Making Chilly Brew Espresso in a French Press


Right here on INeedCoffee, we have now a number of espresso brewing tutorials for making chilly brew espresso. You should purchase a Primula, a Toddy, or a cold brew filter pouch. Or perhaps you don’t want a devoted espresso brewer in any respect. That’s what we determined to search out out. We wished to repurpose certainly one of our current brewers to make chilly brew espresso. The proper alternative was the French Press.

For this text, we’re utilizing a 34-ounce French Press. The mannequin we used for this text is not accessible on the market, however different fashions ought to work the identical.

The fundamentals of chilly brew espresso are defined within the article Cold Brew Coffee is Not Rocket Science. Let water steep over espresso grounds at room temperature for 12+ hours then filter and serve. Let’s get brewing.

#1 Measure Espresso

How a lot espresso do you have to use? The reply to this query will fluctuate relying on whom you ask. The brief reply is greater than you’ll for normal brewed espresso. If you don’t want to cope with math or scales, simply double the quantity of the espresso you usually use when making sizzling French Press espresso. If you wish to leap into the maths, learn on, in any other case skip forward to Step #2.

In our French Press tutorial, we use a 17 to 1 ratio. This implies 17 elements water to 1 half espresso. For chilly brew, the recommendation is to make use of between 3 to 1 and seven to 1. We discovered a 7 to 1 ratio was splendid for the French Press as a result of quantity limitations. If you happen to discover 7 to 1 shouldn’t be robust sufficient, I might lengthen the brew time by a couple of hours as an alternative of including extra espresso.

The sizes of French Press brewers are an attention-grabbing matter. There may be the scale listed on the field, how a lot liquid it holds stuffed to the very prime, after which the estimated espresso yield whenever you brew the espresso. Seattle Espresso Gear did a complete take a look at of those numbers within the publish Coffee Presses: Overall Volume vs. Actual Yield. What you discover whenever you scan this chart is that the precise yield of brewed espresso is at all times a couple of ounces lower than the quantity listed on the field. The distinction is the espresso grounds and the quantity of water misplaced.

The extra espresso added to a French Press, the more room the espresso occupies and the extra water is trapped within the grounds on the finish of a brewing cycle. Because it exhibits within the Seattle Espresso Gear article, once we use a daily sizzling French Press we will count on to lose a couple of ounces. For chilly brew, we are going to lose extra, so it’s suggested to make use of a big French Press for making chilly brew espresso. Smaller French Presses won’t be well worth the problem as a result of they yield so little. And in contrast to sizzling French Press, we aren’t able to brew once more in 4 minutes. We’re ready for one more 12 hours.

We used a 34-ounce French Press for these assessments. For simple math, I’m going to spherical this to 1000 grams. I did three brew cycles every at a special power ratio. My aim was to maintain the brew weights shut and never fill it to the very prime.

  1. Common 17 to 1:  809 grams water + 48 grams floor espresso = 857 grams brew weight. Brew Yield = 733 grams (or 26 ounces)
  2. Sturdy 12 to 1: 800 grams water + 67 grams floor espresso = 867 grams brew weight. Brew Yield = 686 grams (or 24 ounces)
  3. Chilly 7 to 1: 756 grams water + 107 grams floor espresso = 864 grams brew weight. brew Yield = 588 grams (or 21 ounces)

As you possibly can see as we improve the power of the brewing ratio, we see a decline in espresso yield. Utilizing the identical math, we might count on a 20-ounce French Press to yield 13.5 ounces of chilly brew.

#2 Grind Espresso

You should utilize a medium to a rough floor when brewing chilly brew espresso in a French Press. We used a extra coarse grind, however both will work. If you happen to discover the coarse floor chilly brew is just too weak, tighten up your grind. If the medium grind is just too robust, you possibly can both add extra water or loosen up the grind.

See our Coffee Grind Chart to view the vary between Medium Coarse and Additional Coarse.

#3 Add Floor Espresso and Water to French Press

Identical to you’ll for a daily French Press, add the bottom espresso to the underside of the brewer. Solely this time as an alternative of sizzling water off boiling, you’ll add room temperature or chilly water. Filtered water is good.


For this brew, we went Additional Coarse. Your grind doesn’t should be this coarse. 


Add room temperature water.

#4 Gently and Slowly Stir

You need to make sure that all of the espresso grounds are making contact with water. Stir the espresso slowly. Attempt to cowl as many grounds with water as you possibly can.


Gently stir the espresso.

#5 Cowl and Set Apart for 12+ hours

You may cowl the French Press nonetheless you want. A small plate or plastic wrap are two concepts. You may use the French Press filter, simply ensure you solely press down sufficient to carry it in place. You don’t want to press the filter down till the brew is completed, which remains to be 12+ hours away.

There’s a debate on in case you ought to chilly brew the espresso on the counter or within the fridge. Both is okay. I want the counter as I believe it brews quicker, which implies that if I would like to chop the brew cycle brief by an hour I can. Nonetheless, if I used to be going to be away for for much longer than 12 hours, I’d brew it within the fridge.


Peeking on the chilly brew previous to urgent the filter down. 

#6 Finish Brew and Serve

This trick additionally works nice for normal French Press. By SLOWLY pushing the plunger down, you get a cleaner-tasting French Press. Try for a 30-second plunge. At this level, you possibly can switch the espresso to a mason jar for storage or serve it up.

Not each grinder is superior, so that you may need some fantastic espresso particles that make it into your cup. If you happen to expertise this, you possibly can filter the espresso once more. Place a paper espresso filter over a jar and slowly pour the espresso. This may catch any free grounds.


You may pour it into your spare French Press as nicely. 

#7 Clear Up

The clean-up for chilly brew French Press is identical as for normal brew French Press. Put the grounds in compost or save them for your garden.

Final Phrases

In case you have restricted area in your espresso gear, it’s good to know that the French Press can do double obligation as each a sizzling and a chilly espresso brewer. However to be sincere, I discovered the yield to not be well worth the effort and the cleanup was extra work than a devoted chilly brewer. If you happen to do have area and the price range for a chilly brewer, try the Penguin.


Make Concentrated Cold Brew Coffee With the Penguin Coffee – INeedCoffee tutorial on a devoted chilly brewer.

Coffee Brewing Guide – A set of espresso brewing tutorials on INeedCoffee.

French Press Photos – Unique photographs used on this article.

Brewing photographs by Joseph Robertson of Extracted Magazine, a digital espresso journal revealed for iOS and Android. He additionally teaches Coffee: The Basics of Mastering Your Brew on Udemy.

Michael Allen Smith
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