Making Cold Brew in a French Press

Jun 10, 2021

If you’re looking for an easy way to make cold brew out of a Driftaway coffee that doesn't come in one of our mesh bags, look no further! We’ve got a simple method and recipe for making great cold brew in your French press.
To make cold brew, coarsely ground coffee is steeped in cold water overnight. Cold brew tends to be way more mellow, because cold water can’t pull out as many of the top notes that give coffee its brightness. It has a much smoother and well-rounded taste, which is why it’s such a popular way to drink cold coffee!
We’ve put together a quick tutorial for brewing any of our coffees as cold brew in a French press. We’ve got a video tutorial and step-by-step visual guide, troubleshooting tips and frequently asked questions


We have provided measurements for the most popular French press sizes, the 34 ounce and the 51 ounce. With our recipe, the 34 ounce French press makes 4 cups of cold brew, and the 51 ounce makes 6 cups of cold brew.

  1. For the 34 ounce French press: 130g or 1.5 cups of coarsely ground coffee
  2. For the 51 ounce French press: 190g or 2 cups of coarsely ground coffee
  1. For the 34 ounce French press: 650ml or 2.75 cups cold water (filtered if possible)
  2. For the 51 ounce French press: 950ml or 4 cups cold water (filtered if possible)

Scale or measuring cup




Pour coffee grounds into French press and shake grounds to even them out. Pour water over grounds, and stir with spoon to make sure they are all saturated. Place the lid on the French press (but don’t plunge it down yet!) and steep for 16 hours in the fridge, or on your counter away from sunlight.


After 16 hours, press down on the plunger. If it’s very hard to press, pull back on it a little bit, then press again - this can help break the vacuum.


Dilute with one part concentrate and one part water or milk.


Pour the rest of the concentrate out into another container and store in the fridge.


How fine is the grind? Medium-fine or medium-coarse?

Use a grind that looks like kosher salt.

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How long does it take to steep cold brew?

For our mesh bags, we recommend starting with 16 hours.

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My cold brew tastes watery or too thick. Help!

Adjust steep time, dilution or try a different coffee!

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How long does cold brew last and where to store it?

Cold brew can last up to 5 days when stored in the fridge.

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What cold brew ratio should I use?

Our recipe with Driftaway cold brew bags uses 1 part coffee to 7 ⅓ parts water to make cold brew.

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What are the best coffees for cold brew?

Precisely why we created our Cold Brew Explorer kit!

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What is the difference between cold brew and cold brew concentrate?

Cold brew concentrate IS cold brew, but it will need to be diluted before you drink it.

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Does cold brew have more caffeine?

Since most cold brew recipes use more coffee than hot brew recipes, they contain more caffeine.

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Is cold brew and iced coffee the same?

While they are both cold coffee, but are brewed in different ways, and taste sligthly different.

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Need some gear recommendations for making the best cold brew in a French press?

Bodum makes a great French press, and they’ve been doing it for almost 50 years! They make them in a range of sizes, colors and materials.

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Using a burr grinder is the number one way to elevate your home coffee brewing. We love the line of Baratza grinders - they’re reliable, easy to use, and don’t take up too much room on the counter. Their Encore grinder is a great entry level grinder to start with.

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If you’d like to kick things up another notch, a scale is a great weigh to go (see what we did there?)! We recommend the Hario scale with timer. Precise down to a gram, we’ve tested this scale by brewing coffee in a few different ways, and found it super easy to use.

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