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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

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  • Reply
    August 19, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Grinding the beans before making the cold brew is more flavor, Cos it’s fresh enough.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Great coffee recipe Davida. I’ll be making this. This will save me some trips to Starbucks 😀

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 5, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      Thank you! Has saved me countless times from those dreaded Starbucks trips!

  • Reply
    Kelsey @ Ramblings of Change
    June 7, 2014 at 9:12 am

    I am so so excited to try this! =)

  • Reply
    GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth
    June 5, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Glad I found this before I lost half my paychecks to iced coffee at Starbucks this summer. This is so happening during meal prep this weekend 😀
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      June 7, 2014 at 10:27 am

      awesome! Just about to strain mine now! Starbucks and I share a long history but I’m happy to part ways 😉

  • Reply
    Gabby @ the veggie nook
    May 29, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I adore cold brew coffee and make it myself every summer! Can’t be bothered to spend money on it! Hollah tight budget!! I don’t know how you managed in NYC, sometimes I find Toronto overwhelming in ALL THE WAYS. Mad props girl!

  • Reply
    Alex @ Kenzie Life
    May 27, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    So I’m actually really glad you posted this, because I’ve been wanting to make good iced coffee! I’ve been making homemade iced chai lattés and it saves me so much money!

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    May 27, 2014 at 11:27 am

    i lived with my family in NY so didnt have to really worry about finances then but now,,im not sure if i can afford to live and be a foodie in that city 🙁 on a side note, yes i did spend a lot of money on coffee while i was there as well. thank you for sharing this!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    So I’m lazy when it comes to iced coffee and will just stick with this morning’s leftovers paired with some ice, raw sugar, and almond milk. That is, unless you want to make this for me.

  • Reply
    Kammie @ Sensual Appeal
    May 26, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Yeah I need to start making my own coffee! I’ve been buying a ton (hot and iced). I don’t like hot coffee over ice either…it gets so watery! I’ll have to try making my own iced coffee soon, I haven’t ever tried this. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    May 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Ermygerd I spend like half of my income on iced coffee. I’m addicted even though my stomach hates me with every sip. This looks amaaaaze!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    OMG I’ve never made iced coffee but good to know it’s stupid-easy to do. I’ve already spent a fortune on iced coffee like two weeks into iced coffee season. Now all I need to do is find nut milk bags… xoxo

  • Reply
    May 26, 2014 at 9:07 am

    You’re such a homemaker. I HATE MOVING. HATE. HATE. HATE. But I think you should move to Edina so we can be housewives.

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