On my last post, I wrote about making cold brew coffee concentrate at home without the Toddy Cold Brewer. During that time, I had a small amount of whole beans left and wanted to make another batch, but the Toddy was way too big to use.
So I ended up using the French press carafe in making my cold brewed coffee. Then it suddenly hit me! I could actually use the plunger of the French press and skip a whole straining process! This method was so easy! I had a harder time taking the pictures.
So without further delay, here’s my method of how to cold brew coffee with a French press.
Things You’ll Need:
- Filtered water
- Coarsely ground coffee
- A French press
- Some paper towels
- Filtration device with paper filter
- Air tight container
Coffee to Water Ratio
The coffee grounds to water ratio has not changed from my first how to cold brew post. We’re still using a 1:6 ratio, meaning 1 part ground coffee is to 6 parts water.
Here’s a small list of coffee to water ratios to help you decide on how much you’d like to brew:
Coffee Grounds (in grams)
Filtered Water (in mL and Liters)
1,000 mL (1 Liter)
Coffee Grounds (in grams)
|Filtered Water (in Ounces)|
Let’s Start Brewing
Step 1: Make sure you filter your water
Step 2: Grind the exact weight of beans that you will need.
Use a coarse grind. Since we’re using a French press, just use the exact same grind that you use when making hot French press coffee. Or just turn your grinder to the coarsest setting and grind away.
I had the odd weight of 48 grams of coffee left. So that left me with 288 mL (9.7 oz) of filtered water.
Step 3: Mix the ground coffee and filtered water into the French press carafe
After adding the water, make sure to lightly press down on the coffee grounds with the back of a spoon. This will submerge all the coffee grounds at the top and will give you an even extraction of all the grounds.
Step 4: Cover the carafe with the French press lid and some paper towel or cloth to seal the mixture
After attaching the cloth or paper towel, press the plunger down a bit, just enough to cover the spout, but not so low as the cloth or paper towel will fall into the mixture.
Step 5: Leave the mixture to steep from 12-24 hours
Just like my original cold brew post, 12 hours is the minimum steep time. But I recommend a minimum of 20 hours, and the best is 24 hours to steep your grounds.
Step 6: Take off the paper towel or cloth from the lid and plunge the press
After plunging the press, I was amazed by how much grounds were at the bottom. This is the beauty of the French press. It’s so versatile it could do so many brew types!
Step 7: Prepare the paper filtration device, air tight container, and pre-wet the paper filter
You could use any pour over dripper that you have at home. Another way is to use a paper towel or basket filter, attach it to a strainer, then run it in water for a bit to wash the excess fibers and paper taste away.
Step 8: Pour the coffee concentrate from the French press into the paper filtration device
The Finished Product
So how did we do with the brew? Pretty good I must say. Here’s a picture of the amount that came out of the cold brew.
It might not look like a lot, but this tiny amount was able to make 4 cups of hot coffee, and a huge 450 mL (15 oz) mug of iced coffee. For 48 grams of ground coffee, this yielded more cups than using the hot brew pour over method. Not bad at all.
Do take note that although I said to use an air tight container, I didn’t use one because I didn’t plan to keep the coffee in the refrigerator anymore. I used up this whole batch to serve to my family right away.
Cold brew coffee could last up to two weeks in the refrigerator. So if you make a larger batch and intend to keep it for more than a day, make sure to use an air tight container and store it in your refrigerator after you use the amount you need.
How Much Coffee Concentrate Should I Use?
Like the bigger batch I made, I recommend starting with 1/4th coffee concentrate to 3/4th mixture of whatever blend you’d like to make. If you think that your coffee is too weak, use 1/3rd of coffee concentrate to 2/3rd mixture. However, I think that 1/4th will definitely be enough.
I could even say with confidence that you could even use just 1/5th coffee concentrate in the mixture. It will still make a great cup, or mug, of coffee! You could look at the bottom part of this post to see some very simple recipes. (I drink my coffee without cream and sugar so I only know a few tricks)
Was This Easier Than Using a Large Strainer?
Most definitely! If you use a strainer to initially separate the coffee concentrate from the coarse coffee grounds, there will be wastage no matter how careful you are. Using a French press has made the process maybe ten times easier. Just look at the picture below.
By just plunging the press, we were able to save a whole step of straining the coarse grounds. What’s even better is that we didn’t even waste a single drop of coffee concentrate!
So that’s it! I just thought of taking pictures of the process and posting how to cold brew coffee with a French press just as I was making it. I hope you all enjoyed the read. Most importantly, I hope you’ll start using your French presses and start a cold brew just like I did. Enjoy your coffee, and have a great day!