How to Make Cold Brew Coffee with a French Press
Cold brew coffee is a delicious and refreshing way to enjoy your favorite beans, especially in the summer. It has a smooth and low-acidic flavor that is perfect for iced coffee or mixing with milk. But did you know that you can make cold brew coffee at home using a simple tool that you probably already have? That’s right, I’m talking about the French press.
A French press is a classic coffee maker that consists of a glass or metal container, a metal filter, and a plunger. It is usually used to brew hot coffee by steeping coarsely ground beans in hot water and then pressing the plunger down to separate the grounds from the liquid. But you can also use it to make cold brew coffee by steeping coarsely ground beans in cold or room temperature water for several hours and then pressing the plunger down to filter the coffee.
Making cold brew with a French press is easy, convenient, and mess-free. You don’t need any special equipment or filters, just your French press and some coffee beans. You can also adjust the strength and flavor of your cold brew by changing the ratio of coffee to water, the grind size of the beans, and the steeping time. In this article, I will show you how to make cold brew with a French press, what are the best beans and presses to use, and how to serve and store your cold brew.
What You Need
To make cold brew with a French press, you will need:
A French press: Any size or brand will do, but I recommend using one that has a stainless steel filter and plunger, as they are more durable and easier to clean than plastic ones. Some of my favorite French presses are:
- Bodum Chambord: This is a classic and elegant French press that has a chrome-plated steel frame and a heat-resistant borosilicate glass container. It comes in various sizes, from 12 oz to 51 oz, and has a comfortable handle and a tight-fitting lid. It is easy to use and dishwasher-safe.
- Mueller Stainless Steel: This is a sleek and modern French press that has a double-walled stainless steel body and lid. It has a 4-level filtration system that prevents any grounds from escaping into your cup. It has a large capacity of 34 oz and a cool-touch handle and knob. It is rust-proof, dishwasher-safe, and comes with two extra screens.
- BAYKA Glass: This is a stylish and affordable French press that has a copper-plated stainless steel frame and a thickened borosilicate glass container. It has a 3-layered stainless steel filter that ensures a smooth and pure brew. It has a medium capacity of 34 oz and an ergonomic handle and spout. It is easy to clean and comes with a cleaning brush.
Coffee beans: You can use any beans that you like, but I suggest using dark roast beans for cold brew, as they have more flavor and less acidity than light or medium roast beans. Some of the best beans for cold brew are:
- MOAB "Mother of All Brews" Double Caffeinated Coffee: This is a double-caffeinated medium roast blend that has a bold and smooth flavor with notes of chocolate, caramel, and nuts. It is made from 100% Robusta Beans which is naturally more caffeinated than Arabica or Columbian coffee beans.
- Fire Watch Medium Roast: This is a medium roast blend that has a balanced and rich flavor with hints of citrus, berries, and cocoa. It is made from 100% Colombian Supremo beans sourced from South and Central America. It is freshly roasted in small batches by veterans who support other veterans, first responders, military spouses, and law enforcement personnel.
- Spectre Dark Espresso Roast: This is a dark espresso roast blend that has a strong and full-bodied flavor with notes of dark chocolate, caramel, and spice. It is made from a blend of fair trade act coffee beans sourced from Colombia, Africa, and Indonesia.
A coffee grinder: You will need to grind your beans to a coarse consistency, similar to sea salt or breadcrumbs. This will allow the water to extract the maximum flavor from the beans without making the coffee too bitter or cloudy. You can use any grinder that you have, but I prefer using an electric burr grinder over a blade grinder or a manual grinder, as it gives a more uniform and consistent grind. Some of the best grinders are:
- Bodum Bistro: This is a compact and easy-to-use electric burr grinder that has 12 grind settings, from fine to coarse. It has a stainless steel conical burr that preserves the aroma and flavor of the beans. It has a glass container that holds up to 8 oz of grounds and a silicone band that prevents static cling. It has a push-button control and a timer function.
- Baratza Encore: This is a versatile and reliable electric burr grinder that has 40 grind settings, from fine to coarse. It has a high-quality conical burr that delivers a consistent and uniform grind. It has a plastic container that holds up to 8 oz of grounds and a pulse button for manual control. It has a simple on/off switch and a powerful motor.
- Hario Skerton Plus: This is a portable and durable manual burr grinder that has an adjustable ceramic burr that can grind from fine to coarse. It has a glass container that holds up to 3.5 oz of grounds and a silicone lid that prevents spillage. It has a ergonomic handle and a stabilizer plate that ensures a steady grind.
Filtered water: You will need to use cold or room temperature water that is filtered or purified, as tap water may contain chlorine or other impurities that can affect the taste of your coffee. You can use any water filter that you have, but I like using a pitcher filter, as it is convenient and easy to use. Some of the best pitcher filters are:
- Brita Everyday: This is a simple and effective pitcher filter that reduces chlorine, copper, mercury, zinc, and cadmium in tap water. It has a large capacity of 10 cups and a standard filter that lasts for 40 gallons or 2 months. It has an easy-fill lid and a sticker indicator that reminds you when to change the filter.
- PUR Classic: This is an advanced and efficient pitcher filter that reduces chlorine, lead, mercury, copper, zinc, and other contaminants in tap water. It has a medium capacity of 7 cups and a lead-reducing filter that lasts for 30 gallons or 2 months. It has an easy-fill lid and an electronic indicator that alerts you when to change the filter.
What You Do
To make cold brew with a French press, you will need to follow these steps:
- Grind your beans: Measure out about 4 oz (113 g) of coffee beans and grind them to a coarse consistency using your grinder. You can adjust the amount of beans depending on how strong you want your cold brew to be, but I recommend using a ratio of 1:6 by weight (coffee to water).
- Add the grounds and water to the French press: Transfer the grounds to the French press container and pour in about 3 cups (710 ml) of filtered water over them. You can adjust the amount of water depending on how concentrated you want your cold brew to be, but I recommend using a ratio of 1:6 by volume (coffee to water).
- Stir the mixture gently: Use a spoon or a chopstick to stir the mixture gently several times, making sure that all the grounds are fully submerged in the water.
- Cover the French press with the lid: Place the lid on top of the French press container, but do not press down the plunger yet. Leave about an inch or two of space between the plunger and the surface of the water.
- Let it steep at room temperature: Leave the French press on your counter or in your pantry for about 16 to 18 hours, depending on how strong you want your cold brew to be. You can also put it in the fridge if you prefer, but it may take longer to steep.
- Press down the plunger slowly: After the steeping time is over, press down the plunger slowly and evenly until it reaches the bottom of the container. This will separate the grounds from the liquid and filter your cold brew.
- Pour the cold brew into another container: Carefully pour the cold brew into another glass jar or pitcher with an airtight lid. You can also use another layer of paper or cloth filter if you want to remove any fine sediment from your cold brew.
- Enjoy or store your cold brew: You can enjoy your cold brew right away or store it in the fridge for up to a week. To serve your cold brew, you can either drink it straight or dilute it with water, ice, milk, or cream.
You can also add sugar, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, or other flavorings to your liking. Here are some of the ways that I like to enjoy my cold brew:
- Black: I pour about 6 oz (177 ml) of cold brew into a glass and add some ice cubes. This is the simplest and purest way to enjoy the smooth and low-acidic flavor of cold brew.
- Latte: I pour about 4 oz (118 ml) of cold brew into a glass and add about 2 oz (59 ml) of frothed milk. I use whole milk for a creamy texture and a dash of vanilla for a sweet touch. This is a refreshing and satisfying way to enjoy cold brew with some milkiness.
- Mocha: I pour about 4 oz (118 ml) of cold brew into a glass and add about 2 oz (59 ml) of chocolate milk. I use almond milk for a nutty flavor and some cocoa powder for a rich chocolate taste. This is a decadent and indulgent way to enjoy cold brew with some sweetness.
- Smoothie: I blend about 4 oz (118 ml) of cold brew with a frozen banana, some yogurt, and some peanut butter. I use Greek yogurt for a thick consistency and natural peanut butter for a protein boost. This is a filling and energizing way to enjoy cold brew with some fruitiness.
Making cold brew with a French press is a simple and convenient method that anyone can do at home. All you need is a French press, some coffee beans, some water, and some time. You can customize your cold brew by choosing the beans, the grind size, the water ratio, and the steeping time that suit your taste. You can also serve your cold brew in different ways by adding water, ice, milk, cream, or flavorings to your preference.
Cold brew coffee is not only delicious and refreshing, but also has some health benefits. It has less acidity than hot coffee, which means it is gentler on your stomach and teeth. It also has more antioxidants than hot coffee, which means it can protect your cells from damage and inflammation. It also has more caffeine than hot coffee, which means it can give you more energy and alertness.
If you are looking for a new way to enjoy your coffee, give cold brew with a French press a try. You will be amazed by how smooth and flavorful it is. And if you are looking for the best beans to use for cold brew, check out the premium and gourmet coffee selection from Aerial Resupply Coffee, a veteran-owned coffee brand that offers high-quality and freshly roasted beans that are perfect for cold brew. You can choose from their amazing blends, such as MOAB, Fire Watch, or Spectre, or try their sample pack to find your favorite.
I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new about making cold brew with a French press. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. And if you liked this article, please share it with your friends and family who love coffee as much as you do.
This is Brian, signing off. Stay caffeinated, my friends!