How to Make Cold Brew French Press Style at Home

By coldbrewhub

C, F, L

Are you thinking about getting a cold brew coffee maker to brew cold brew coffee? You might not need one if you have a French Press. In this guide, we'll go over how to make cold brew coffee French Press style.

You might not realize that you probably have all the necessary tools at home to brew a nice refreshing cold brew coffee at home with a French Press!

French Press Cold Brew Coffee

Making coffee in a French Press can seem a little daunting for someone who has never done it before, but once you understand the anatomy of a French Press, applying the principles of cold brewing to it are pretty straightforward. What's more, French Press coffee tastes great even if you aren't making cold brew in it.

French Press cold brew mastery ensures that you get all the benefits of coffee (caffeine, antioxidants, and more) without the heat. Of course, you could go to your favorite coffee place or purchase a strange-looking machine to have it at home, but a French press was made for cold brew coffee (or it could have been), and it works just as easily.


French Press

The first thing you’re going to need to make a French Press cold brew is a French Press. You can find a variety of options and styles on the market, and they are relatively inexpensive. You can usually find them for $20 or less, but if you want a higher-quality one, you might have to pay a bit more. For the recipe found below, you'll need a French press that can hold up to 34 ounces of water.

Note: The larger the French Press, the more cold brew you'll end up with.

Coffee Beans

You also need coarsely ground coffee beans, and you can use any beans you desire and may want to stick with your favorite one. However, most cold brew lovers claim that dark- or medium-roast varieties work best because they taste sweeter than a light roast. The cold brew process is much different than hot brew, so you need something that has more flavor nuance to it because some of the flavors are invariably going to be lost as opposed to traditional coffee in a French Press.

Coffee Grinder and Food Scale

The next piece of equipment is a grinder. You need it to grind up the beans because it is best to purchase the beans whole and grind them yourself.

However, if you’re in a pinch, you can grab some pre-ground coffee; just make sure that it is coarsely ground coffee. You need a coarser grind so that the grounds get pressed down and out of the way of the liquid without passing through the metal filter.

While it’s not a necessity for cold brew coffee at home, you may want to invest in a small food scale to ensure accuracy in the brew.

Filtered Water

You also need 887ml or about 3 3/4 cups of room-temperature, filtered water. The water you use makes a difference in how the coffee, tastes, so consider using bottled or filtered water over tap.

Quality Container

It’s also important to have an airtight, sealable container that is the same size as your French Press or a little larger so that you can pour your cold brew batch into it for storage. Some people also use a fine filter or sifter to catch any of the smaller grounds, but that isn’t absolutely necessary. If you have paper coffee-pot filters, these can work well to filter out more of the sediment from the French Press, after you make cold brew coffee.


Once you have gathered all the tools and ingredients needed, it’s time to start making your delicious cold-brewed coffee in your French Press. The prep time is minimal. To make this recipe, you'll need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Measure and Grind

It’s time to get the coffee beans ready. You need a coffee-to-water ratio of about 1:5 or 1:4 for the cold-brewing process, depending on the strength of the coffee. Ad more coffee grounds for a denser cold brew concentrate.

For this recipe, 90 grams of coarsely ground coffee is used, which is a little under a cup. You need a good burr grinder to ensure that you have the coarsest grind possible for the cold-brew version. It must be slightly bigger than your French press filter holes.

Once the coffee beans are ground up appropriately, you can add them to your French press.

Step 2: Add Water

Fill your French Press (34-ounce size) with 3 3/4 cups or 887ml of filtered cold water. You should pour it in slowly and in a slightly circular motion, but don’t stir it together. Instead, you should use a metal spoon to press down the grounds that might float to the top, making sure that all your grounds are submerged.

Alternatively, if you prefer to bloom your coffee grounds, you can use hot water to bloom your grounds before adding in cold water, but this blooming process defeats the purpose of cold brew coffee because you are adding in heat.

Step 3: Wait

While the waiting process is the easiest step, it’s also frustrating because you do absolutely nothing for up to 24 hours while the water and coffee do their work. You just let the brew sit on the counter at room temperature for about 12 to 24 hours. Some people prefer to let the coffee steep for up to 48 hours, but if you prefer yours a bit less bitter with a smooth mouthfeel, brew for no more than 24 hours.

Of course, this is primarily where cold brew differs from hot-brew coffee because, with a hot brew method, you get coffee almost immediately. The cold brew coffee French Press method replaces the heat with time to ensure proper extraction.

If you let the grounds soak for at least 12 hours, it releases most of the oils and flavors trapped inside the beans. You’re going to want to rush this process, but you should refrain because you’ll have a container full of coffee-flavored water instead of the rich, less-acidic cold brew coffee you are expecting.

Press down the Plunger

After 12 hours (or longer), it’s time to press the plunger. If you didn’t do so before, put the top of the French press on and push the plunger down a few inches. Do this step slowly and continually to prevent grounds from seeping through the mesh.

Make sure the screen is in place and pour your cold brew into a storage container. While you are at it, pour yourself a glass with ice and enjoy some French Press cold brew right away!

Note: A French Press isn’t the best at keeping out sediment. Use a paper filter should the need arise.


You can make cold brew coffee using a French press, and it is likely to taste just like the store-bought or coffee-shop varieties while saving you money. Just make sure that you choose the right equipment and coffee grounds.


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