Equipment Feature

Can You Make Cold Brew in a French Press? Yes, Here’s How

You want to know the problem with cold brew coffee makers? They can only make cold brew.

French Press to the rescue.

Not only is French Press a phenomenal way to make a regular cup of coffee, it can double as a cold brew maker.

So if you have one, save your money and your cabinet space with our guide to making cold brew in your French Press.

1. Get Your Kettle Going

Yep, you read that right. Even when making cold brew coffee we recommend “blooming” the coffee with a bit of hot water. Read why below in Step 3.

We recommend a final temperature anywhere between 190° and 200°.

  • Anything above 200° will create bitter and unwanted flavors
  • If your kettle doesn’t have a temperature control option, do your best to stop your kettle just before the boil. Don’t be afraid to add some room temperature water to cool it slightly if you think your water is too hot.

2. Add Your Coffee

Any coarse ground coffee will probably work. Experiment and see which you like the most.

Cold Brew French Press Ratio

If you typically brew your French Press with a 1:15 ratio then we recommend upping the ratio for cold brew.

1:12 (our normal) and 3:15 (our strong) are our magic numbers for French Press, and we also find these work well for making french press cold brew.

If anything, we’d recommend leaning more to 3:15. But experiment and see what tastes right to you.

Save yourself the guesswork of trying to determine the ratio and use our French Press Ratio Calculator below.

French Press Ratio Calculator

Press Size
fl. oz.
You'll need
of Coarse-Ground Coffee.

3. Bloom the Coffee with Hot Water

Fill your French Press with just enough hot water to saturate the grounds.

  • Take a brief moment to enjoy the smell and to observe the grounds. The more lively they appear, the fresher the coffee.

We like to bloom the coffee to help unlock additional flavors. We’ve found that a cold brew made only with room temperature or cold water often yields a one-dimensional flavor profile.

4. Fill Your Press with Cold Water

Add cold, filtered water to the Press fill line doing your best to evenly saturate the grounds.

  • If your Press doesn’t have a max line, you want to leave enough room to fit the plunger in the top.

We recommend adding the water in circular motions with a gooseneck kettle, but your Brita, your refrigerator water dispenser, or the filtered water spout on your sink are all passable solutions.

5. Cover Your Press

Use plastic wrap, or an organic beeswax wrap. We also like to use a rubber band to ensure everything is sealed tightly.

6. Refrigerate Overnight or Let Sit for 12 Hours on Your Counter

Conventional wisdom would tell you to place the covered Press in your refrigerator for 18-20 hours.

We think that does the job nicely.

However, you can also let it sit on your counter for 12 hours.

  • Note: if you have any plans for any longer than 12 hours, definitely put it in the fridge.

Both methods may yield different results. As always, we recommend experimenting and seeing what tastes better to you.

7. Plunge

When the time is up, remove the seal, put the plunger in, and plunge slowly.

  • Slowly being the key word here. If you plunge too fast, you may splash out some of that hard-earned coffee.

How to Make French Press

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