Making Cold Brew Coffee With A French Press Only Takes One Extra Step

Fans of cold brew know that the hype is worth it, but it's surely blunted when a single cup sets you back as much as $7 in a high-end coffee shop (and we're actually not even thirsty anymore, thanks). That's where homemade cold brew comes in. If you've never tried making it at home before, cold brew is coffee that has been steeped with cold rather than hot water. As such, the brewing time is much longer, 12-24 hours, instead of just a few minutes. It's brewed as a concentrate, then diluted, served over ice, or sometimes served straight. 

Typically, French presses are filled with boiling water for a quick immersion brew, then filtered using the device's mesh metal screen. But since the method is the same, just slower, the French press is actually an ideal tool for making cold brew. However, there's one extra step you'll need to take to make a killer batch — strain it twice. 

To make cold brew in a French press, put the lid on (plunger "un-plunged"), then place it in a cold, dark spot — the refrigerator is ideal. Once it's sat the requisite time, you can finally give the plunger a press. However, the metal mesh filter is going to be inadequate for the smooth mouthfeel of a cold brew. To remedy this, simply pour it through a paper filter to catch all those micro granules clouding up your coffee and lending the drink a faint grittiness.

Double-filter the grounds for French press cold brew

If you'd rather skip the paper filters, go for a coffee with a coarser grind size.  Because of the gentle brew type, the grinds will be relatively intact, and the mesh filter of the French press will be more or less enough. Alternatively, some coffee grounds are even specifically engineered for cold brews, like these ones from Bizzy, which will work great in a French press.

If you are using finely ground coffee, decrease the brew time; more surface area means quicker steeping. Still, the good part about brewing stronger cold brew is that you'll simply end up with more of it — just dilute as much as you want with water or milk. Plus, with homemade cold brew, you can customize it to fit your preference, as strong or weak as you like. In an airtight container or Mason jar, it'll keep in the fridge for up to a week.