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How to make cold press coffee in a plunger

Learn how to make incredible cold press coffee using a plunger or french press

No matter the season, a cold and refreshing coffee can always be appealing. 

While it's easy and convenient to buy a ready-made cold brew coffee, it's surprisingly easy to make your own version at home, using a plunger or french press. 

This guide will outline how you can utilise your plunger or french press to make a clean, full-flavoured cold press coffee at home.

This recipe only takes about 5 minutes to prepare, but does need to be left overnight in the fridge and then requires a further 15 minutes to filter before serving.

With these ratios we made almost 750ml of cold brew concentrate which was diluted 50/50 to make about 5 servings.

Compared to normal espresso coffee, cold press coffee is less acidic and bitter. This results in a full-bodied and smooth cup that's easy to drink.

To find out more about cold press and how it is different to cold brew or cold drip coffee, check out our blog article: 'What is cold press coffee?'

Equipment

 8 cup plunger. We recommend the Bodum Chambord Plunger

The Bodum Chambord Plunger is made from high quality chrome-plated steel and heat-resistant glass.The filter is made from stainless steel and the handle from black bakelite for comfortable handling when hot.

• A wooden or plastic spoon. 

• Scales or measuring cups.

• 45g or ½ cup of freshly ground coffee (6.2 grind rating which is coarse). We recommend our Private BlendEspresso Blend and Arriba Arriba Blend.

Or try our new Sample Pack which contains 4 x 250g of our favourite coffees.

If you don't have a grinder at home, we can grind your coffee to this rating instore or online

• 1L water.

• Muslin or a paper filter coffee maker such as a Chemex (plus filters) or V60 (plus filters).

• Ice and your choice of water, sparkling water or milk to serve

Step one

Weigh 45g or around ½ cup of ground (6.2 rating) coffee and add it to your plunger.

Step two

Add 1L of cold water, preferably filtered.

Step three

Stir gently with a wooden or plastic spoon making sure all of the grounds are saturated while being careful not to hit the sides of the glass.

Step four

Fit the plunger in the glass, without plunging and put in the fridge overnight to brew – around 12 hours. If there's not enough space in your fridge, a cool, dark place (like the back of the pantry) also works. 

It’s important that you leave the plunger up so that all of the coffee is in contact with the water.

Step five

Plunge your brew and then pour through your filter. Most guides recommend muslin, which is a light cotton fabric, however we used a paper filter V60.

You can purchase a plastic version of the V60 for $10 which could be a useful investment if you’re making cold press regularly.

As with all filters, make sure you rinse your muslin or paper with hot water prior to use to remove any traces of fabric/paper flavours.

Step six

The coffee will take a little while to filter through, you might want to pour in batches.

It took around fifteen minutes in total. 

You can see here how the filter has removed the very small particles of coffee that the plunger mesh can’t pick up. This is what gives the clean, smooth flavour.

Step seven

Serve! The brew is quite strong, we recommend serving with ice and diluting it 50/50 with sparkling water.

You could easily use still water or any kind of milk in its place.

We got about 750ml of brew out of the 8 cup plunger, which would make around 5 serves diluted in a small cup.

Tips

  • Adjust the coffee/water amount for different sized plungers. Start with a ratio of around 10 grams (two level tablespoons) of coffee for every 250ml of water. 
  • To adjust the strength of your cold press, use less/more coffee or less/more water. 
  • Leave your cold press to brew for longer in the french press if it is tasting sour. Try an hour longer and see how it tastes. 
  • Brew for less time if your cold press tastes bitter. Brew for an hour less and see how it tastes.
  • For a lighter, sweeter and more acidic brew, try one of our light (filter) roasts like Colombia or Ethiopia Guji Muda Tatesa. Light roasts are roasted for less time than our normal espresso roasts, making them suitable for use in devices with a slow extraction time.

Remember, when making coffee at home:

  • Fresh is best when it comes to coffee – we recommend buying your coffee in smaller quantities, more frequently. Whole beans tend to go stale after about six weeks and this process is quicker for ground coffee. 
  • We custom-grind for all brewing methods – just tell our staff how you make your coffee at home, or select your brewing method when you order online
  • Use filtered water where possible.
  • A Merlo subscription is an easy way to make sure you never run out of coffee again. Save time and receive bonus beans with every 6th order, plus easily cancel, update and manage your subscription at any time.

Shop Merlo's range of coffee and brewing equipment