How to Make Cold Brew Coffee (Using a French Press)


fresh glass of cold brew coffee


Edited by: Tina Goyzueta 


There's nothing more satisfying than enjoying a refreshing glass of cold brew coffee on a warm spring or summer day. One of my favorite things is having a glass of cold brew while relaxing on the deck. It's rich, smooth, easy to make at home, and the best part - it doesn't have to cost you $5.00 a cup to enjoy! While a cold brew maker is handy, there are other ways to make a delicious cold brew at home. Keep reading to learn a few different ways you can make a cost-effective cold brew using a French press

What's the Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee?

While cold brew is a type of iced coffee since it's served over ice, all iced coffees are not cold brewed. Iced coffee is prepared by brewing hot coffee and then pouring it over ice. On the other hand, cold brew is prepared by soaking coffee grounds in cold water over an extended period of time (roughly 12-24 hours). Due to the brewing process, cold brews are usually less acidic and less bitter than hot brewed coffee. Iced coffee can have a weaker, watered-down taste due to the hot coffee being poured over ice. However, you can reduce the watered-down effect by letting your hot coffee cool to room temperature before pouring it over ice. Cold brew has a milder, smoother taste and tends to have more caffeine since the ratio of water to beans is higher. If you enjoy a refreshing cold coffee but need something less acidic, cold brew might be for you.


There is debate among coffee lovers about which is better - cold brew or iced coffee, but I think that you can't go wrong with either one (and it's ok to enjoy both). However, if you are in a time crunch, iced coffee is quicker to make. Are you looking for a delicious iced coffee recipe? Check out my iced coffee blog here for tips and tricks on how to make iced coffee at home. For those even more strapped for time, here's an even quicker iced coffee recipe from a fellow coffee website: How to Make Iced Coffee With Keurig.

If you have the time and patience though, the following cold brew recipes are well worth the wait and do not require expensive equipment. 


How to Make Classic Cold Brew Coffee


  • 30 oz. French press
  • Medium or Dark Roast Coffee- 1 Cup (85g), coarsely ground (we use our specially formulated Cold Brew Blend)
  • Cold Filtered Water- 3 Cups (800ml)
  • Ice- as needed
  • Creamer or milk- of your choice (optional)
  • Sweetener- of your choice (optional)


How to Prepare Cold Brew Concentrate:

Step One: Add the coarsely ground coffee to your French press.

Step Two: Slowly pour your filtered water over the grounds, ensuring they are fully soaked. Fill to about 1 ½ inch from the top of the press.

Step Three: Stir the water and grounds, ensuring they are thoroughly mixed (Caution: never use anything metal to stir in a glass French press. Use a plastic spoon or coffee stirrer).

Step Four: Place the press plunger on top, but do not plunge at this point. Then place the entire French press in your fridge.

Step Five: Leave it in the fridge for at least 12 hours. I like to leave mine for 30-48 hours. Some find that the longer time extracts the coffee; however, I like the flavor this produces. Experiment with your times to your liking. Just make sure you don't pull it before 12 hours. 

Step Six: Once your preferred time has elapsed, remove it from the fridge and slowly press down the plunger.

Step Seven: Place a few ice cubes into a glass, pour your cold brew concentrate about halfway, and fill with creamer and sweetener to taste.

Step Eight: Sit back and enjoy your refreshing homemade cold brew!


Makes approx. two to four 8 oz glasses

 How to Make Cinnamon Roll Cold Brew With Cold Foam

Here is a flavorful twist on the classic homemade cold brew recipe above. The possibilities are endless for uses of this drink recipe - use a morning pick-me-up, refreshing coffee break, dessert coffee after any meal, or for just about any other occasion!



  • Apricitas Cinnamon Bun Coffee- 1 Cup (85g), coarse ground 
  • Cold Filtered Water- 3 Cups (800ml)
  • Ice- as needed 
  • Ground cinnamon- just a pinch (or more!)
  • Cold Foam- (2 cups of heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2-3 tbsp of powdered sugar)


Preparing Your Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cold Brew

Step One: Prepare your cold brew concentrate according to steps 1-7 in the classic cold brew recipe above. Instead of using the recommended Cold Brew Blend above, you will use our Cinnamon Bun flavored coffee

Step Two: Once your cold brew concentrate is ready, fill half of the glass with ice and the cold brew concentrate. 

Step Three: Finish by pouring your homemade Cold Foam over the top and sprinkle ground cinnamon over it.


How to Make Cold Foam:

For best results, prepare your cold foam right when you are ready to serve your drink. Add the heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar to a measuring cup. Lightly stir to combine the ingredients, then use a milk frother and froth for no more than 10 seconds. Lactose-free and most milk substitutes also work. Just know that almond milk does not foam as well as other milk options.


Makes approx. two to four 8 oz glasses


Getting the Most Out of Your Cold Brew

A great thing about cold brew is that you can enjoy it year-round. Whether it is a hot summer day or a cool winter afternoon by the fireplace, cold brew always hits the spot. Now that you have the very best homemade cold brew available, here are some additional tips to make sure you get the most out of it. First, we recommend that you only use freshly roasted coffee. We suggest purchasing your coffee whole bean and grinding your beans at home. We recommend this because coffee oils are released and quickly degrade once the beans are ground. This means when you purchase a bag of pre-ground coffee, it's not at its absolute best. When grinding your beans for cold brew, always make sure you use coarsely ground coffee. You don't want to use fine ground coffee because it can damage your French press. Coarsely ground coffee should have a 'gravel-like' consistency rather than a powder-like one. 


Here at Apricitas Coffee, we roast your beans the same day you place your order, then ship your coffee to you when it's at peak freshness. We are always more than happy to grind your beans for you, but know that if you purchase whole beans and then grind them at home, your cold brew will be at its very best! Whether you purchase your beans through us or somewhere else, make sure you specify for them to be French press ground coffee. Additionally, we recommend using a medium or dark roast coffee for the best results.


How to Store Cold Brew

We recommend storing any unused cold brew concentrate in an airtight mason jar in the refrigerator. You also want to consume your cold brew within five days of making it. Since coffee is like any other fresh produce, I would not recommend using your cold brew concentrate after five days. This cold brew is superior because there are no added preservatives in it like the stuff in the bottle that you may purchase at a store. That means that homemade cold brew has a shorter shelf life. Also, since your French press is not an airtight appliance, any air getting inside it will negatively impact your cold brew's taste and shelf life. For best results and maximum shelf life, do not store your leftover cold brew inside your French press.


Are you ready to enjoy the best cold brew you've ever had? I encourage you to go ahead and give these cold brew recipes a try. Let us know what you think! Don't forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for tips, recipes, and other content for making the best coffee at home. Happy cold brewing! 


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