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I wanted to make a vodka watermelon. Some people call it infuse a watermelon. Some people charge a watermelon. Whatever you it call it, it is the same thing. A 21 years and older watermelon filled with booze with a 50-50 chance of either coming out perfect or not infusing at all. I’m not trying to scare you out of a spiked vodka watermelon recipe. I’m letting you know up front, if your vodka watermelon didn’t work, keep reading this post to learn how to fix a drunken watermelon that won't absorb vodka on the first go round. How to Soak a Drunken Watermelon With Vodka   Pin this recipe for your next party!

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee the Easy Way

Disclosure: This recipe is made possible through generous samples of Fire Department Coffee . This did not influence my opinion in any way as all opinions are my own.

I initially thought that cold brew coffee was pretentious speak for “iced coffee that takes longer to make and drunk from a Mason jar.”

Turns out cold brew is not the same thing as pouring strong hot coffee over ice like making iced coffee. 

Cold brewing coffee makes a smoother and sweeter tasting coffee than the sometimes slight bitterness or acidic taste of coffee maker coffee. Most folks drink their cold brew on ice which also helps dilute the strong concentrate. It’s the perfect way to kick your brain in gear on sweltering hot days.

Easy Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate Recipe

how to make cold brew without an expensive machine

Save this recipe to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Basically making cold brew is similar to plunking teabags in a pitcher of water to make iced tea.

There are all sorts of fancy cold brew maker machines here . (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) If you have a French Press like this kind , you can also use it to make cold brew coffee.  Or you can make cold brew the cheap and easy way using jars or pitchers you may already have at home. Guess which way I’m using?

That’s right, the cheap and easy cold brew way!

Step by Step How to Make this Cold Brew Concentrate Recipe

 You will need:

2 glass jars or large covered containers (if you want to make more than a couple of cups worth)


Coffee filter

Large jar funnel like this one

Coffee – I am using Fire Department Medium Roast coffee. Fire Department Coffee is run by active and retired firefighters who really, really, really love coffee. 

I have to drink my coffee black which means I am extremely picky about my coffee beans because I don’t toss in a bunch of extra syrup and stuff in my cup that covers up the bland taste of bad coffee beans. I was hopeful that I'd get a more flavorful bean because Fire Department Coffee roasts their beans individually and blends the different types of beans afterward unlike other brands that blend the beans while roasting. This makes a HUGE taste difference. Fire Department Coffee is dark, rich, and smooooooth. 

how to make cold brew coffee concentrate
I'd marry this coffee if I could.

The thing that really stole my heart is in addition to creating a charity that helps injured firefighters, Fire Department Coffee has a fun sense of humor (probably because they are highly caffeinated and have access to flamethrowers. Living the dream!)


You probably already know how to make hot coffee but watch the video anyway. It's funny!


1. Pour the water and ground coffee into a jar, pitcher, or French press full of water depending upon how much cold brew concentrate you want to make:

Small batch cold brew concentrate recipe: add 1/3 cup of coffee grounds to 1 cup of water

Large batch cold brew concentrate recipe: add 1 cup of coffee ground to 6 cups of water 


how to dilute cold brew concentrate
Yes, I'm using an empty spaghetti sauce jar - so fancy!

Or adjust the coffee grounds to water to taste if you like your coffee so strong you can smell colors (don't know what I'm talking about? Which the video above.) This is the way I like to drink my coffee. I was happy to find that even when I drink Fire Department Coffee this strong it doesn’t tear up my stomach like espresso roasts sometimes do.

Just make sure you stir or swish the container so the water wets all of the coffee grounds.

2. Allow the coffee grounds to steep for 8 – 11 hours in the refrigerator depending upon how strong you want to make the concentrate (you will dilute this later.) 

If you let the grounds steep for more than 11 hours your cold brew may become bitter. Bitter coffee is not my jam but if you prefer it that way, go for it!

3. Filter the steeped water and coffee grounds into a clean container. I put a coffee filter into a canning funnel and it worked very well. (If I use my French Press, I pour the coffee through a muslin straining bag similar to this one  and into my cup otherwise I get stray grounds in the bottom of jar. Bleach.) 


diy cold brew coffee concentrate recipe

I had to filter my cold brew a little bit at a time due to the size of the funnel I used. So worth it though!

4. Store the filter cold brew concentrate in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

How to Dilute Cold Brew Concentrate

Basically you dilute your cold brew concentrate with equal amounts of concentrate and fresh water. Leave room in the glass for cream, sugar, or ice cubes if desired.

Bottoms up and drain your cup!

Looking for more cold brew and iced coffee ideas? Check out the following options – and more! - below!

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Jhuls said…
I love cold brew! This is so helpful. Thanks a bunch for sharing at Fiesta Friday party! I hope to see you next week.
Slabs said…
Need to make some again especially when going on our hikes. I visited you via #Alittlebitofeverything Wed. Link Up Party 257
I've been making cold brew coffee for over 40 years. You can buy a cold brew set (called Toddy Maker) for about $40 ~ includes the tall white container for the grounds, plus 2 round thick coffee filters (washed and used for years), and several rubber stoppers for the bottom of the big white container. (Oh, it also contains a big glass jar & top ~ the jar is like the big glass ones with juice slices on the sides that people put juice into). You put the filter in bottom of white container (rubber stopper on the bottom), coffee in the white container with water nearly to the top ~ let sit on the counter for 6-10 hours ~ pull the rubber stopper out and let the filtered coffee drain into the glass container. (no grounds at all ~ no fiddling with a paper filter) You can use the underside of the lid to the glass container to measure your concentrate (after 40 years my husband doesn't need to measure ~ lol) into a cup of hot water and stir. But, you can also stir it into cold water (which I do) and add flavored creamer (and ice cream) for frappuccino. The filter takes 90% of the acid and caffeine out (and it's the acid that bothers most people). No "fancy" equipment ~ since the about $40-45 cost of all that has lasted me for 40+ years! (I paid about $25 way back then ~ you can buy more filters or stoppers very cheap on eBay if you want them)
Susan said…
I didn’t realize you could make it like this! I have one of the pitchers, but I am going to try it your way. Have you tried the dark roast coffee in that brand? I’m just wondering which one I should get, the medium or dark roast.