Cold brew is a very lazy coffee brewing method, though that does not mean it is a process devoid of pedantry. While I’m sure there are many pieces of writing devoted to optimum grind size and extraction times and temps, I tend to focus on the logistics, such as straining—which, depending on your chosen filtration system, can take a while. Since I’m lazy and impatient, I rarely make cold brew.
That’s why my friend Rebecca (a genius) makes her cold brew right in her French press. And while I know that French press coffee is its own special brewing method with its own rules and best practices, a French press is also quite an elegant way to strain cold brew (or even tea), no need for a cheese cloth or coffee filter. (If you don’t have a French press, you can also use large tea or nut milk bag; we explain how here.)
To make cold brew in your French press, just add coarsely ground coffee and water (or coconut water for a fun treat) to the cold brew receptacle and let it sit, lid on but plunger up, on the counter or in the fridge for 12-24 hours, depending on your preference. A ratio of a quarter cup of whole beans to one cup of water will result in a pretty concentrated brew, but you can always dilute it if you need to. Once the steeping time has elapsed, simply press the plunger down to strain out the grinds, then pour over ice (or frozen coffee cubes) and enjoy (urgently, without waiting).