What is Cold Brew Coffee? How to Make it at Home


Last Updated:

Cold brew coffee is a popular drink that many coffee lovers enjoy. It is a refreshing and smooth alternative to traditional hot coffee, especially during the summer months.

This drink is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, usually overnight, to create a concentrate that can be diluted with water or milk.

One of the biggest benefits of cold brew coffee is its lower acidity compared to hot brewed coffee. This makes it a great option for those who experience heartburn or acid reflux after drinking regular coffee. Additionally, cold brew coffee has a less bitter taste and a smoother texture, which some people find more enjoyable than hot coffee.

What is Cold Brew Coffee

What is Cold Brew Coffee?


Cold brew coffee is a type of coffee that is brewed using cold water instead of hot water. The coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for an extended period of time, typically 12-24 hours, to extract the flavor and caffeine. The resulting coffee is smooth, rich, and less acidic than traditional hot brewed coffee.


Cold brew coffee has been around for centuries, with origins in Japan and Vietnam. It gained popularity in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, when it was marketed as a specialty coffee drink. In recent years, cold brew coffee has become increasingly popular, with many coffee shops and cafes offering it as a menu item.


Cold brew coffee has several benefits over traditional hot brewed coffee. One of the main benefits is that it is less acidic, which can be easier on the stomach for people who have acid reflux or other digestive issues.

Additionally, the slow extraction process used in cold brew coffee results in a smoother, less bitter taste. Cold brew coffee is also typically higher in caffeine than hot brewed coffee, which can be a benefit for those who need an extra boost of energy.

Another benefit of cold brew coffee is its versatility. It can be enjoyed hot or cold, and can be customized with a variety of flavors and additions. Some popular additions to cold brew coffee include milk, cream, flavored syrups, and spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee
Pouring cream into a cold brew coffee

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home

If you want to try making cold brew coffee at home, it’s a simple process that requires only a few ingredients and tools. All you need is coarsely ground coffee, cold water, a container, and a filter. The resulting concentrate can be stored in the fridge for up to a week and can be diluted with water or milk to your desired strength.

Equipment Needed

Making cold brew coffee is a simple process that requires minimal equipment. Here’s what you’ll need:

Coffee grinder1
Cold brew coffee maker or a large mason jar with a lid1
Coffee filter or cheesecloth1
Filtered water4 cups
Coffee beans1 cup


Cold brew coffee is made with only two ingredients: coffee and water. However, the quality of these ingredients is crucial to producing a delicious cup of coffee. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee beans
  • 4 cups of filtered water

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these simple steps to make cold brew coffee at home:

  1. Grind the coffee beans on a coarse setting, similar to the texture of raw sugar.
  2. Add the ground coffee to the cold brew coffee maker or large mason jar.
  3. Pour the filtered water over the coffee grounds, making sure that all of the grounds are saturated.
  4. Stir the coffee grounds and water together until well combined.
  5. Cover the cold brew coffee maker or mason jar with a lid and let it steep in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.
  6. After the coffee has steeped, remove the cold brew coffee maker or mason jar from the refrigerator and strain the coffee through a coffee filter or cheesecloth.
  7. Store the cold brew coffee in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Cold brew coffee is a refreshing and easy-to-make alternative to traditional hot coffee. With just a few simple steps and minimal equipment, you can enjoy a delicious cup of cold brew coffee at home.

You can buy a “specialist” cold brew coffee maker, although it is not necessary. This County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Mason Jar Iced Coffee Maker is the most popular available on Amazon.

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07VJJJ764&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=coffeesoda 20&language=en USir?t=coffeesoda 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B07VJJJ764

Tips for Perfecting Your Cold Brew

Brew Time

The brew time is a crucial factor in determining the strength and taste of your cold brew coffee. Generally, a longer brew time will result in a stronger and more concentrated coffee, while a shorter brew time will produce a lighter and smoother taste.

It is recommended to brew your cold brew coffee for at least 12 hours, but you can experiment with different times to find your preferred taste.

Grind Size

The grind size of your coffee beans is another important factor that can affect the taste of your cold brew. A coarser grind size will produce a smoother and less bitter taste, while a finer grind size will result in a stronger and more intense flavor.

It is recommended to use a medium-coarse grind size for your cold brew coffee, but again, you can experiment to find the perfect grind size for your taste preferences.

Frankly, there isn’t really a best coffee for cold brew. Just use your particular favorite coffee beans.

Water Temperature

The water temperature you use to make your cold brew coffee can also impact the final taste. Using cold or room temperature water is recommended, as hot water can extract more bitter flavors from the coffee beans.

If you want to speed up the brewing process, you can use lukewarm water, but be careful not to use hot water as it can ruin the taste of your coffee.


Proper storage of your cold brew coffee is important to maintain its quality and freshness. It is recommended to store your cold brew coffee in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Avoid storing your cold brew coffee at room temperature, as it can quickly spoil and lose its flavor.

By following these tips, you can create a delicious and refreshing cold brew coffee at home. Experiment with different brew times, grind sizes, and water temperatures to find the perfect balance for your taste preferences. Enjoy your homemade cold brew coffee any time of the day!

Can you heat up cold brew coffee?

Yes, you can heat up cold brew coffee if you prefer a warm beverage. To do so, simply pour your desired amount of cold brew concentrate into a microwave-safe mug or heat it gently in a saucepan over low heat. Add hot water, milk, or a milk alternative to dilute the concentrate to your preferred strength. Be careful not to overheat or boil the coffee, as this may alter the taste and potentially diminish the smooth, distinctive flavor profile that cold brew is known for.

What’s the difference between cold brew and iced coffee?

Cold brew and iced coffee differ in their brewing process and flavor. Cold brew is made by steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for 12-24 hours, resulting in a smooth, less acidic taste. Iced coffee is brewed hot and then chilled by pouring over ice or refrigerating, leading to a flavor profile similar to hot coffee. Iced coffee can be more acidic and diluted due to the melting ice, while cold brew typically has a bolder, smoother flavor.

Does cold brew coffee go bad?

Cold brew coffee can go bad over time. When properly stored in an airtight container and refrigerated, it can last up to 2 weeks. However, the flavor may start to degrade after the first week. Always check for off smells, mold, or changes in taste to determine if your cold brew has gone bad. To ensure the best flavor, it’s recommended to consume cold brew within 7-10 days of brewing.

Find out about all the different types of coffee drinks in our complete guide.

Latest posts

  • Breville Barista Touch Review: Can This Machine Really Do It All?

    Breville Barista Touch Review: Can This Machine Really Do It All?

    Looking for a luxurious espresso machine to enhance your coffee-making experience? You might find the Breville Barista Touch to be the perfect choice. This elegant brushed stainless steel machine boasts a 67-fluid-ounce capacity, and is designed to make preparing your favorite café drinks effortless and enjoyable. The Barista Touch offers an intuitive touch screen display…

    Read more

  • Best Coffee Machine with Grinder Built-In for Beans to Brew

    Best Coffee Machine with Grinder Built-In for Beans to Brew

    A perfect cup of coffee can transform your mornings, and what’s better than having a coffee machine with a built-in grinder at your disposal? Grinding your coffee beans just before brewing ensures maximum flavor, freshness, and aroma in every cup. The beauty of an integrated grinder is its versatility, allowing you to enjoy various styles…

    Read more

  • Best Evanston Coffee Shops To Try

    Best Evanston Coffee Shops To Try

    Evanston coffee shops? They’re a buzz! In this vibrant Illinois town, every sip tells a story. Imagine: cozy corners, steam rising, the hum of conversation. Coffee shops in Evanston? They’re not just about the brew. It’s where culture percolates, where every visit brews a new adventure. Think variety. Think vibe. In these coffee shops in…

    Read more