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Cold-Brew Coffee Recipes

cold-brew coffee with ice on dark tableCold-brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in water overnight. Unlike iced coffee that involves pouring fresh-brewed coffee over ice, the cold-brew method uses time rather than heat to extract a coffee's flavorful oils and sugars to produce a uniquely sweet and balanced brew.

Basic Cold-Brew Coffee 

cold-brewed coffee in mason jarSimple to make at home, cold-brew coffee produces a concentrate that's typically combined with cold water using a 1:1 coffee-to-water ratio. Other than the time required for steeping, the cold-brew process takes about five minutes.


Choose a large Mason jar or any other large container with a lid to prepare your cold brew. Dial your grinder all the way to its most coarse setting to produce a texture resembling breadcrumbs or Kosher salt.

Using a 1:8 coffee-to-water ratio, pour the coffee grounds (regular or decaf) into the jar and cover the grounds with cold water.

Stir to combine the coffee and water mixture, cover with a lid, and allow it to steep on the counter or in the refrigerator for 12 hours or overnight.

When the brew time has ended, use a sieve to strain the mixture into a large container or bowl in order to remove the larger grounds. Discard or compost them. Next, layer cheesecloth or a few paper towel sheets on the bottom of the cleaned sieve and strain the mixture back into the jar.

Repeat this process several times until no residue (“coffee mud”) appears at the bottom of the jar. If residue remains after several attempts, your grind may have been too fine. You'll be able to make the necessary adjustments on your next try.

In a tall glass filled with ice, add equal parts coffee concentrate and water, stir, and taste. If you'd prefer a weaker brew, pour in a bit more cold water. Add milk and/or sugar if you’re so inclined.

Cover and refrigerate any remaining concentrate. If stored properly, it will provide additional cups of this sweet, low acidic brew for several weeks. You may decide to use some of the refrigerated concentrate for some of the recipes that follow.

Craving a hot brew instead? Add equal parts cold-brew concentrate and boiling water for a steaming cup of smooth, flavorful coffee.

Alternate Brewing Option: French Press 

1. Add coffee to a French Press. Pour the cold water over the grounds, ensuring that all of the grounds are wet.

2. Cover with plastic wrap and let steep on the counter or in the refrigerator overnight or for 12 hours.

3. After the coffee has finished brewing, use the plunger on the French Press to strain the coffee.

4. Pour any remaining coffee concentrate into a covered container and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  

Amazing Cold-Brew Coffee

two iced coffee drinks sitting on ice cubesAdding a teaspoon of cinnamon and a few spoonfuls of dark brown sugar to this coffee as it cold brews gives it a lush sweetness and a hint of warmth. After 12 hours or a night in the fridge, strain the coffee and pour it over ice. Add some cream, half and half, or milk to finish it off.

Coffee Base Ingredients 

3 oz. coarsely ground coffee, regular or decaf
3 cups cold water
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons dark brown sugar 


Place the coffee base ingredients into a quart jar and stir. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight. 

Finish the Drink 

To remove the grounds, place a strainer over a bowl and pour the coffee mixture through it to capture the larger grounds. Discard the spent grounds and rinse the strainer. Then place a paper coffee filter or two into the bottom of the sieve and strain the mixture back into the quart jar. Repeat the process again if silt ("coffee mud") remains at the bottom of the jar.

For each drink, fill a tall glass halfway with ice. Pour in the cold-brew coffee until the glass is 3/4 full. Fill the remainder of the glass with milk, half and half, or cream. 

Cold-Brew Chocolate Milk Coffee 

a glass of cold-brew coffee with a spoon and strawCoffee and chocolate milk. Who would have thought that in combination with ice, the two would take on an almost melted ice cream flavor? Yet a bit of coffee is often added in baked goods to heighten the flavor of chocolate. Thankfully, the pairing also works in this drink!

3 ounces of cold-brew coffee, regular or decaf (see Cold-Brew Coffee recipe at the top of this page)
4 to 5 ounces of chocolate milk

Combine the cold-brew concentrate and chocolate milk in a tall glass. Give it a stir, then add a handful of ice cubes and enjoy. 



Cold-Brew Mocha Cola Coffee

a cold-brew coffee drink topped with whipped creamReminiscent of a root-beer float, the Mocha Cola makes an impression. Creamy chocolate milk and effervescent cola provide sweetness and texture, while the coffee gives the drink a delicious base. Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, depending on your mood.


1 cup cold-brew coffee, regular or decaf (see Cold-Brew Coffee recipe at the top of this page)
12 oz can cola
3 cups chocolate milk
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream


Combine coffee, cola, and chocolate milk in a 1 1/2 to 2-quart container.

Into four individual glasses, pour the cold-brew mixture over ice and top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Serve immediately. 

Cold-Brew Coffee Popsicles

coffee popsicles on blue plate with roasted beansCold-brew coffee is a bit sweeter and less bitter than regular coffee which makes it perfect for enjoying iced coffee on a hot day. Mixed with a little sweetener and a splash of milk, these popsicles are a summer treat.


1 cup cold-brew coffee, regular or decaf (see Cold-Brew Coffee recipe at the top of this page)

3 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk

1½ cups milk


In a large bowl or container, preferably with a spout, mix together the cold-brew coffee, sweetened condensed milk, and milk. Taste test the mixture by adding more coffee, milk, or sweetener as needed.

Fill popsicle molds and freeze until completely solid.

Cold-Brew Coffee Float

cold-brew coffee in glass with cream and whipped creamThis refreshing drink is a definite thirst quencher with its smooth coffee flavor, kick of espresso, bubbly club soda, and dense ice cream. Double the ingredients and share this drink with a friend! 


5 oz. cold-brew coffee, regular or decaf (see Cold-Brew Coffee recipe at the top of this page)
2 shots espresso
1/4 cup club soda
1/4 cup vanilla ice cream
Whipped cream and cocoa powder


Combine the ingredients and pour into a tall ice-filled glass. Top it all off with whipped cream dusted with cocoa powder if you feel like splurging. Cold-brewed coffee is naturally sweeter than fresh-brewed coffee, but you might want to add cream and a drizzle of homemade simple syrup to taste. The recipe for simple syrup is below.

Simple Syrup Recipe

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water

In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. The syrup can be refrigerated in a glass jar for up to 1 month. 

Cold-Brew Milk and Honey Coffee

cold-brew coffee over ice with strawA mere five ingredients are all that's required to pamper yourself all summer long with this sweet and creamy cold-brew drink.

1.5 ounces cold-brew coffee (see Cold Brew Coffee recipe at the top of this page)
1 tsp. honey
2 oz. half and half
2 oz. milk or almond milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine the cold-brew coffee, honey, milk, cream, and vanilla in a glass or mug. Stir vigorously to ensure that all ingredients are incorporated.

Add ice cubes to within 1" from the rim. Add a straw, if you'd like, to capture every last drop.