how to brew Cold Brew Coffee

We get it!

Some mornings are tougher than others (yes, we looking at you, Mondays).

Cold Brew Coffee is a fuss free coffee brewing method you can do the day before…which makes it perfect for those slow mornings.

It’s also the perfect DIY solution for family gatherings or private parties. Just make a large batch, stick it in the fridge, and serve when needed. #nofrills

This guide will bring you through a simple method to brewing your own cold brew coffee and cover some fundamentals. Click the links below to jump straight to the section:

Let’s get started:

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is coffee brewed cold (or at room temperature), over 12 hours or more.

Cold brew coffee is NOT just iced coffee!

Iced coffee usually refers to espresso based coffee brewed hot and chilled over ice.

Taste them side by side and you will be astonished by the different flavors you can get in those two cups.

Cold brew coffee is characterised by lower acidity.

How to brew Cold Brew Coffee

1) Mason Jar

This method is perfect for a large batch of cold brew or for folks who do not have coffee brewing equipment at home.

What you need:

  • Mason Jar (Capacity of 400ml and above)
  • 60g freshly roasted coffee
  • 300ml Filtered water (room temperature or cold)
  • Grinder
  • Time

How to brew Cold Brew in a Mason Jar

  1. Grind 60g of coffee, coarse.
  2. In your mason jar, submerge coffee grounds in filtered water.
  3. Cover jar and let coffee steep in fridge for 12 to 24 hour.
  4. Remove coffee grounds.
  5. Add sugar or milk to taste.
Cold Brew Grind Size

How to separate coffee grounds

Although we used a coffee sock in the video, you do not need any special equipment really.

If you do not have access of a coffee sock or paper filter, just use a cheese cloth instead.

You can also decant the coffee, or use a coffee filter like our Phins to help separate the coffee grounds.

2) French Press

If you have a french press lying around, it’s a pretty handy tool for cold brews. This recipe is based off the volume of our french press.

What you need:

  • French Press
  • 30g freshly roasted coffee
  • 150ml filtered water (chilled or room temperature)
  • Grinder
  • Time

How to brew Cold Brew in a French Press

  1. Grind 30g of coffee, coarse.
  2. In your French Press, submerge coffee grounds in filtered water.
  3. Press till coffee grounds are just submerged in water.
  4. Steep in fridge for 12 to 24 hours
  5. Press and pour out the coffee
  6. Dilute to taste (start with a 1:1 dilution) and/or
  7. Add sugar or milk to taste.

3) Filter Bag

Thinking of brewing a single cup of cold brew coffee? Use a filter bag.

You can get a pack of those from Daiso for just $2!

What you need:

Please note that there are some changes to this recipe. The ratio used here doesn’t require dilution after steeping:

  • Filter Bag (Daiso lists it as a tea filter bag)
  • Cup that holds about 200ml
  • 15g freshly roasted coffee
  • 150ml filtered water (chilled or room temperature)
  • Grinder
  • Time

How to brew Cold Brew in a Filter Bag

  1. Grind 15g of coffee, coarse.
  2. Transfer coffee grounds into filter bag before closing it.
  3. Place filter bag in a cup
  4. Fill cup with 150ml water
  5. Make sure the coffee bag is fully submerged
  6. Cover cup with a lid and steep coffee in fridge for 12 to 24 hours
  7. Remove coffee bag.
  8. Add sugar or milk to taste.

How to store your Cold Brew Coffee

Always remove coffee grounds from your cold brew before storing it. This prevents it from over steeping which could lead to bitter cold brew coffee πŸ™

Keep your cold brew coffee (with or without milk) refrigerated at 4Β°C.

Store your cold brew in a glass bottle if available.

You can store the cold brew for up to 3 weeks but we recommend you to finish it within 1 week for the best experience.

Cold Brew Ratio

How much coffee to water ratio should you use for cold brew?

Generally, you would start with a 1:5 coffee to water ratio for most cold brews. If you’re making a concentrate, you would want to start with 1:2 ratio instead.

However, your ratio really depends on how strong or weak you’d like your coffee to be. But, here’s a quick reference table if you’re looking for somewhere to start:

Type of Cold Brew CoffeeCoffee : Water Ratio
Cold Brew Concentrate1:2 to 1:3
Regular cold brew that you can drink straight1:5 to 1:10

You should experiment with different ratios to find something that suits your liking.

If you’re working with a cold brew concentrate and are not sure how much you should dilute it, here’re some quick guidelines:

  • Start with a 1:1 dilution: adjust subsequent dilutions according to your tastes
  • If you’re adding milk, use the milk as your dilution factor. (Diluting cold brew then adding milk usually results in a weaker coffee)

Why do I end up with less cold brew coffee than I expected?

If you’re making your first batch of cold brew, you might be surprise to find that you have less coffee than what you had originally calculated.

It is common for coffee grounds to retain water. Hence, you end up with lesser volume after removing your cold brew grounds.

To avoid this, you should increase your over all volume instead of tweaking the ratio.

For example, if you wish to serve 1L of cold brew at a house party, consider prepping about 1.5L of cold brew using 250g of coffee to 1250g of water.

The amount of water retention is affected by the type of coffee bean and the roast profile, however based on our experience it is usually between 10% to 25%.

Best coffee for cold brew?

Generally, we would go with robust, medium to dark roast coffee blends for a cold brew as this isn’t the best brewing method to present the wider range of flavor notes in lighter roast coffees or single origins.

Coffees with nutty or chocolatey flavor profiles would generally be good for cold brews.

That said, you can use any coffees for cold brew, there’s no rules to break here.

tl;dr The Cold Brew Coffee Brewing Method in a nutshell

No time to watch the video or read the section above?

Basically, we scaled the same Cold Brew recipe for different settings, here it is:

  1. Coffee to Water ratio of 1:5.
  2. Grind coffee coarse.
  3. Steep coffee grounds in water for 12 to 24 hours.
  4. Remove coffee grounds.
  5. Dilute and/or add sugar and milk to taste.
  6. Serve.

Or, if you prefer an infographic:

Cold Brew Coffee How To Guide
How to Brew Cold Brew Coffee in 6 steps (click for full image)

Where to get freshly roasted coffee in Singapore?

Here’s a list of specialty coffee roasters in Singapore. Some of them may even help you grind your coffee.

If cold brew coffee isn’t your thing, check out the rest of our Coffee Brewing Guides for more!