Can a French Press Make Cold Brew?

Coffee lovers unite! If you are looking to make your own cold brew at home, your French press is the perfect way to do so! Using a French Press is the easiest way to make your own homemade cold brew. And with cold brew being as popular (and pricey!) as it is, it is totally worth it to put in the bit of extra effort to brew it at home.

No fancy equipment is required to make this delicious coffee beverage. Grab your French press and let’s take a look at cold brew and how it’s different from regular iced coffee, how to make a quality batch at home using a French press, and a tasty recipe.

I’ve already covered the topic of how to make cold brew coffee, but in this article, I will mainly focus on this process, using the French press!

Before I will continue further, let me explain in short what’s exactly a french press:

What is a French press?

A French press is a device used to make coffee that includes a beaker that holds the coffee with a plunger attached to a metal mesh to press the coffee grounds down to the bottom of the beaker.

Traditionally, a French press is used to make hot coffee by pouring hot water over the coffee grounds and brewing for a few minutes before pressing down on the plunger. But the same steps can be taken to make cold brew, which is what we’re going to do today.

What is the difference between cold-brew coffee and iced coffee?

Cold-brew coffee and iced coffee sound pretty similar – they are both cold coffee drinks. The difference between the two comes down to how the coffee is brewed, and can also give a different taste to the final product.

Let’s take a look:

Cold Brew

  • Brewed cold, using cold water and often in the fridge
  • Brewed long and slow over the course of 12 – 24 hours
  • Often has a stronger, less bitter, and almost sweeter taste to it

Iced Coffee

  • Brewed using hot water and then placed in the fridge to become cold
  • When serving, usually used with ice cubes
  • Can be bitter than cold brew (like that of a traditional cup of coffee)

How can I make cold brew using a French press?


What You Will Need

Here are the tools and the ingredients that you’ll need to create a cold brew coffee in a french press:

  • French press coffee maker: There are many French presses available on the market depending on your budget. There’s also the option of finding one secondhand from the Facebook marketplace or a friend.
  • Ground coffee: I recommend using a coffee grinder and whole beans to make your own ground coffee for a fresher taste. Otherwise, regular ground coffee will work just fine.
  • Filtered cold water: This will yield the best tasting cold brew.

What To Do

  • Add course coffee grounds of your choice into the French press. The recommended ratio is 1 ounce of ground coffee to 1 cup of water
  • Add cold water into the French press placing the plunger on top of the beaker, but do not push it down. (you can use room temperature water)
  • Let the coffee brew in the fridge for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours if you prefer a stronger coffee.
  • After 12 – 24 hours, press down on the plunger to push the coffee grounds down to the button of the beaker.
  • Store the cold brew in an airtight pitcher and enjoy within 3 – 5 days of brewing.

If you’re a composter, you can discard the grounds in your compost to feed your garden.

Bonus Recipe!

Vanilla Cold Brew Recipe

I love a big cup of cold brew on a hot summer day, but you can enjoy cold brew all year round!


  • 8-12 oz freshly made cold brew
  • ½ cup milk of choice (I prefer almond milk – sugar-free)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla syrup or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ice cubes (4-5 ice cubes)

What to Do

  • In your favorite glass of iced coffee, add in the vanilla syrup or extract.
  • Add in your ice
  • Pour in your freshly made cold brew over the ice.
  • Top with milk and enjoy!

Final Thoughts

Creating a cold-brew coffee is a long process, the taste is strong and the flavor is amazing. But what can you do if you don’t have the right tools?

Using a French press is a very popular solution for making a cold-brew coffee at home, without spending too much money on over-priced bought cold brew, or even on super expensive tools.

You must remember that the results of this cold brew will not be the same as the original process will make, but it still will produce an amazing cold brew coffee that you will enjoy during the summer!