Cold Pressed Espresso - What You Need To Know!

Cold Pressed Espresso – What You Need To Know!

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 18:55

Cold pressed espresso might sound like a strange and exotic drink…and it is! It also tastes like a very different coffee from a regular espresso.

A cold pressed espresso has a much longer brewing process that takes minutes and not the seconds that you would expect a hot espresso to take.

Curious about this unique espresso beverage?


Then keep reading for more details!

It seems to be straight forward what a cold-pressed espresso is, the clue is after all in the name; cold-pressed espresso is a shot of coffee that is brewed using cold water and the espresso brewing method.

So the question remains, what qualifies to be classified as a cold-pressed espresso?

Is a cold coffee brewed with an Aeropress a cold press espresso?

Ultimately, the answer is no! An Aeropress cannot produce the correct amount of pressure to create an authentic cold-pressed espresso.

Only a manual espresso machine will get the job done.

To make a perfect cold-pressed espresso, 9 bars (130 PSI) pressure must be present to force (press) the cold water through your coffee puck.

An Aeropress gets the job done well, very well but not perfectly due to pre-infusion being a step that is needed for making a perfectly extracted cold-pressed espresso.

To qualify and be classed as a cold-pressed espresso, your espresso shot has to be brewed with cold water that is pressed through a coffee puck of very fine powder like coffee grounds.

Which makes espresso machines a problem as they heat your water in a boiler automatically.

Cold Pressed Espresso
A Cold Pressed Espresso

Read: Iced Americano Vs Cold Brew

Coffee has hundreds of volatile compounds which all affect the flavor in different ways depending on how the coffee is extracted and roasted.

Temperature is something that affects the flavor of your coffee as different compounds are extracted at lower temperatures than higher temperatures. A cold espresso, to be more precise, a cold-pressed espresso is smoother, sweeter and more balanced than a hot espresso.

If you are accustomed to a regular espresso, the taste will likely catch you off-guard and is a nice surprise.

It’s to be mistaken with an iced espresso as an iced espresso is a regular espresso that is chilled with ice.

Similar to regular espresso shots, you can use a cold pressed espresso as the base for lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, flat whites, cortados, and more.

Starbucks cold-pressed espresso uses a custom-designed and patented ascending flow filtration method in which the machine first pre-infused the coffee grounds in cold water prior to the pressing which forces the water in an upwards direction through the bed of coffee grounds.

The method helps to get a high concentration of the low temperature compounds and an authentic cold-pressed espresso.

How To Make A Cold-Pressed Espresso?

To make this rather different, delightful and delicious drink you need to use a manual lever espresso machine. Fill the water reservoir chamber with chilled or room temperature water.

Since cold water is not as good as hot water at extracting flavor compounds and aromas, it is a good idea and good practice to increase the amount of coffee grounds used.

If you regularly use 20 grams, increase it to 23 grams. You can even go to a 1:1 ratio of coffee to water, meaning as much as 30 grams can be used.

You also need to be ready for a long pre-infusion, typically 120 to 180 seconds – two to three minutes. To do that you need to very slowly pull down on the level slowly, very slowly.

Pay attention as the first droplets of espresso emerge and hold the lever in the position where it is at. Let the coffee brew in the pre-infusion stage before you increase the pressure to the full 9 bars (130 PSI) that is needed.

The long pre-infusion causes the coffee puck to become more permeable which means that if you so wish, you can grind to a much finer grind size without blocking the machine.

How To Make A Cold-Pressed Espresso
A Manual Lever Espresso Machine

Pairing With A Cold-Pressed Espresso

Since a cold-pressed espresso is not bitter nor acidic as you would expect from a regular shot of espresso, it is very normal to wonder what goes with this beverage.

Of course, it is perfect on its own.

A cold-pressed espresso goes well in iced lattes, and is a better choice than a hot espresso as the ice will not melt so quickly, as a result your beverage does not become diluted.

An iced Americano is much better, and more delicious when it is made with a cold-pressed espresso. An affogato is much better also when made with a cold espresso, much better and more enjoyable.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cold Pressed Espresso

Is Cold Espresso Stronger?

No, a cold espresso shot is not stronger than a regular shot of espresso. With all things being equal, beans, grind size, amount of coffee and water used, water pressure etc and even the same machine used to a cold espresso will have slightly less caffeine as caffeine is extracted much better at higher temperatures.

Cold-Pressed espresso has less caffeine than regular coffee beverages. This is not because of the cold water extraction it is because the volume of a drink plays a large part in the total caffeine content. The more coffee liquid, the more caffeine the coffee drink will have.

As a matter of fact, regular espresso has less total caffeine than regular coffee.

 No, cold press espresso has slightly less, not much, just a tiny amount of caffeine less than a hot espresso.

Yes, a cold press shot of espresso is less acidic than a normal espresso that is brewed in the regular way with hot water. Hot coffee is up to 66% more acidic than cold-brewed coffee and cold press coffee. This is because, like caffeine, the acidic compounds are easier extracted at higher temperatures.

Read: Cold brew espresso

You can make a cold espresso without a manual espresso machine by using the Aeropress coffee maker. An Aeropress coffee maker is a light portable travel espresso maker that can work with hot or cold water.

What Is Cold Espresso Called?

A cold espresso is simply called a cold espresso or a cold-pressed espresso and is not to be mistaken with an iced espresso. An iced espresso is an iced coffee beverage, a shot of espresso that is hot brewed with ice added to it. It may or may not be shaken, as per the request of the drinker. 

Final Thoughts – Cold Pressed Espresso

Have you tried a cold pressed espresso? What did you think of it?

I loved it. It’s a nice alternative to a regular hot espresso and, in my opinion, much better for making iced lattes, iced cappuccinos and an iced Americano. Sadly, it’s not a drink that you will find on the menu frequently. Most coffee shops only have for a month or two, and then it’s gone!

If you see it on the drinks’ menu at a coffee shop in your area, I advise that you try it!

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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