How Long To Steep Cold Brew Coffee?

by Peter Taylor | Last Updated: 10 December 2019

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How Long To Steep Cold Brew Coffee?

Hot coffee isn’t for everyone, so whether you can’t handle a steaming cup or just don’t care to make a fresh pot every time, cold brew coffee is a great alternative. If you’ve never made it though, you may be hesitant to try your hand at brewing a different kind of coffee, but rest assured, the process itself is ridiculously simple. The hardest part may in fact be the waiting, since you typically steep cold brew coffee for 18-20 hours.

Do you steep cold brew coffee in the fridge or at room temperature?

You can steep cold brew coffee either on the counter at room temperature or in your fridge, the choice is yours. Cold water extracts solubles out of coffee grounds slower than hot water, so if you are strapped for time then steeping your brew on the counter at room temperature may be a better choice. You’ll want to steep it for 12-18 hours. If you plan on steeping your coffee for longer than 20 hours, you are probably better off storing it in the fridge.

How long is too long to steep cold brew coffee?

Just like tea, how long you steep cold brew coffee depends on the flavor and taste you’re after. While the ideal time frame for steeping is between 18-20 hours, those who prefer a stronger, bolder taste can steep their cold brew coffee for up to 24 hours. Steeping it for longer than that may get flavors that are unpalatable, but you also run the risk of the drink itself going stale or the grounds going mouldy. Steeping it in the fridge can delay the latter from happening.

Is it possible to oversteep cold brew coffee?

If you happened to steep your cold brew for longer than expected and find it overly strong, you can cut it with water and find a taste that’s preferable to your liking, as well as giving you more coffee to drink. It’s worth nothing that you can oversteep or over-extract cold brew coffee if the grounds are too fine which will also may leave your drink cloudy and with a gritty texture. Coarsely ground beans allow for easier dripping then finer grinds and will be able to extract sweet flavors that make cold brews so great.

How long does cold brew last?

You’ve steep the perfect batch of cold coffee, but you’re not sure how long it will last. You’ll want to store your cold brew in the fridge once it’s done to your liking. Undiluted concentrate will keep up to about two weeks, but the flavor won’t be as great after the first seven days. Coffee brew that has been diluted with water will last even less than that, just a few days.

What should I make cold brew coffee in?

Just like you can purchase different kinds of coffee makers to make a hot cup of coffee with, there are also products out there that can help you make the best cold brew instead of purchasing expensive bottles of it in stores. Try some of these different ways of making cold brew and see what works for you.

Making cold brew with a French press

French presses are popular options for making cold brew coffee because their built-in filter makes it easy to keep out fine grounds. Just add the coffee grounds and make sure they’re saturated and can extract the flavors. After letting it sit for the desired time, press and strain into a covered jar. If you haven’t used a French press but want to try this method for making cold brew, consider checking these ones out:

The Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker

This is a great model if you’re new to cold brew, capable of making excellent coffee both hot and cold. Bodum has long been recognized as one of the leading makers of French presses and has a variety of color models to choose from.

The Bodum French press can make single 12oz cups all the way up to 51oz servings, but if you’re using it for making big batches of cold brew, the larger size might be your better option. Its 3-part stainless steel plunger comes with a mesh filter which helps keep grounds and sediment out of your brew, leaving behind the best flavors and a smooth and satisfying drink for first time cold brewers.  Its durable safety lid keeps your brew safe from spills and also makes clean-up easy since both the lid and carafe are dishwasher safe.

While there are mostly positive reviews, there have been cases of the body cracking when used for making hot coffee or just not being durable if dropped.

Espro Press P7

With a name that sounds more like a laptop brand than a coffee maker, the Espro Press P7 French press is certainly a higher end model for those who want to invest in a quality product when it comes to making coffee. Capable of brewing 6-8 cups, this stylish French press will help you make some quality cold brew.

While a little pricier then other models, that’s because the Espro comes in both polished and brushed steel. It’s also highly durable since there’s no glass to break. This French press has vacuum-insulated double walls, so whether you like your coffee hot or cold, this will do the trick.

How Long To Steep Cold Brew Coffee? 1

The Espro has BPS and BPA-free micro-filters in its dual filtering system, helping you keep all the grit and sediment out of your coffee. Buying one on Amazon will come with an 8.5″ long handmade bamboo stirring coffee paddle to make sure you don’t scratch or crack your shiny Espro. While some products throw in those little extras as a gimmick, the satisfied reviews of those who purchased this would suggest otherwise.

Veken French Press Coffee Maker

For those wanting to try making cold brew but are on a bit of a budget, the Veken French Press may be your best choice. A more affordable model, the Veken comes with four polished filter screens which are removable, making cleaning easy.

Although it has a smaller capacity of 12oz, it’s design makes up for that. Its small size makes it perfect for single servings, but also for taking it with you on trips, to work, or even camping. The glass body even has an exact scale line to ensure you make precisely the right amount of coffee.

Just like the Bodum, some reviewers have found the glass body of the Veken to be less resilient to heat or bumpy shipping as they’d like, so it might best be used solely for cooler coffee. There are still however other options to help you out in making cold brew.

Making cold brew with an slow drip brewer

If French presses aren’t your style, that’s okay. Even when making cold brew, some people still prefer a good slow-drip method.

The Bruer Cold Brew Maker uses water, ice and gravity to give you that refreshing cold brew we’re after. You fill the glass container with coarse coffee grounds which are slowly soaked by dripping water from the chamber above. The design in the silicone lid allows you to control the drip rate with a twist of the knob if you’re feeling impatient for your cold drink.

The downside is unlike French Presses, many slow drip brewers require paper filters to use. If you aren’t big on spending money or creating extra trash, you could consider making cold brew with a sock.

Making cold brew with a sock

Yes, you read correctly. You can indeed make cold brew coffee with a sock. Not just a regular old sock mind you, but a coffee sock!

The CoffeeSock is a reusable alternative to paper filters and nylon sacks and can be used with wide mouth mason jars. You soak coffee grounds in the cotton “sock” which will absorb some of the coffee oils but lets acids flows through, resulting in a flavorful cold brew. The sock is made from 90% cellulose which is thankfully tasteless and odorless and won’t leach any unwanted flavors into your coffee.

If you can get past the initial idea of making cold brew with a sock, you can order three different sizes: quart (32oz), ½ gallon (64oz), and gallon sized.


Cold brew is a delicious drink that has grown in popularity, and while the process of making it is different than brewing a regular pot of hot coffee, it’s incredibly simple and hard to fail at. You simply steep coarse coffee grounds in water and leave them for 18-20 hours either on the counter top or in the fridge. Your new batch of cold brew coffee should last up to two weeks, less if you let it steep a little too long and have to dilute the strong taste with water. Whatever product you use to make cold brew, whether it’s a French press or a sock, the steeping process is so simple you’ll be making a new batch in no time.

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