The Best Coffee to Water Ratio


We all love cold brew coffee; otherwise – why would you be here? It’s super simple to make, it has a smooth taste, and you still get the caffeine kick you want.

The most critical part of crafting the cold brew is the proportion of coffee to water. If you don’t get this right, you’ll end up with a too strong or weak taste. By the end of this guide, you’ll slide behind the counter at any local coffee shop and show them how it’s done!

Cold Brew Coffee Ratio

The general consensus on making the perfect cold brew is that a 1:5 proportion of coffee to water creates a nice balanced drink that you can enjoy straight. If you prefer to mix it with something, you’ll want to mix equal parts, water, milk, or whatever other cold brew coffee recipes you like. Consider some ways to sweeten your cold brew with sweetened milk or liquid sugar.

We recommend starting with the basics and learning how to expand your palette over time. Start with the 1:5 proportion, see how you like it, and then you can experiment from there.

I have a habit of taking something and poking the edges of my french press to make sure that everything gets contact with the water.

Keep in mind that you want to ensure that you properly soak all the coffee grounds in the water. But, there’s still a right and wrong way to do it.

Here’s a table to help break it down for you:  

Description Coffee To Water Ratio
Standard Preference 1:5
Cold Brew Concentrate 1:2
High Strength French Press 1:7
Low Strength French Press 1:12

Cold Brew Concentrate Ratio

If you have your concentrate, you’ll want to know the best cold brew ratio here. Save money and time by crafting your own expert cold brew concentrate drinks at home. After you’ve let your cold brew steep for at least 12 hours, this table will help you get started:

Description Cold Brew Ratio
Mellow Taste 1:2 
Strong Taste 1:1
Morning Coffee Shot 1:1 (cream instead of water) 

Related: Is Cold Brew Better For You?

The Importance of Getting the Ratio Right

Let’s not forget that everything revolving around coffee is subjective to the individual (1). Some people prefer a stronger brew, while others take their coffee a bit lighter. We know that. The problem is, a lot of people knock the cold brew because they don’t know how long to let cold brew steep. Our tips and techniques will help. But the proportion of water and coffee is so important because you want to get the ideal taste for your preferences.

If you don’t understand how a proportion of water to coffee impacts the taste, you’ll have a hard time enjoying it.

Also, it’s crucial to know how long is cold brew coffee good for. It’s only good for around a week in the refrigerator, so make sure you only make what you think you and your household will drink. If you’re planning a party, you can always make a little extra and plan for the week ahead.

Final Thoughts

If you’re thinking about crafting the perfect cup now that you know more about cold brew ratios, we’d love to hear about your first experience. Cold brew is simple to make when you understand the steps, so give it a try for yourself!


Is cold brew stronger than other coffee?

Cold brew can be stronger than a standard coffee, or you can make it a little milder, it’s up to you. The best thing about cold brew is that you pick the ratio, so you get to determine how strong it is.

Can I reuse cold brew coffee grounds?

Yes. You can reuse cold brew coffee grounds. However, the flavor will not be as good as with a freshly-ground coffee.

Should I dilute my cold brew coffee?

You don’t have to worry about diluting your cold brew with water or ice because it’s factored into the drink you make. That’s the main difference between iced coffee and cold brew. Iced coffee is merely regular drip coffee over ice.

  1. Waters, E. (2018, July 8). What Does Your Coffee Reveal about You? Retrieved from


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