Do you need a special machine to make cold brew coffee?

No, you do not need a special machine to make cold brew coffee. Cold brew can be made using simple and readily available equipment. Here's a basic method for making cold brew without a dedicated cold brew machine:

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • Coarsely ground coffee beans
  • Cold or room temperature water
  • A large jar or pitcher
  • Stirring utensil (spoon or stirring rod)
  • Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
  • Optional: Additional flavorings (e.g., vanilla, cinnamon)


  1. Coffee-to-Water Ratio:

    • Use a coffee-to-water ratio of about 1:4 or 1:5, depending on your preferred strength. For example, if using 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee, add 4-5 cups of water.
  2. Combine Coffee and Water:

    • Place the coarsely ground coffee in a large jar or pitcher.
  3. Stir and Steep:

    • Stir the coffee grounds and water together, ensuring that all the grounds are saturated. Let the mixture steep for an extended period, typically 12 to 24 hours. The steeping time can influence the strength and flavor of the cold brew.
  4. Strain the Coffee:

    • After steeping, strain the cold brew to separate the liquid from the coffee grounds. You can use a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or a coffee filter. Strain the mixture into another jar or pitcher.
  5. Optional: Dilute and Add Flavorings:

    • If the cold brew is too concentrated, you can dilute it with water to achieve your desired strength. You can also add flavorings like vanilla or cinnamon at this stage.
  6. Serve and Enjoy:

    • Once strained and adjusted to your liking, your cold brew is ready to be served over ice. Add milk, cream, or sweeteners if desired.

This method allows you to make cold brew at home without the need for a specialized machine. While dedicated cold brew makers can offer convenience and specific features, the manual method described above is accessible and can produce delicious cold brew coffee.

If you prefer a more hands-off approach, there are also cold brew makers available that simplify the process. These often come with built-in filters, making it easier to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid. However, they are not strictly necessary for making cold brew at home.