The Coffee To Water Ratio You Must Know To Make The Best Cold Brew

Mike C
Written By Mike C

I've been writing about coffee and espresso machines for 3 years. My goal is to provide you with helpful content that you can trust based on my own personal experiences, information from manufacturers, and tips and tricks I've gathered from other coffee and espresso machine users.

I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

The Coffee To Water Ratios That Make The Best Cold Brew

If you are looking to make a delicious cold brew coffee concentrate, I hope you like math! Understanding the right ratio of coffee grinds to water to use is essential to getting a cold brew you’ll be happy with. Otherwise, you may end up with a brew that is too weak and watery or way too strong. We’ve got you covered with the cold brew ratios that most experts recommend, but feel free to adjust and experiment to find what tastes best for you. Keep reading to learn more.

Grounds To Water Ratio To Make Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

Immersion Method Ratios

The immersion method of making cold brew is what most people use. The Toddy System, for example, is a popular cold brew maker that uses this method. It involves soaking coffee grinds in water for 12 to 18 hours. Getting the ratio of coffee grinds to water right is really important step to pay attention to. I always recommend looking up your cold brew maker’s instruction manual and seeing what ratio they recommend. Otherwise, you can follow this general guidance.

Do you want a strong cold brew coffee concentrate that you will later need to dilute with water to drink? For that, most experts recommend a ratio of 1:4 or 1:5 coffee grinds to water. For example, if you have 12 oz of coarse ground coffee, you should soak it in 6 to 7 cups of water. The math matters here. It can be confusing because the grinds are often measured by weight (ounces) and water by volume (cups, fl oz). 1 cup of water weighs 8.35 oz. For 12 oz of coffee, you need 48 to 60 oz of water. Divided by 8.35, that is roughly equal to 6 to 7 cups of water. If you want to be really precise, use a kitchen scale to measure both the coffee and water.

The 1:4 to 1:5 ratio is a pretty standard ratio of grinds to water that would make a cold brew concentrate that most people would enjoy. 1:4 will be a little bit stronger than 1:5. If you want a REALLY strong cold brew concentrate you could try a 1:2 ratio; that will be VERY strong so be sure to dilute it adequately later and limit how much you drink. For a lighter, more refreshing ready-to-drink cold brew that isn’t concentrated, use a ratio of 1:7 or 1:8 coffee to water.

French Press Method Ratios

The ratio of coffee grinds to water will be different if you are using the french press cold brew method. For a strong concentrate, you’ll want to use a ratio of 1:7 coffee grinds to water in a french press. If you have 4 oz of coffee, that would mean you need 28 oz of water (which is about 3.3 cups of water). Again, a kitchen scale would come in handy here if you want to be precise. If you want a less intense cold brew, use a ratio of 1:12. For 4 oz of coffee grinds, that would be 48 oz of water or 5 and 3/4 cups.

Cold Brew Concentrate To Water Ratio To Drink

Once you’ve made your coffee concentrate strong, you’ll want to dilute it with water before drinking. Some people even like to add milk to it. A typical ratio that most people use for cold brew, it 1:1 concentrate to water. For a medium-sized 16 fl oz cold brew coffee, that would be 8 fl oz of concentrate and 8 fl oz of water. If that is too strong for you, you can add some milk or cream.

Alternatively, for a lighter taste you can use even more water, a ratio of 1:2. For a 16 oz coffee, that would be roughly 11 fl oz of water and 5 fl oz of concentrate. Experiment to find the ratio that tastes best to you! You can use either cold water for an iced drink, or hot water for warm coffee. Be sure to store whatever concentrate remains in the fridge to help it last longer.

Leave a Comment