How to Make Cold Brew Coffee in a French Press?

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Written By Anh Dung Pham

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee in a French Press? In just a few simple steps, you can create your own delicious Cold brew right at home. With the right ground coffee and a little patience, you’ll be sipping on a perfectly brewed cup in no time.

This simple method uses a coffee tool you already have to brew your favorite coffee with ease. We’re big fans of Cold-extracted coffee smooth taste here, but it can be a bit messy. The French Press keeps the dirt out and makes for an easy brewing process. How to do it!

Key Takeaways

  • The French press ratio is different than the standard Low-temperature coffee brewing ratio!
  • Remove the Coffee sediment if you want to store the cold brew in the French Press.
  • Compare cold brew press vs. French press cold brew coffee and French press are two popular methods of making coffee at home.
  • Coffee Concentration: A French press gives a strong cup of coffee but not a concentrate.
  • If you like your coffee strong, a French press can give you that bold flavor.
  • Flavor Profile: French press coffee tends to be bold and rich.

What is cold brew? Why Use a French Press?

Cold brew Coffee is coffee created by resting the coffee grounds in water at cool temperatures. It differs from filter coffee or Coffee concoction, which involves pouring hot water over the Coffee sediment in a filter.

What makes it unique?

It has a silky smooth taste that is perfect for iced coffee.

The benefit of this method is that it’s a bit cleaner and easier than the traditional Coffee concoction method.

With the French Press, the coffee is very easy to strain: just dip in and drink! You need a slightly different ratio than the traditional method. So be sure to follow the recipe below.

Cold Coffee concoction is coffee created by resting the coffee grounds in water at cool temperatures

Best coffee for cold brew

Standout coffee beans of 2023 for French Press Cold Brew is Dark Roast Coffee.

Light and medium roasts are great for pouring over coffee, but Cold-extracted coffee tastes best with dark roast coffee.

It gives it just the right bitter, rich finish. Some brands recommend: Starbucks Espresso Roast or Intelligentsia Black Cat.

The best coffee for French Press Cold Brew is Dark Roast Coffee.

Equipment you need

French Press Cold-extracted coffee requires a few tools, most of which you probably already have. You will need the following:

  • French Press Coffee Maker: The Bodum brand has been making this coffee accessory since the 1940s. We use this Bodum 34-ounce (1 liter) French Press.
  • Coffee crusher or grinder: You need to grind the coffee to medium coarse (or buy pre-ground coffee). We use this Bodum electric coffee grinder. Low-temperature coffee brewing is easiest with an electric grinder since a lot of coffee is used at once. This hand Coffee crusher works too, it just takes a lot longer.
  • Filtered Water: Filtered water tastes the best; We use this water filter pitcher. Or skip if you don’t have a filter.

The French press ratio for cold brew

Here are the essentials on French Press Cold if you’re used to making cold using the standard method. The French press ratio is different than the standard Low-temperature coffee brewing ratio! When brewing in a French Press, you will need more coffee to get the same strength of Low-temperature coffee brewing concentrate. Here’s what you should know:

  • Soil to water ratio: 1: 6 by weight. Expressed in grams, that is 140 grams of coffee to 840 grams of water. 
  • In cups, this means 2 cups of Coffee sediment and 3 ½ cups of water.
  • The ratio of Low-temperature coffee brewing concentrate to water: 1:1. When you use French Press Low-temperature coffee brewing, you end up with a pitcher of concentrate. To drink the finished brew, use a 1:1 ratio. In other words, fill your glass with 1 part concentrate and 1 part water (or milk).
The French press ratio for cold brew

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee in a French Press? 

  • Grind the coffee: Grind 140 grams (2 cups) of coffee beans to a medium coarse grind.
  • Combine Coffee sediment and water: Place the Coffee sediment and 3 ½ cups of filtered water in the French Press. Stir several times with a spoon.
  • Refrigerate for 24 Hours: Cover the pitcher with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for 24 hours. (You can cover it with the top, but the plunger needs to be on top, making it difficult to fit in most refrigerators.)
  • Dip and Strain: Place the lid on the French Press and slowly push the plunger all the way down. Pour the brew concentrate into a large glass jar or pitcher.
  • Serving: To serve, dilute ½ cup Low-temperature coffee brewing with ½ cup water or milk. If serving with ice, use the ice with ½ cup Cold concentrate and ¼ cup water.
How to Make Cold Brew Coffee in a French Press? 

How long does cold brew coffee take?

Typically, when making hot brew French coffee, after stirring, you only wait a few minutes before pushing the plunger down. 

You may need to push the plunger down 1-2 inches to fit your fridge and ensure all of the Coffee sediment is submerged. But don’t push it further than necessary.

Place the entire French Press in the refrigerator “overnight”. That means between 12 and 24 hours.

According to The Kitchn, a longer brew time will give you a smoother cold drink: “If you soak the grounds for just 12 hours, you’ll end up with a cold drink that’s weak and somewhat astringent, but after about 18 hours the brew is super smooth.”

I usually filter and strain my Low-temperature coffee brewing after about 12 hours. I think it tastes pretty good, but like I said, I’m not very picky about my coffee.

You may want to experiment with different brew times to see what you like best!

Once you depress the plunger of the French Press, pour your Cold-brewed Concentrated coffee into a large carafe, glass, or bottle

Your Cold-brewed Concentrated coffee is now ready to drink!

This recipe makes about 4 Mugs of coffee essence, which is enough for 8-16 Mugs of coffee

Serve hot or cold, mixed with water, milk, cream, hot cocoa, or any flavoring you like. I usually use a 1:2 coffee-to-milk ratio, but if you prefer a stronger Low-temperature coffee brewing you can use a 1:1 ratio instead.

How to store cold brew?

Store your Cold coffee concentrate in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7-10 days (or until it starts to smell or taste funny).

I recommend a large glass or carafe with a lid. A 33-ounce glass bottle is large enough for 4 cups of Cold coffee concentrate.

Don’t keep your Low-temperature coffee brewing with all the coffee grounds – over-extracted coffee is unpleasant and bitter! Remove the Coffee sediment if you want to store the cold brew in the French Press.

Compare Cold Brew Press vs. French Press

Cold brew coffee and French press are two expert-recommended home brewing methods. They might sound similar, but they differ in several aspects, from their process of extraction to their taste. Let’s delve into the distinctions between these two methods.

Colding Brew Press:

  1. Extraction Process: Cold coffee is coffee soaked in cold water, usually over a prolonged period. This means the cold soaks in for several hours, typically left on the counter overnight. This lengthy extraction process gives cold its distinctive smooth, mellow flavor.
  2. Coffee Concentration: The outcome of the cold process is a coffee concentrate. To make a regular cup, you’ll dilute this concentrate with water.
  3. Coffee-to-Water Ratio: For cold brew at home, a common recommendation is to use one cup of coarsely ground coffee for every four cups of cold water. Adjusting this ratio can make your batch of colds stronger or milder, depending on how much coffee you like in your coffee-to-water mix.
  4. Flavor Profile: One striking feature of brew is that methods for making the perfect coffee to be less acidic coffee preparation styles than hot coffee. This results in a smoother, silkier taste.

French Press:

  1. Process of Extraction: Unlike the traditional brew, uses hot water (though Colding brew French press recipes do exist). The ground coffee beans are soaked in hot water for a few minutes, after which the press is used to separate them.
  2. Coffee Concentration: A French press gives a strong cup of coffee but not a concentrate. It’s ready to drink once you press and pour. If you like your coffee strong, a French press can give you that bold flavor.
  3. Coffee-to-Water Ratio: You might use one bit of coffee for every two bits of water. However, like the cold brew recipe, adjusting how much coffee to use can alter the strength of your drink.
  4. Flavor Profile: French press coffee tends to be bold and rich. Because it’s brewed quickly using hot water, it can extract flavors not typically present in cold brew.

Equipment Differences:

  • For cold brew, you often use a coffee filter or a specialized cold brew maker. This coffee filter ensures that the finished product is free from any coarsely ground coffee particles.
  • When making a cold brew French press, after letting the coffee soak in, you slowly press down on the plunger which filters the coffee. If you don’t have a French press, there are other ways to make cold brew, but a French press simplifies the process.

Convenience and Storage:

Cold brew concentrate is handy as you can make a large batch and keep it in the fridge for several days. Whenever you want a cup, pour some concentrate, add water or milk, and you’re good to go.

French press coffee is best enjoyed immediately after brewing. However, if you have a larger French press, you can make more coffee and keep the rest in the fridge for a short time.


Can I Use Instant Coffee to Make Cold-extracted with a French press?

No, you can’t use instant coffee to make Cold-extracted with a French press.
It requires coarse Coffee sediment to rest in cold water for an extended period of time.
Instant coffee won’t give you the same flavor and smoothness.

How Long Can I Store My Cold Brew in the Refrigerator?

You can store your cold brew in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
It’s important to keep it in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
Enjoy your refreshing cold brew anytime!

Is It Possible to Make Cold Brew Without a French Press?

Yes, it is possible to Create chilled coffee without a French press. You can use a Mason glass, a pitcher, or a coffee sock to steep the coffee grounds in cold water for a longer period of time.
Using a mason jar is a popular alternative to a French press for Creating chilled coffee. Simply add the desired amount of coffee grounds to the jar, and then fill it with cold water. Let the mixture Bedtime in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours, depending on your preferred strength. Once bedtime is complete, strain the coffee through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the grounds.
Another option is to use a pitcher. Similar to the Mason glass method, add the coffee grounds to the pitcher and fill it with cold water. Allow the mixture to steep in the refrigerator for the desired amount of time. When ready, strain the coffee using a sieve or cheesecloth.
If you don’t have a mason jar or a pitcher, you can also use a coffee sock. This is a reusable cloth filter that is specifically designed for Creating chilled coffee. Simply place the coffee grounds in the coffee sock, tie it securely, and then submerge it in a container filled with cold water. 
No matter which method you choose, Creating chilled coffee without a French press is a simple and accessible way to enjoy this refreshing and smooth coffee beverage.

Can I Use Flavored Coffee Grounds to Make Cold Brew?

Yes, you can use flavored coffee grounds to Create chilled coffee. The flavor will infuse into the coffee during the brewing process, giving it a delicious taste.
Just follow the steps to Create chilled Coffee made with a French press.

How Can I Make My Cold Brew Less Acidic?

To make your Low-temperature coffee brewing less acidic, try using a coarser grind. This can help reduce the extraction of acids from the coffee grounds. Additionally, consider extending the Bedtime. Allowing the coffee to steep for a longer period can result in a smoother, less acidic brew. Another option is to adjust the water-to-coffee ratio. Increasing the amount of water relative to the coffee can help dilute the acidity.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different brewing methods and beans. Each method and type of bean can produce a unique flavor profile. By trying out various combinations, you can find the perfect balance that suits your taste buds.


So there you have it! You now know how to make Cold-brewed French coffee. By choosing the right ground coffee, mastering cold brew coffee preparation correctly, and brewing the perfect Low-temperature coffee brewing, you can enjoy a delicious cup of Cold coffee anytime you want.

Now go ahead and indulge in your homemade Low-temperature coffee brewing and savor every sip.

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