How to Make Cold Brew Coffee From Scratch

Take one look at how much cold brew costs at the local café and we promise you'll want to make it at home immediately. Good news: cold brew coffee is one of those drinks that sounds extra fancy, but it's actually a low-maintenance method for making better iced coffee. The key to any cold brew coffee recipe is to let coarsely-ground beans steep for a long time. You'll do this until the water becomes infused with coffee flavor, about 10 hours. The end result is a super smooth, rich, and highly caffeinated batch of cold brew concentrate that you can sip as is with ice, or dilute with milk or cream. You can also try it in place of the liquid in a banana-peanut butter smoothie, or blend it with vanilla ice cream for a java milkshake.

Hands On Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
10 hrs 10 mins
6 serves


  • 4 ¾ cups coarsely ground coffee beans (from 12 oz. whole coffee beans)

  • 6 cups water


  1. Stir together ground coffee beans and water in a large bowl or lidded container. Cover and steep at room temperature for at least 10 hours and up to 1 day.

  2. Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set inside a large bowl. Pour coffee mixture through strainer, pressing with a spoon to encourage draining. Discard coffee grounds. Store coffee concentrate in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.Perfect Iced Coffee (Serves 1)½ cup coffee concentrate 2 tsp. light agave nectar or simple syrup ¼ cup half-and-half or whole milkFill a 16-ounce glass with ice. Add concentrate, ½ cup water, and agave nectar; stir to combine. Top with half-and-half.

    pouring homemade cold brew coffee into a glass
    Getty Images
Related Articles