How to Make The Best Cold Brew Coffee

cold brew coffee is angled glass with milk


Being a San Francisco Bay Coffee Roaster we love our customer's reaction upon tasting our cold brew coffee for the first time.  

We want to share our cold brew coffee recipe with you.  So, if you have a few free minutes, take the time to whip up a little cold brew coffee to get you through the day. This cold brew coffee guide will help take your cold brew coffee to the next level. Might want to make a couple of trays of Coffee Ice Cubes as well.

Weaver's Cold Brew Coffee being Poured into a Glass


This blog explains how cold brew coffee is made and easy instructions on how to make cold brew coffee at home. When coffee is cold brewed, there are more complex flavors that surface than from what you will get from hot brewed coffee. Cold brew coffee is significantly less acidic, and it provides an iced-coffee experience that is not watered down, while retaining all the caffeine content of coffee.

What is Cold Brew coffee?

What is cold brew coffee? While regular coffee is brewed with hot water that’s 170℉ to 190℉, cold brew coffee uses water at room temperature. When you cold brew coffee it releases the coffee flavor using time, as opposed to heat. 


Hot Brewed Coffee Versus Cold Brewed Coffee

What is the difference between Hot Brew Coffee and Cold Brew Coffee?

  1. Lower acidity and more subtle flavors. Heat releases the flavor of coffee, but it also dissolves the fatty acids and bitter oils that give coffee a bite. This acidic bite of hot brewed coffee anesthetizes the tongue leaving out the enjoyment of more subtle flavor profiles of coffee. When you prepare cold brew coffee it extracts the desirable flavor compounds. 

  2. Less bitter than hot brewed coffee. Hot brewed coffee has more bitterness. Also, the oils can become rancid over time as they continue to heat which is why your hot coffee starts to taste extremely bitter if left to sit on a warmer for a long period of time. 

  3. Cold brewing requires more coffee grounds. Another major difference is the coffee to water ratio. When making cold brew coffee, the ratio is 1 part coffee to 4 parts water.  Hot coffee, the ratio is 1:6 or 1:12 depending on how strong one wants their coffee.

  4. Takes more time. The time it takes to cold brew coffee is also much longer. One cup of hot coffee can be brewed in less than a minute. Cold brew coffee is steeped for 12 to 24 hours. Longer steeping time is needed if the coffee is refrigerated.

  5. Same amount of caffeine. Cold brew coffee and hot brew coffee do not have a significant difference in caffeine. 

  6. Stores longer so you can make in bulk. As we all know, hot coffee is only good for a few hours. As an undiluted concentrate, cold brew will keep for up to two weeks, although the flavor quality will degrade after the first week. If you've cut the concentrate with water, that shortens the shelf life to a mere 2-3 days.

Step 1: What roast to use for cold brew coffee?

  1. Dark roasts are most commonly used for cold brew coffee because the roast profile offers a consistent flavor. The margin of error is low, and the rich flavor is suitable for those who enjoy adding milk or sweeteners to their brew. overpowers the natural bean flavors, minimizes bitterness - best if you are just beginning to cold brew.

  2. Medium roasts reveal slightly more complexity. you can experience some of the bean’s intrinsic taste along with the medium roast flavor. The best of both worlds

  3. Light roasts are most appropriate for those who enjoy picking out the minute details in a brew, from fruit notes—aroma. If you are a coffee drinker who takes your coffee black and loves the coffee beans’ taste and natural aroma, then lightly roasted, high-quality single-origin beans may be the cold brew ingredient for you. If you are new to making cold brew coffee, you may want to play with the medium roast before attempting to draw out the flavors of a light roast which will require specific equipment to master.

Learn more about the difference between the types of coffee roasts here. 


How to Make Cold Brew Coffee


How do you make Recipe for Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate?

Making cold brew coffee is incredibly simple. There are lots of different devices that can help you cold brew coffee, but to start with, you need just a Mason jar.

Best Cold Brew Coffee Recipe:

    1. Start with a clean Mason jar or glass container.
    2. The cold brew coffee ratio is—coffee to water ratio which is 4 to 1.  (4 parts water to 1 part coffee)
    3. The coffee should be a medium coarse grind. It will be about the same grind as corn meal.
    4. Let the cold brew coffee sit on a counter for 12 to 18 hours.
    5. Filter the cold brew coffee concentrate twice. Use a fine sieve, a French press, or any other screen type of filter.
    6. The second filter should be a coffee filter or cheesecloth. The goal is to get the fine particles out of the cold brew coffee concentrate.
    7. You can store cold brew coffee in the refrigerator for up to three days.  Be sure to put a tight lid on the coffee to keep the volatile oils in the coffee.
    8. Remember you can always cut cold brew coffee with pure water if it is too strong for you.


  • Stir the coffee grounds in the water. The ground coffee can sometimes clump and you want as much of the coffee’s surface touching the water as possible.
  • If the coffee is too smooth, use the Hot Bloom Method. Use just enough boiling water to bring out the complex flavors. Then add the coffee to cold water to the cold brew.
  • Cold brew coffee is often stronger than hot-brewed, so feel free to dilute to taste. Use coffee ice cubes to keep the strength of the coffee, but still be able to cool the coffee. Cold brew coffee is perfect for making coffee ice cubes.
  • Add a dash of salt to bring out the flavor of the cold brewed coffee.

Cold Brew Coffee as a Base for Coffee Drinks or Cocktails

Pour cold brew over ice and add your choice of milk and sweetener

 Cold Brew Coffee makes an excellent base for coffee drinks.

old fashioned cold brew







Here’s a coffee recipe from HomeGrounds:

Cold Brew Coffee Old Fashioned Cocktail


  • 2 Tablespoons of orange syrup.
  • 4 dashes of bitters (bonus if you use orange bitters)
  • 6 oz of cold brew coffee concentrate
  • 1 maraschino cherry (garnish)
  • Orange peel (garnish)
  • Ice

For an extra weekend kick - 30-50 ml of high end bourbon whiskey

This is a simple variation on a classic drink. You can have it very low alcohol (the bitters contain alcohol) or you can add a shot of bourbon. Either way, this is a great summer drink that gives you the coffee you love with a lot of other interesting flavors.

Cold brew coffee may be used for everything from coffee sorbet to coffee puddings to nearly any variation of a cold drink.

Why Try Cold Brew Coffee?

  • The short answer is that it’s delicious and smoother, sweeter, and has a more balanced flavor without the bite.
  • Pre-brew a week of cold brewed coffee without sacrificing flavor.
  • Cold Brew Coffee has been proven to be 67% less acidic than hot brewed coffee which makes cold brewed coffee available for all those who suffer from acid reflux. 
  • There will be less sweetener or milk used in your coffee.
  • Same caffeine content cup for cup as hot brewed coffee.
  • The three blends we recommend for your Cold Brew at Home are our Espresso Blend Coffee, Aged Mocha Java Coffee, and Original Blend Coffee.


  • What is the best coffee?