The Ultimate Guide To Cold Brew Coffee

The Ultimate Guide to Cold Brew Coffee

Table of Contents

Making cold brew coffee is easy.

But if you want the best cold brew coffee possible, it takes a little bit of trial and error.

The first challenge is picking the right method for making cold brew coffee. There are a lot of different ways to make cold brew in terms of both the equipment that you use and the brew recipe you choose.

It’s very possible that the first method and/or recipe you use will not be something that works for you.

Your coffee may be too bitter or weak. Clean-up may be a huge hassle. Or perhaps you realized that you’d just prefer to buy ready-made cold brew at the store.

Whatever your situation, I put this cold brew coffee guide together so you can find the perfect cold coffee solution for you.

The Complete List of the Web’s Best Cold Brew Coffee Resources

Cold brew recipes, techniques, experiments, and more.

Chapter 1: What’s So Special About Cold Brew Coffee?Why Cold Brew?

If you’ve ever wondered what makes cold brew coffee different from iced coffee or coffee brewed with hot water, the following resources should help clear things up. Discover the benefits of cold brew coffee by clicking one of the links below.

What Everyone Ought To Know About Cold Brew Coffee | Prima Coffee

Coffee’s Dirty Little Secret (Hint: It’s Cold Brew) | The Daily Beast

Why Cold Brew? | Toddy

Hot Brew vs. Cold Brew | Science and Food UCLA

Iced Coffee vs. Cold Brew | The Coffee Concierge


Chapter 2: How To Make Cold Brew Without a Coffee Maker (Immersion Method)Cold Brew Immersion Method

The immersion method is the most-common and easy method for making cold brew coffee. Many coffee professionals would also argue that the immersion method results in the best cold brew concentrate when compared to other methods. This however, will be for you to decide. These are the best instructional posts for making cold brew concentrate using the immersion method.

How to Make Cold-Brewed Coffee | Food52

Learn to Make Cold Brew Coffee (with beautiful GIFs) | Gimme Some Oven

Easy Cold-Brewed Coffee | Chowhound

Making Cold Brew with a Filtron | Blue Bottle Coffee


Chapter 3: How To Make Cold Brew The Fast Way (Japanese Style Iced Coffee)

Japanese Iced Coffee with ChemexWhile not necessarily cold brew coffee, it has been argued that Japanese Style iced coffee makes superior cold coffee. The idea behind Japanese Style iced coffee is pretty simple: brew coffee at hot temperatures to extract maximum flavor and aroma and cool instantly over ice to lock in these flavors and aromas.

This is the quickest method for brewing cold coffee…and arguably the best in terms of taste.

Japanese Style Iced Coffee via Chemex | Crema Coffee

Peter Giuliano’s Guide to Japanese Iced Iced Coffee | Barista Guild of America

Japanese Style Iced Coffee via Hario V60 | Counter Culture Coffee

Japanese Style Coffee and Tea Guide | Temple Coffee

Chapter 4: How to Make Cold Brew Coffee The Fancy Way (Slow Drip Method)

Slow Drip Cold Bruer

The slow drip method is also adapted from the Japanese and definitely the most aesthetically pleasing way to make cold brew coffee. There is also a big debate about whether this method produces better cold brew than alternative methods.

Although it depends on the amount of cold brew you are making, this is the second fastest method for making cold brew at about 6 hours per 12 ounces of concentrate.

Complete Guide to Ice Drip Coffee | Coffee Geek

DIY Slow Drip Cold Brewer with an AeroPress | Cafe Prima

DIY Slow Drip Kyoto Tower with a Chemex | Skewtoob

Chapter 5: How to Make Cold Brew Coffee with a French Press

French Press Cold Brew

If you already own a French Press, this is a good way to make cold brew concentrate through immersion. Keep in mind that most French Press coffee makers will not be big enough to make more than a few cups of concentrate at a time. Also, you will very likely need to filter your coffee through a paper filter after the brewing process is complete.

The French Press method is merely an adaptation of the immersion method with some slight twists.

French Press Cold Brew Guide (with some unique twists) | America’s Test Kitchen

Making Cold Brew with a French Press | The Coffee Compass

French Press Cold Brew Guide for Those with a Sweet Tooth | The Kitchn

Chapter 6: The Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers

Filtron Cold Brew

Here are what I believe to be the best cold brew coffee makers available right now. I know there are ton of them out there, but in my opinion many of them are unnecessary. In the end, filters (chapter 7) are more important than the coffee makers themselves. You can also make DIY versions of almost all of these coffee makers.

BeanPlus (Slow Drip Method)

Bruer (Slow Drip Method)

Yama (Slow Drip Method)

Bodum Chambord (French Press)

Hario V60 with Carafe (Japanese Style)

Chemex (Japanese Style)

Filtron (Immersion, great for large batches) 

Toddy (Immersion)

Chapter 7: The Best Cold Brew Coffee Filters

Chemex Filter in a Hario V60

The best way to filter your cold brew coffee is with a paper filter in my humble opinion. However, not all paper filters are created equally. These are my recommendations for filtering your cold brew. Keep in mind that the slow drip method typically uses circular filters, but you can easily create these yourself.

Chemex Filters (For immersion and Japanese Style)

AeroPress Filters (For Slow Drip)

Cheesecloth (alternative to Chemex filter for immersion method)

Chapter 8: Easy and Delicious Cold Brew Recipes

Mint Mojito Iced Coffee Recipe

While cold brew coffee can be delicious without anything added to it, sometimes it’s nice to spice things up (literally). Here are a collection of cold brew coffee recipes that are great for any occasion.

My Version of Philz’ Mint Mojito Iced Coffee | The Coffee Concierge

Vanilla Bourbon and Mexican Chocolate Cold Brew | MokaBees

10 Tasty Cold Brew Coffee Adaptations | bon appétit

Cold Brew Recipe Book (PDF Download) | Toddy

Cold Brew Coffee Ice Cream | Coffee Cantata

Cold Brew Pumpkin Spice Frappe | Will Frolic for Food

Chapter 9: Cold Brew Coffee Experiments: The Pursuit of the Best Cold Brew

Cold Brew Coffee Experiments

While cold brew coffee has been around for a long time, there is still a lot that we don’t know about it. Experimentation is very important when it comes to finding the perfect cold brew recipe for your tastebuds.

These are a collection of cold brew experiments to help get you started and offer insight into the best methods for making cold brew coffee.

Room Temperature vs. Refrigerator Steep Experiment | Seattle Coffee Gear

“Hot Bloom” for Cold Brew Experiment | Bruer

Stages of Cold Brew Extraction Experiment | Bruer

Is Cold Brew Coffee a Scam? Testing Hot Brew vs. Cold Brew | The Coffee Concierge

Chapter 10: The Best Ready-Made Cold Brew Coffee Drinks

Stumptown Cold Brew With Milk

Sometimes you don’t want to make cold brew yourself because of the hassle or waiting time involved. For these occasions, there are plenty of  ready-to-drink options that you can pick up at your local grocery store. Here is a collection of my favorite RTD cold brew concoctions.

Stumptown Cold Brew Review | The Coffee Concierge

Stumptown Cold Brew with Milk Review | The Coffee Concierge

Secret Squirrel Cold Brew Review | The Coffee Concierge

House Kombucha Cold Brew Review | The Coffee Concierge

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  • Hello

    Been looking into the cold brew coffee craze lately due to the supposed less acidity and easier on the stomach. I have a couple questions. I would like to do cold brew BUT then reheat it to drink it hot. Would this negate the idea of “cold brewing” and take away the benefits I am looking for or will it be OK because it will be cold brewed. Also, what is the difference between a regular bag of coffee (Starbucks, McDonald’s, etc.) as opposed to a bag of already cold brewed coffee? Would buying already bagged cold brewed coffee be beneficial for me if I wanted to heat it up? Thank you

    • You could certainly reheat the cold brew, but I’d recommend maybe adding hot water to it so you don’t affect the chemistry too much. I often find that reheating any coffee in a microwave adds some undesirable flavors for whatever reason.

      Ready-to-drink cold brew just requires less work than making it yourself with your own coffee beans. It also generally takes a bit of practice before you find a recipe you like. At the end of the day, it really comes down to convenience. If you’re willing to pay a premium for it, go with a ready-to-drink version that you like. If not, I highly encourage you to try brewing some yourself. You can make a lot of cold brew concentrate with a large pot.

  • I want to know about the cold brew consumption around the globe and USA per year, have you published some articles about the cold brew consumption and the preparation of it. How many days the cold brew can be stored in coolers.
    Looking forward to hearing from you

  • We made our first cold brew at home and it was more bitter than I would have liked. Other cold brew’s I’ve had at coffee shops are more smooth, and don’t really have that kick to them. We brewed it in a Toddy on the counter for 18 hours. I thought I might try brewing it in the fridge for 16 with less than the recommended amount of grounds to help make it not as strong. Do you have any other ideas of why we might be getting more of a bite than I find at a coffee shop? Does the type of coffee grounds make a difference? We used a dark roast from a local company that I love as a drip coffee, and it’s the roast they actually use in their own cold brew that they sell in stores as their “cold brew kit” (we just got the normal grounds, not the kit)…

    • Hi Hope,

      First off, I would keep it brewing outside of the fridge. Second, have you tried using a coarser grind or the 8-12 hour range? I imagine you’re already using the same coffee-water ratio the shop is using, but you still might want to try using less coffee if the previous 2 suggestions don’t do the trick.

      Let me know how it goes!

    • Great question. You can basically use them synonymously, since cold brew is brewed with a much higher coffee to water ratio, it is often referred to as concentrate given its strength. It’s often diluted with water or milk to get into drinking form, depends on your tolerance.

  • Hi there-

    I’m surprised you don’t have the Primula Cold Brew Glass Carafe Brewing System. It’s amazing. I was researching other options and this is super convenient. It is made of glass. The carafe where the ground coffee is held pulls out of the main container and there is a cap that comes off so the ground coffee can be poured out and cleaned easily. Also, you don’t have ever have to buy a filter because there is a permanent one included. It is also in the affordable range of $26-28. Readers please check this out.

  • I got my son a cold brewer for Christmas – any recommendations for a coffee to try with it? He is not a coffee drinker, so nothing strong. Just something smooth and delicious!

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