Hot Weather…Cold Coffee: How to Make Cold Press Coffee

It’s getting HOT out there!  And, for all you coffee drinkers, that means the days of ice coffee are here!  So it’s a great time to learn how to make cold-press coffee – a concentrate that you can use to make some really kick a** coffee drinks!

To make cold-press coffee you have to steep the beans for a really long time and then strain (or press) them to create a rich and bitter concentrated brew that serves as the base for your future iced coffee pleasures.  You can keep the concentrate in the fridge and use it any time you need an ice cold pick me up.


You’ll need a good quality basic coffee bean for your cold-press brew. This is not the time to use fancy roasted, complex flavored beans, since the resulting cold liquid will not hold onto the nuanced flavors that a hot coffee yields. Use filtered water, if you have it available. Otherwise, plain tap water works.


Grab your coffee grinder and French press to make cold-press. Don’t have a press? A mason jar or pitcher works just as well. If you choose to use a jar or pitcher, you’ll also need a fine mesh sieve and coffee filters or other straining material (old panty hose work great) to remove the beans at the end. You can also grind your beans at the Co-op, if you don’t own a grinder.


  1. Typically we recommend a ratio of four cups of cold water to one cup of coarsely ground coffee.  If you want to do a different size batch, simply stick to the same ratio: four parts water to one part coffee.
  2. Add the grinds to your container.
  3. Pour in your water, making sure all the coffee is covered. Stir, if you want to, but it’s not necessary.
  4. Cover your container. If using a French press, you can simply place the top on without depressing the plunger. Use plastic wrap over mason jars and pitchers.
  5. Let steep. Go outside and enjoy some fresh air. Get some projects done around the house. Basically, plan to “set it and forget it” for twelve to fourteen hours. Want it even stronger? Give it a full 24 hours.
  6. After the coffee has steeped, it’s time to filter out the grounds. You can either push down the plunger on your French press or strain out the grounds from your mason jar or pitcher using a mesh sieve and coffee filter or other straining material. There may be quite a bit of solid grounds at the bottom of the container. You can skip filtering that last bit, and just pour out the mostly liquid top part.
  7. Pour the strained coffee into a serving pitcher. If brewing a jar or pitcher, you can filter the coffee right into the serving pitcher.
  8. Refrigerate your brew. Wait at least two hours until serving and store up to five days.


The resulting brew will be highly concentrated and bitter. You do not want to drink this stuff straight up! Instead, dilute the mixture with an equal amount of water, milk, or half-and-half. Place several ice cubes in a tall glass, pour in your diluted cold-press, add the sweetener of your choice, and enjoy!

Looking for inspiration beyond straight up iced coffee? Check out these healthy iced coffee recipes from Redbook.

And, if all this seems like way too much work for you, stop by the Co-op Cafe for one of our delicious iced coffee drinks.  We’ll do the work for you!