pour over or drip coffee maker at home, use their filter paper to filter the coffee again to ensure a cleaner cup of coffee.


You’ll need a spoon to stir the coffee to make sure all the ground coffee is evenly saturated.


It’d be awesome if you have a kitchen scale so you can weigh the exact amount of coffee grounds and water. It’s always good to have a benchmark record of making adjustments if the taste doesn’t meet your expectations. And once you find the perfect taste, you can exactly repeat it next time.

And Patience

It takes 12 more hours and more to make cold brew in a french press. Luckily you’ll have coffee concentrate that you can dilute into a few cups of cold brew coffee. It is worth the waiting.

Step by Step Guide for Making Cold Brew Coffee in a French Press

French Press Cold Brew Recipe:

50 grams (1.8 ounces) of coarsely ground coffee

300 ml (10 fl. ozof filtered water

Steep time: 18 hours

There are lots of cold brewing coffee recipes, which are similar as long as you figure out the ratio of the ingredients and steep time. You can make adjustments base on your taste preferences.

Time needed: 18 hours.

Not you know what you need to make cold brew coffee using a French Press. Let’s get started.

  1. Weight and Grind Coffee Beans

    Pick your favorite coffee beans. You’ll need to use a coarser grind, which is slightly coarser than the grind size for French Press. Pour the grounds into the French press.

  2. Add water to the French Press

    Add 300 grams of filtered water to the French Press, give it a stir using a spoon, make sure you wet through all the coffee grounds.

  3. Let it sit for 12-24 hours

    Now everything is ready, you can put the plunger on top of the French press and keep it 1-2 inches below the lid. Don’t press the plunger down.
    Then put the French press in someplace and set an alarm clock after 18 hours. Go to sleep or do something else.
    french press coffee

  4. Press the plunger (18 hours later)

    Finally, the cold brew coffee is almost ready to drink. Press the plunger down to separate the coffee grounds and coffee. Then you can pour it into a mason jar or other container with an airtight lid. The cold brew coffee concentrate is ready to serve.

  5. Extra Filter (Optional)

    The permanent mesh filter of a French press can filter out most of the larger coffee particles. However, some smaller particles still will get into your coffee and make a gritty cup of coffee. Filter it again using a filter paper can give you a cleaner cup of coffee. If you don’t have filter papers at home, you can skip this step.
    Tips: If you don’t use filter paper, try to press the plunger more gently and decant the coffee slowly. By doing this, less residue will go into your cup.

  6. Dilute the Coffee Concentrate and serve

    It’s time to enjoy the delicious cold brew coffee. Even if you are a big fan of strong coffee like espresso, you’d better not drink the cold brew concentrate directly. It’s highly caffeinated and strong. You’ll need to dilute it with either water or milk.
    You can add one cup of cold brew coffee concentrate, one or two cups of water, and a few ice cubes.
    If you like milk-based coffee, just replace the water with milk or soy milk using the same method.

  7. Store the rest in the fridge

    If you have some coffee concentrate left, you can put the airtight jar into the fridge and keep it for up to 2 weeks. And get a cup of cold brew coffee anytime you want simply by adding some water or milk to dilute it.

Final thought – Why We Love Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee is super easy to make, and it doesn’t require fancy coffee makers if you know how to make cold brew at home following the guide above.

Indeed, waiting for 12-24 hours is daunting for some people. Actually, once you made a big jar of cold brew coffee, it takes less than 10 seconds to make a cup of refreshing iced coffee in the busy morning. Simply add some cold-brewed coffee concentrate, add some cold water to dilute it, done. You don’t need to spend a few minutes boil the water or wait for a coffee maker.

Cold-brew coffee tastes really good. It keeps the coffee flavor and gets rid of the harsh bitterness and acidity. Cold brew is less acidic than drip coffee and milder than espresso, make it a gentler drink that causes fewer stomach issues.

What’s more, you’ll save lots of money without buying one from a coffee shop to have your daily caffeine kick.

Nothing is more wonderful than enjoying a cup of cold coffee beverage like this in the hot summer.