Cold brew espresso recipe

cold brew espresso recipe

Perhaps it is because of our known hostility to any form of A/C, but when the hot season comes, we Italians definitely make a point of avoiding anything that will raise the temperature of a room. For some, this includes finding alternative ways to make coffee that don’t include a mocha pot, a stove, or even just hot water. 

That’s when cold brew espresso comes in handy. 

This delicious and refreshing drink is perfect for hot summer days or as a pick-me-up in the afternoon. It can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with milk or water to make a variety of different drinks. 

In this article, I’ll show you how to make cold brew espresso at home using just a few simple ingredients and tools. So grab your favorite espresso beans and let’s get started!

Cold Brew Espresso: What Is It?

This drink is almost baffling for how simple it is. While other iced coffee drinks are made with hot regular coffee, cold brew coffee is simply made by soaking 1 cup of espresso grind in 4 cups of cold or room temperature water and holding the container in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. 

At the end of the process, you strain the brew through a strainer and coffee filter, and voila, your drink is served.

Sure, it takes a long time to make, and if you’re in a rush you can find it in most coffee shops, or even sold in stores. However, many coffee lovers like to make it on their own. I usually prepare it at dinner time, so that it’s ready for when I need my first cup of coffee in the morning.

cold brew coffee concentrate

Cold Brew Espresso vs Coffee: What’s The Difference?

This recipe is known both as cold brew espresso and cold brew coffee. There’s no difference between the two. 

However, if we’re being picky, the latter name is more correct, as this brew is technically not an espresso. Real espresso is made with a brewing method that requires 8 to 10 bars of pressure. That’s the reason for its name, which means “made out of pressure.” Not even mocha pots can reach that amount of bars, you need an espresso or nespresso machine for that. 

Anyway, since people use both names, I’ll do the same for the rest of the article. 

Some say that the reason why this drink is called cold brew espresso is that if you use a dark roast fine grind, it tastes almost exactly like the original one. I strongly disagree, but different doesn’t mean worse! 

In fact, I find this drink a perfect substitute for espresso when I want something milder and more refreshing, without giving up on caffeine. Now, let’s see how to make it.

espresso grounds

What You’ll Need

As I was saying, all the ingredients you need are cold water and your favorite coffee roast

If you have beans and can grind them right before using them, go for it. Otherwise, any store-bought blend you like will do. I used a simple dark roast Lavazza blend for the pictures you see in this post. 

You will also need:

  • a mason jar big enough for at least 4 cups of water
  • a coffee filter, or a strainer and a clean piece of cloth

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If you are using whole beans, start by giving them a coarse grind. Then, put the grounds in a glass jar with the water, and seal it with plastic wrap.

making a new batch of cold brew coffee

Now, put the jar in the refrigerator and let it there for at least 12 hours. I usually do it at dinner time, so that it’s ready by next morning. 

When the 12 hours have passed, remove the plastic wrap, and filter your espresso cold brew concentrate in another container. Since espresso grounds can be really fine, I recommend using a coffee filter. You can pass it through some hot water before using it so that it doesn’t give your brew that annoying paper taste. Otherwise, you can use a filter and a clean kitchen cloth or gauze, like in the picture below. 

cold brewing process


Since the brew is really dense, it may take some time to pass through the filter properly. Mine took about 12 minutes. In the end, you’ll get about 3 cups of delicious cold-brew coffee. 

fresh coffee

Now, you can store your cold brew espresso in the refrigerator for up to one week and enjoy it every time you crave a refreshing drink. Keep it in a closed glass jar or a bottle with a tight lid to prevent it from oxidating too fast! 

If you have a sweet tooth, you can also add some spray cream and cocoa powder. Or maybe you could shake some milk with ice cubes in a jar to make a cold foam, and turn your drink into an iced latte! 

cold brew last unrefrigerated

Does Cold Brew Go Bad?

Yes, cold brew coffee can go bad if it is not stored properly. If it’s left in the open air it will start to oxidize. The oxidation process can quickly degrade its quality, so it’s important to follow a few simple guidelines to maintain its best taste and flavor profile for as long as possible. 

If you are wondering how to store an unopened cold brew bottle that you bought at the grocery store, just follow the instructions on the package, keep it away from direct sunlight, and respect the expiration date. If, on the other hand, you want to know the best way to store your homemade cold brew, here’s what you need to do. 

First, you need to make sure that it is properly sealed in an airtight container. This will help to prevent air from getting in. A mason jar or a glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid are both great options.

Another important factor to consider when storing cold brew coffee is the storage temperature. It is best to store it in the refrigerator to keep it cool and prevent it from spoiling. 

As a general rule of thumb, cold brew coffee can be stored in the refrigerator for about a couple of weeks. However, as I wrote above, I would recommend consuming it within the first week, because after a while it will start to lose its flavor. 

I actually think it’s best to only make the amount that you would need for 2 or 3 days at a time. This way, you can ensure that it stays fresh and maintains its flavor profile. If you do need to store cold brew coffee for a longer period, try freezing it in ice cube trays. You can use it to give a higher caffeine kick to your cold drinks!

Proper storage is key to maintaining the quality and flavor of cold brew coffee. By following these simple guidelines, you will be able to enjoy it anytime you want. Whether you prefer to make your own cold brew at home or purchase it from a coffee shop, storing it correctly will ensure that it stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible. 

So, take the time to do it well and enjoy the rich and smooth taste that coffee enthusiasts around the world have come to love!

enjoying coffee

What’s the Best Type of Coffee for Cold Brew Espresso?

Many people recommend using dark roast coffee for its earthy, chocolatey flavor. However, I think the best option is a medium-light roast. These roasts have a milder taste and a richer flavor. Plus, if they’re made with the right beans, they usually have a higher caffeine kick than dark-roast blends. 

However, feel free to go with what you like more. At the end of the day, it’s your drink and only you know what’s the best flavor for you. If you’re exploring new coffee blends and don’t know where to start, I’ve recently written a list of best espresso roasts to try this year. Go check it out!

Aside from the overall quality of the coffee, what’s really important when making cold brew espresso is actually the type of grind. It’s better to use coarsely ground coffee, as it will give your coffee a smoother taste. Also, when you filter the undiluted coffee concentrate at the end of the brewing process, it won’t pass through the filter. 

Using finely ground coffee could give you a more intense, bitter taste, but you’ll need to pay extra attention or you’ll end up with grounds in your mouth.

whole coffee beans


Before moving on to the recipe card, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about cold brew coffee. If you’ve read all the article you may already know most of the answers, but if you arrived here from a search engine looking for quick infos, this section is for you 🙂

1. Can I make cold brew with regular ground coffee?

Yes, you can. Simply mix your favorite coffee roast or blend with water and follow the instructions on the recipe card below. Strain the mixture and enjoy your smooth and flavorful cold brew coffee.

2. Can you make cold brew coffee with a French press?

Sure. A French press is a perfect tool for making cold-brewed coffee, as it already comes with a filter. However, I would recommend filtering your brew a second time using a nut milk bag or a kitchen cloth. The reason is that, unless you’re using a coarse grind, some of the coffee grounds could pass through the filter press.

3. Does cold brew have milk?

Cold brew coffee does not necessarily have milk, but it can be added to create a creamy and delicious drink. Many people enjoy adding milk or cream to their cold brew coffee to balance out the strong flavor.

→ Try using cold brew to make this delicious oat milk latte!

4. How to sweeten cold brew coffee?

You can sweeten it as you would any espresso or strong coffee, but you can also add syrups or whipped cream to your liking.

That was the last question. 

I hope you like this cold brew espresso recipe. If you give it a try, let me know what you think. And don’t forget to check out our other delicious recipes on our blog. Happy brewing!

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cold brew espresso recipe

Cold brew espresso recipe

  • Author: Mortadella Head
  • Total Time: 12 hours
  • Yield: 3 Cups 1x


  • 1 cup coarse coffee grounds
  • 4 cups water

Tools used:

  • A mason jar
  • Plastic wrap
  • A coffee filter or a nut milk bag


  1. Put the coffee grounds in a jar with the water, and seal it with plastic wrap. 
  2. Put the jar in the refrigerator and leave it there for at least 12 hours.
  3. When the 12 hours have passed, remove the plastic wrap, and filter your espresso cold brew in another container. 
  4. Store your cold brew espresso in the refrigerator for up to one week and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Category: Coffee Drinks
  • Method: Cold Brewing

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