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How to Make the Best Cold Brew Coffee at Home

Whether you want a cool refreshing coffee treat on a hot day, or a quick perk me up when doing chores outside, to an avid coffee lover the best answer is always an iced coffee drink. There are so many delicious blended coffee drinks you can make at home for a fraction of the purchased price. The least expensive and quickest way to make any of these glasses of deliciousness is by starting with a cold brew concentrate. In this post, I will talk about the benefits of making cold brew coffee and walk you through all the steps. It’s easy, but you must plan to have it on hand for whenever the craving hits.

What is the Best Coffee for Cold Brew?

The best coffee for cold brew comes from having the freshest highest quality coarse ground coffee you can find. The best coffee variety for cold brew is the one you enjoy the most. We could talk about notes of chocolate, or a hint of fruity flavor, but let your taste buds guide you. If you have a favorite coffee on hand, regardless if it’s pre-ground coffee or whole beans, it’s a good place to start. Try it as a cold brew and see what you think. I love dark roasts, and strong, rich coffee, and shy away from light roast coffees. You could be the exact opposite.

If your favorite fancy coffee drink recipe requires a shot or two of espresso, then make the cold coffee brew concentrate using espresso coffee beans.

An icon of a iced coffee in browns.

Note: To avoid the higher caffeine content, you can use decaffeinated espresso beans. We often mix regular espresso beans half and half with decaffeinated espresso beans to reduce the caffeine. My taste buds can’t tell the difference.

If your blended drink is more like an iced coffee, avoid any blended coffees and go with a single source, medium to dark roast coffee beans. Always make sure that the coffee is coarsely ground, in larger chunks than regular ground coffee.

As with any recipe the better quality ingredients the better the final product. To make a simple cold brew coffee use the best coffee beans in a medium roast or strong roast, Arabica coffee beans are a popular choice. If you have a local coffee shop you enjoy, try their cold brew coffee and ask what coffee bean they use. Where I live we don’t have a local roaster, only Starbucks and Second Cup. I regularly use the Arabica bean coffees from Starbucks including their espresso as it’s the best available locally. The barista was kind enough to tell me for their cold brew coffee they use a mixture of Siren’s Blend and Cafe Verona, or Pike Place coffee. Later in the post, I show you how I make cold brew using Siren’s Blend and Cafe Verona..

If you have a grocery store with a bulk food section you can often find whole coffee beans at the store, with an in-store coffee grinder you can use for free.

What is the Difference between Cold-Brewed Coffee and Iced Coffee

The difference between cold brewed coffee and iced coffee is the brewing process. Cold brew coffee is coffee beans steeped in cold water. Iced coffee is made with regular brewed coffee that is then cooled and served over ice. Cold-brewed coffee has a lower acidity in comparison to regular-brewed coffee. Cold brew coffee is easier to digest.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

There are two ways to make a cold brew coffee, you can make it diluted in a large container, or use a smaller container and make a cold brew concentrate that you dilute before drinking.

Both the cold brew coffee and the concentrate have the same brew methods.

Because our home is especially hectic with DIYs this summer I decided to keep a DIY Cold Brew Concentrate on hand in the fridge that I can dilute as needed.

An icon of a iced coffee in browns.

The best thing about cold brew coffee is you don’t need to purchase any special brewing equipment, a glass jar with a lid and a wire strainer works well.

Cold brew coffee supplies and equipment, coffee beans, coffee grinder, mason jar, bowl with fine sieve, cheesecloth, mason jar and fresh water.

DIY Cold Brew Coffee


Use 4 to 1 brew ratio of water to coarsely ground coffee beans.

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

DIY Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate


Use a 2 to 1 brew ratio of water to coarsely ground coffee beans

  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup freshly coarsely ground coffee beans

Use this ratio of cold water to coffee and multiply as needed.

Step One – Grind Beans

Coarse grind your coffee beans. Using a finer grind of the beans can make the concentrate mirky with coffee sediment in your cold brew.

A half cup of whole coffee beans, and a grinder filled with freshly ground coarse coffee.

Step Two – Steep the Coffee

Add the water to a large jar with a lid, pour in the coffee grounds, and stir or shake to combine.

A mason jar filled with cold brew coffee steeping.

Cover and let steep at room temperature for at least 12 hours, 24 hours is better for a stronger coffee.

Step Three – Filter the Coffee

Line a fine wire strainer with a round coffee filter, or cheesecloth and place over a large bowl or batter bowl. Pour the coffee a bit at a time to ensure it doesn’t overflow the sides of the paper filter getting grounds into the coffee concentrate. (If this happens pour the coffee back into the original container with the coffee grounds and start over).

Filter steeped cold brew coffee concentrate through a filter to remove the coffee grounds.

Once all the coffee grounds have been strained out, transfer the cold coffee concentrate to a mason jar with a lid. Store in the fridge until you want to use it.

Mixing Cold Brew Coffee From Concentrate

How much you dilute the coffee concentrate depends on personal preference. If you’ve never tried cold brew before, I suggest a 2 to 1 ratio of dilution to cold brew concentrate. You can always dilute it more if you like. (I usually dilute mine 4 to 1 ratio, with oat milk.)

You can dilute the cold brew concentrate with milk, alternative kinds of milk such as oat milk, almond milk, and if you like it plain water and ice. It’s so nice to be able to make one cup at a time, or a pitcher full.

A large class filled with homemade cold brew coffee beign served with oat milk and coffee ice cubes.

Coffee Ice Cubes

A word or two about coffee ice cubes. Coffee ice cubes are made by pouring fresh leftover regular coffee into ice cube trays and freezing them. Coffee ice cubes work very well with any type of cold coffee beverage as it doesn’t water down your drink the way regular ice cubes do.

Making Hot Coffee with Cold Brew

I drink more hot coffee than Hubs does, he never drinks coffee after dinner and I often do. Instead of brewing an entire pot of hot coffee, blend cold brew concentrate with boiling water.

Storing Cold Brew Coffee

It’s best to use the leftover cold brew coffee within two weeks. If the coffee goes murky beforehand or starts to smell don’t use it.

Storing leftover cold brew coffee concentrate in a mason jar.
pretty DIY home pin it logo with a house icon.
Pouring  cold brew coffee through a filter, while making a cold brew coffee recipe.

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