Cold Brew Concentrate: What Is It and How to Make It at Home

Cold brew has slowly become the most popular summer coffee drink. It is just like normal iced coffee but it is brewed in cold water for long periods of time which concentrates the concoction.

Hence, you get to taste the refreshing and authentic coffee aroma that makes it a popular summer sip. But, cold brew is pretty expensive as it takes a lot of effort and time to make.

Here we have made a guide on how you can make your own cold brew concentrate at home, and enjoy it without burning a hole in your pocket.

What Is Cold Brew Concentrate?

The cold brew concentrate is a coffee drink that works as more of a base for other recipes rather than a drink in itself. It is made by brewing coarsely ground coffee beans for up to 14 to 18 hours. Since it is soaked in freezing water for such a long period of time, it results in a less acidic brew.

The main difference between cold brew concentrate and coffee concentrate is the latter is made with hot water.

Hence cold brew concentrate is undiluted and is used as a base for iced coffee and other kinds of coffee.

  • The most important thing in a cold brew concentrate is the ratio of water to the amount of coffee used. It is supposed to be strong and dense.
  • The quality of water comes next. Your water needs to be of good quality and filtered or it beats the purpose of experiencing the undiluted cold brew aroma.

Coffee Grind Size For Cold Brew Concentrate

When it comes to cold brew concentrate, the coarser the grind size, the better. Finely ground coffee beans would reduce the space in the mixture obstructing the flow of water during the brewing process.

This is how coarse grind powder looks like

Not only will it take longer to brew but also will cause a muddy texture. In case you are using coffee that is already pre-ground then it is advisable to choose one that is marketed for cold brew or for French press.

How To Make Cold Brew Concentrate At Home


  • 5-6 ounces of coarsely ground coffee beans.
  • 3½ cup of water

The standard ratio of brew to water is 6oz water to 1oz coffee grounds. This means 3 cups of water to 1½ cup of coarsely ground coffee.

4 Steps To Make Cold Brew Concentrate

1. Measuring The Ingredients

The hardest part is getting the ratio right. Once that’s done you need to gather your ingredients and mix them. First, you need to add the desired amount of water to a bowl, then add the coffee grounds, and then stir to consistency. These grounds can either be stored ground or you can coarsely grind beans on your own.

2. Steeping

After you have mixed successfully, cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator, ideally overnight for 12 to 18 hours. This process is called steeping. The steeping time depends on your preference. More the steeping time, the stronger and more bitter the coffee concentrate is.

For reference, a Starbucks cold brew is steeped for 20 hours.

3. Straining

straining it through a fine sieve

After steeping is done, you need to strain it through a fine sieve. You can line it with coffee filters, or alternatively use a handkerchief, cheesecloth, or a clean t-shirt. You have to pour the material in batches as needed and stir gently.

4. Separation

You will know that your coffee concentrate is ready when all the liquid is separated from the grounds successfully while straining. To ensure that you need to check the mixture for leftover grounds.

After you have successfully followed all these steps now your cold brew concentrate is ready to use as a base or to be stored.

Do You Need A Coffee Concentrate Maker

If you are someone who wants to save time then you definitely do need to make a coffee concentrate maker. A maker would disperse the water more evenly, releasing more flavors from the ground. At the same time, it reduces the movement of the brew, letting you have a cleaner concentrate.

Moreover, in most cold brew concentrate makers, all the good liquid drips from the bottom, lessening your hassle.

How To Store Cold Brew Concentrate

To store the cold brew concentrate, you need to put the brew in a glass pitcher. It is advisable to use a glass pitcher rather than plastic because plastic is porous and it impacts the taste of the coffee. Make sure the container is air-tight, cover it with a saran wrap just to be sure. After that, refrigerate it.

A stored cold brew lasts about a week.

How To Use Cold Brew Concentrate

Cold brew iced coffee

Do not get fooled by the word cold in front of the name. Unlike any other type of storable coffee, it’s extremely versatile. The fact that it’s stored in a form of a concentrate, you can use it with different materials to make the drink of your choice and because it’s a concentrate it retains its flavor very well even with liquids like milk.

If you are someone who likes a variety of coffee drinks but cannot be bothered with the cumbersome activity of dealing with a variety of processes, cold brew concentrate would be perfect for you to store. Following are the drinks you can make.

Here are some of the cold brew coffee concentrate drinks recipe:
1. Starbucks Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew
2. Cold Brew Iced Coffee with Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

Iced Coffee

It is very easy to make. All you have to do is add the concentrate and cold water and add the topping as per your choice (cream, chocolate syrup, etc). Don’t forget the ice!

Hot Coffee

All you need to do is add the concentrate to warm water in a 2:4 ratio, and you are set.

Cold Brew Soda

For this, the ideal ratio is 2oz cold brew coffee concentrate, 8 oz soda water, 1 oz simple syrup, and some ice.

Homemade Cold Brew Concentrate Recipe

Learn to make a cold brew concentrate at home and make all kinds of coffee drinks with it. Very easy to make with only 2 ingredients
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 hours
Total Time 18 hours 15 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 5
Calories 15 kcal


  • 1 Medium-sized bowl
  • 1 Spatula
  • 1 Fine sieve
  • 1 Cotton filters or a cheesecloth


Ingredients For the Cold Brew Concentrate:

  • 3 ½ cups Water
  • 5-6 ounces Coarsely ground coffee beans


Instructions For the Cold Brew Concentrate:

  • ●     Pour 3 ½ cups of water in abowl and add about 6 ounces of coarsely ground coffee beans.
    ●     Start stirring until it reachesa firm consistency.
    ●     After mixing well, cover the bowlwith a lid and refrigerate for about 18 hours (or from early evening to mid-morning). This is called steeping.
    ●     Take the mixture out in themorning and run it through a fine sieve or a cheesecloth to strain the coffeegrounds out. Make sure you check for leftover grounds.
    ●     And voila, your cold brewconcentrate is ready!


  • Our cold brew concentrate recipe is extremely versatile, so you can use this for both hot coffee and iced coffee.
To store, place the concentrate in an airtight glass pitcher. To be extra sure of keeping the texture, cover with saran wrap. When that’s done, stick it in the fridge, where it’ll stay good for about a week.

I'm a coffee lover, foodie, and blogger - passionate about coffee and all the things that go with it. I write about coffee, and news, learn about new coffees from across the world, do some home roasting, and share my thoughts on various other topics.

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