Cold brew coffee is a summer favorite. Whether it’s a refreshing companion for a hot summer day or your choice for a warm summer evening, cold brew satisfies the need for a coffee treat without adding on to the heat.
Cold brew can be made in many ways, and today we’re looking at one of the simplest methods, French Press cold brew. Because the French Press is a common and easy to use coffee brewing method, it is easily adapted from a hot brewing application to a cold brewing one. Read on to learn how to make cold brew in a French Press.
Freshly ground coffee, coarse
Filtered water, unheated
A PERFECT PAIRING: WE RECOMMEND OUR PORTOFINO BLEND FOR COLD BREW COFFEE. NOTES OF CHOCOLATE AND HAZELNUT, LIGHT ACIDITY, AND A FULL-BODIED SMOOTHNESS DELIVER A DELICIOUS COLD BREW.
We recommend a higher ratio of coffee grounds to water for cold brew coffee than hot brew coffee because it allows you to make more servings per brew and keep fresh cold brew on hand. Start with a ratio of around 1 ounce (by weight) of grounds to 5 ounces (by volume) of water. This can be adjusted to a lower or higher ratio based on personal preference.
|Press Size, "Cups"||Press Size, Ounces||Coffee, Weight||Water, Volume|
|3||12||2 ounces||10 ounces|
|4||17||2.833 ounces||14.166 ounces|
|8||34||5.66 ounces||28.33 ounces|
|12||51||8.5 ounces||42.5 ounces|
As with all brewing methods, the correct grind size is important. For this recipe, we recommend a coarse grind, sometimes called a French Press Grind. If the grounds are too fine, the coffee can become overextracted and bitter. In addition, fine coffee sediment and grounds can slip past the filter and result in coffee mud that settles to the bottom and adversely affects the final cup.
- Weigh out the correct amount of coffee and grind it, then measure out the correct volume of water.
- Add your freshly ground coffee to the bottom of the French Press carafe.
- Slowly pour in the filtered water, but don’t stir.
- Once all the measured water has been poured into the press, gently place the plunger assembly on top of the French Press and lightly depress the plunger knob so that the filter is resting on top of the grounds and just submerging them.
- Being careful not to shake or spill the mixture, place the French Press onto a countertop or into a refrigerator, and out of the way.
- WAIT. The longest step in making cold brew concentrate is the brewing time. When brewing on the countertop, the mixture will need to steep between 12 and 24 hours to finish brewing. The process takes even longer in the refrigerator due to colder temperatures slowing down extraction rate, so if you’re brewing in the fridge, the mixture will need to steep for 18 to 36 hours to achieve a similar extraction.
- After the desired brewing time has passed, gently depress the plunger to separate the grounds from the concentrate, making sure not to press too fast and force fine particles through the filter, or too far and agitate the grounds at the bottom of the carafe.
- Pour the cold brew concentrate into your storage container
- Mix the concentrate with water to taste and serve. Cold brew concentrate is much stronger than hot coffee, so aim to dilute it a ratio of between 1/2 concentrate :1 water and 1:1 concentrate to water.
HOW LONG CAN COLD BREW CONCENTRATE STAY FRESH?
Using an airtight lid, a clean storage device, and refrigerating will preserve cold brew concentrate for up to two weeks. Limiting air contact prevents the coffee from going stale or picking up odors and flavors from other fridge foods, and cold temperatures prevent bacteria or mold growth.
MIX IT UP
Cold brew concentrate can be dressed up or down to fit different situations and tastes. Try some of these other usage ideas for cold brew concentrate:
HOW DOES COLD BREW COMPARE TO ICED COFFEE?
“Cold brew” and “iced coffee” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are very different. The key difference between iced coffee and cold brew is that iced coffee starts as a hot-brewed coffee that is then poured over ice, while cold brew relies on a long extraction and stays cold the entire time. Cold brewing can also reduce the bitterness of coffee.
Try out our Toddy System cold brew concentrate recipe.
Having trouble with terminology? Read our Jargon blog to get a handle on modern coffee vocabulary.