How to Make Cold Brew Coffee is a super easy make-at-home, no-machine-needed method for enjoying iced coffee all year long. Watch the video showing you how to make cold brew coffee, then scroll to the bottom of this post and print out the recipe so you can make it at home.
I wrote a post quite a few years ago sharing how to make iced coffee, and it was a big hit. That method is the super simple way of making iced coffee without much effort involved. And I totally enjoy drinking my iced coffee that way too. But I recently started making cold brew coffee at home and keeping in the refrigerator for my whole family to enjoy. It’s especially nice to have in the summer months when it’s sweltering hot outside.
How to make Cold Brew Coffee:
Start with a one-gallon pitcher. I just use a cheap, plastic pitcher that I picked up in my market’s “summer section” for about $3.00. Fill your pitcher with bottled or filtered water. Room temperature is just fine. If your tap water is decent, it’s okay to use that too.
Put two cups of coffee grounds directly into the water in the pitcher. As for the type of coffee used… choose a kind of coffee that you enjoy. And it’s okay to use either regular or decaf.
Stir the coffee grounds into the water. Put the lid on and refrigerate overnight (or for 24 hours). This is the “cold brew coffee” process. The coffee will have a chance to brew into the water and give it great flavor!
Next you’ll need to set up a way to strain the coffee grounds. I used a bowl with a strainer set inside and then a double layer of cheesecloth inside the strainer. If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can use paper towels or a coffee filter.
You will probably need to strain the cold brew coffee twice to make sure you are not leaving any coffee grounds behind.
Then you’ll discard all of the grounds and pour the strained cold brew coffee back into a clean pitcher. Now you can keep it in the refrigerator to be enjoyed for up to two weeks!
How to serve Cold Brew Coffee:
Serve it over ice, of course! If you’re really energetic, you can make some ice cubes out of some of the cold brew so you’re pouring your cold brew over cold brew ice cubes! Then there’s no chance of it getting watered down with regular ice cubes.
It’s ready to drink… UNLESS you’d like to add some additional ingredients to make this cold brew iced coffee extra awesome.
I suggest adding a spoonful of sweetened condensed milk and a splash of milk. That’s how I like to drink it anyways. It will be perfectly sweet, and the milk mellows out the strong coffee flavor a bit. Sweets lovers might wish to add TWO spoonfuls of sweetened condensed milk. It will taste like dessert. Buy the FAT FREE sweetened condensed milk if you want it to be a little less indulgent.
Stir it up with a spoon or a straw. You’ll see that the condensed milk settles at the bottom of your glass, but if you give it a few vigorous stirs then it will mix into the coffee just fine.
And now it’s time to enjoy your cold brew coffee! It’s the best iced coffee around. Note: I found these stainless steel straws on Amazon and I’m obsessed with using them for everything now!
Here are a few more “How to Make” posts that you might be interested in:
- How to Make Iced Coffee
- How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte
- How to Make a Charcuterie Board
- How to Make Homemade Nutella
- How to Make Homemade Cool Whip
- How to Make Ricotta Cheese
- How to Make Homemade Basil Pesto
- How to Make Rich and Flavorful Chicken Stock
How to Make Cold Brew Coffee
- 2 cups coffee grounds (okay to use regular or decaf)
- cheesecloth, paper towels or coffee filters
- 1 gallon (16 cups) room temperature water
- sweetened condensed milk, optional
- milk, optional
- Add coffee grounds to the water in a large pitcher. Refrigerate overnight (or 24 hours).
- Place a fine sieve in a large bowl (or another pitcher) with a double layer of cheesecloth, paper towels or coffee filters inside the sieve. If you don't happen to have a sieve, use the finest strainer you have, and line the strainer with the same things. Pour the cold brewed coffee through the lined sieve/strainer. The coffee grounds should be left behind with the cheesecloth/paper towels/coffee filters catching them. If you still see grounds after straining, go ahead and strain a second time. Store the strained cold-brew coffee in a large pitcher in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Serve cold brew coffee over a tall glass of ice. If you're really motivated, you can make some ice cubes from the cold brew coffee and use those so your iced coffee doesn't get watered down at all.
- Add ins: Cold brew coffee is delicious with a tablespoon or two of sweetened condensed milk and a splash of regular milk too.
- Adding sweetened condensed milk and/or milk to your cold brew coffee will change the nutritional information.