Cold Brew Proportions - The Best Cold Brew Ratio

Cold Brew Proportions – The Best Cold Brew Ratio!

Using the right cold brew proportions and brewing your cold brew coffee with the correct coffee to water ratio is important to getting a great cup of coffee that is vibrant, tasty and every bit as good as you would expect from your local coffee shop.

The proportions vary slightly from 1:4 all they way up to 1:12 and, we’ll explain why in a minute.

One thing we insist on at Latte Love Brew is that you do not use a paper filter, cheese cloth or cotton cloth as you will get a stronger, bolder flavor when you use a metal filter or or a sieve.

Keep reading as we dig down in to the topic of cold brew proportions.

What Is Cold Brew And Why Make It?

Cold brew is as simply a coffee that is brewed with cold water by immersing the grounds in cold water overnight to extract the low temperature compounds. The result is a very smooth flavor and really draws out some amazing flavors from the coffee grounds that you otherwise would not have enjoyed had you brewed your coffee using hot water.

The flavor profile is very different from a regular coffee that is brewed with the same beans, same coffee to water ratio and same grind size but brewed with hot water.

A cold brew should not be confused with iced coffee – which is how cold brew coffee is sold by some of the smaller coffee shops. Iced coffee is simply hot coffee with ice and tastes very different.

As a coffee lover you should avoid using cool temperatures and simply just using water that is cold. Using water that is cold, ice cold, and just above freezing point will produce better results and a more refreshing flavor.

Due to the long brew time it is advised that you make large batch, a full pitcher of it and brew it in your fridge. When you have plenty available you can, for the next few days enjoy a quick afternoon coffee by simply pouring it out!

What Is Cold Brew And Why Make It
An excellent cold brew with milk

Read: How to make strong coffee

Cold Brew Proportions – What Is The Best Cold Brew Ratio?

Now let’s get down to the meat and bones of this article and get talking about the cold brew proportions and the best cold brew ratios for making a very tasty and cold-brewed coffee.

Let’s be clear on one important factor – there is no set, written in stone cold brew proportion that you absolutely must stick to. The following are suggestions to produce a good, strong and bold taste of coffee that is typical of a cold brew.

  • Cold brew proportion of coffee to water for a weak French press cold brew 1:12. This is produces a low strength cold brewed coffee that, while still enjoyable and is has a good flavor profile it is much weaker on the scale. The French press brewing method – even when brewing cold coffee draws out the flavor compounds a little better.
  • High strength French press cold brew 1:7. This ratio produces a cold brew that stronger, punchier and a greater body than the above, weaker and more watery 1:12 ratio, lesser body.
  • Coffee To Water Ratio of 1:5. This cold brew proportion and ratio of coffee to water creates a very balanced, typical coffee that you can enjoy as it is, with ice or mix it with milk. It is a standard preference for most people.
  • Coffee to water proportion of 1:4. One part or one gram of coffee for every 4 parts or grams of water produces a very nice coffee that is commonly used at the more famous coffee outlets like Starbucks, Peet’s coffee and Costa Coffee. More dense it flavor and more vibrant. It is a strong coffee.
  •  Cold Brew Concentrate: I’ll dig down and detail this later. Making a cold brew concentrate I prefer to use a 1:1 ratio when brewing my own concentrate. I Also prefer to double brew. That is a 1:1 proportion of coffee to water and then I’ll do the same with the coffee that I run through the second brewing cycle of coffee, using fresh coffee grounds and a 1:1 coffee to water (technically single brewed cold brew coffee) ratio. It’s quite a punchy and focused concentrate.

Here is an table to see it visually.

Description Coffee To Water Ratio 
Cold Brew Concentrate 1:1
Stronger, Standard Preference 1:4
Standard Preference 1:5
High Strength French Press 1:7
Low Strength French Press 1:12

Read: Are espresso beans different

Cold Brew Concentrate Ratio For Making A Cold Brew Concentrate

There are many reasons for making a cold brew concentrate – one of the principle reasons is that it lasts longer in your fridge, 3 days Vs 5 days.

Note: Technically your cold brew coffee is good for 5 to 7 days and a concentrate stays fresh for 7 to 10 days my suggestion of 3 days and 5 days is to focus more on enjoying fresh, vibrant coffee.

How focused and how concentrated and strong you like your coffee.

Once you have made your cold brew concentrate or bought one, the following chart lays out some ratios of water that you can use to enjoy a great coffee.

Description Cold Brew Proportions Ratio Of Concentrate To Water
Morning Coffee Shot 1:1 (Use Cream or Milk Instead Of Water)
Strong Taste 1:1
Mellow Flavor 1:2

Starting to go outside of the 1:2 you start to get a watery taste, or a cold brew that lacks body. I have been known to occasionally use a 1:3 when I want a weaker coffee.

French Press Cold Brew Ratio

The French cold brew ratio is slightly different from the regular way of brewing a cold brew coffee. Due to its ability to extract coffee very well the French press cold brew ratio is very different from the standard full immersion cold brew ratio.

  • Coffee To Water Ratio 1:7 or 1:12 depending on how strong and full bodied you like your coffee to be. These cold brew proportions are easy to follow, simply put 7x or 12x as much water by weight as your coffee.
  • Making A Cold Brew Concentrate 1:1 ratio makes a good, bold and strong concentrate that you need to dilute – see the above table for details. There is no need to double brew.
French Press Cold Brew Ratio
French Press can be used to brew cold brew

Why It Is Important To Get The Ratio Right

You need to get the ratio correct or you will simply not get a coffee that you will enjoy. Also, getting the proportions wrong and your coffee will not last as long as you would expect it to.

There are variables of course as some people will prefer a stronger brew than others. Get it too strong and you will not enjoy it as much as you would expect to, and the flip side use too much water and it will taste very watery – neither of which makes for a good enjoyable cup of coffee.

If you enjoy to sip your coffee I advise that you make coffee ice cubes rather than putting ice in your coffee as the ice will only melt and spoil your coffee.

What Is The Best Coffee For Cold Brew?

This is a question that we get asked often, particularly during the hot summer months. The truth of the matter is there is no particular best coffee for cold brew.

Various roasts do work well, and different coffee lovers will have their own preference and what flavors they want in their cold brew.

Dark roast coffee produces and very nice and very smooth coffee. I have a strong soft spot for medium roast Ethiopian single origin coffee beans.

You can keep an eye open for specialty coffee that is specifically roasted and designed for cold brew.

My Top 5 Cold Brew Facts

If you have a fun fact about cold brew coffee you can add it here, we will be delighted to share it with our readers.

#1 Cold Brew Is A Strong Coffee.

Cold brew is a very concentrated and focused drink with a high amount of coffee that is used in relation to the amount of water which make it a strong and highly caffeinated. One thing that you should never do is to drink a cold brew concentrate straight without diluting it.

#2 You Can Heat Up Cold Brew And Enjoy It Hot.

You don’t have to enjoy your cold brew coffee as a cold coffee. You can heat it up if you want to. There is not to much of a difference as the flavor remains the same – more or less.

#3 Cold Brew Coffee Is Less Acidic.

If you are not a fan of coffee due to the acidity or the upset stomach that it causes you, you will find that cold brew coffee may not have that affect due to the reduced acidity. If an espresso, regular drip coffee or other coffee drinks leave you with a sore stomach try a cold brew.

#4 Coarsely Ground And Whole Bean Coffee Makes The Best Cold Brew.

While a coarse grind is perfect for brewing cold brew you can get away with a using whole beans. If your coffee grinder is broken you can brew with whole beans!

Or you can go to a roastery, buy beans from them ask them to grind your coffee beans for you. An alternative is to use pre-ground coffee but you won’t get the best experience with pre-ground coffee.

#5 Cold Brew Coffee Takes Much Longer To Brew Than Drip Coffee.

Brew time and extraction time can take forever to brew, much longer than drip coffee. The extraction time can take up to a whole day to brew. Typical extraction time is from 16 hours to 24 hours typically.

#6 You Can Use Any Coffee Bean Variety, Roast Or Blend To Make A Cold Brew.


you can use any coffee bean to make a great cold brew coffee and any roast level. Some people enjoy a dark roast while others a medium or medium dark. Light roasts work well also.

It is common for coffee enthusiasts to enjoy single origin coffees as a cold brew.

Final Thoughts – Frappé-Ing It all Up Cold Brew Proportions

Cold brew proportions are easy to memorize or adhere to thanks to the charts in this article, which you are free to copy and take note of.

The different ratios are something to be aware of and experiment with until you hit your sweet-spot and enjoy your own, personal perfect cold brew.

Coffee is love, it's more than love — it's a passion of mine. I've had the luck to have travelled and enjoyed the most exotic of coffee's and unique flavors, brewing methods and techniques of making the perfect coffee from Thai hill tribe coffee to Indonesian volcanic coffee, Malaysian coffee that comes in a tea bag and the array of flavors in Vietnam, from Vanilla to Orange to Coconut to Avocado to even salt coffee and the famous egg coffee. The best part of my coffee adventures is getting to mix with the locals over a nice brew and learning how they make it! I'm cited and referenced on Google Scholar for the topic of coffee.

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