Master the Art of Cold Brewing Coffee in a French Press

Coffee aficionados around the world are turning to cold brewing as a way to unlock the rich, smooth flavors of their favorite beans. If you’re looking to take your coffee game to the next level, mastering the art of cold brewing coffee in a French Press is a must-try.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of cold brewing coffee in a French Press so you can achieve the perfect cup every time. From choosing the right beans to finding the ideal extraction time, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to elevate your coffee game with this comprehensive guide to cold brewing coffee in a French Press!

Key Takeaways

  • Cold brewing coffee is a popular method among coffee lovers for its ability to minimize acidity and preserve delicate flavors
  • The French Press is a versatile brewing device that can be used for both hot and cold coffee preparations
  • Choosing the right beans is crucial for cold brewing in a French Press. Look for beans with flavor profiles that suit your taste preferences
  • Grinding the beans to the perfect coarseness is essential for superior extraction and flavor
  • Measuring coffee and water ratios is key to achieving the desired strength and flavor in your cold brew

Why Cold Brewing Coffee?

cold brewing coffee in a french press

Cold brewing coffee in a French Press has become a popular trend among coffee enthusiasts, and for good reason. The cold brewing process involves steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, usually between 12-24 hours. This process creates a smooth, rich, and less acidic cup of coffee that highlights the unique flavors and aromas of your favorite beans.

Since cold brewing uses time rather than heat to extract coffee flavors, it results in a less bitter and less acidic cup compared to traditional brewing methods. This makes cold-brewed coffee the perfect refreshment for hot summer days or for those who prefer a milder, less harsh coffee experience.

Additionally, cold brewing allows you to preserve the delicate flavors of your coffee beans, which typically get lost in the high-temperature brewing process. It also creates a concentrated coffee extract that can be diluted with water or milk, making it a versatile drink that can be enjoyed in many ways.

At Coffee Green Bay, we believe that mastering the art of cold brewing coffee in a French Press can unlock a world of delicious, refreshing coffee experiences.

The French Press: A Versatile Brewing Device

The French Press, also known as a press pot or plunger pot, is a versatile brewing device that can be used for a variety of coffee preparations, including cold brewing. This manual brewing method allows for greater control over the brewing variables, resulting in a customized cup of coffee.

What sets the French Press apart from other brewing methods is its immersion brewing process. The coffee grounds are steeped in water, allowing the flavors to slowly extract, resulting in a full-bodied and flavorful cup. The French Press also features a metal mesh filter that allows the natural oils in coffee beans to pass through, creating a richer and more complex flavor profile.

When it comes to cold brewing, the French Press is an ideal choice due to its size and design. It allows for the steeping of a large quantity of coffee grounds, resulting in a concentrated cold brew that can be enjoyed over several servings.

With its simple design, the French Press is easy to clean and maintain, making it a favorite among coffee enthusiasts. It’s a must-have brewing device for anyone looking to experiment with different coffee brewing methods, including cold brewing.

Choosing the Right Beans

The foundation of a delicious cold brew is the coffee beans. Not all beans are created equal, and some types lend themselves better to cold brewing in a French Press. When selecting beans, consider their flavor profile and roast level. Lighter roasts tend to have more acidic, fruity, and floral notes, while darker roasts are bolder and more robust.

For the best results, select beans that are freshly roasted and whole bean (not pre-ground). This will ensure optimal flavor extraction and prevent the coffee from tasting stale or bland. Some popular choices for cold brewing in a French Press include:

Bean Type Flavor Profile
Central and South American Chocolatey, nutty, balanced acidity
African Bright, fruity, floral notes
Asian Earthy, spicy, full-bodied

Ultimately, the best beans for cold brewing in a French Press are a matter of personal preference. Experiment with different types and roasts until you find the perfect blend for your taste buds.

Grinding the Beans: The Perfect Coarseness

When it comes to cold brewing coffee in a French Press, the right grind size is crucial to achieving a smooth and delicious flavor profile. The coarseness of the grind can affect the rate of extraction, so getting it just right is essential.

For cold brewing, a coarse grind works best. This allows the water to flow through the grounds more slowly, extracting more flavor without producing bitter compounds. A medium-coarse grind is also acceptable, but avoid fine or extra-fine grinds, as they can easily make your coffee taste over-extracted and unpleasantly bitter.

If you’re grinding your own beans, adjust your grinder to produce a rough, uniform grind. You can experiment with different coarseness levels to achieve your desired taste, but keep in mind that a coarser grind will usually require a longer extraction time, while a finer grind will require a shorter one.

Remember to use freshly ground beans to ensure the best flavor and aroma. If you’re using pre-ground coffee, make sure it’s labeled as suitable for cold brewing, and check the grind size to ensure it’s coarse enough.

Ratios and Measurements

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect beans and ground them to the optimal coarseness, it’s time to measure out the coffee and water ratios for your cold brew. The right ratio of coffee to water is crucial in determining the strength and flavor of your cold brew.

A common ratio used by coffee enthusiasts is 1:4, which means one part coffee to four parts water. However, you can experiment with different ratios to find the perfect balance for your taste preferences.

Here’s a breakdown of the step-by-step process:

  1. Measure out the desired amount of coffee grounds. A good starting point is 1 cup of coffee for every 4 cups of water.
  2. Grind the coffee beans to the desired coarseness.
  3. Measure out the correct amount of cold, filtered water based on your desired ratio.
  4. Add the coffee grounds to the French Press.
  5. Pour the water over the grounds, making sure to saturate them entirely.
  6. Stir the coffee and water mixture to ensure all of the grounds are fully immersed.

Once you’ve followed these steps, cover the French Press and leave it to steep for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator. This process allows for the flavors to be extracted slowly, resulting in a smooth and flavorful cold brew.

The Cold Brewing Process Step by Step

cold brewing coffee in a french press

Now that you understand the basics of cold brewing coffee in a French Press, let’s dive into the step-by-step process. Follow these simple instructions to achieve a delicious cup of cold brew every time:

  1. Grind your coffee beans to a coarse texture. Aim for a consistency similar to breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the coffee grounds to your French Press.
  3. Pour cold, filtered water over the grounds until the French Press is almost full. Stir gently to ensure the coffee is fully saturated.
  4. Place the French Press in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours, depending on your desired strength and flavor. For a stronger brew, aim for 24 hours. For a milder flavor, try 12 hours.
  5. Once the cold brew has steeped, press down on the plunger to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid.
  6. Pour the cold brew into a separate container to store.

Remember, experimentation is key when it comes to finding the perfect cold brew. Play with the ratios and steeping times to discover your ideal strength and flavor profile. And don’t be afraid to get creative with your serving and enjoyment – cold brews make a great base for a variety of coffee-inspired drinks!

Cold Brew Extraction Time

One of the key factors in achieving the perfect cold brew is determining the optimal extraction time. Extraction time refers to the duration that the ground coffee is in contact with the water. The length of this time impacts the strength and flavor profile of the resulting cold brew.

Experimenting with Extraction Time

The ideal extraction time for cold brewing coffee in a French Press can vary depending on personal preference, the type of coffee beans, and the coarseness of the grind. As a general rule of thumb, the ideal extraction time for cold brew in a French Press is between 12-24 hours.

However, the precise time frame that works best for you may differ. To determine your ideal extraction time, you may need to experiment with different times and taste test each batch. Start with a shorter extraction time, such as 12 hours, and gradually increase the time until you achieve your desired flavor.

Factors that Affect Extraction Time

Several factors can impact the extraction time required to produce a well-balanced cold brew. These include:

  • The coarseness of the grind: Finer grinds can produce a stronger flavor in a shorter amount of time, while coarser grinds may require a longer extraction time.
  • The type of coffee beans: Some beans may require a longer extraction time to achieve the desired flavor profile.
  • Water temperature: Cold water takes longer to extract the coffee’s flavors, while warmer water can speed up the extraction process.

Adjusting Extraction Time for Desired Flavor

Once you have determined your optimal extraction time, you can adjust the time frame to achieve your desired flavor. Here are some general guidelines:

cold brewing coffee in a french press

Extraction Time Flavor Notes
12-14 hours Mild and subtle, with a slightly sweet taste.
14-18 hours Full-bodied with a stronger coffee flavor.
18-24 hours Bold and robust, with pronounced coffee flavor and bitterness.

Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines, and you may need to adjust the extraction time to suit your personal taste. By experimenting with different extraction times and adjusting your brewing technique accordingly, you can create a custom cold brew that perfectly suits your preferences.

Straining and Storing Cold Brew

Once your cold brew is ready, it’s time to strain it to remove the coffee grounds and transfer it to a storage container. There are various methods for straining your cold brew, including using a cheesecloth, fine mesh sieve, or coffee filter. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks, so choose whichever works best for you.

When selecting a container for storing your cold brew, make sure it is air-tight and placed in the refrigerator. Cold brew can last up to two weeks in the fridge, but it’s best to consume it within a week to ensure optimal freshness. Storing your cold brew in a glass container is recommended as it won’t affect the taste and is more environmentally friendly than plastic.

Before serving your cold brew, give it a good stir as it may settle over time. You can also dilute it with water or add ice to your liking. Cold brew can also be enjoyed with your preferred choice of milk or creamer. For a special treat, why not add a splash of flavored syrup or liqueur to create a custom coffee cocktail?

Cold Brew Serving and Enjoyment

Cold brew coffee is a refreshing and versatile beverage that can be enjoyed in many ways. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

  • Straight up: Enjoy your cold brew as is, or over ice, for a pure coffee experience that highlights the unique flavors of your beans.
  • With milk: Add a splash of your favorite milk or creamer to create a smooth and creamy drink that’s perfect for a hot day.
  • Sweetened: For a sweet twist, add some simple syrup or flavored syrup to your cold brew.
  • Blended: Use your cold brew as a base for a delicious blended drink, like a coffee smoothie or frappé.
  • Cocktails: Get creative with your cold brew and use it to make coffee-based cocktails like an espresso martini or a coffee old fashioned.

Remember, the key to a great cold brew is to experiment with different brewing times, coffee-to-water ratios, and bean types to find the perfect flavor profile for you. With a French Press and the right technique, you can create a delicious cold brew that will impress even the most discerning coffee connoisseur.


Congratulations! You are now equipped with the knowledge to master the art of cold brewing coffee in a French Press. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to unlock the rich, smooth flavors of your favorite coffee beans and enjoy a refreshing cold brew any time of day.

Remember, choosing the right beans, adjusting the grind size, and measuring the coffee and water ratios are crucial elements in achieving the perfect cold brew. Additionally, understanding the extraction time and proper storage techniques will help maintain the freshness and quality of your brew.

At, we are passionate about sharing our love for coffee and helping our readers enhance their coffee experience. We hope that this guide has inspired you to experiment with different cold brew variations and enjoy the versatility of the French Press as a brewing device.

Thank you for reading and happy brewing!


A: Cold brewing coffee has gained popularity due to its ability to minimize acidity and preserve delicate flavors, resulting in a smoother and more enjoyable cup of coffee.

Q: Can I use a French Press for cold brewing?

A: Yes, the French Press is a versatile brewing device that can be used for both hot and cold coffee preparations. Its unique features make it ideal for cold brewing.

Q: What types of coffee beans are best for cold brewing in a French Press?

A: When cold brewing in a French Press, it’s best to choose beans with flavor profiles that are well-suited for the method. Experiment with different types to find the perfect beans for your taste preferences.

Q: How important is the grind size for cold brewing in a French Press?

A: The grind size plays a crucial role in cold brewing coffee in a French Press. It’s important to achieve the perfect coarseness to ensure optimal extraction and a well-balanced flavor profile.

Q: What ratios should I use for cold brewing coffee in a French Press?

A: Mastering the art of measuring coffee and water ratios is key to achieving the desired strength and flavor in your cold brew. Experiment with different ratios to find your ideal blend.

Q: Can you provide a step-by-step guide to cold brewing coffee in a French Press?

A: Certainly! We have a comprehensive step-by-step guide that will walk you through the entire cold brewing process in a French Press, ensuring you achieve a consistently delicious cold brew every time.

Q: How does the extraction time affect the flavor of cold brew?

A: The length of the extraction time has a direct impact on the flavor profile of your cold brew. Understanding the ideal timeframes for different brewing preferences allows you to adjust the extraction time to achieve your desired taste.

Q: What’s the best way to strain and store cold brew?

A: Straining and storing your cold brew properly is essential for maintaining its freshness and quality. We provide tips on different straining methods and best practices for maximizing the shelf life of your cold brew.

Q: Can you suggest different ways to serve and enjoy cold brew?

A: Absolutely! We offer inspiration for elevating your cold brewing experience, from simple additions like ice and milk to creating delightful coffee-based cocktails.

Q: What are the key takeaways from this guide to cold brewing coffee in a French Press?

A: The guide provides a comprehensive overview of the cold brewing process, highlighting the importance of choosing the right beans, grind size, ratios, extraction time, and proper straining and storage techniques. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to confidently craft delicious, refreshing cold brews that showcase the unique flavors of your favorite coffee beans.

Jillian Hunt is a talented writer who shares her passion for coffee on Her blog is filled with insightful articles about the latest trends and innovations in the world of coffee, as well as tips on how to brew the perfect cup at home. So pour yourself a cup of joe and settle in for some great reads here!

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Coffee Green Bay is a blog that covers various topics related to coffee, including coffee shops, brewing methods, specialty coffee, and origins. The blog aims to provide unbiased reviews and recommendations based solely on the author’s experience with different coffees and brewing methods.