french press cold brew

French Press Cold Brew Guide: Best French Press Cold Brew Ratio

French Press Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee has become an increasingly popular choice among coffee house visitors and home coffee consumers alike. Interestingly, it has also firmly established itself as the best coffee for French press users. With French press cold brew, you get the best of both worlds.

While you are probably familiar with a French press coffee maker, as well as the concept of cold-brewed coffee, it's far less likely that you have previously combined the two. Now is the time to change that forever, and this French press cold brew coffee guide will show you how to do it in style!

French Press Cold Brew Overview

cold brew french press

The French press is one of the most commonly used home brewing systems, allowing you to unlock the full flavor of your favorite roasted beans in a convenient and highly controlled manner. While it has been used in traditional home brewing for many generations, its ability to make cold brew coffee has become a recent revelation. Furthermore, it is a trend that has grown at an exponential pace, simply because cold brew coffee is the preferred choice over iced coffee.

Due to clever marketing campaigns, a level of ambiguity surrounds the concept of making cold brew with a French press. Contrary to what many brands suggest, defining it as pouring coffee over ice to create an iced or cold coffee, it's quite more than that. Instead, cold brew French press coffee is all about the temperature of the water used to prepare your beverage and time.

Unlike traditional brewing techniques that use boiling water, French press cold brew drinks are made using water that is kept at room temperature. This is deemed by many people to be the best coffee for French press brewing due to a whole host of reasons, such as;

  • Cold brew coffee produces a less acidic coffee. In fact, it reduces the acidity by up to two-thirds compared to traditional brewing. 
  • It produces a healthier coffee because the antioxidants are released from the coffee beans without being destroyed by high temperatures.
  • While it takes a long time to make, cold brew coffee can be kept for up to 10 days and be used in a range of food and drinks recipes.
  • The cold brew coffee is naturally sweeter, meaning you can avoid the addition of extra sweetener.
  • Using room temperature water and leaving it out of the fridge will speed up the osmosis process, allowing for you to enjoy the French press cold brew that much more quickly!

How To Make Cold Brew In A French Press

How To Make Cold Brew In A French Press

Using the French press to make a cold brew isn't vastly different from making a brew with boiling water. Once again, all you'll need is the brewing device and the ingredients required for your chosen drink (coffee beans or ground coffee, milk, syrups, etc.). If you are using beans, you will also need to grind the beans to a medium to coarse grind. In fact, this method even allows you to avoid the need for a kettle. Following this cold brew recipe will help you achieve a cold brew coffee concentrate ready for consumption!

1. Grind and prepare the coffee beans

Depending on how large your French press is, you'll want a 1 to 3 ratio of ground coffee to water. If your French press holds 4 cups, you'll want to use a cup of ground coffee. This will be a bit on the stronger side, but you can always add water if needed later on. If you make it too weak, there isn't much you can do.

2. Add Water

Next, fill the remainder of the French press up with room temperature water. Using our example from above, this should equate to 3 cups of water. Be sure to leave enough room to place the plunger in so that you can extract the coffee when it is ready.

3. Stir

Stir gently until all of the ground coffee is wet. You'll want to do this a couple of times over the next 24 hours to ensure that the cold brew mixture is equally saturated. This will help ensure all of the flavor and caffeine is extracted from the coffee grounds, preventing you from wasting any of your coffee.

4. Wait

Allow the cold brew mixture to sit for 24 hours at room temperature. If you used cold water and placed it in the fridge, you'll want to wait roughly 36 hours. To be honest, there is no correct amount of time to wait. Some people have reported that they enjoy drinking cold brew after only a few hours while others have reported that they prefer to wait a few days to a week.

5. Press

Now that the cold brew mixture has sat for the allotted amount of time, it is time to press the plunger down to extract the cold brew coffee from the ground coffee. Once the plunger has been pressed, pour the cold brew into another container and add water until it reaches your ideal cold brew ratio.

6. Taste, Test and Enjoy

This part is simple, taste your cold brew. Then, test different coffee beans, additives and ratios. Finally, and most importantly, enjoy your cold brew coffee!

Once you are able to perfect the cold brew process using a French Press, you'll wonder why you never thought of it before!

How To Clean A French Press

How To Clean A French Press

French press cold brew coffee will deliver a wide range of positive features that enhances your coffee consumption experiences. However, there is one potential downfall: the cleanup! The fact that you will allow the beans to percolate and release their flavors for 24 hours can cause stubborn stains on the glass, not to mention all of the tiny nooks and crannies.

Firstly, once your cold brew is ready to drink, we'd suggest transferring the beverage to a flask, jug or mason jar. While the marks on the glass aren't worsening at this stage, leaving them untreated can cause issues. To clean the French press, you can simply:

Cleaning a French Press is critical to ensure a clean and delicious cup of coffee. The build-up of coffee oils is inevitable, but if you stay on top of a routine cleaning cycle, they will never remain permanent.

  • Loosen the grounds from the bottom with water before pouring them into a sieve and disposing of them.
  • Use boiling water and soap to fill the pot to the top and let it stand for a few minutes.
  • Use the plunger to loosen the remaining coffee grounds before flushing out with water.
  • Take a sponge to wipe away any stains or marks from the side of the French press.

What Coffee Do We Recommend

french press cold brew coffee

If you make cold brew coffee, one of the most important steps is to choose the right coffee beans. The key is to choose a blend that is full of flavor. Due to the brewing method, medium-strength blends are more than adequate. The naturally sweet hints of chocolate and nut make the Maineiac blend a particularly good option for a tasty cold brew.

Similarly, users looking to prepare a cold brew in the French press (which we believe is the best option by far) will want to consider blends that are suited to the brewing device. The dark body of the Inkwell blend is highly popular if you prefer something with a bit more body. The cold brew process allows the notes of dark chocolate and caramel to stand out.


Iced Macchiato

iced macchiato

French press cold brewing methods can be used to prepare a wide range of coffees. However, the Italian macchiato is the most popular choice because its main focus is to deliver the strong tastes of an espresso with a less aggressive hit. Cold brewing produces a flavorsome result without the overpowering taste of an espresso.

Since an iced macchiato only needs the equivalent of one espresso shot, your French press can satisfy the family for a whole week. Macchiatos are referred to as "marked" or "stained" coffees because they add a dash of milk or steamed milk to the coffee after the coffee has been poured into the cup. Therefore, to make a cold brew macchiato at home, you can simply follow these steps:

  1. Prepare your French press cold coffee as detailed above. If using any syrups or enhancements, add them to the bottom of your cup before adding the coffee.
  2. Use a frother to create a small amount of steamed milk and foam.
  3. Allow for the milk and foam to be chilled, this will ensure that your ice doesn't melt.
  4. Pour a shot of French press cold brew into the cup, or two shots if opting for a long macchiato.
  5. Slowly add the chilled milk until you achieve the desired result.
  6. Add any foam as required to the top of your beverage, and enjoy.

While a traditional macchiato is usually a short beverage at just 1.25-1.5 oz, the cold brew option is open to interpretation and allows for you to add more milk or ice if required. The process of trial and error should soon allow you to find the perfect solution for your taste preferences.


french press cold brew ratio

French Press Cold Brew ratio

For a cold brew coffee in a French Press, you'll want a 1 to 3 ratio of coffee to water. Since the average French Press can hold 4 cups of water, you'll want to use 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee and 3 cups of water. Once the coffee has been extracted into a container, you can add more water depending on your personal preferences.

Can you make Cold Brew in a French Press

If you are wondering if you can make cold brew in a French Press, the simple answer is yes! Making cold brew in the French Press allows for an easier cleanup if you don't have a cold brew machine, and it is a great way to repurpose coffee equipment which will save you money.

Cold Brew vs French Press

Cold brew and French Press coffee are two separate forms of coffee extraction methods. Cold brew involves a slow immersion technique using room temperature or cold water, allowing for a smoother and less acidic cup of coffee. As you have learned by now, equipment can be repurposed. You could use a cold brew machine to make French Press coffee and a French Press to make cold brew.

On the other hand, French Press coffee uses a proprietary piece of equipment to extract the coffee grounds from the coffee. With a French Press, you are using boiling hot water to extract the coffee which leads to stronger tasting and more acidic brews. Both the French Press and cold brew extracted coffees have a lot of sediment in the final cup, which creates a heavier, full bodied experience.


Cold Brew vs French Press

If you are going to make cold brew coffee, you may as well try it using the tools you have. If you already have a cold brew coffee maker, great. If you don't but have a French press, even better! Not only is coffee in a French press quite delish, but cold brew coffee made in one is amazing!

As long as you have some coarsely ground coffee, a French press, water and time, you can make cold brew coffee in the comfort of your own home. Trust us, iced coffee is great, but cold brew coffee is in a whole other league of it's own. Although the total time it takes may be a bit longer, it's worth the wait.