Easy Cold Brew Coffee Recipe | Downshiftology (2024)

Home Recipes Courses Drinks and Smoothies How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

by Lisa Bryan


Jul 11, 2023

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Cold brew coffee is amazingly simple to make at home. With my tips (and a quick little video) you’ll have the perfect glass of cold brew coffee and will never have to buy it from the store again.

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On hot days I’m no longer brewing myChemex coffee (though it’s still a favorite). Instead, I’ve switched to cold brew coffee for a cooling and refreshing caffeinated beverage.

You’ve likely had cold brewed coffee before, either at a local coffee shop or from the supermarket in packaged containers, for the best grab-and-go drink.But when you find out how easy it is to make at home (without refined sugar, funky additives, and colorings) you’ll wonder why you haven’t been making it yourself all along.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

This is an important question. Because cold brew coffee is not the same as drip coffee or regularly brewed hot coffee that’s been cooled or served over ice. Nope.

Cold brew coffee never gets hot. Instead of brewing in just a few minutes, it’s slow-brewed and steeped over 12 to 15 hours. This translates to coffee that’s slightly less acidic and bitter. Instead, it’s sweeter, more full-bodied in flavor, and truly the best when it comes to iced coffee.

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Cold Brew Coffee Ingredients

There’s just two ingredients needed to make cold brew coffee:

  • Coffee: Use your favorite coffee beans from around the world!
  • Water: I recommend using filtered water for a clean, fresh taste.

If you’d like to add milk or creamer to your final glass of cold brew, that’s up to you!

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How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

It’s incredibly easy to make! Here are the simple steps:

  1. Grind your coffee beans to a medium coarse consistency.
  2. Add the ground coffee beans plus four cups of water to a mason jar or other glass storage container.
  3. Steep this coffee for 12 to 15 hours on your countertop.
  4. Strain the coffee through a fine mesh sieve or nut milk bag.
  5. Pour the strained cold brew concentrate into a clean mason jar or other container and refrigerate.
  6. Enjoy the cold brew coffee over ice or with your favorite milk or creamer.

Helpful Tip: Here’s why you’re really gonna love cold brew coffee. You can make a batch on Sunday and enjoy homemade, cold brew coffee for the entire week. Yes, you can meal prep coffee. Awesome, right?

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Remember to Dilute the Cold Brew Concentrate

One thing to keep in mind is that you’re actually making cold brew concentrate. And this is pretty potent stuff. Only drink this straight up if you want to feel jittery and buzzy for the rest of the day (which I don’t recommend).

Instead, what I recommend is serving this up over ice or diluting it 50/50 with water. I also recommend adding your favorite milk, like almond milk, cashew milkor oat milk, for a deliciously creamy, and definitely thirst-quenching beverage.

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Tips for Making Cold Brew Coffee

  • Grind your beans at a medium coarse consistency. You don’t want finely ground coffee beans, which is what you’d use for drip coffee. I recommend this coffee grinder, if you’re looking to grab one.
  • You’ll brew at a ratio of 4:1. Four cups of water to one cup of coffee beans. If you want more cold brew, just double this. And if you’re using a mason jar (as I am in the video), you’ll need to use slightly less to get it to fit – 3 cups of water to 3/4 cups coffee beans. Just keep the ratio consistent.
  • You can steep the coffee in pretty much any container. I use a mason jar in the video below. But for a larger quantity, I love this cold brew coffee maker with a built-in filter. You could also use a French press.
  • Use filtered water for the cleanest cup of cold brew.
  • Steep for at least 12 hours. After that, you can play around with the flavor. If you’d like it stronger, brew it longer – up to 24 hours. But I find that 12 to 15 hours usually keeps most coffee lovers happy.
  • While the cold brew can steep on your countertop at room temperature, once you’ve strained it, keep the concentrate in the refrigerator.
  • Don’t forget to dilute the concentrate. As mentioned above, serve it with ice, water or some type of milk or creamer.

How Long Will it Last?

The cold brew coffee concentrate will keep fresh for a week or so in the fridge. You could go a little longer, but the flavor is best when consumed in the first week.

What to Pair With Cold Brew Coffee?

So many delicious options! But I highly recommend my:

  • Paleo Banana Nut Muffins
  • Paleo Blueberry Muffins
  • Cranberry Almond Biscotti
  • Paleo Banana Bread
  • Paleo Zucchini Bread

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Easy Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

5 from 27 votes

Prep: 10 minutes mins

Cook: 12 hours hrs

Total: 12 hours hrs 10 minutes mins

Servings: 3 servings

Author: Lisa Bryan



Making cold brew coffee at home is amazingly simple. With just a little prep, you can enjoy delicious cold brew coffee all week long.Watch the video below!



  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup coffee beans


  • Grind your coffee beans to a medium coarse consistency.

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  • Add the water and ground coffee beans to a mason jar or other glass storage container. Then, leave it on your counter to steep for 12 to 15 hours.

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  • Strain the coffee through a fine mesh sieve that's lined with a couple layers of cheesecloth over a large measuring cup or bowl. Alternatively, you could use a nut-milk bag or coffee filter on top of the sieve.

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  • Pour the strained cold brew concentrate back into a clean mason jar and store in the refrigerator.

  • To serve, pour the cold brew concentrate over ice, with water or with your favorite milk or creamer.

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Lisa’s Tips

  • The recipe makes approximately 3 cups of cold brew concentrate in a mason jar. If you’d like to double that amount, I recommend you purchase this cold brew coffee maker. It makes twice as much! Watch how I use that larger cold brew coffee maker on Instagram.


Calories: 1kcal | Sodium: 16mg | Calcium: 10mg

Course: Drinks

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Cold Brew, Cold Brew Coffee, How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted July 2017, but updated to include new information and tips.

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

Read More About Me

Easy Cold Brew Coffee Recipe | Downshiftology (2024)
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