How To Make Cold Brew With Ground Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide

Cold brew coffee has gained popularity for its smooth, bold flavor and lower acidity compared to traditional hot brewed coffee. Making cold brew with ground coffee at home is a simple and cost-effective way to enjoy this refreshing beverage. This comprehensive guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to make cold brew using ground coffee, including the benefits of cold brew, selecting the right ground coffee, the equipment needed, and more.

Quick Answer: How To Make Cold Brew With Ground Coffee

Making cold brew with ground coffee involves steeping coarsely ground coffee in cold water for an extended period. Here’s a quick overview of the steps involved:

  1. Combine Ground Coffee and Water: In a large container, mix coarsely ground coffee with cold water using a ratio of 1:4 or 1:8 depending on your preference.
  2. Steep: Allow the mixture to steep at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.
  3. Strain: After steeping, strain the coffee concentrate using a fine-mesh sieve, cheesecloth, or a cold brew coffee maker.
  4. Dilute and Enjoy: Dilute the concentrate with water or milk, and serve over ice.

The following sections will delve into each step in detail, as well as provide additional tips and techniques for achieving the perfect cold brew with ground coffee.

Benefits Of Cold Brew

Cold brew offers several distinct advantages over hot brewed coffee, including:

  1. Low Acidity: Cold brew coffee tends to be less acidic, making it gentler on the stomach and teeth for individuals who are sensitive to acidity.
  2. Smooth Flavor Profile: The slow extraction process results in a smoother, less bitter flavor, showcasing the coffee’s natural sweetness and complex undertones.
  3. Convenience: Cold brew concentrate can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, providing a convenient, ready-to-drink coffee option.

Choosing The Right Ground Coffee

Selecting the right ground coffee is crucial for producing a flavorful and well-balanced cold brew. Here are some key considerations when choosing ground coffee for cold brew:

  1. Coarseness: Opt for coarsely ground coffee, similar to the texture of breadcrumbs. Coarser grounds prevent over-extraction and bitterness during the extended steeping process.
  2. Roast Level: While personal preference plays a role, medium to dark roast coffee often yields richer, chocolatey flavors when cold brewed. However, experimentation with different roasts is encouraged to find your preferred taste profile.
  3. Quality: Purchase fresh whole beans and grind them just before making cold brew to preserve the coffee’s flavors and aromas.

Equipment Needed For Making Cold Brew

To make cold brew with ground coffee, you’ll need the following equipment:

  1. Large Container: Use a large container, such as a pitcher or mason jar, for steeping the coffee.
  2. Coarsely Ground Coffee: Ensure you have the right coarsely ground coffee for cold brewing.
  3. Cold Water: Use filtered water for the best flavor and avoid using hot water, as it can result in a different extraction and flavor profile.
  4. Stirring Utensil: A large spoon or whisk for thoroughly mixing the ground coffee with water.
  5. Filtering Equipment: Options include a fine-mesh sieve, cheesecloth, paper filters, or a dedicated cold brew coffee maker for straining the coffee concentrate.
  6. Storage Bottles: If you plan to store the cold brew concentrate, have glass bottles or airtight containers ready.
  7. Optional Additions: Ingredients like milk, cream, syrup, or flavorings if you plan to customize your cold brew.

With the right equipment and a good understanding of the steps involved, you can easily create a delicious cold brew at home using ground coffee.

Making cold brew with ground coffee is a rewarding and straightforward process that allows you to savor the rich flavors and low acidity of this beloved beverage. By following the detailed steps provided in this guide and selecting the appropriate ground coffee, you can enjoy the convenience of cold brew in the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or new to cold brewing, experimenting with different coffee varieties, roast levels, and brewing techniques can lead to discovering your perfect cup of cold brew. Embrace the versatility and customization that cold brew offers, and enjoy the satisfying experience of crafting your own cold brew with ground coffee.

Step-by-Step Guide For Making Cold Brew With Ground Coffee

Cold brew has become increasingly popular in recent years for its smooth and bold flavor. It’s a refreshing alternative to hot brewed coffee, especially during the warmer months. While many people assume that making cold brew at home requires expensive equipment or special skills, the truth is that it can be quite simple and cost-effective.

Step 1: Gather Your Equipment

Before diving into the cold brew-making process, it’s crucial to gather the necessary equipment:

  1. A large container or jar: It should be large enough to hold the desired amount of cold brew and have a tight-fitting lid to prevent any leaks or spills.
  2. Ground coffee: Opt for a coarsely ground coffee for cold brew. The recommended coffee-to-water ratio is 1:4, but you can adjust it according to your taste preferences.
  3. Filter or cheesecloth: To strain the coffee grounds, you will need a fine-mesh filter or a cheesecloth.
  4. Water: Good-quality filtered water is essential to achieve the best flavor.
  5. Additional optional equipment: If you prefer a more hands-off approach, you can use a Toddy cold brew system or a French press designed specifically for cold brew.
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Step 2: Measure And Add Ground Coffee

Start by measuring the desired amount of ground coffee. As mentioned earlier, the recommended ratio is 1 part coffee to 4 parts water. For example, if you want to make 32 ounces (1 liter) of cold brew, use 8 ounces (226 grams) of ground coffee.

Step 3: Add Water

Once you’ve measured the ground coffee, pour the desired amount of water into the container. Make sure the water is at room temperature or cold. Avoid using hot water as it can extract undesirable flavors from the coffee and result in a bitter brew.

Step 4: Stir And Let It Steep

After adding the water, give the mixture a gentle stir to ensure all the coffee grounds are fully saturated. You can use a spoon or a wooden stick for this step. Once stirred, place the lid on the container and let the mixture steep for 12 to 24 hours. The longer you steep, the stronger and more concentrated the cold brew will be.

Step 5: Strain The Cold Brew

After the steeping period, it’s time to strain the cold brew to remove the coffee grounds. If you’re using a French press, simply press down the plunger slowly to separate the grounds from the liquid. If you don’t have a French press or prefer a finer filtration, line a fine-mesh filter or cheesecloth over another container and carefully pour the cold brew through it. This will strain out any stray grounds and sediment, resulting in a smoother final product.

Step 6: Dilute And Serve

Once the cold brew is strained, it’s time to dilute it with water or your preferred liquid. The ratio of cold brew to diluting liquid depends on personal preference. For a standard serving, mix equal parts cold brew and water. You can also experiment with diluting it with milk or almond milk for a creamier taste. Serve the cold brew over ice and enjoy!

Key Factors For A Delicious Cold Brew

While the process of making cold brew is relatively simple, there are a few key factors to consider in order to achieve a delicious and satisfying result:

Quality Of The Coffee

The quality of the coffee you use is essential for the flavor of your cold brew. Opt for a coffee that you enjoy drinking hot, as its characteristics will be more pronounced in the cold brew. Look for high-quality, freshly roasted coffee beans or a trusted brand of ground coffee.

Grind Size

The grind size of the coffee plays a significant role in the extraction process. Coarsely ground coffee is recommended for cold brew as it allows for a slower and more controlled extraction. Finely ground coffee can result in over-extraction and lead to a bitter taste. Invest in a good grinder or ask your local coffee shop to grind the beans coarsely for you.

Water Quality

Cold brew is primarily made up of water, so the quality of the water you use can greatly impact the flavor. Ideally, use filtered water to eliminate any impurities that might affect the taste. Avoid using tap water if it has a strong chlorine taste, as it can alter the flavor of your cold brew.

Steeping Time

The steeping time is crucial for extracting the flavors from the coffee grounds. The longer the steeping time, the stronger and more concentrated the cold brew will be. Aim for a minimum steeping time of 12 hours, but feel free to experiment with longer times to find your preferred strength.

Storage Temperature

When storing your cold brew, make sure to keep it refrigerated. Cold brew is meant to be enjoyed cold, and storing it at a cooler temperature will prevent any bacterial growth and oxidation. It’s best to consume your cold brew within 7-10 days for optimal freshness.

Cold Brew Variations And Flavor Enhancements

While a classic cold brew is delicious on its own, there are numerous variations and flavor enhancements you can experiment with to add a unique twist to your cold brew:

Vanilla Cold Brew

To add a hint of sweetness and aroma, try infusing your cold brew with vanilla. Simply add a vanilla bean to your container along with the coffee grounds before steeping. The longer you steep, the more pronounced the vanilla flavor will be.

Cinnamon Cold Brew

For a warm and cozy twist, consider introducing cinnamon to your cold brew. Mix ground cinnamon with your coffee grounds before steeping, or add a cinnamon stick to the container. The result is a subtly spiced and flavorful cold brew.

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Chocolate Cold Brew

If you’re a chocolate lover, why not combine your two favorite indulgences? Add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder or chocolate syrup to your container before steeping. The chocolate will melt into the cold brew, creating a rich and velvety flavor profile.

Mint Cold Brew

For a refreshing and invigorating cold brew, infuse it with fresh mint leaves. Add a handful of mint leaves to the container and let them steep along with the coffee grounds. The outcome is a bright and herbaceous cold brew that is perfect for hot summer days.

Sweetening Options

If you prefer a sweeter cold brew, you can experiment with different sweetening options. Add a tablespoon of simple syrup, honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup to your cold brew and stir well. Adjust the amount based on your desired level of sweetness.

Creamy Cold Brew

To achieve a creamier texture and taste, consider diluting your cold brew with milk or a non-dairy alternative. Experiment with different ratios until you find the perfect balance. You can even froth the milk for a latte-like experience.

Storing And Preserving Cold Brew

Proper storage and preservation are essential to maintain the quality and freshness of your cold brew. Here are some tips to ensure your cold brew stays delicious:

  1. Refrigerate: Store your cold brew in the refrigerator, preferably in a sealed container or bottle. Keeping it cold will preserve its flavors and prevent any bacterial growth.
  2. Avoid Air Exposure: Oxygen can quickly degrade the taste and aroma of cold brew. Ensure a tight seal on your storage container to minimize contact with air.
  3. Use Glass Containers: Plastic containers can retain unwanted odors and affect the taste of your cold brew. Opt for glass containers, as they are inert and will not interact with the coffee.
  4. Consume Within 7-10 Days: Cold brew is best enjoyed fresh. To experience optimal flavor, try to consume your cold brew within 7-10 days of brewing. After this point, it may become stale or develop off-flavors.
  5. Make Small Batches: If you find it challenging to finish a large batch within the recommended timeframe, try making smaller batches. This way, you can always have fresh cold brew available without worrying about waste.

Making cold brew at home using ground coffee is a simple and rewarding process. With just a few basic equipment and some patience, you can create a deliciously smooth and flavorful brew to enjoy any time of the year. Remember to pay attention to key factors such as the quality of the coffee, grind size, water quality, steeping time, and storage methods to ensure the best possible results. Feel free to experiment with different variations and flavor enhancements to create your perfect cup of cold brew. So go ahead, grab that jar, measure your coffee, and embark on your cold brew journey!


Serving And Enjoying Cold Brew

Diluting Cold Brew Concentrate

Cold brew concentrate is much stronger than regular brewed coffee, so it needs to be diluted before drinking. The dilution ratio can vary based on personal preference, but a starting point is a 1:1 ratio of concentrate to water or milk. Adjust the ratio until you find the strength that suits your taste.

Customizing Your Cold Brew

One of the great things about cold brew is its versatility. Here are some ideas to customize and enjoy your cold brew:

  • Iced Cold Brew: Fill a glass with ice, add your desired amount of cold brew concentrate, and top it off with cold water or milk. You can also sweeten it with simple syrup or flavored syrups.
  • Cold Brew Latte: Pour cold brew concentrate into a glass filled with ice, then slowly pour in cold or frothed milk. Sweeten with a syrup or sugar if desired.
  • Cold Brew Cocktail: Mix cold brew concentrate with your favorite spirits like vodka, bourbon, or rum, and add some simple syrup or flavored liqueur for a refreshing cocktail.

Storing Cold Brew

Cold brew can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Transfer the cold brew concentrate into a sealed container and keep it chilled. Remember that the concentrate is stronger, so dilute it with water or milk when ready to serve.

Troubleshooting Common Cold Brew Issues

Although making cold brew is a relatively simple process, some issues may arise. Here are a few common problems and their solutions:

Bitter Or Over-Extracted Cold Brew

If your cold brew turns out bitter or over-extracted, it may be due to a few factors:

  • Grind Size: Ensure that your coffee grounds are coarse and not too fine. Finely ground coffee can lead to over-extraction and a bitter taste.
  • Steeping Time: If you steeped the coffee for too long, it may have become over-extracted. Adjust the steeping time based on your desired strength.
  • Water Temperature: Remember to use room temperature or cold water, as hot water can extract more bitterness from the coffee grounds.
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Weak Or Under-Extracted Cold Brew

If your cold brew tastes weak or under-extracted, consider the following:

  • Grind Size: Ensure that your coffee grounds are coarse enough. Finer grounds can result in under-extraction and a weak flavor.
  • Steeping Time: If you steeped the coffee for too short a time, it may not have had enough time to fully infuse. Increase the steeping time to extract more flavor.
  • Coffee-to-Water Ratio: Adjust the ratio of coffee to water to achieve a stronger flavor. Increase the amount of coffee for a more robust cold brew.

Cloudy Or Sediment-Filled Cold Brew

Cloudiness or sediment in cold brew is normal and is a result of the coffee’s natural oils and solids. To reduce sediment, try one of the following:

  • Finer Filtration: If you are using a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth, try adding an additional step of straining the coffee through a coffee filter or using a paper filter during brewing.
  • Longer Straining Time: Allow the coffee to strain for longer to remove more sediment.
  • Use Coarser Grounds: Coarser grounds can result in fewer fine particles and less sediment in the final brew.

Caring For Your Cold Brew Equipment

To ensure the longevity and cleanliness of your cold brew equipment, follow these care tips:

  • Clean Immediately: After straining the cold brew, rinse all equipment with warm water to remove any residue. Avoid using soap or cleaning agents, as they can leave behind unwanted flavors.
  • Regular Cleaning: Wash your container, filtration method, and any other equipment used in the process regularly to prevent any build-up or contamination.
  • Storage: Store your equipment in a clean and dry place to avoid exposure to moisture or contaminants.


Making cold brew with ground coffee is a simple process that can be customized to suit your taste preferences. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can enjoy a refreshing and flavorful cold brew in the comfort of your own home. Remember to experiment with different ratios, steeping times, and customization options to find your perfect cup of cold brew. Cheers!

FAQS On How To Make Cold Brew With Ground Coffee

What Is Cold Brew Coffee And How Is It Different From Regular Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is made by steeping ground coffee in cool water for an extended period of time, usually around 12-24 hours. This slow and gentle process extracts the flavors from the coffee without the use of heat, resulting in a smoother, less bitter taste. In contrast, regular hot coffee is made by pouring hot water over ground coffee beans, which quickly extracts the flavors and can result in a stronger, more acidic taste.

What Type Of Ground Coffee Should I Use For Making Cold Brew?

Any type of ground coffee can be used for making cold brew, but a coarse grind is recommended. This allows for better extraction and prevents the coffee grounds from passing through the filter. Many cold brew coffee enthusiasts prefer using medium to dark roast coffee for a richer and bolder flavor.

Can I Use Pre-ground Coffee For Making Cold Brew?

Yes, you can use pre-ground coffee for making cold brew. However, it is generally recommended to grind your own coffee beans for the freshest and most flavorful results. If using pre-ground coffee, make sure it is coarse ground and not finely ground.

How Do I Brew Cold Brew At Home Without A Special Machine?

You can make cold brew at home without a special machine by using a simple ratio of 1 part ground coffee to 4 parts cold water. You can then use a large jar or pitcher to steep the coffee in for 12-24 hours, and a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to filter out the grounds. Alternatively, you can use a french press or a cold brew coffee maker for a more convenient brewing process.

Can I Sweeten My Cold Brew And If So, What Is The Best Way To Do It?

Yes, you can sweeten your cold brew coffee. The best way to do it is to add your desired amount of sweetener (such as sugar, honey, or flavored syrup) to the cold brew concentrate before drinking. This ensures that the sweetener is evenly distributed and dissolved, giving you a well-balanced and flavorful cup of cold brew.