How To Make The Best Cold Brew Coffee

16 Cups1 cals

Are you ready to make the best tasting cup of iced coffee you’ve ever had!? If so, it’s time for me to show you How To Make The Best Cold Brew Coffee recipe EVER! This quick cold brew recipe is easy to make, fun, cheap, and delicious!

If you’re in love with coffee like I am, a coffee fanatic, coffee addict, or anything else coffee related and you haven’t tried or are looking for how to make cold brew coffee then you’ve come the right place. This cold brew recipe can be made in bulk and will take your coffee taste buds to the next level!

Why Cold Brew?

No more watered down iced coffee! Sick of icing your hot coffee with a million ice cubes? When making cold brew the choice is yours on how watered down or how concentrated you want your coffee to be.

It’s way less acidic. Hot water is never used so the oils that are full of acid aren’t going to be fully released into the coffee. Less extraction of these oils makes cold brew around 60-65% less acidic.

Less irritation. The various acids typically extracted from traditional hot coffee methods can irritate your stomach and the lining of your small intestine, cold brewing will greatly help prevent this.

It tastes incredible! With less of an acidic taste comes a smoother, sweeter coffee.

It’s extremely easy to make in bulk. Want enough for the whole week? Month? Prep time is the same. No more time wasted on preparing multiple pots.

Cold Brew Coffee Essentials

Now before you start you’re going to need a few items to make your cold brew. If you’re a coffee lover you might already have these items lying around but if not they can collectively be found fairly cheap and should last you FOREVER!

Liquid container. This container can be something you have lying around or if you’re like me, you’ll want something specifically for this cold brew coffee recipe. The 1 gallon jar that I use was cheap enough to justify and big enough to satisfy my consumption, 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. Don’t want a couple weeks worth? Don’t worry, you’ll be able to scale this recipe below however you want depending on how much you want to brew at a time.

Burr grinder. The manual burr grinder I use was under $50.00 and though it takes me a bit longer than an electric grinder, it’s a boatload cheaper, much more portable, AND you get a free forearm workout while using it. You can check it out by clicking here.

Burr Grinder vs Blade Grinder

The reason we’re using a burr grinder over a blade grinder is simple. A burr grinder is a nice, consistent grind whereas a blade grinder is not.

Why? 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 shaker and a burr grinder is using your favorite brand. The burr grinder will extract the most and best flavor.

Filter. The most important part of purchasing a filter for me was to have something I can reuse. The filter I use is a reusable and all purpose strainer bag that I picked up for around $10.00 which you can see here.

Using this filter bag allows me to easily put my ground coffee into it then into my jar which makes things super quick. Another great thing about the filter bag? Clean up is a breeze! Seriously, all you do is dump your ground coffee out and give it a rinse…that’s it.

You could also use a cheesecloth, t-shirt, and so on if you’re in a bind. Think outside the box!

Whole Beans vs Ground Coffee

The choice is yours! You can use either whole beans or ground coffee to make cold brew. Seeing that I’m suggesting you purchase a burr grinder above, I’m obviously partial to using whole beans. Using ground coffee will end up being quicker and more convenient but you’re going to be compromising the taste.

Why is the taste comprised? The simple answer is that whole bean coffee is going to be much fresher. As soon as coffee is ground it starts to go stale. Grinding the beans yourself will give you a fresh, delicious flavor.

Cold Brew Coffee Ratios

To make your cold brew coffee you’ll want to first take out your regular or digital kitchen scale and if you’re making 1 gallon at a time then weigh out 8 ounces or 227 grams of coffee. You can make more or less by following these ratios here:

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

If you don’t have a digital kitchen scale the one I use can be purchased it by clicking here, it’s one of the best investments you can make for your kitchen. I’ve used this same scale for almost a decade now!

Once you’ve weighed out your coffee, use your grinder to grind them up if you’re using whole bean. The whole grinding process shouldn’t take longer than 5-10 minutes with a manual burr grinder.

You also want to make sure that your grind is set to coarse! Depending on what you’re using to filter it, it may be harder to filter if it’s too fine.

Add your ground coffee into your filter bag, put your bag into your jar, and pour in 1 gallon or 128 ounces of water. Make sure the end of your bag/filter 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.

Cold Brew Coffee Brew Time

Let your cold brew coffee brew for around 14-16 hours.

Yes, you can brew it for longer than 14-16 hours but if you brew it for too long it’ll eventually start to bitter. In my opinion, letting it brew for 14-16 hours is optimal.

Whether you brew it in the fridge or leave it out to brew on the countertop is also completely up to you. One benefit of brewing it in the fridge is that you’ll have a nice, cold cup of coffee ready for you in the morning!

After your brew time is up, remove your ground coffee by filtering it. If you used a filter bag like me just pull your bag out, dispose of your grounds, and give your bag a quick rinse.

Distribute your cold brew coffee into some bottles for easy access to take with you or just leave it in your jar and serve it whenever you want it!

Pro tip? Flavor every bottle differently! More tips?

Cold Brew Coffee Tips

  • Use flavored roasts!
  • Extracts like vanilla, raspberry, coconut, chocolate, etc in your cold brew will easily change up the flavor.
  • Compliment your roast flavor with lemon or orange slices, vanilla bean, mint leaves, nuts, and so on!
  • Add in sweeteners or sugar free syrups.
  • The lighter the roast you use, the more acidity it will have in it (most of the time).

As for storage, your cold brew coffee should stay fresh for around 2-3 weeks so don’t be scared to make a ton of it at a time!

How much caffeine does this cold brew coffee recipe have in it? There’s a ton of variables here but my estimate for the caffeine content is around 100-125mg of caffeine per 8 ounces.

Happy Brewing! 🙂

Drop your favorite ways to drink cold brew coffee in the comments below!

Ready for a Cold Brew Low Carb Mug Cake!?

Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

How To Make The Best Cold Brew Coffee

Looking for How To Make The Best Cold Brew Coffee Recipe EVER? Look no further! This quick cold brew recipe is easy, cheap, and delicious!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best cold brew, cold brew coffee, easy cold brew
Servings: 16 Cups
Calories: 1kcal
Cost: $6

The Protein Chef is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.


  • 8 Ounces Coffee - 227g Whole Bean
  • 128 Ounces Water - 1 Gallon


  • Grind your Coffee
  • Add your Ground Coffee into your Filter Bag
  • Place your Filter Bag into your 1 Gallon Jar (make sure the ends of your bag stick out so your coffee doesn't fall out)
  • Pour your Water in
  • Let brew for 14-16 hours minimum



Serving: 8ounces | Calories: 1kcal | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Sodium: 4.7mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g


  1. SJ on April 6, 2023 at 9:13 pm

    What is the ratio used here? Yum!

    • Derek Howes on May 10, 2023 at 7:11 pm

      Can you see the “Cold Brew Coffee Ratios” section? Or are you referring to something else?

  2. Alexa on August 5, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    Just tried this and it came out great! I added some vanilla to and grind them and it tasted great too! Having a coffee grinder is really a big help and also satisfying.

  3. Tracy on January 30, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    After cold brewing the 14-16 hours does it get diluted after that or ready to go ?

    • Derek Howes on February 23, 2022 at 3:40 pm

      This really depends on how much caffeine you want and what kind of taste you’re going for. I’ll sometimes drink it as is or dilute it a bit. Hope this helps!

    • YM on January 7, 2023 at 8:29 pm

      I have this question too! Every other recipe I have seen has always made a concentrate and then you dilute it. I always wondered why not just make it straight? Would love to know if this is just a straight recipe or concentrate, and if anybody knows why the heck we have always made a concentrate, that would be great to know too!

      • Derek Howes on January 12, 2023 at 5:22 pm

        It’s not intended to be a concentrate though that depends on your caffeine tolerance/intake.

      • Kelly on August 22, 2023 at 7:08 am

        I worked in a coffee house and this was used as a concentrate. We would soak 24 hours drain into a gallon container and fill with water. I have been making this for over 20 years. If you like strong coffee than don’t dilute as much

  4. jocelyn on September 25, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    5 stars
    hello i make this all of the time after watching your video and i brew this in the method you show in your youtube video. i just wanted to know if the grounds at the bottom of the jar is normal?

    • Derek Howes on October 1, 2020 at 5:36 pm

      Hi Jocelyn! Are you talking about while brewing or after brewing/removing the bag?

  5. Justin Urra on August 20, 2020 at 9:33 am

    Does this need to be diluted after brewed?

    • Derek Howes on October 24, 2020 at 10:17 am

      This is dependent on how strong you make/like your coffee. I don’t typically dilute mine with the ratios used here. Hope this helps!

  6. Cheri on September 3, 2019 at 12:00 am

    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

    • Derek Howes on November 1, 2019 at 12:00 am

      Hi Cheri! You could definitely do that. Love some cinnamon in my coffee!

  7. Jean on June 2, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Hello! In your opinion, would I be able to use the grounds for a second brew since the process calls for cold water? I just want to use it the most I can before I feed the used grounds to my plants. Thanks in advance!

    • Derek Howes on May 27, 2020 at 8:03 pm

      Hi Jean! I can’t say I’ve done this myself and from my reading on it, I don’t think it’d be worth it. Just my .02!

  8. Zenna on March 26, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Hi! Will this keep on the counter for 2-3 weeks or should it be moved to the fridge after brewing?? Thanks!

    • Missy on August 26, 2023 at 12:22 am

      I was told Cold Brewed Coffee will last 14 Days in the fridge, I would NOT recommend leaving out on the counter..

  9. Dave on July 11, 2016 at 12:00 am

    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!

  10. Wendy on October 1, 2015 at 12:00 am

    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!! 🙂

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