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French Press Cold Brew

5 from 35 votes

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Have you ever tried French press cold brew? Making it at home is easy and affordable, and its rich, bold flavor will have you hooked in no time!

Cold brew with cream

What you’ll love about this recipe: 

  • Make it ahead: Cold brew concentrate can be made ahead of time and stored for up to a week in the refrigerator, making it a convenient option for busy mornings or hot afternoons.
  • Smooth flavor: Because cold brew coffee is made slowly with cold water, it has a smoother, less acidic flavor than traditional hot brewed coffee.
  • Affordable: Making cold brew coffee at home is cheaper than buying it from a coffee shop, and you can customize it to your liking by adding flavorings.

Unleash Your Inner Barista with Homemade Cold Brew

There’s something undeniably refreshing about that first sip of smooth, velvety cold brew coffee. It really hits the spot, especially on a hot summer day.

I have a terrible habit of treating myself to one just about every time I leave the house, which can blow through my budget pretty fast.

Luckily, it’s really easy to make at home with just a French press and a little patience.

Making your own French press iced coffee will help you save money, plus you’ll also get the satisfaction of crafting your perfect cup. So grab your favorite beans, and let’s dive into the art of creating a full-bodied cold brew that’s perfect for sipping at home or on-the-go.

A french press filled with coffee grounds and water
A french press filled with water and coffee grounds, after stirring.

What you’ll need to make cold brew at home

You’ll need a few things to make this cold brew recipe, including:

A French press coffee maker. You can use a pitcher or a large mason jar, but you’ll need a way to filter out the coffee grounds.

Coffee beans. You’ll need about 1 cup of coffee grounds for every 4 cups of water. If you buy pre-ground coffee from the store, make sure it’s been stored in an airtight container – the longer coffee grounds are exposed to air, the less flavorful your drink will be!

Water. Filtered water makes for better tasting coffee than tap water because of its lack of chlorine and minerals that affect flavor. Tap is totally fine though!

Homemade Cold Brew Ratio

For cold brew that’s ready to drink, use 3/4 cup coffee grounds for every 6 cups of water.

You can also make cold brew coffee concentrate using 2 cups of coffee grounds for every 4 cups of water. If your French press is on the smaller side, or if you want to save storage space in the refrigerator, homemade cold brew concentrate is the way to go! You’ll need 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee for every 4 cups of water. Just remember that you’ll need to dilute it with water or milk before drinking!

Here’s how to make cold brew coffee in a French press:

  1. Grind your coffee beans. You’ll want a coarse grind.
  2. Add coffee grounds and cold water to the French press.
  3. Stir the mixture to ensure all the coffee grounds are fully saturated.
  4. Place the French press in the refrigerator and let it steep for at least 12 hours, or up to 24 hours for a stronger iced coffee.
  5. Press down the plunger on the French press to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid. It might be a little hard to press the plunger down, so use firm and steady pressure.
  6. Pour the cold brew coffee into a glass storage container.
  7. Serve over ice with an equal amount of water or milk.

Recipe Tips

  • Try using flavored grounds or adding ground cinnamon or other flavorings to the mixture as it brews. If you’re using liquid flavorings, like vanilla extract or simple syrup, add them after the coffee grounds have been strained out.
  • Always use coarsely ground coffee beans. Finer grounds won’t filter out as well when using a French press. For an extra-smooth mouthfeel, filter the coffee a second time through a fine-mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter of cheesecloth. This will catch any grounds that happen to escape from the French press!
  • Cold brew coffee is best enjoyed over ice. You can also add milk or your favorite sweetener to taste.

Making cold brew in a french press.

Frequently asked questions

What’s so special about cold brewed coffee?

Cold brew is a method of making iced coffee that entails steeping grounds in cold water for a long period of time, then straining them. This process results in a low-acid, smooth beverage that’s less bitter than regular drip coffee.

How long do I need to steep the coffee for?

Steeping time can vary depending on your personal preference, but generally, you should steep your cold brew for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator. If you prefer a stronger iced coffee, you can let it steep for up to 24 hours. Personally, I find that letting it steep overnight is perfect!

Can I make cold brew without a French press?

Yes, you can use a pitcher, large mason jar, or other similar vessel instead of a French press, but you’ll need something to filter out the grounds. A fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth works well! You could also use a reusable nut milk bag.

How long can I store it?

It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Always store your coffee in a container with a lid to prevent it from picking up refrigerator smells!

Can I heat it up?

Yes! Heat it up on the stove or pop it into the microwave for a super smooth cup of hot coffee.

Can I freeze my cold brew?

There’s nothing better than a cold brew ice cube — except maybe a cold brew ice pop!

More coffee recipes:

French press cold brew topped with Irish cream cold foam.
Making cold brew in a french press.

French Press Cold Brew Concentrate

Unlock the potential of your French press by creating smooth, refreshing cold brew at home.
5 from 35 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Resting Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 8 cups
Calories 1 kcal



  • 1 cup coarsely ground coffee
  • 4 cups cold water filtered


  • Combine the water and coffee grounds in your French press. Stir well to fully saturate the coffee grounds.
  • Cover (do not press down the plunger) and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
  • Press down the plunger using firm, steady pressure. Strain the cold brew concentrate into a clear glass jar, pitcher, or other storage container. For a smoother cold brew, you may want to strain it a second time using a paper coffee filter or piece of cheesecloth set in a fine mesh sieve.
  • Dilute the cold brew concentrate with and equal amount of water, milk, or non-dairy beverage of your choice. Serve over ice.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 1kcalProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.02gSaturated Fat: 0.003gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.001gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 58mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 0.01mg
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By on April 11th, 2023

Hi, I'm Lauren!

I love to cook -- but even more importantly, I really like to eat! I have a demanding day job that keeps me busy, so time is precious. I'm a culinary school graduate and five-time cookbook author who's all about finding ways to make delicious, restaurant-quality meals at home on a tight schedule. Read more...

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