How To Make Cold Brew In A French Press



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I love drinking hot brewed coffee, but the Summer months are the perfect time to change up my coffee drinks and enjoy a batch of cold brew coffee.

Straight over ice, with a touch or milk or your favorite coffee syrup, there are so many ways to enjoy a glass of cold brew.

Whilst there are many specialized cold brew coffee makers, it is also possible to make delicious tasting cold brew with french press coffee makers.

Here we share the easiest of coffee drink recipes – how to make cold brew in a french press.

how to make cold brew coffee french press

Why Make Cold Brew In A French Press?

What I love about making cold brew in a french press is how cheap, quick and easy it is to make.

There is no need for expensive equipment – just some good quality cold brew coffee beans immersed in water. We love this brewing method for hot coffee too!

Another reason why making cold brew coffee in a french press is a great option is how easy it is to strain your grinds once brewed.

Other methods need a cheesecloth or strainer to filter the grinds from your brew. With the french press, the plunger performs this function with skill in seconds.

If you love to make cold brew in french press coffee makers, it IS worth investing in a coffee press with a quality filter system.

One that will seal the edges well and strain your grinds well to give you a pure tasting brew with no grittiness. This is a great option.

cold brew made from french press in tall glass with metal straw.

Equipment List

So let’s get into how to make cold brew coffee with a french press.

Below are the items you will need to follow our cold brew french press recipe:

  • French press coffee maker
  • Spoon

In addition, the following two items are nice to have, but not essential:

  • Coffee grinder
  • Glass carafe

If you don’t own a coffee grinder (we review the top ones for french press coffee here), try to buy freshly ground coarse cold brew coffee beans online, in store, or from your local cafe.

I am assuming you already have a french press, but if you don’t (or are looking to upgrade), we love this one by Cafe du Chateau.

Cafe du Chateau french press

With a 4 layer stainless steel screen, borosilicate glass and contemporary design, this french press coffee maker will look great in any kitchen and is perfect for brewing hot french press coffee too.

Click here to check the price.

french press cold brew concentrate in glass with ice cubes.

Ingredient List

This ingredient list is what I love so much about making cold pressed coffee – super short and easy. All you need is:

Freshly roasted coffee beans are always best, for any kind of coffee drink (for reasons we share here).

Many different types of coffee beans are suitable for cold press coffee.

Depending on their roast, you may want to adjust the immersion time. Dark roast beans have a stronger flavor and will need less immersion time than medium or light roast coffee beans.

If you would like to try some of the best coffee beans for cold brew coffee, see our recommended list here.

If you have pre-ground coffee in the pantry, go ahead and brew it up. So long as it is not finely ground it will be fine.

The aroma and flavor profile of your brew will not have the depth of freshly ground beans, but they should still produce a decent brew.

Then for next time, plan to buy some fresh cold brew beans like these ones!

How To Make Cold Brew In A French Press

Okay, so you have your equipment and ingredients ready, let’s get to it!

Step 1 – Grind the beans

Take your freshly roasted whole bean cold brew beans and grind to a coarse grind (similar consistency to sea salt or rock salt).

The long immersion time enables better flavor extraction. A finer grind is likely to result in over extraction, which will increase the bitterness.

It is also more difficult to filter fine coffee through the plunger, resulting in a muddy or silty coffee texture.

French Press cold brew ratio

In terms of the right cold brew coffee – french press ratio, there is a little bit of science and a lot of personal preference involved.

The recommended coffee to water ratio for homemade cold brew concentrate ranges from 1 part coffee grounds to 6 parts water all the way down to 1 part coffee to 3 parts water.

It really depends on the coffee roast style, the immersion time, how you like to drink your cold brew (diluted or over ice) and how strong you like your cold brew coffee.

I suggest you start with our ratio and adjust it the next time depending on how you enjoy the taste. The best way to ensure you achieve the right ratio is with a coffee scale.

Glass French press filled with cold brew coffee.

Step 2 – Place grinds in the french press and add water

The next step is to remove the plunger from your carafe and place the coffee grinds in the base of your french press.

Add water to the carafe. When making cold brew with a french press you should use filtered water, but tap is actually fine to use in many regions.

It isn’t necessary to use chilled water, but it is perfectly okay to use if that is what you have on hand.

There is no need to stir the coffee grounds, in fact it is better if you don’t. Use your spoon to gently push any dry coffee grounds on the top into the water so all grounds are wet.

Step 3 – Leave your cold coffee press to brew

Next is the easiest, but longest part of the recipe – waiting for it to brew.

Pop the plunger on top of the carafe, but do not push it down! Set the press aside at room temperature for a minimum of 12 hours (this is best done overnight).

If you don’t plan to drink the cold brew the next day, you can brew it in the fridge, as this will slow the brewing process down (but may also result in a thinner tasting coffee).

pouring cold brew coffee from french press into glass.

Step 4 – Pour your French Press cold brew coffee

Once the immersion time is up, slowly push the plunger down to filter the grinds from your cold brew.

How To Drink Cold Brew Coffee

There are quite a few different ways you can enjoy homemade cold brew concentrate:

If you have left over coffee, decant into a pitcher or glass carafe, seal and place in the fridge.

Unlike hot brewed coffee, cold brew coffee will last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge if sealed.

adding milk to cold brew in glass.

Tips For Making French Press Cold Brew

For the best tasting cold brew coffee, use freshly ground cold brew coffee beans. We review 10 of the best cold brew coffee beans here.

For maximum freshness, grind coffee just before use. Don’t have a grinder? We review 10 of the best french press coffee grinders here. Otherwise, grind in store or ask your local cafe owner to grind your beans for you!

Cold brew is best brewed at room temperature. If you prefer to pop yours in the refrigerator to brew, add more brewing time.

The brewing process results in a deeply concentrated brew. It is best served over ice, or diluted with cold water or milk.

Store any left over coffee in a glass carafe in the fridge. It will last for 1 – 2 weeks. .

French Press Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

glass of cold brew coffee with french press coffee maker in background.

French Press Cold Brew Coffee

Smooth, mellow coffee brewed cold in a french press. I love this method of making cold brew coffee. The perfect caffeine fix for Summer! Enjoy black or add ice and milk for a delicious iced coffee drink.
4.65 from 17 votes
Servings: 2 cups
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 5 minutes


  • ½ cup coarse ground coffee
  • 3 cups water cold, filtered
  • Ice cubes
  • Milk or cream optional


  • Grind whole bean coffee to a coarse grind.
    Choose from this list.
  • Add ground coffee to the bottom of the french press.
    1/2 cup coarse ground coffee
  • Pour cold water over the coffee. Do not stir.
    3 cups water
  • Use the back of a spoon to gently submerge all coffee grinds.
  • Replace the lid, but do not press the plunger down.
  • Leave french press at room temperature for 12 – 18 hours.
  • Plunge slowly to filter grounds from your brew.
  • Serve the concentrate over ice, and/or dilute with cold water, milk or cream.
  • Store remaining cold brew concentrate in a glass carafe in the fridge.


  • A longer immersion time will result in a stronger brew.
  • Pour any left over cold brew coffee into a sealed glass bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 3kcal | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 22mg | Calcium: 11mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Rachel Rodda
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Did You Make This?Leave a comment and let me know how it was!

More On Cold Brew Coffee

Find more tasty coffee recipes here. For more tips on brewing coffee, see our brew guides.

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Cold brew in french press with text overlay How to make cold brew coffee in a french press
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Rachel Rodda

It's no surprise that as a former barista and founder of Creators of Coffee, I'm obsessed with all things coffee. I love to share easy and delicious coffee recipes, expert brewing tips and helpful coffee gear reviews with my fellow coffee lovers!

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