How To Make The BEST Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

Cold Brew Coffee Recipe
Written by The Protein Chef

If you’re:

  • In love with coffee
  • A coffee fanatic
  • A coffee entrepreneur
  • A coffee professional
  • A coffee addict

or anything else coffee related and you haven’t tried cold brew/are looking for how to make it, then you’ve come to the right place! This recipe is quick, can be made in bulk, and will take your coffee taste buds to a whole new level.

First, here are 4 reasons why you should cold brew:

  1. No more watered down coffee
  2. It tastes incredible
  3. Since hot water isn’t being used, the oils that are full of acid aren’t going to be fully released into the coffee which makes cold brew around 60-65% less acidic. The various acids extracted from hot coffee can irritate your stomach and the lining of your small intestine so cold brewing will greatly help prevent this.
  4. It’s extremely easy to make in bulk

Before you start you’re going to need a few items, these items can collectively be found for less than $50.00 and should last you FOREVER!

Item #1, a liquid container. Your container can just be something you have lying around or if you’re like me you’ll want something specifically for this recipe. The 1 gallon jar that I use for this cold brew was $7.00, which you can see by clicking here. Whatever size container you want to use is completely up to you, I find that 1 gallon is the perfect size to last me a couple weeks. You’ll be able to scale this recipe however you want to depending on how much you want to brew at a time which you’ll see below.

Item #2, a burr grinder. The manual burr grinder I use was $28.00 and though it takes me a bit longer than an electric grinder, it’s a boatload cheaper, much more portable, AND you burn some calories using it. You can check it out by clicking here. The reason we’re using a burr grinder over a blade grinder is very simple. A burr grinder is a nice, consistent grind whereas a blade grinder is not. A blade grinder, for the most part, has no adjustability. It’s going to grind some of your grounds into a powder and others in larger pieces. Basically a blade grinder is like throwing in a bunch of random protein powder into a shake and a burr grinder is using your favorite brand. A burr grinder is going to extract the most flavor.

Item #3, a filter. The most important part of purchasing a filter for me was to have something I can re-use. The filter I use is a reusable all purpose strainer bag that I picked up for $9.00. You can check it out by clicking here. Being that it’s a bag it allows me to put my ground coffee into it then into my jar thus making things much quicker and clean up a breeze (seriously, all you do is dump your ground coffee out and give it a rinse). You could also use a cheesecloth, t-shirt, and so on…just think outside the box!

Last, item #4…COFFEE! You can use either whole beans or ground coffee. Seeing that I’m suggesting you purchase a burr grinder above, I’m obviously partial to using whole beans. Using ground coffee is going to be much quicker and more convenient BUT you’re going to be compromising the taste a ton. You might be asking why I prefer whole bean over ground and the simple answer is that whole bean is going to be much fresher. As soon as coffee is ground it starts to go stale so grinding the beans yourself will give you a nice fresh, beautiful flavor. Basically, whole beans = fresh and pre-ground coffee = stale!

Now lets start this process, take out your digital kitchen scale and if you’re making 1 gallon at a time then weigh out 8 ounces or 227 grams of whole beans. You can make more or less by following these ratios here:

Brew Ratios:

  • Coffee: 1 Ounce  (28.3g) Water: 2 Cups (16 Ounces)
  • Coffee: 2 Ounces  (56.7g) Water: 4 Cups (32 Ounces)
  • Coffee: 4 Ounces  (113.5g) Water: 1/2 Gallon (64 Ounces)
  • Coffee: 8 Ounces  (227g) Water: 1 Gallon (128 Ounces)
  • Coffee: 16 Ounces  (454g) Water: 2 Gallons (256 Ounces)

If you don’t have a digital kitchen scale the one I use only costs around $25.00 shipped (purchase it by clicking here) and it’s one of the best investments you can make for your kitchen.

Once you’ve weighed out your whole beans, use your burr grinder to grind them up. The whole grinding process shouldn’t take longer than 5-10 minutes. You also want your grind to be coarse! Depending on what you’re using to filter it, it may be hard if it’s too fine.

Next, add your ground coffee into your strainer bag, put your bag into your jar, and pour 1 gallon or 128 ounces of water into your jar making sure the end of your bag sticks out a little bit so that the grounds don’t fall out into your water. If you don’t have a bag then just put your ground coffee into the water which you’ll strain out later.

That’s it, now just let your coffee brew for 14-16 hours.

After 14-16 hours remove your ground coffee by filtering it or if you used a bag like me, just pull your bag out while making sure to remove as much liquid as you can from it.

Distribute your cold brew into some bottles (you could flavor every bottle differently) for easy access to take with you on the go or just leave it in your jar and serve it whenever you want it!


1. You can have flavored cold brew multiple ways.

  • Using flavored roasts though keep in mind that most of the time the lighter the roast the more acidity
  • Using extracts like vanilla, raspberry, coconut, chocolate etc in your brew
  • Using lemon/orange slices, vanilla bean, mint leaves, nuts, etc in your brew
  • Adding in sweeteners or syrups after you brew it

2. Don’t brew it for too long or it’ll go bitter. In my opinion, letting it brew for 14-16 hours is optimal and anything more than that starts to become detrimental.

3. You don’t have to brew it in the fridge, you can leave it on the counter top. Brewing it in the fridge will obviously just give you a nice, cold cup in the morning!

4. The brew will stay fresh for around 2-3 weeks so don’t be scared to make a ton of it at a time!

5. There’s a ton of variables here but my estimate for the caffeine content is around 100-125mg of caffeine per 8 ounces.

That’s it! Happy Brewing! 🙂

Join Our FREE Recipe Newsletter

Invalid email address

About the author

The Protein Chef

Derek Howes is a personal trainer and chef with over a decade of experience in the gym and kitchen. Derek, who is also known as The Protein Chef on his blog and YouTube channel shows his viewers every week that food doesn’t need to be boring or repetitive, it’s all about balance, moderation, and having the knowledge to change things up. His recipes which have been featured in the news, magazines, and on TV are cheap, quick, AND delicious! His motto in life is “everything in moderation” and is without question the most important habit he follows.


  • Thank you! Your recipes are always so well written and easy to follow. Haven’t found anything we don’t like yet! Keep ’em coming!! 🙂

  • Came across your great video and have several questions. I’m figuring out whether to do cold brewing myself, as you do, or use a ready system like OXO, if you have any thoughts. I wonder how easy the bag is to clean. I don’t want to get coffee grounds down my drain pipes, and I don’t want to spend a long time cleaning. I’m also wondering how fine I can grind my coffee using a nut filter like yours without getting silt in my coffee. It sounds like your recipe is meant to prepare ready to drink coffee and not concentrate like an OXO? Thanks for the great info!

    • Hey hey Dave! First off, you can use this and produce a concentrate if you just use less water. This whole process honestly takes me maybe 30 minutes from start to finish including cleaning everything. If I were to bottle them that would take me another 5-10 minutes. Well worth it in my book and it’s fun (even more fun if you try new ways to flavor each time until you find ones you really like). I will say the OXO looks pretty cool though so nothing against that either, I guess it comes down to what you want or if you need a larger quantity at a time!

  • Hi Derek. I’m interested in flavoring my cold brew with either cinnamon or vanilla. If using vanilla bean, would i grind the bean in with the coffee beans? Same for cinnamon…add a few shakes of ground cinnamon to the grounds? Thank you

Leave a Comment