How To Make a Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

how to make cold brew coffee concentrate

Cold brew coffee has gained significant popularity in recent years for its smooth and rich flavor. One of the key advantages of cold brew is its ability to produce a concentrated coffee extract, commonly known as cold brew coffee concentrate.

This potent elixir serves as a versatile base for various coffee beverages, allowing you to easily customize your desired strength and flavor. Whether you prefer a refreshing iced coffee, a bold espresso shot, or a creamy latte, cold brew coffee concentrate provides a solid foundation to elevate your coffee experience.

In this guide, we will walk you through the simple yet rewarding process of creating your own cold brew coffee concentrate, enabling you to enjoy café-quality beverages right in the comfort of your home.

Step-by-Step Guide: Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate (Recipe)

Watch Video


  • 1 cup coarsely ground coffee beans
  • 4 cups cold filtered water


Prepare the coffee beans

 Start by selecting high-quality coffee beans that suit your taste preferences. Opt for a medium to dark roast for a robust and flavorful concentrate. Measure 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee beans. You can adjust the amount of coffee according to your desired strength.

Combine coffee and water

 In a large jar or pitcher, add the coarsely ground coffee beans. Pour 4 cups of cold, filtered water over the coffee grounds. Make sure all the grounds are fully submerged in water.

Stir and steep

Gently stir the mixture to ensure all the coffee grounds are thoroughly wet. Cover the jar or pitcher with a lid or plastic wrap. Let the coffee steep at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. The longer the steeping time, the stronger the concentration will be.

Strain the concentrate

 After the steeping period, place a fine-mesh sieve or a coffee filter over another jar or pitcher. Slowly pour the coffee mixture through the sieve, allowing the liquid to pass through while capturing the grounds. You may need to strain the concentrate a second time to remove any remaining sediment.

Store and enjoy

Once strained, you will have your cold brew coffee concentrate. Transfer it to an airtight container, such as a glass bottle or jar, and store it in the refrigerator. The concentrate can stay fresh for up to two weeks.

cld brew coffee concentrate

Serving Suggestions

  • For a refreshing iced coffee, combine equal parts cold brew coffee concentrate and water or milk. Sweeten with your preferred sweetener and add ice.
  • To make a strong cup of hot coffee, mix one-part cold brew concentrate with two parts hot water.
  • Create your own coffee-based cocktails by using cold brew concentrate as a base. Experiment with different ingredients such as milk, cream, flavored syrups, or even alcohol.

Do I need to prepare cold brew coffee concentrate?

Yes, preparing cold brew coffee concentrate can be a worthwhile endeavor for coffee enthusiasts. Cold brew coffee concentrate offers a concentrated and smooth flavor profile that can be customized to individual preferences.

With a bottle of cold brew coffee concentrate on hand, you have the flexibility to create a variety of coffee-based beverages, such as iced coffee, lattes, and even coffee cocktails. Its versatility and convenience make it a valuable addition to any coffee lover’s repertoire.

By investing a little time and effort in preparing cold brew coffee concentrate, you can enjoy the rich flavors and endless possibilities it offers for your coffee indulgence.

Creative Ways to Utilize Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

Congratulations on making your own cold brew coffee concentrate! Now that you have this concentrated elixir at your disposal, there are numerous exciting ways to incorporate it into your daily coffee routine.

In this guide, we will explore a range of creative uses for cold brew coffee concentrate that go beyond traditional iced coffee. Get ready to discover new and delicious ways to enjoy the full-bodied flavors of your homemade cold brew coffee concentrate.

Iced Coffee Delight

The simplest and most classic use of cold brew coffee concentrate is to make a refreshing glass of iced coffee. Mix equal parts cold brew concentrate and water or milk, pour it over a glass filled with ice cubes, and sweeten to taste. Feel free to experiment with different flavors, such as adding a splash of vanilla extract or a drizzle of caramel syrup.

Bold Espresso Shot

For a concentrated caffeine kick, use cold brew coffee concentrate as a base for an espresso shot. Dilute one part concentrate with two parts hot water, and you’ll have a robust and full-bodied espresso-like beverage. Enjoy it as is, or use it as the foundation for your favorite espresso-based drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, or macchiatos.

Creamy Cold Brew Latte

Indulge in a creamy and velvety cold brew latte by combining cold brew coffee concentrate with your choice of milk or non-dairy alternatives. Mix equal parts concentrate and milk, and sweeten with a drizzle of maple syrup, honey, or your preferred sweetener. Serve over ice for a delightful summer treat.

Coffee Cocktails

Elevate your mixology skills by incorporating cold brew coffee concentrate into your cocktail creations. The concentrated flavor of the cold brew makes it an ideal base for coffee-based cocktails. Combine it with spirits like vodka, rum, or whiskey, and add complementary ingredients like simple syrup, chocolate liqueur, or even a touch of cinnamon. Shake it up with ice and strain it into a glass for a sophisticated and caffeinated cocktail experience.

Baking and Desserts

Don’t limit the use of your cold brew coffee concentrate to beverages alone; it can add a delightful coffee flavor to your baked goods and desserts. Use it to enhance the flavor of cakes, brownies, cookies, or even homemade ice cream. Add a few tablespoons of cold brew concentrate to your batter or mix it into your frosting or glazes for a rich coffee-infused treat.

What grind size of coffee is best for cold brew coffee concentrate?

Finding the Perfect Coffee Grind Size for Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

When it comes to making cold brew coffee concentrate, selecting the right coffee grind size is crucial for achieving optimal flavor extraction. The grind size determines the surface area of the coffee particles, which affects the rate of extraction and the resulting taste profile.

In this guide, we will explore the best coffee grind size to use when making cold brew coffee concentrate, ensuring you can extract the maximum flavor and richness from your beans.

Coarse Grind: Ideal for Cold Brew Concentrate

For cold brew coffee concentrate, a coarse grind is generally recommended. The larger coffee particles provide a slower extraction process, allowing for a smooth and balanced flavor profile. The coarse grind also helps minimize the risk of over-extraction, resulting in a less bitter and acidic brew. Aim for a consistency similar to that of coarse sea salt or coarse sand.

Consistent Grind Size: Even Extraction

Regardless of the chosen grind size, consistency is key. To achieve an even extraction, make sure that all the coffee particles are of a similar size. Unevenly ground coffee can result in the over-extraction of finer particles and the under-extraction of larger ones, leading to an imbalanced and inconsistent flavor. Invest in a quality burr grinder or purchase pre-ground coffee specifically labeled for a cold brew to ensure uniformity.

Experiment and Adjust

While a coarse grind is generally recommended, the optimal grind size can vary based on personal preference and the specific characteristics of the coffee beans being used. Feel free to experiment with different grind sizes to find the perfect balance of flavor and strength that suits your taste. Consider starting with a coarse grind and gradually adjusting it finer or coarser until you achieve the desired flavor profile.

Filter Method

To prevent fine coffee grounds from ending up in your cold brew concentrate, it is essential to use an appropriate filtration method. Consider using a fine-mesh sieve, a reusable cold brew filter bag, or multiple layers of cheesecloth during the straining process. This will help remove any unwanted sediment or residue, resulting in a smooth and clean concentrate.

Watch how quickly the cold brew coffee concentrate flows through the filter to determine the right grind size

Watch Video

When it comes to determining the right grind size for cold brew coffee concentrate, one useful indicator is the speed at which the concentrate flows through the filter during the straining process.

If the cold brew concentrate flows through the filter too quickly, it suggests that the coffee grounds may have been ground too coarsely. This can result in an under-extracted concentrate with a weaker flavor profile.

On the other hand, if the flow is too slow or the filter gets clogged, it indicates that the grind size may be too fine, leading to over-extraction and potentially bitter flavors. By observing the flow rate of the cold brew coffee concentrate during filtration, you can make adjustments to the grind size, ensuring an optimal extraction and a deliciously balanced concentrate.

What is the appropriate ratio of coffee to water for cold brew concentrate?

The appropriate ratio of coffee to water for cold brew concentrate typically falls within the range of 1:4 to 1:8. This means using 1 part coffee to 4-8 parts water. However, the specific ratio can be adjusted based on personal preference and desired strength.

For a stronger concentrate, use a higher coffee-to-water ratio, while a lower ratio will result in a milder concentrate. Experimentation is encouraged to find the perfect balance of flavors.

Remember that cold brew coffee concentrate is highly concentrated, so diluting it with equal parts water or milk when serving is common practice. This allows for customization and the creation of various coffee beverages using the cold brew concentrate as a versatile base.

Can I use any cold brew coffee maker to make cold brew coffee concentrate?

Yes, you can use any cold brew coffee maker to make cold brew coffee concentrate. Cold brew coffee makers come in various forms, including immersion brewers, slow drip systems, and cold brew pitchers with built-in filters. The type of cold brew coffee maker you choose will depend on your personal preference and convenience.

The process of making cold brew coffee concentrate remains the same regardless of the specific device used. Simply follow the instructions provided with your cold brew coffee maker, adjusting the coffee-to-water ratio and steeping time to suit your taste.

Once the cold brew is ready, strain it using the built-in filter or a separate filter to obtain the concentrate. Whether you opt for a purpose-built cold brew coffee maker or use a DIY method with a jar and filter, the result will be a flavorful cold brew coffee concentrate ready to be enjoyed and utilized in various coffee creations.

What makes iced coffee different from cold brew coffee?

Iced coffee and cold brew coffee may both be chilled coffee beverages, but they differ significantly in terms of their brewing methods and flavor profiles.

Brewing Method

Iced coffee is typically brewed using hot water, similar to traditional brewing methods like drip brewing or espresso. The hot coffee is then cooled down by pouring it over ice, resulting in a chilled beverage. This brewing process is relatively quick and can be done using various coffee makers.

On the other hand, cold brew coffee is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee in cold or room temperature water for an extended period, usually 12 to 24 hours. The slow steeping process allows for gentle extraction of flavors, resulting in a smoother, less acidic brew.

Flavor Profile

Iced coffee tends to retain some of the acidity and brightness of brewed coffee, even when served over ice. It has a more pronounced flavor profile with distinct notes and can be enjoyed with or without milk and sweeteners.

In contrast, cold brew coffee offers a milder and smoother taste due to the long steeping process. The slow extraction method results in a lower acidity level, producing a coffee that is often described as less bitter and less acidic. Cold brew coffee tends to have a naturally sweeter and more rounded flavor profile.

Strength and Concentration

Iced coffee is typically brewed at double strength to compensate for the dilution caused by the ice cubes. The coffee is then poured over ice, and the melting ice further dilutes the brew. This results in a beverage that is similar in strength to a regular cup of coffee.

Cold brew coffee, on the other hand, is often prepared as a concentrate. The coffee grounds are steeped in water for a longer duration, resulting in a highly concentrated brew. This concentrate is then diluted with water or milk before consumption, allowing for greater control over the strength of the final beverage.


Making your own cold brew coffee concentrate is a simple process that yields a versatile and flavorful base for a variety of coffee beverages. With this concentrate, you can customize the strength and flavor of your coffee drinks to suit your preferences. By following this recipe and storing the concentrate properly, you’ll be able to enjoy the convenience of café-quality coffee right at home. You can also read our best article on how to make cold brew coffee in a drip coffee machine for complete information.


What is the best way to use cold brew concentrate?

Simply top off a few ounces of concentrate with some boiling hot water. By doing this, the concentrate warms up and you receive a warm but not scalding mug. If you want to get the most heat out of your cold brew, brew it with a strong concentration so that when you’re ready to mix it with hot water, you can utilize as much of it as you can.

What is the strength of cold brew concentrate?

The Kaldi’s Coffee Blog: 5 Things to Know About Cold Brew Coffee

“Strength” is another word for this. Cold brew concentrate typically ranges from 1:4 to 1:8. Compared to the same amount of drip coffee liquid, it is basically a concentrated coffee drink that is significantly stronger and contains a lot more caffeine.

How much coffee should I use to make cold brew concentrate?

When the cold brew concentrate is ready, you can re-dilute it to your preferred strength. You will need 1 ounce (by weight) of coarsely ground coffee for every cup of water. That amounts to around 1/4 cup of whole coffee beans, which makes about 1/2 cup of ground coffee.

To what degree should cold brew concentrate be dark?

How to Make the Best Cold Brew Coffee: A Complete Guide…

Cold brewing will mellow that profile because lighter roasts have a tendency to emphasize the acid elements. Though many people prefer darker roasts, you might adore it. The cold brewing method will enhance the nutty and chocolatey flavors in a medium or dark roast, producing a rich and smooth flavor.

What makes cold brew so concentrated?

Cold water facilitates a smooth, leisurely extraction procedure that results in a rich, low-acid brew. Cold brew concentrate is the undiluted version of cold brewed coffee that is used as a base for iced coffee and other beverages, as opposed to conventional coffee concentrate, which is created using hot water.

Scroll to Top