Monday, May 17, 2021

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee At Home (The Best Method For Iced Coffee)

Learn how to make the best cold brew coffee at home using two simple ingredients and a few basic items from your kitchen (no fancy gadgets necessary). This method & recipe produces gloriously smooth & strong coffee that's less acidic than regular iced coffee, has no bitterness, and tastes just like the pricier concentrate you get at your local grocery store or coffeehouse. Try it today to save yourself loads of money on your coffee habit!

Learn how to make the best cold brew coffee at home using two simple ingredients and a few basic items from your kitchen (no fancy gadgets necessary). This method & recipe produces gloriously smooth & strong coffee that's less acidic than regular iced coffee, has no bitterness, and tastes just like the pricier concentrate you get at your local grocery store or coffeehouse. Try it today to save yourself loads of money on your coffee habit!

Welcome, fellow coffee lovers! If you've never tried cold brew coffee before or you're already addicted to the pricey bottled/coffeehouse versions, then you're in the right place.

Today I'm sharing a super easy, quick & no-fuss method for making cold brew coffee, which just so happens to make THE BEST iced coffee.

You'll want to make batch after batch of this smooth, strong coffee for hot summer mornings and busy, humid afternoons when you need a cool drink to perk you up. Get ready to feel like you're treating yourself while saving lots of money

Pair it with overnight oats or make-ahead breakfast sandwiches for a quick & satisfying breakfast. Prefer sweets with your coffee? Serve it with a cherry turnoverstrawberry muffin, or double chocolate peanut butter cookie for a relaxing afternoon treat. 

What is Cold Brew Coffee? 

Cold brew coffee is coffee grounds infused over a longer period of time in room temperature or cold water. This is in contrast to classic brewed coffee, which uses hot water to quickly extract flavor from ground coffee beans. This slower "brew" time (really infusion or steeping) results in smoother, less acidic coffee that has more caffeine since it's hanging out in the water longer.

Making Cold Brew Coffee (It's Super Easy & Tastes Amazing!)

Cold Brew Iced Coffee VS Hot Brewed Iced Coffee

Before we get to the exact HOW of cold brew coffee, let's discuss the WHY

If you're a fan of regular iced coffee, you're probably curious why anyone would use this method instead of the brewed coffee + ice combo. Let's compare & contrast the pros and cons of each method.

Iced Coffee (Hot Brew)


  • quick to make start to finish (if you're serving it immediately over ice)
  • flexible for groups (lets you serve hot to some folks & cold to others)
  • good for all different types of roasts (light, medium, dark & everything in between)


  • requires a ton of ice (if serving immediately)
  • ice quickly melts & dilutes/weakens coffee
  • more acidity
  • less smooth
  • can be bitter depending on the type of roast used
  • requires a lengthier chill time (if cooling first before serving)

Iced Coffee (Cold Brew)


  • smoother & more mellow taste
  • less acidity
  • no bitterness
  • stronger coffee (good for folks who like espresso or energy drinks)
  • quick prep (only a few minutes to put together & then it's all hands-off)


  • longer to make start to finish (most is inactive infusing time - worth it in my opinion)
  • best with dark or medium blend roasts (I think that's actually a pro, but light roast lovers will think it's a con)

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

If you're like me and appreciate strong & dark coffee, then using hot brewed coffee seems pretty pointless. I understand if it's a last-minute I need iced coffee right this second kinda thing, but Who wants weak lukewarm coffee swimming in half-melted ice cubes?

The alternative is brewing a large batch of hot coffee, letting it cool down, then sticking it in the fridge for half the day until it's completely cold. At that point, you might as well just spend a few minutes making a batch of cold brew instead! If you can't tell already, I think cold brew coffee is better. ;)

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee (The Best Method For Iced Coffee)

Why I Started Making Cold Brew Coffee At Home

I'm a fan of either bulletproof coffee or regular hot coffee with lots of homemade almond milk creamer or storebought dairy-free creamer. However, my better half prefers cold drinks and thus iced coffee or cold brew coffee.

The problem with his cold brew addiction is that the really good bottled cold brew drinks are pricey. His favorite brand is almost $5 a pop for 16 oz. It's strong coffee with an ahhh-mazing flavor that really packs a punch (unlike many other brands we tried with lackluster or "off" taste), but when he's drinking one almost every day it really adds up!

I considered making it at home last year but wrongly assumed that cold brew coffee involved fancy equipment. After all, I kept seeing "nitro" cold brew everywhere and thought "eh...I'll let him drink the stuff from the experts". I should have known better! I mean, I already make cold brew iced tea. Duh.

Easy Cold Brew Coffee Recipe For The Best Iced Coffee

Do I Need Special Equipment or Gadgets To Make Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate?

Nope! Unless you live in a home with little to no kitchen equipment, you probably already have everything you need right now.

Here's all you need to make a simple batch of cold brew coffee:

  • 2 containers (one for infusing the water + grounds and one for storing the finished coffee)
  • ground coffee beans (a medium grind that's in between coarse & fine)
  • purified water (this is important as tap water will impart an "off" taste to the coffee from the chlorine & minerals)
  • a filter for removing the grounds (paper coffee filter, fine mesh nut milk bag, or paper towel)

That's it! So stinking simple, right?

You have a lot of flexibility when it comes to containers & filtering methods. The best "tools" are whatever you have on hand right now in your kitchen. Macgyver it

My preference is a large pitcher (plastic or glass) for infusing the coffee grounds & a glass swing-top bottle for storing the finished cold brew.

For filtering, I just use an inexpensive nut milk bag (the one linked above) + a cheap plastic funnel! This makes sense because I'm filtering the infusion directly into a tall, narrow jar so a funnel helps with this. However, you could also use a fine-mesh strainer lined with a paper coffee filter placed over a large mixing bowl. Keep it simple. 

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee (The Best Method For Iced Coffee)

What's The Correct Ratio For Making Cold Brew Coffee?

It really comes down to the person's preference for coffee strength so the answer is subjective. This is the other reason I waited so long to attempt homemade cold brew coffee. Whenever I looked up recipes I ran into a slew of different answers, many of which involved complicated ratios and weights.

I prefer stronger coffee and didn't want to waste grounds on a weak recipe from some random person on the internet (ironic given that you're likely in the same situation). 

So to make my attempt(s) more accurate, I bought a bottle of my beau's favorite cold brew coffee and a pound of whole coffee beans from the same company. I felt confident in my experiments since I could test the homemade & store-bought versions side by side.

Here's the ratio that I settled on (which I think is a solid starting point): 1 part ground coffee beans to 4 parts purified water. For example, 1 cup of ground coffee to 4 cups of water.

I don't know the exact grind and coffee to water ratio the bottled cold brew coffee company uses BUT when my beau and I tasted our homemade version, it was pretty spot on to the bottled stuff & got his picky seal of approval.

Can I make it even stronger? Definitely. I'm going to test it out with a 1 to 3 ratio soon to see how much kick that has, but for now the 1 to 4 ratio works for us and makes more coffee. You can also make coffee ice cubes (shown here in the mason jar pictures) using any leftover brewed coffee you have on hand to give it extra oomph. :D

What about weaker? I wouldn't recommend it. You can always add more water or liquid to the final product, but you can't take it out if it's too weak.

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee (The Best Method For Iced Coffee)

Does This Make a Coffee Concentrate? Do I Need to Dilute It Before Drinking?

That's a personal preference and depends on your drinking habits.

I drink this cold brew on ice with a generous splash of creamer and nothing else. However, I typically only drink 1-2 cups of coffee a day, so I want it to have plenty of caffeine. If you're the type of person who drinks a lot of coffee throughout the day, you may want to dilute it so you don't get jittery.

How Much Money Will I Save Making Cold Brew Coffee at Home?

Potentially a lot of moolah depending on the price per pound of your coffee beans! I've been using beans from the same company that makes my beau's favorite bottled cold brew so I could do an accurate side-by-side comparison of homemade versus store-bought. 

They were locally roasted, organic & fair-trade at $11.99 a pound, so definitely not cheap. Despite this, when I broke down the price per ounce of the whole beans versus the bottled stuff...I was blown away!

The homemade version was .07 per ounce and the bottled cold brew was about .30 per ounce (it varies depending on sale price). That one bag of coffee beans ($13.31 for a little over a pound) yielded 192 ounces (24 cups) of cold brew coffee at the 1:4 ratio. That's enough for 12 (16-ounce) bottles of the store-bought brand, which would have cost around $57, so the homemade version saved me about $43!!

Now imagine if you used less expensive coffee from a place like Aldi, for example. The last time I checked their organic ground coffee was around $5 for 12 ounces (maybe less) so that's almost half the cost of regular organic coffee.

Making it at home will definitely save you money, but the biggest issue is keeping enough around for everyone! This cold brew coffee goes down smooth and disappears fast. Not such a bad problem to have, eh?

Making Cold Brew Coffee with Coffee Ice Cubes

Looking for more easy food & drink recipes you can make at home to save money? Check out my Kitchen Pantry Staples Round-up for 100+ ideas!

Know someone who prefers tea instead of coffee? Learn how to make cold brew tea (spoiler: it's just as easy).

Want to spice up your cold brew? Fix a batch of gingerbread simple syrup to stir into it or use for a coffee cocktail!  

Watch The Recipe Video

If you're a visual learner, make sure to watch my short recipe video. It illustrates the super easy process of making cold brew coffee!

how to make cold brew at home, how to make cold brew coffee, cold brew coffee concentrate, cold brew with ground coffee
Yield: 8 cups
Author: Elaina Newton - The Rising Spoon
How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

Prep time: 5 MinInactive time: 18 HourTotal time: 18 H & 5 M
Learn how to make the best cold brew coffee at home using two simple ingredients and a few basic items from your kitchen. This method produces gloriously smooth & strong coffee that's less acidic than hot brewed coffee poured over ice, has no bitterness, and tastes just like the pricey concentrate you get at your local grocery store or coffeehouse.


  • 2 cups of whole coffee beans OR ground coffee
  • 8 cups of purified water
Recommended Equipment


  1. Measure your coffee beans and grind them in small batches to a medium-coarse texture. (Skip if using pre-ground coffee.) If you want your cold brew stronger, you can make the grind a bit finer, but you may have to filter your coffee twice with paper towels or coffee filters in order to remove all the small particles.
  2. Transfer the ground coffee to your large container and measure out the purified water separately. Pour in half the water and stir the coffee grounds with a utensil until all of the coffee is saturated with water. Pour in the rest of the water and stir again.
  3. Cover the coffee & water mixture with a towel or lid and let it infuse at room temperature for 18-24 hours (no need to stir). When it's ready to go, line a fine-mesh strainer with several layers of coffee filters or paper towels and place it over a large bowl. Alternately, (if you're pouring directly into a narrow bottle) line a funnel with a fine mesh nut milk bag and place it directly into a bottle.
  4. Slowly strain the coffee by pouring it through the filter into the new container, pushing down on the last bit of grounds to extract all the coffee. If you use a finer grind of coffee beans you may need to do this 2-3 more times with a super-fine filter to get out all the particles. (I've only had to filter mine once because I do a medium grind.)
  5. Serve the cold brew immediately over ice while it's still room temperature or place it in the refrigerator to chill first. If the coffee is a bit too strong for your taste, dilute with equal parts water or cream when you're ready to drink. Store the rest of the coffee in the fridge in a covered container & consume within a week. 
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @therisingspoon on instagram and hashtag it #therisingspoon
Created using The Recipes Generator

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I ONLY recommend helpful products that I myself would use. And I'm really picky about what I share with you guys. Recommending products that I love or want to own helps me cover the costs of running this blog and keep providing you with free, helpful information. And it costs nothing extra for you. Thanks! 

MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: The information included on this website is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions expressed here are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

No comments

Post a Comment

Blogger Template Created by pipdig
Customized and Tweaked with Love by The Lady Gadget
Back to Top