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Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

April 13, 2023

Start cold-brewing your own coffee for the best iced coffee ever! This easy step-by-step for cold brew coffee recipe has the perfect coffee to water ratio and ultimate flavor to give you the delicious caffeine boost you need.

Cold brew coffee recipe in a glass mason jar.

The BEST Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

Another cold brew coffee post? Really? To my credit this post was originally published in 2014 and was desperately in need of a picture refresh but also I consider myself an OG cold brew coffee recipe drinker.

Given my breadth of experience with cold brew coffee I can promise you this is the BEST cold brew coffee recipe on the internet. I have tested this hundreds of times and made more batches than you can imagine. You only need a few simple tools and ingredients so you can ditch the store-bought coffee concentrate and make your own cold brew coffee at home for superior taste!

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

The name pretty much says it all, but essentially cold brew coffee is coffee that is brewed using a cold water process rather than heating it up. Coffee grinds are left to soak in water for 12-24 hours to absorb the coffee benefits rather than having it released in hot water.

Why might one want to cold brew their coffee? For a couple of reasons:

1. It’s less acidic – heading up the coffee beans releases more acidity, however when the beans are not heated that acidity is not released making it easier on your digestion.

2. It’s stronger – this cold brew makes a concentrate so it’s STRONG. You can dilute it or get a serious buzz. Up to you!

3. It’s cold – DUH. The summer is hot – make sure your coffee is cold and why not get the benefits of cold brew instead of throwing that day old hot coffee in the fridge?

DIY Cold Brew Coffee Recipe so you can make your own cold brew at home #coldbrew #coffee

What do you need to make Cold Brew Coffee?

Making cold brew coffee doesn’t require any industrial equipment. You’ll need just a few jars or containers (mason jars work great!) and a few other items to make this cold brew coffee recipe.

  • 1-2 large jars – make sure they have a wide mouth which is easier for pouring
  • Fine mesh strainer – or use a nut milk bag or several pieces of cheesecloth
  • Coffee beans – At least 1 cup of quality, coarsely ground coffee beans (you can also buy whole coffee beans and grind them yourself)
  • Wooden spoon – for stirring
  • Filtered water – 5 cups of water. 1:5 ratio is the ultimate cold brew coffee recipe ratio.

How Do You Make Cold Brew Coffee?

Let’s get to the cold brew concentrate making process…


Measure out 1 cup of coffee beans and grind them coarsely in your coffee grinder. If getting from a coffee shop ask it to be ground for french press as it will make it much easier to strain.

Step 1: Grind Beans for Cold Brew Coffee


In a large jar or jug combine the coffee grounds and water. Stir and then cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours (or longer if you plan ahead!).

Step 2: Combine ground coffee and water for cold brew coffee


Steep for at least 12 hours and then remove from the refrigerator and strain through a fine mesh sieve, two layers of cheese cloth or a nut milk bag into a large bowl or jug.

Step #3: Strain DIY Cold Brew Coffee with a nut milk bag or cheesecloth


Add several ice cubes to a glass, add pour cold brew over ice.

Step #4: pour cold brew over ice


Add in any other ingredients such as milk, cream, sugar or add-ins listed below.

Step #5 for DIY Cold Brew Coffee: Add milk to cold brew over ice

Cold-Brew Add-Ins

Cold brew coffee is strong. Definitely stronger than regular coffee. I usually drink mine with a bit of milk. Here are some suggestions of what to add:

  1. Homemade Almond Milk – always a classic!
  2. Homemade Oat Milk – Haven’t tried oat milk? Now’s your chance. It’s easy to make and tastes great with coffee.
  3. Add a splash of cold brew to this Iced Golden Milk Latte
  4. Spice things up a notch with this Iced Horchata Latte
  5. Try this lavender simple syrup for a lavender-flavored cold brew.

Homemade Cold Brew Coffee FAQs

Can you double or triple this recipe for a big batch? Absolutely! If you have a big enough glass container you can easily double, triple or even quadruple this recipe. You’ll likely need a lot of vessels to strain but it can be done.

How long does this cold brew coffee recipe keep? Typically it will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

What kind of coffee should you use? I use high-quality dark roast coffee from a local coffee shop but you can use whatever you prefer. Typically dark roast has less caffeine than light or medium roast coffee.

Can you make cold brew coffee in a french press? Yes you can. You will likely need to quarter the recipe and mix a 1/5 cup of ground coffee (ground to french press size) and 1 cup of water. Less soak in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Push down french press and then pour liquid over ice. Depending on your coffee grind you may need to strain your cold brew concentrate through another fine mesh strainer.

Can you make coffee ice cubes? Absolutely! If you want to really amp up your caffeine you can make this cold brew coffee recipe and freeze into ice cubes.

Cold brew coffee and what to do with all those cold brew coffee grinds leftover

What to do with Leftover Coffee Grinds

Don’t let those coffee grinds go to waste! Here are a few ideas of what to do with them:

– Try making this DIY Vanilla Latte Soap

– DIY this coffee, face and body scrub

– Add to your garden! Note – only add to acid loving plants like Azeleas and Blueberries


Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

Start cold-brewing your own coffee for the best iced coffee ever! This easy step-by-step for cold brew coffee recipe has the perfect coffee to water ratio and ultimate flavor to give you the delicious caffeine boost you need.

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 hours
  • Yield: 5 cups 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Soak
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 1 cup good quality ground coffee beans, ground coarsely
  • 5 cups water
  • Ice cubes (I freeze leftover coffee in an ice cube tray)
  • optional: milk, sugar, spices
  • supplies: large jug or jar, fine-mesh strainer (or cheesecloth or a nut-milk bag), wooden spoon


  1. In a large jar or jug combine coffee grounds and water.
  2. Cover and let sit for at least 12 hours (or longer) in the refrigerator.
  3. Remove from refrigerator and stir with a wooden spoon.
  4. Strain coffee through two layers of cheese cloth over a large bowl or jug or use a nut-milk bag (that’s what I use).
  5. Add several ice cubes to a glass and pour 1 cup of iced coffee on top.
  6. Add in milk, sugar or mixings of choice.
  7. Store iced coffee in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Keywords: cold brew coffee, cold brew coffee recipe, what is cold brew

Like this recipe? Try these other drink recipes:


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  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    May 26, 2014 at 8:15 am

    I love you for this! JZ and I bought cold brew iced coffee from my favourite local coffee shop… for $7 each!! We couldn’t believe how pricey it was. Mind you, it was delicious and totally worth it, but I definitely won’t be making a habit out of it.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I’ve never tried it, but so excited to try it out for the summer months!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    I absolutely love making cold brew – it’s almost like an art to me! It’s so much fun experimenting with different types of coffee grounds and strainers. Definitely helps saves money – though I’m still a sucker for iced coffee from local places! 🙂

  • Reply
    Mary Frances
    May 25, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    This is a life saver. I have just discovered the brilliance of iced coffee and can’t wait to try it at home. Thanks for this tutorial! And um, feel free to give me lessons on budgeting 😉

  • Reply
    Jen @ Chase the Red Grape
    May 25, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Iced coffee is where it’s at! I have to make my own as most folk in the UK (outside of London) think iced coffee is a frappucinno … :-I

    But at least I know the cold brew secret! 🙂

  • Reply
    kaitlin @4loveofcarrots
    May 25, 2014 at 8:48 am

    I love Ice Coffee!! But my homemade version is left over coffee from the store that I keep in the refrigerator over night. I am def doing this from now on though!

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    May 25, 2014 at 8:32 am

    I’ve never made my own iced coffee because most of the recipes I come across seem too complicated. I love the simplicity of this recipe…. can’t wait to try it. I think NYC would really agree with me… I’m vey fast-paced and love the city life. The cost of living, not so much. 😉

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    May 25, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I had no idea that real iced coffee was never heated, which makes the coffee lover in me a little ashamed. Buuuuuuut that might be because I’ve never tried to make my own and I barely ever order them since I prefer hot coffee… even in the summer… as long as there’s AC 😆

  • Reply
    May 25, 2014 at 7:44 am

    So… I thought I was a coffeeseur (coffee connoisseur)… and I had no idea about real cold brew. Thank the coffee lord (well, you) I’ve now been educated! *Makes note to do this before bed tonight*

  • Reply
    Heather @ Run Like a G!
    May 25, 2014 at 7:17 am

    I wish I liked coffee because I would totally be addicted to this stuff!! I loved this post. I love learning about people and their experiences. This post was kind of perfect for me right now because I have been telling myself that I need to start taking opportunities that come my way instead of being scared! Thank you 🙂

  • Reply
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
    May 25, 2014 at 5:51 am

    I basically grew up on the UES and only in recent years have learned to appreciate and LOVE Union Square. Lately my Fridays involve me heading in and ending up on 14th street for dinner in the area. Too bad you don’t still live here! And yeah, the budgeting thing is a must anywhere but for real in NYC. The prices are just insane and if you don’t leave the city, you lose touch with just how much they are charging you.

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    May 25, 2014 at 5:19 am

    Another thing you’re maven brain has taught me…and shared in Common. although, I walked solo through Union square with my iced coffee with cream. The amount of $$ I spent on it from Starbucks before realising the coffee trucks had the same 1/4 of the price.

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