How To Make Cold Brew Coffee

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee

Make the perfect Cold Brew coffee at home every time.
by Lauren Chamberlain | September 28, 2023

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

Make the perfect Cold Brew at home every time.

One of cold brew coffee’s main advantages is its simplicity — and homemade cold brew is easier than ever with our Cold Brew Bags. We’ve pared it down to a compostable bag that you can use with any container (Mason jars work great). And because cold brew coffee uses room temperature or cold water, some of the acid and bitterness in hot coffee is left behind. So, what’s a cold brew coffee? If you prefer iced coffee with a smooth, mild taste, cold brew coffee is the brew method for you. With that, let’s dive into how to make the best cold brew coffee.

What You Need

  • Trade Cold Brew Bags 
  • 1 qt. container
  • 25 oz  / 700 g of water
  • 3 oz / 85 g of coarsely ground coffee. Don't have a grinder? We can grind it for you!

Getting Started

1. Fill Cold Brew Bag

A Trade cold brew bag filled with ground coffee next to a scoop.

Fill your bag to the top with coarse coffee grounds. Some helpful tips to ensure you fill your bag properly include:

If you’re not weighing with a scale, use the drawstring as a guide and pour to right below that line.

Resist the urge to pack the bag as tightly as humanly possible — you want that cold water to penetrate all the way into the center of the coffee grounds.

Pull the drawstring gently until the bag is sealed tightly, which will stop the grounds from spilling into your homemade cold brew coffee concentrate and muddying it up with sediment.

      2. Add Bag & Water

      Put the sealed bag in your container and fill it with room temperature or cold filtered water. No fancy pouring technique is required, just make sure all the coffee is submerged. To stop the coffee from oxidizing (thus, picking up stale flavors) during the brewing process, tightly cover your container and keep it out of direct sunlight. This is especially important, because hotter temperatures speed up oxidation and the brewing process, potentially leaving you with bitter flavors.

      3. Let Sit & Steep

      Cold-brewed coffee requires a certain amount of patience (or at least forethought). Wait 12 to 18 hours; longer brew times will yield a richer cold brew concentrate, but steeping it for more than 18 hours could cause bitter flavors. Because cold water extracts slower than hot water, you’ll need that time to get flavor into the creation of your cold brew coffee recipe. A cold brew carafe full of water and the Trade cold brew bag.

      Our cold brew bags make cleanup no more complicated than your tea brewing process. Just remove the bag — no need to strain — and discard or commercially compost it (along with your coffee grounds).

      4. Drink to Taste

      Your homemade cold brew is ready! Because this recipe creates stronger coffee, ice, milk, or dairy substitutes won’t dilute the taste too much. If the concentrate feels like it’s too strong, add water to taste. Because our cold brew is brewed as a concentrate, it stands up to other ingredients, like those in a cocktail or mocktail recipe, too.

      If you’re not planning to drink it immediately, keep any leftover concentrate you brewed in your refrigerator for up to a week.

      And don’t forget to check out our other coffee brewing tips so you can ensure you are making the best possible coffee flavor.


      What's the best grind size for cold brew coffee?

      • For cold brew coffee, we recommend using a coarse grind size, similar to that of breadcrumbs. This allows for better extraction and prevents over-extraction, resulting in a smoother, less acidic brew.

      How long should I steep my cold brew coffee?

      • We recommend steeping your cold brew coffee for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator. This extended steeping time allows for optimal flavor extraction, resulting in a rich and smooth brew.

      Can I use regular coffee beans for cold brew?

      • While you can technically use any coffee beans for cold brew, we recommend using beans specifically labeled for cold brew or beans with flavor profiles that you enjoy when brewed as cold brew.

      Do I need any special equipment to make cold brew coffee at home?

      • While you can make cold brew coffee using just a mason jar and a fine mesh strainer, we recommend using a dedicated cold brew maker or a French press for easier filtering and cleanup.

      How long does cold brew coffee last in the refrigerator?

      • When stored in an airtight container, cold brew coffee can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator without losing its flavor or freshness. Be sure to keep it cold and sealed tightly to maintain its quality.


      Enhance Your At-Home Coffee Experience with Trade

      Looking to take your at-home coffee game to the next level? Look no further than Trade. Our mission at Trade is to make it easy for everyone to enjoy high-quality coffee at home, and we're here to help you elevate your coffee experience with our coffee subscriptions and top-notch brewing equipment.

      With a Trade subscription, you'll access a curated selection of freshly roasted beans from the best roasters across the country. Whether you prefer light, medium, or dark roast, single-origin, or blends, we've got you covered. Simply tell us your preferences, and we'll deliver freshly roasted coffee right to your doorstep, ensuring that you never run out of your favorite brew.

      Not sure where to start? Our coffee experts are here to guide you every step of the way. Simply take our quiz to discover personalized coffee recommendations tailored to your taste preferences. Plus, with our flexible subscription options, you can easily adjust your delivery frequency or pause your subscription anytime, giving you complete control over your coffee supply.

      But that's not all – we also offer a wide range of coffee brewing equipment to help you brew the perfect cup every time. From pour-over drippers to espresso machines, we've got everything you need to craft your favorite coffee beverages in the comfort of your own home.

      Ready to take your coffee game to the next level? Join the Trade Coffee community today and experience the difference for yourself.

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      Make great coffee at home. Support awesome roasters around the country.