Cold Brew Coffee: Ratio of Grounds to Water (w/ Instructions)

Cold Brew Coffee RatioWith the warmer months on the way, it might be time to switch up the way you make your coffee.

Most people are used to getting up in the morning and starting their drip-style coffee maker in anticipation of the delicious, warming results. However, something a little cooler might be more appropriate as the weather starts to heat up.

A fantastic way to get your caffeine fix in a cooler way is to make cold brew coffee.

If you’ve never tried making coffee in a different way before, then the idea of trying a new method can seem a little daunting, but cold brew is easy to make and it can allow you to make enough in one session to last you throughout the week.

Many also consider it to be a smoother, less bitter option when compared to drip-style coffee because of the way it’s made.

To learn more about how you can make this delicious style of coffee, continue on!

The Difference Between Cold And Hot Brew

As the name states, the biggest difference between hot and cold brew is that the latter is brewed in cold water. At the warmest, people typically use lukewarm water for allowing the beans to bloom in.

In its most basic, the recipe consists of cool water and coffee grounds. They are most often combined into a container together and left for a long period of time in order to allow the flavors and caffeine to soak into the water.

Making a cold brew can take several hours, so it’s important to make sure you have the time to wait before you begin.

The method listed above is known as full immersion, but some people do use a slow drip method to make this kind of coffee.

The slow drip brewing style includes having a container that is able to drip water over the coffee grounds in a very slow way. This method can be very aesthetically pleasing, but may be a little more difficult to get started as it often requires a slow drip coffee maker that most people don’t own.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re using grounds that are well-suited to this kind of brewing.

The Grounds Are Important!

If you’re more familiar with drip-style coffee then it may be news to you that not all grounds will work equally when making cold fact we believe that some beans are better for cold brew than others.

Naturally, you want something that will release caffeine and flavor well but grounds that are too fine can result in more of a sludge than a pleasant drink.

It’s not impossible to make a cold brew with fine grounds, but it can make filtering out the coffee more difficult.

Because of that, coarse grounds are going to be the best option. They’ll soak well, ensuring that you still get the caffeine boost you need but will also be easier to filter out afterward.

As with the french press method getting coarse ground coffee without the fines will probably require the use of a midrange to high end coffee grinder. Here are some of our favorite grinders.

You can also use different kinds of grounds depending on your personal tastes so it’s no hard and fast rule.

Better Roasts & Beans for Cold Brew

There are even some types of coffee grounds or beans out there specifically made to work well for cold brew coffee.

The type of roast you use is also largely up to you, but many prefer medium roasts because they can provide great flavor with a fair amount of caffeine.

If you’re curious about the kinds of beans that would be best for you to use, we have a helpful article on the subject!

When trying out a new brewing style like this, it’s always a good idea to try out a few different options so that you can find the one you like most.

Making A Cold Brew

There are a few different methods for effectively making a cold brew. You can buy specially-made equipment that is designed for cold brew, use a French press or just work using a large mason jar or other larger container.

Of course, the size of container you use can depend on how much you want to make at a time.

In the case of using something simple like a mason jar, the typical ratio is about 36 ounces of water to every 8 ounces of coffee grounds. After combining the water and grounds, you’ll need to wait at least 12 hours to give the combination time to soak.

Because the water is cooler, it’s not going to work as quickly as when you make coffee using hot water. The extra time can also ensure that the resulting brew is more concentrated.

After the mixture has had plenty of time to soak, all you need to do is filter out the grounds and store your cold brew coffee in the fridge.

Because it’s such a simple process, you can make a lot of coffee ahead of time and you won’t have to worry about brewing some every time you need it.

The Ideal Ratio for Cold Brew Coffee

As earlier stated, it’s normal to start off using a ratio of 8 ounces of coffee grounds to 36 ounces of water – yes, that’s a lot of coffee grounds! It’s way more than the ratio you would use in a french press for instance.

However, as you start to get an understanding of the resulting brew, you can adjust that ratio to suit your preferences.

You can also try out different kinds of coffee and grounds, making any changes you need to get the ideal result.

Over time, you may find that you want something that can make filtering out the final product a little easier.

One thing that is important to keep in mind with cold brew is that it can use up a lot more grounds than typical drip-style coffees, so you should expect to need to buy larger amounts for your cold brew.

The good news is that the final product can pack more of a punch, since the ratio of grounds to water is so high.

That being the case, you’ll still be able to get the energy boost you need.

Many people enjoy their cold brew coffee with nothing mixed in, due to the smoother, less acidic flavoring but you can also choose to mix the cold brew with a number of different things to create something truly delicious.

Enjoying The Finished Product

Once you’ve made the cold brew, there are a wide variety of cold brew recipes that you can try out.

If you like to keep it basic, you can use water, milk, cream and ice to create the perfect beverage or you can find plenty of delicious specialty drink recipes to make the experience even more enjoyable.

You can use your cold brew to make iced coffees or even combine it with soda or ice cream if you’re looking for a special treat!

An important note to make here is that cold brew and iced coffee are fundamentally different, but you can use cold brew for iced-coffee style recipes.

Because there are so many different ways to enjoy your cold brew, it’s really a fun drink to make and enjoy.

Whether you want to cool down in the summer or heat the brew back up in the winter, you can suit your needs with a cold brew.

Some people will use things like coconut milk, flavored syrups and even vanilla beans to liven up the drink. There really are so many options out there for enjoying it!

Overall, cold brew coffee is a very simple thing to make and it can result in a smoother drink that won’t carry the same bitter taste as regular brewing methods.

That alone makes it a great drink to try out, explore and find out whether it might be the perfect way to expand your love of coffee!

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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