How To Make Cold Brew In A French Press (Step By Step)

Last Updated on May 23, 2022 by John Moretti

Cold brew coffee is becoming very popular. If you are into this type of coffee brewing, there are some very simple ways to prepare it at home. One of the easiest methods for this process is to use a brewer that most coffee lovers already have – a French press. This brewer is an ideal vessel for preparing cold brew, but you have to know how to do it for the best results.

To make French press cold brew, add filtered water to coarsely ground coffee at a ratio of 70g of coffee per liter of water. Allow the brew to steep for 12 – 24 hours, plunge the coffee, decant, and enjoy. The French press is an ideal brewer for making cold brews. 

Preparing cold brew coffee in a French press takes some time and patience, but the process is not very challenging overall. However, there are several ways to make cold brew in a French press, and the results can vary depending on how much care you take while brewing. Brewing coffee in this way is ideal for anyone who enjoys cold brew coffee or cold brew concentrate.

Is A French Press Good For Making Cold Brew?

Making a batch of cold brew is not a particularly complicated process, but doing it well requires a suitable vessel for brewing in. some vessels function very well for the process, while others yield undesirable results. 

One of the biggest keys to brewing a good cold brew is immersion brewing. This type of brewing is when the ground coffee is in contact with the brewing water for the entire brewing process, rather than allowing the water to run through the coffee as it does in other brew methods such as percolation.

However, good immersion brewing is hard to do, as, without the proper vessel, not all of the coffee will be in contact with all of the water for the entire brew. For this reason, the French press is an ideal brewer to use for making cold brews.

The French press is an ideal immersion brewing device, which makes it one of the best possible vessels for making cold brew coffee. An added bonus is that most coffee lovers usually own a French press already, which makes getting into cold brewing very convenient. 

How To Make Cold Brew In A French Press: Step By Step

Now that we have established that making cold brew in a French press is one of the ideal methods for the process let’s take the time to learn the best method for making cold brew in this type of vessel.

Preparing a batch of cold brew coffee in a French press is simple, but understanding the proper method is important. 

Here are the five steps for making cold brew coffee in a French press:

Step 1: Filter The Brew Water

filter the brew water

A vital step in the brewing process that is often overlooked is using filtered water for making cold brews. Cold-brew coffee steeps and brews for a very long time, which means that any impurities or poor undesirable flavors in the brewing water will be very prevalent in the cup.

Using a simple Brita water filter or something similar is good enough for making your water taste better for cold brewing. If you do not have the means for filtering water, use bottled still water if possible.

Step 2: Grind The Coffee

grind the coffee

This step of the process is the most critical for getting a good-tasting cold brew, regardless of the method that you use. The grind size of the coffee used for cold brewing is vital, and if you get it wrong, your coffee will not be nearly as good as it would be.

The best grind size for cold brew is relatively coarse. The coffee should be ground more coarse than for a typically French press, but not as course as for hot long-brew processes such as cowboy coffee.

The coffee must be this coarse because it has been in contact with water for a long time. If the coffee is more finely ground, it will extract too quickly and produce under-developed flavors that are often associated with cold brew.

Grinding too coarsely will not allow the coffee to fully or evenly extract, resulting in an empty, flat-tasting brew that can be very sour as well.

Step 3: Use A Scale

The next step is important as well but is also usually overlooked. However, using the correct amount of coffee is critical for producing a good-tasting cold brew. 

The ideal ratio for making cold brews is 70 grams of coffee per liter of water. This is ideal because most French press brewers have a one-liter capacity.

Weigh your coffee according to how much you want to have brewed at the end of the process and place it into the French press.

Step 4: Add The Water

The last manual step in the process is to add the water to the brewer. Measuring the amount of water that you use is vital, and you should use the appropriate amount of water according to the amount of ground coffee that you added.

Once the water is added, stir the brew to make sure that the water reaches every grain of coffee. This will help the extraction process and produce a better-tasting brew.

Step 5: Steep The Cold Brew

Cold Brew

Once the brew is prepared, the coffee and water are combined, and the brewing process has begun, the only step left is to wait.

A cold brew can steep for many hours before it is ready, but there are different ways to do it. The minimum steep time for a brew like this should be twelve hours, but anywhere between twelve and twenty-four hours is good for cold brew. 

Leave the coffee to be steep at room temperature for a short brew time and place the coffee in the fridge to steep for a longer brew time. 

Once this time is elapsed, use the French press plunge filter to separate the grounds from the brew, pour it into a glass, and enjoy your French press cold brew.


Using a French press is one of the best ways to prepare cold brew coffee at home. This brewer is perfectly designed for immersion brewing which is particularly good for cold brews.

Take the time to refine the process according to your tastes and preferences, and preparing cold brew in a French press at home is likely to produce some of the best cold brews you will ever taste!