How to Make Cold Brew with a French Press

Over the last few years, cold brew has become quite popular. But not everyone wants to purchase another brewing system, such as the Toddy Coffee Maker. Most of us, though, already own a French Press. And if you don’t, they can be purchased for half of the price of a Toddy. So, without further ado, here is a method for making cold brew with a French Press.Now, this is a half batch, so if you want more, you can easily double the recipe.

What You Will Need:FullSizeRender-3

  1. French Press
  2. Fresh Coffee (80g)
  3. Coffee Grinder
  4. Scale
  5. Purified Water (400ml)
  6. Spoon/Chopstick
  7. Timer
  8. v60 or Chemex and Filter (optional)


Step 1: Weigh and Grind Coffee. For this method, using a 1:5 coffee-to-water ratio, weigh out 80 grams of whole bean coffee (some people like to use a bigger ratio, like 1:7, so play around with it until you find exactly what you like). If you don’t have a scale, though highly recommended, as mentioned before, weigh out a little less than 1 cup of coffee.

With regard to grinding the beans, use the same grind that you would normally use for brewing a French Press with hot water, which is a coarse grind. Personally, I use around a 30 on a Baratza Encore.

FullSizeRender-2Step 2: Begin Brewing Process. Pour the entire 80 grams of ground coffee into the French Press. Then, slowly pour 400ml of water over the grounds in a circular motion.

Step 3: Stir. With all the grounds and all the water in the French Press, simply stir the slurry. The goal is for all of the grounds to be saturated, ensuring an even extraction.

Step 4: Wait, Wait, and Wait. Place the plunger on top, but do not push it down into the slurry. Then, all that is left to do is wait.

Just like with the Toddy, leave the French Press on the counter for 12-24 hours. Some people like to refrigerate it, so you can mess around with that to see what you like better. From my experience, I’ve found that leaving it out extracts a bit quicker.

Step 5: Plunge and Strain (optional). After waiting 12-24 hours, or as mentioned before, after watching a Lord of the Rings marathon, slowly plunge the French Press.

Then, depending on what you like, you can decant it through a V60 or Chemex filter or simply straight into a carafe. Personally, I like a cleaner cold brew, with fewer non-solubles, so I prefer straining it. But it is completely up to you. Try it both ways if you want: pour half through a filter and leave half as is.

Step 6: Dilute, Serve, and Enjoy! After decanting the cold brew, whether through a filter or not, you can either put it straight in the refrigerator or immediately serve it over ice.

Now, just like the Toddy method, this is a concentrate, so you are going to want to dilute it, whether with water or milk. Dilute it to taste, remembering that the ice will affect the ratio.


One thought on “How to Make Cold Brew with a French Press

  1. Pingback: Café Grumpy: Deri Kochoha | Manthano Coffee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s