How to Make Cold Brew with a French Press | Easiest Method – Kaldi's Coffee

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How to Make Cold Brew with a French Press

Previously, we tested, tweaked, and toiled over a few specialized cold brew makers in our blog, “Cold Brew Off: Hario vs. Kinto vs. Toddy”. We had a lot of fun working with the brewers and ultimately landed on the Hario Mizudashi as the winner, with the all around best features, ease of use, and brew quality. 

Watch our video on Youtube!Watch our How to Make Cold Brew with a French Press Youtube Video

Take the Plunge: French Press Cold Brew

12oz bag of Haya Cold Brew Blend next to a Yama 6 Cup French Press and a iced glass of cold brew coffee

But what if you don’t have one of these brewers? Or better yet, do you really need one of these brewers to make great cold brew coffee?

What if you only have a trusty French Press?

We’re here to help. Read on to see how you can make delicious, easy-to-brew, and refreshing cold brew using just your French Press coffee maker. 

Click here to skip to the brewing directions


We covered terms like "ratio", "concentrate", and "dilution" in our blog, “Cold Brew: 5 Things You Should Know”. Long story short, most cold brew is not made ready to drink - or if you do drink it, you will be drinking a very caffeinated, very strong cup of coffee. Instead, you’re using a smaller portion of water to do the brewing, and then “cutting” the concentrate when you’re ready to drink it. 

French Presses also come in a wide variety of volume options. We’ve seen some as small as 400ml, and then others that are gargantuan whoppers, weighing in at 1.5 to 2 liters! Our current pick for a French Press, the Yama 6 Cup, is a little over 800ml. With that kind of diversity, it can be hard to know where to start.

5 Tips for Making Better Cold Brew at Home

 Don't forget to get our best cold brew coffee tips in:
"Cold Brew: 5 Tips for Better Brewing At Home"

Our baseline for Cold Brew in a French Press

This recipe covers how to get the most cups out of a smaller (1 liter and under) French Press by using a tight ratio, which can also be used to produce a week’s worth of concentrate in a larger press. You can also see how to brew a smooth, easy extraction in a larger French Press in our sidebar below.

Overall, however, cold brew is a forgiving process and you should feel confident that you’ll get something great. We used our Haya Cold Brew Blend because we know it’s been roasted and blended to create a classic cold brew, but experimenting with single origins is always recommended! 

Note: Cold brewing takes a while. Our recipe requires 16-20 hours of ambient temperature brewing. Be sure to start your brew with a plan, so you don’t miss the window for finishing up the next day!

Sidebar: More help with ratios and dilution
  • Helpfully, one milliliter is equal in mass to one gram, when weighing your water.
  • To vary the size of your brew:
    • Using our ratio (1:8): you’ll need 12.5 grams of coffee for every 100 mills (grams) of water.
      • Just remember, this ratio produces a concentrate, which should be refrigerated after brewing, and cut with water or ice before serving. This will let you maximize your time and effort, whether you’re brewing with a small, single serving French press, or brewing a week’s worth of concentrate in a 1,700 mill beast.
  • To brew a mellow, ready-to-serve cold brew: For a larger press (because you’re not worried about maximizing servings through a concentrated brew), we recommend a ratio of 1:12, or 8.4 grams of coffee for every 100 mills (grams) of water you’re adding.
    • Repeat the outlined directions with this ratio, ignoring our advice to dilute the brew afterwards, and you’re ready to sip!



Learn More About Cold Brew Coffee in Our Cold Brew Blog Series

Kaldi's Cold Brew Coffee Blog Series



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