Best Ratio For Cold Brew Coffee & How Long Does it Take To Make

Whats The Best Ratio For Cold Brew Coffee & How Long Cold Brew Coffee Take to Steep
Whats The Best Ratio For Cold Brew Coffee & How Long Cold Brew Coffee Take to Steep

The Best Ratio to make Cold brew is 1:7 meaning 1 part Coffee and 7 parts of Water.

And I recommend letting your cold brew coffee steep at room temperature for 12 to 14 hours.

Cold Brew Recipe

To make 4 cups or 1 liter of cold brew coffee you need to:

  • Mix a little more than 1/2 cup of your preferred ground coffee with 4 cups of filtered water.
  • Ensure all the ground coffee have been totally immersed in the water
  • Let the mixture steep in an airtight container for 12-14 hours at room temperature
  • Once steeped filter the mixture using a cheesecloth or a coffee filter into a separate container
  • Now proceed to taste your brew, if its too strong add more water
  • Once its the right taste you can either add ice or refrigerate the brew to make it nice and chilled.
  • You can see how it is done in the video below.

Video Showing How To Make Amazing Cold Brew

Why is this the Best Ratio for Cold brew

Before I first made cold brew coffee I did tons of research and the ratio 1:7 kept popping up everywhere from coffee shops to amateurs both recommended this as the ideal ratio.

This ratio consistently produces the right blend of cold brew coffee meaning that it is not too strong or too weak.


What I advise everyone to do is to taste your cold brew once it has steeped and been filtered, now if it is too strong you can always add some more water until its the right consistency for you.

Cold brew Coffee Ratio Grams

If you are using metric measurement its around 140 grams of coffee to around 1 liter of water.

Why Do You Need So High Ratio Of Coffee to Water

I know a lot of you are wondering why do you need so much coffee to make Cold Brew.

Whilst in comparison to brewing normal coffee you tend to use a lot less.

The main reason for this is that cold brew coffee doesn’t use heat to brew so instead it relies on diffusion.

Normal coffee is brewed using heat around 195 F (91 C) and 205 F (96 C) which excites the coffee grinds and releases a wide range of compounds into your brew.

Some of these compounds released by the heat can be acidic which is what usually gives your coffee it’s intense taste and also for some unlucky individuals will cause stomach issues such as acid reflux.

Cold brew coffee, on the other hand, is meant to be a softer and a sweeter version of coffee at the same time retaining the coffee flavor and high level of caffeine.

Currently, to do this, you need to brew your coffee using a higher ratio of coffee to water this is because you can’t forcefully access all the flavors of the coffee using heat you need to use more coffee to compensate for the lack of heat.

Now if you were to use heat you would get some of the flavors such as the acids you are trying to avoid.


It is always better to make a stronger brew than weaker one why because it’s easier to fix a strong coffee than a weak one.

That’s because if its too strong you can always just add more water to make it ideal for you.

What Does this High Ratio Of Coffee to Water Mean for You

  • Your cold brew coffee is gonna end up costing you more this is because you end up using more coffee than you would normally use for coffee brewed using heat
  • This is why cold brew coffee at coffee shops tend to be more expensive than regular coffee
  • Your cold brew coffee will usually have more caffeine than regular coffee this is because of the large quantities of coffee used
  • Caffeine is a water-soluble particle so it will dissolve in your cold brew it’s just gonna take longer but its gonna have a lot more of it.
  • This is why a lot of Gyms offer cold brew as a healthy energy drink.

Why are there So Many Variations on the Ratio

If you do research on cold brew you would go crazy with the various recipes this is because of:

1- Cold Brew Concentrate

One of the biggest reasons why you would see different ratios especially some with a much higher portion of coffee, is that those recipes are to make a cold brew coffee concentrate which is then watered down to the individual preference.

2- Individual Preferences

Some people like really strong coffee and others can only stomach a weaken version.

The key here is to taste and add water to adjust to you suit you.

3- Steeping Time and Temperature

How long and what temperature you steep your coffee affects the ratio as well, gonna talk more about that later down in the article so keep on reading.

How Long Should You Let Cold Brew Coffee Steep for

For me when using the ratio of 1:7 the ideal time for leaving your coffee to steep is for 12 to 14 hours at room temperature.

Factors that Affect How Long You Should Leave the Coffee to Steep


Some people leave their cold brew to steep in their fridge and because of this the coffee takes longer to brew my advice is to let it steep at room temperature for the coffee to diffuse faster.

If you do intend to place your coffee and water in the fridge it would probably be best to let it brew for a longer time think 18-20 hours.

Why Does Cold Brew Take Longer in the Fridge

Now if you let your cold brew steep in the fridge this reduces the amount of energy in the water.

The energy in the water is what causes the coffee to diffuse into the water that’s why coffee brewed with heat is so fast, by heating the water it excites the water molecules to release the coffee.

So if you leave your coffee to steep in the fridge its either gonna take longer or gonna be extremely weak.

Why people place their cold brew coffee in the fridge is because;

  • They are confused by the name ‘Cold Brew’ meaning they think the coffee has to be brewed using the cold
  • This is completely false cold brew got its name because its served iced cold not because it was brewed cold.
  • Another reason is that a lot of tutorials and recipes available online has instructions to place the coffee to steep in the fridge.
  • Not that they are wrong it would brew it’s just it’s gonna take a longer time in the fridge.
  • The final reason is that people want to drink their coffee as soon as they filter it meaning they want it cold.
  • And I agree, that’s why I usually drink my cold brew with ice.
  • So it can steep at room temperature and still be enjoyed after 12-14 hours.

2- Ratio

If you use less coffee lets say using a ratio of 1:10, 1 part coffee to 10 parts water, I would advocate letting your coffee mixture steep for a longer time.

Now using less coffee but having it steep longer you might get the same results like 1:7 ratio, though you just got be patient for a couple of hours more.

Though of course, this has a limit because if you let your coffee steep too long it could start releasing more acids which is what gives coffee its bitterish taste.

3-Size of the Grounded Coffee

The finer or smaller your coffee bean is grounded the faster it would brew.

This is because the smaller the coffee is the more surface area it has to allow the water to interact with the coffee molecules thus speeding up the diffusion of the coffee.

Though here again, you got to be careful you dont want it to be too fine so that it would start releasing those bitterish acids stored in the beans which we would refer as over-extraction.

Instead, go for a coarse grind that would brew fast without releasing the unwanted acids.

4- Method Used For Brewing Cold Brew Coffee

There are two main ways to make cold brew coffee;

  • Immersion Method and
  • Drip Method

Immersion Method

This is the most common way and by far the easiest method of making cold brew it’s basically where the coffee is steeped or mixed totally in water and left to brew.

This article focused mostly on the Immersion Method and it takes 12-14 hours at room temperature using a 1:7 ratio to make great cold brew coffee.

Drip Method

I have never tried this method before but from research, it claims to have a faster brewing time around 4-6 hours.

It works by having water slowly drip onto your grounded coffee beans and then passing through your grounded coffee which causes the coffee to diffuse into the water.

The drip method uses a set up with three containers;

  • the first container which is on top has water inside which slowly drips
  • onto the second container which contains your grounded coffee
  • the water blends with coffee in the second container and then drips
  • into the third and final container where it is stored
  • you can see how its done in the video below.

Pros of Drip Method

The main advantage of using the Drip Method is that it brews your cold brew coffee faster and from reading reviews a lot of people swear that it makes a better glass of cold brew than regular immersion method.

Cons Of the Drip Method

  • More Tedious to set up and use this is because of all the parts that you are gonna need to assemble
  • Uses a lot of Coffee from my research I ascertained that the drip method would use a ratio of around 1:4, 1 part coffee and 4 parts being water.
  • which is more coffee used than the more common Immersion Method.
  • Tends to Produce a Weaker Cold Brew the drip method tends to produce a weaker and less concentrated cold brew coffee
  • and sadly it uses a lot more coffee to get the equivalent amount of cold brew when compared to the immersion method

Where To Get The Set Up For Drip Method

If I had to buy a Drip Method setup I would go for the Cold Bruer Maker click to see the price on Amazon.

Its one of the most common Drip Method Set Up around so you should find parts, guides and tutorials for it easily.

Whats a Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

A cold brew concentrate is basically a small amount of really strong cold brew coffee, usually using a ratio of 1 part coffee and 2 parts of water. and left to steep at room temperature for 12 to 14 hours.

The concentrate is then watered down to your taste preference.

Advantages of Using a Cold Brew Concentrate.

1- Easier to Store

Since you have to only make small amounts of coffee concentrates which can be stored in your fridge in a small container that can then be used when needed to make a much larger amount of cold brew coffee

2- Easier to Adjust to Individual Preference

Now because you are making a concentrate which can then be diluted to match the strength of the cold brew that you want, though almost any cold brew coffee can be adjusted to be weaker its harder to make it stronger once it has been steeped.

3- Less Effort to Make

When making Cold brew concentrate you use less liquid which would be easier to handle, think of fewer spills, and require fewer and smaller containers.

Disadvantages of Making Cold Brew Concentrate

1- Uses more Coffee

The main and biggest disadvantage by making the concentrate is that it uses a lot more coffee which would end up costing you more.

2- Extremely Strong Coffee

Cold brew concentrate is extremely strong and has a very intense taste if you somehow forget to water it down and drink some, its gonna probably upset your stomach and leave a harsh taste in your mouth

3- Watered Down Taste

A common complaint from individuals who make a concentrate and then dilute is that the coffee has watered down or weak taste, I think this is because the coffee didn’t get to dissolve properly.

If you do make the concentrate and then dilute it with water I advocate thoroughly mixing your water into your cold brew concentrate to ensure it completely dissolves.

And also to add your water by batches and taste after each batch of water has been mixed.

By constantly tasting you should get a cup of really good cold brew.

Now I would advise if you are making cold brew coffee for the first time just stick with the 1:7 ratio and the instructions from earlier.

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