How to Brew

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee in a French Press

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How to Make Cold Brew Coffee in a French Press

We talk a lot about hot brewing methods here at Roasty Coffee, but did you know you can brew your coffee cold without hot water?

Cold brew coffee is a great option for those who enjoy a cold, refreshing cup of coffee, and it’s enjoyed even amongst the snobbiest of coffee drinkers. Though hot coffee is always a classic, it may be difficult to enjoy for those who live in warmer climates, those who may not have the resources to heat water for coffee, or those who just don’t like hot drinks in general. 

If you have never made cold brew coffee in a french press before, then we suggest you continue reading to learn exactly how to do it so you can satisfy your next coffee craving with a cold cup of joe.

What Is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee refers to the method of steeping coffee grounds in water that is cold or at room temperature for an extended period of time. Though cold brew coffee can be served over ice, it shouldn’t be mistaken for iced coffee. This is becauseiced coffee is usually brewed hot and then poured over ice–whereas cold brew is coffee brewed at colder temperatures and is more concentrated, flavorful, and stronger than regular old iced coffee.

Can You Make Cold Brew In a French Press?

Yes! You absolutely can. However, before we get into the different brewing strategies for cold brewing coffee, it’s important to note that there are two ways to accomplish this style of brewing: slow drip and immersion.

Slow Drip

Ornate and mesmerizing to watch, slow drip brewers are the “fancy” of the cold-brewing methods. You may have seen some of these machines in coffee shops: large, glass fixtures with coffee slowly flowing downwards. Many coffee connoisseurs believe that the slow drip creates a more bright and precisely flavorful brew. 

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Slow drip brewers are more common in the commercial coffee world due to their complex and rather large design. They’re very hands-on in set-up and break-down, but they do have the ability to make cold brew faster than the immersion process. If immersion isn’t your thing, there are some slow drippers out there that’ll get the job done for you. 

Some of our favorite drip coffee brewers are the Yama Glass Coffee Tower, the Toddy Cold Brew System, and the Gosh! 10-Ounce Dripo Cold Brew Coffee Maker


Colder temperatures will slow any process down, so the immersion process of the grounds in the water is important to get the ideal flavor extraction needed to make a tasty cup of brew. 

Since the french press relies on the immersion process to brew coffee, it’s absolutely ideal for cold brewing. It’s simple to do, and the results are tasty and savory, making it a popular choice for many commercial and home brewers. There aren’t really any significant difficulties with the french press, but there are other tools out there that use the immersion process.

Though the french press works very well for the immersion process, there are also other brewers that are specifically designed for making cold brew. Most of them are large containers that have a chamber to hold the coffee grounds as they soak in water in your fridge. A few of our favorites are the Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Ice Coffee Maker, the Ovalware Airtight Iced Coffee Maker, and the Willow & Everett Tap Cold Brew Coffee Maker

All in all, if you’re looking for a relaxed, simple, easy-to-do method of cold brewing, the immersion process is your best bet, and french presses do a fantastic job of it. For the remainder of this article, we’ll inform you about everything you need to know to become a french-press-cold-brewing wiz.   

Why Make Cold Brew Coffee?

Many cold coffee drinkers will be quick to inform you about the numerous appeals of cold brew. And since there are many reasons to make cold brew coffee, so let’s take a look at them, shall we?

  1. Cold brew coffee is great in the summer months when the temperatures are soaring.
  2. It’s a great way to use up older coffee that might taste stale if brewed hot.
  3. Cold brew coffee is perfect for mixing dairy products such as cream, milk, or even ice cream.
  4. It’s one of the simplest ways to make coffee, even if it does have a longer brewing time.  

As you can see, there are many great reasons to make cold brew coffee. Even if you prefer your coffee piping hot, we here at Roasty suggest you at least give this a try so you can make a great summer coffee treat.

How to Cold Brew Coffee in a French Press

Now let’s get started with our first cold brew coffee in a french press. The process is pretty straightforward and honestly is super easy in comparison to other hot brewing methods. 

1. Grab What You Need

You will need a few things to get started. Here is a quick list for you to reference.

  • Coffee Beans
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Filtered Water
  • French Press
  • Spoon
  • Time (and a good amount of it)

As you can see, brewing coffee with a french press isn’t super complicated. Most of these items can be found in any coffee lover’s kitchen, and chances are you may already have most of them. 

2. Measure Your Coffee

Now that we’ve collected all the necessary ingredients, it’s time to measure out the coffee. You’ll need to use more coffee than you use for a hot brew. If you don’t want to do the math, a good guideline is to just double the amount of coffee you normally use when brewing hot coffee. 

However, if you want to be a little more specific with your coffee, try going for a 7 to 1 ratio. That’s seven parts water to one part coffee. For you to be completely accurate, you will need to know the size of your french press.

If you find that the coffee brewed using this ratio is too weak, you can try letting it steep for longer instead of using even more coffee. If it’s too strong, just cut down on your ratio. Test it out by dropping it only slightly and continue reducing it each time until you reach your desired flavor.

3. Grind Your Coffee

Grab your grinder and grind your coffee. For cold brew coffee, a course ground is recommended. You can use a medium ground if you wish. Just remember that the finer the ground the stronger the coffee will be.

4. Add Your Coffee and Water

Just like you would with a normal hot brew in your french press, add your coffee to the bottom and then pour in your water. Your water can either be cold or room temperature, but filtered water is definitely preferred. 

5. Mix the Coffee and Water

Gently stir the coffee into the water. You want to make sure every ground is touching the water in order for it to properly brew, so stir the coffee and water slowly until all the coffee is mixed with the water.

6. Let It Steep

This is where time is the most important. Cold brew coffee takes a long time. Once you mix the coffee and water, set it aside and allow it to steep for 12 hours. That’s right, we said 12.

There is a debate on whether you should use brew your coffee on the counter or in your refrigerator. If it is at room temperature, it will brew faster, so you may be able to cut the brewing time down. If you are going to be away for longer than 12 hours, you might want to brew it in your refrigerator for the best results.

7. End Your Brew

Just like you would with your french press, slowly press the plunger down. Go slowly with cold brew coffee and try to shoot for a full 30-second plunge for best results. If you have leftover coffee in your cup, pour the coffee over a paper filter into your cup to catch any loose grounds.

8. Enjoy Your Cold Coffee

Now the time has finally come for the best part of the process. Enjoy your cold brew coffee. Try adding milk, cream, or maybe some sweeteners to it for a cold, sweet drink that is perfect on a hot summer day.

If you love cold coffee, then this is definitely the way to enjoy it. The process is easy and can be done by anyone regardless of their brewing experience. It is also a great way to expand your coffee tastes and it allows you to make a perfect cold brew coffee to enjoy on even the hottest days of the year.

Happy caffeinating!

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