Introduction: French Press Cold Brew Coffee

Picture of French Press Cold Brew Coffee

I love coffee - but my addition gets pricey when I've got to shell out $4 for a small carton of cold brew coffee from my favorite local coffee shop. I also love iced coffee, but cringe when a barista pours hot coffee over ice: it's bitter & now it's just diluted.

Solution: make my own cold brew coffee using a french press!

The key to cold brew coffee is that it uses time - versus heat - to make a perfect cup of joe.

Grab your french press and let's get started :)

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

- French Press

- Filtered water (you can use just tap water, but coffee is 99% water, so ya might as well use the best tasting water you can get your hands on)

- coffee: coarsely ground!!

- measuring cup

- rubber band

- plastic wrap

- coffee creamer (optional)

- sugar (optional)

- recycled glass bottle to put all of your delicious coffee concentrate into once you're done

Step 2: Let's Get Brewing!

Picture of Let's Get Brewing!

- Add 2 cups of coarsely ground coffee to your french press

- Add 4 cups of (filtered) water on top

- Stir!

- Place plastic wrap over the top, seal off with a rubber band

Step 3: Wait... Patiently.... Then Press It!

Picture of Wait... Patiently.... Then Press It!

The recommended time for cold brew is between 12 - 18 hours. I brewed mine for 18 hours, and it turned out perfectly!

Once you've waited oh-so-patiently for the perfect cup of coffee, press it!

Step 4: Prep Your Perfect Cup of Cold Brew Coffee!

Picture of Prep Your Perfect Cup of Cold Brew Coffee!

With this recipe, I recommend diluting it 1:1 (coffee concentrate to water ratio).

For those who get the jitters from strong coffee, I'd kick the water portion up a notch, as this is quite strong.

Grab some water, ice, a cup, and creamer and/or sugar, and kick start your morning with this coffee! Store your coffee concentrate in the glass bottle you're re-using, and now you'll have coffee concentrate for your work week.

You can even use your coffee grounds in your garden as compost if you want!

Thanks for reading my Instructable, and if you try this, let me know!


dutchlady (author)2017-09-19

I love my French Press. I started using it when I lived in the Netherlands and now use it, along with my other cold brew appliance, for my coffee. It makes delicious coffee and I buy my coffee, ground coarse, at the local grocery store.

celtliams (author)2016-06-11

I will be trying this tonight!

thenateO (author)2016-06-02

Do you need to refrigerate it overnight?

autumnphoenix2 (author)2016-05-31

Just made this last night/am drinking it this morning....PERFECT ratio of coffee to water. Most cold-pressed coffee recipes have the ratio for unground beans to water, and I only have ground coffee.....thanks! Excellent :)

JessicaS217 (author)2016-05-26

Awesome! Thank you. I love coldbrew coffee and want something I can keep in my tiny fridge by my desk and not share with anyone! lol. Really though, this is great. =)

PW5 (author)2016-05-10

You can scale this up to a gallon easily using a plastic or glass jug; let the coffee mixture sit in the fridge for 24 hours then strain. Med and Dark roasts work best - really brings out the chocolate flavors. Doesn't need sweetener or ice or anything.

StinkyPete1211 (author)2016-04-08

Just curious if you measure the coffee ground or whole? My 8 cup press was 3/4 full after adding 2 cups of ground beans.

GeorgianBay Scott made it! (author)2016-04-05

While visiting Vietnam a few years ago I had just about everyday the most delicious coffee, including cold coffee. We now make it at home. French press coffee (coarse ground) and allowed to cool to room temperature. Add sweetened condensed milk and a few ice cubes to a cup. Slowly pour the coffee down the side of the cup so as not to disturb the milk. Try using a french roasted bean and Rooster brand milk. Doesn't get much better on a hot day.

GenerallyOdd (author)2016-03-27

If you dont have course ground coffee you can use regular - you can simply pour it from the pot into a jar (I use a wine bottle) through a coffee filter.

krisprince (author)2015-02-05

Using milk instead of water, helps with the strongness and makes taste even better!

GenerallyOdd (author)krisprince2016-03-27

Milk also keeps coffee from staining dentures! BONUS!

peads92470 (author)krisprince2015-02-08

I love coffee milk, but I LOVE my iced coffee. Would this be diluted with water or more milk? Maybe the answer is obvious, but I can't figure it out. But then, I haven't had my coffee yet either.

peppypickle (author)krisprince2015-02-05

absolutely! milk is a great substitute, almond milk or soy milk are great additions too :) Thanks for your comment!

Wilferno (author)2015-07-30

I made this and it's so good! It's so smooth and delicious! Thanks for the instructable!

jaimepedro (author)2015-07-14

VERY ECOLOGICAL and ANTI Global Warming +++ TASTY..!!! Congratulations..!

WilliamL17 (author)2015-06-26


WilliamL17 (author)2015-06-26

For Coffee on the go a nice addition to our Bus

MicheleS10 (author)2015-06-17

What size French press are you using. I want to be sure measurements will work in mine. Also do you dilute w water THEN add cream? Or would i dilute w cream?

rialto223star (author)2015-06-03

When I brew coffee, I weigh it. How much coffee in weight (oz or grams) did you use? I find that depending on the coffee beans you use, it can vary significantly!

cavenoid (author)2015-06-02

Thanks! This also solves the problem of coffee grounds going stale on the counter or in the freezer. Once brewed, the concentrate keeps just fine! !!

hometownbetty (author)2015-04-30

Wow, looks like I am going to try this over the summer! Thanks for sharing!

LaurenB4 (author)2015-02-10

This is my first time making a cold brew coffee and it was so easy! My husband has been drinking iced coffee lately at work. He doesn't use any cream or sugar, so hot coffee doesn't go "bad" if it sits out for a while, but it definitely doesn't taste as good when it is cold and If he doesn't get around to drinking it in the morning, he'll drink it throughout the day. This solved his problem of having watery iced coffee (yuck) when the ice melts.

Thanks for sharing!

peppypickle (author)LaurenB42015-02-10

Oh good! I'm glad you like it! It's nice too that it comes out sweeter and less bitter since it doesn't use heat. Another method (if you dont like watery iced coffee) is throw some of your extra coffee into your ice cube trays and use those for your iced coffee. Then you'll have the perfect ratio of coffee to water throughout all your sipping.

LaurenB4 (author)peppypickle2015-04-05

I'll have to try that! Thanks for the tip!

jmyers1 (author)2015-04-02

I like to pour a bit of kahlua and a shot of cream over coffee ice cubes. Would be tasty to have concentrate to add, instead. Lovely ible

jacksonhpeters (author)2015-02-26

Been experimenting with this all week, and your ratio nailed it. Drinking a batch of 1.5/4 coffee grinds to water and it still dilutes too much when I had the hot water. Delicious on its own, though... so smooth.

Ah, glad you've found the perfect ratio for your morning cup o' joe! :)

mrandle (author)2015-02-23

I use hot water with mine and then put it in the fridge, it's ready in a few hours or so and you don't get the diluted problem beacsue its already cold and the hot helps it brew quicker. That way I can start it in the morning and have a nice cold one on a hot afternoon.

peppypickle (author)mrandle2015-03-09

Nice, that is a great method too. I've heard that coffee is less bitter when you brew it with cold water, so you'll have to do a side-by-side taste test and let us know!

mrandle (author)2015-02-23

I use hot water with mine and then put it in the fridge, it's ready in a few hours or so and you don't get the diluted problem beacsue its already cold and the hot helps it brew quicker. That way I can start it in the morning and have a nice cold one on a hot afternoon.

Sydneysyd (author)2015-02-07

I am French and it is not a french coffee. It is a Italian Coffee.
The french is made with a 'Cafetière'. Type this word in Google. Have a good day :)

Sorry guy, i'm french too, and That is FRENCH. ( invented by Marcel Paquet in 1924). name is "French press" in US.

In Uk, it is called "cafetiere" cause french name of coffee machine.

If you looked in google as you said, you will find this ....

Ok, ok, I will not know the name in USA

Thx 4 ur answers :)

I'm confused. I googled Cafetiere and it showed photos and described a carafe with a plunger - what we call French Press - where you put the coffee grounds in and pour boiling water into the carafe, wait a few minutes, and press the plunger to get the grounds out of your beverage. I've also used an Italian coffee pot. It is narrow in the middle, the water goes in the bottom and the coffee in the middle, and when you cook it on the stove the water goes up through the grounds and ends up in the top part of the pot. So why is the pot used in this cold brew instructable NOT a French press?

It's a french 'cafetiere'

yes in the us we call it a french press

ediamond1 (author)2015-02-07

I'm going to try this method for my first time cold brewing coffee. Just wondering if this should sit at room temp or in fridge for the brew time?

peppypickle (author)ediamond12015-02-09

Oh, I hope you like it! Remember coarse grounds :) I have this sit at room temp. Another tip is throw some of your leftover cold brew coffee into ice trays, so then you have ice cube coffee for your iced coffee! Enjoy

ediamond1 (author)peppypickle2015-02-10

This works great!! I ended up leaving it for about 24 hours and it came out perfect. I dilute it with milk about 3:1 and I don't even need sugar. My sister introduced me to the French press about 5 years ago and I've been hooked since, but this is definitely my new method. Thanks!

peppypickle (author)ediamond12015-02-10

Wonderful :) Isn't it great that you don't need sugar? It comes out sweeter and not bitter. Glad you're enjoying it!!

Shadri (author)2015-02-07

Sounds like a great recipe! I quite love iced coffee myself. Thank you for mentioning that this makes highly concentrated coffee - I tried another recipe and it didn't mention how concentrated it would be, so I, being the silly illogical thing I am, just drank it. I felt absolutely wretched the rest of the day. :P I am glad that you included this warning - perhaps others can escape my jittery fate!!

peppypickle (author)Shadri2015-02-09

Thanks for your nice comment - oh yes, coffee concentrate gives me the jitters so badly, dilution is key! Hope you enjoy your new coffee creation!

mperrault1 (author)2015-02-08

At my shop we put a teaspoon of cinnamon and a quarter vanilla bean into a gallon of our concentrate(1coffee:5water). The cinnamon and vanilla flavored are really "quiet" but it's wonderful!

peppypickle (author)mperrault12015-02-09

Wow, that recipe sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing! I love a hint of vanilla in my coffee, no sugar needed! Thanks for sharing :)

dimdiode (author)2015-02-06

Thanks for the details, I will be giving this a try

peppypickle (author)dimdiode2015-02-06

Thanks @dimdiode (Great username by the way!) - I hope it goes well! Hopefully you won't even need sugar, it's so flavorful this way!

rodneywong (author)2015-02-06

Oh thanks! I'm gonna make an affogato! :)

peppypickle (author)rodneywong2015-02-06

Ohhh, I love affogatos! Sounds so tasty! That would make a great Instructable! I hope you enjoy this method, it definitely makes the coffee taste more sweet and less bitter :)

24Eng (author)2015-02-05

Before I read this I was having trouble with coffee grounds ending up in my drinks. Thanks for the instructable!

peppypickle (author)24Eng2015-02-05

Heya, thanks so much! Yeah, I tend to use a store grinder (like at Trader Joes or Safeway) and not my personal one, the grounds get too fine. Hope you enjoy your newly perfected cup of joe!

About This Instructable




Bio: I love biking, hiking, nature, puppies, and coffee!
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