Ever wanted to mimic that delicious cold brew coffee experience from the comfort of home?

It all starts by knowing what it is and how to serve up cold brew espresso like the best baristas.

Once that’s covered, your cold espresso will come together just like mine does when I’m brewing for myself and others. Read on to learn all about cold brew and everything involved in making it.

It’s called cold brew espresso because it results from steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 12-24 hours.

It's a fantastic drink for hot summer days because the ice-cold espresso gives you strong coffee with a refreshingly cool taste and the same epic caffeine boost.

Because of its slower infusion process, cold brew coffee has a much less bitter flavor profile.

So, if you like great coffee without the acidity of hot coffee, then it's another plus in the column for espresso cold brew.

The precise reason why this infusion process is so beneficial is that it yields a coarser and larger texture for the coffee beans.

This grants the cold brew coffee a sweeter and smoother taste. I’ll share more on this in the next section!

Cold Brew Espresso Vs Espresso: How They Differ

Cold brew concentrate made using an espresso grind and suitable coffee grounds might sound similar to your classic espresso.

The truth is that they couldn’t be more different. Hot water coffee and cold water coffee have huge differences, even if you use the same ground coffee beans for both.

I'll show you a handy table comparing the crucial differences between cold brew coffee and a standard espresso. Then, we'll dive into some analysis!


Cold Brew Coffee


Brewing Time

12-24 hours

20-30 seconds

Grind size



Water temperature


90-96 degrees Celsius

Caffeine content




Smooth and sweet

Intense and vibrant




One of the biggest takeaways from these results is the caffeine variation between espresso and cold brew coffee.

Cold brew coffee has a LOT more compared to a regular espresso. For clarity, the 250mg comes from an 8-ounce mug of coffee, and the 96mg comes from a 1-ounce cup of espresso coffee.

Still, why is there such a vast difference?!

It’s all down to the 12 hours minimum brewing process. The longer your coffee beans get steeped, the more caffeine can come out of each coffee bean.

BaristaHQ quick tip:

If you want more energy in your espresso coffee, avoid dark roasts and even a medium roast alternative.

Instead, go for blonde roasted coffee beans. Darker beans have more oils on their surface, strengthening the flavor but lowering the caffeine.

This connects to the acidity levels, flavor profile, and grind size. Let me explain.

A shorter and hotter brewing method, like one used for a traditional espresso, forces highly pressurized and heated water through the coffee beans at lightning speed.

This needs finely ground coffee because the force of the hot water moving through is what extracts the flavor. If the beans were coarse and large, this wouldn’t happen efficiently.

Now, let’s look at how to use a brewing method that turns your coffee beans into an espresso cold brew at home in as little as one day!

How to Make Espresso Cold Brew Like a Barista (Easy Recipe!)

A fantastic yet simple espresso cold brew recipe that meets barista standards is about to be in your hands. Do with it what you will!

BBC Good Food recommends that you start simple, and in their recipe, they recommend beginning with 50g of ground coffee.[1]

Ensuring you have that rough amount available, let’s dive into getting yourself a quick and easy cup of cold brew concentrate espresso at home in no time.

Materials And Equipment

Cold brewing at home is simpler than you think. Start by grabbing a glass jar that’s big enough for the amount of ground coffee you want to use.

Then, get a funnel or sieve that you’d like to use. Add some filter paper to it. Have a second jug at the ready.

If you don’t have coffee filter paper, you can use a kitchen towel - so no excuses not to get started!


Any coarsely ground coffee will do, so you can choose your favorite blend, and that’s half the battle over already!

After getting your delicious ground coffee, all that’s left is water from the tap and ice in the freezer to add later.

If you’d like to get more precise, here are some extras to consider.

You can pick tap water or filtered water to make the coffee. You can also look at adding any kind of milk. An example is a nut milk bag you can have with the coffee.

More coffee recipes are available every week - some with different types of milk, cream, or floral flavors.

I’m sticking to cold brew espresso for now, but it’s worth exploring the combinations available as you gain confidence!


Here's a step-by-step process to get that cold-brewed espresso you've been waiting for!

  1. Pour about 400ml of cold water into your first jug, and then add your coffee grounds.
  2. Cover up the jug and leave to steep for 12-24 hours.
  3. Stir it gently and pour through your funnel or sieve lined with paper into your second jug.
  4. Dilute 1 part cold brew to 2 parts water and add ice.

That’s it! Making cold brew espresso in just 4 quick steps. If you’d like to store it, use a mason jar or similar container. Use cold filtered water if you’d like.

What Are The Best Coffee Beans To Use For This Recipe?

The best coffee beans to use for the recipe above are espresso beans that are of dark roast or medium roast.

You won't need lighter beans for the cold brew coffee concentrate as it already has added caffeine.

If you’re new to cold brew espresso and are opting to take your espresso black, then that’s a brave decision!

Seriously though, consider getting a lighter roast if you’re not used to espresso coffee yet - and thank me later!

Once you’re used to that lighter roast in your cold brewed espresso, you can move up to the dark roast.

If the medium roast is too light for you or added milk makes it too weak, then you have a good coffee tolerance.

The last thing you want is to get overpowered by the first sip. It's happened to me before, making drinking the rest a real challenge.

When I first learned how to make coffee at home, there were quite a few cups I wished I could just pour away and start over.

Here are some additional tips I like to share with coffee drinkers making cold brew espresso according to their tastes.

Coffee Bean Tips

  • Cold brew with added milk will pair nicely with espresso whole beans. Just ensure that they’re coarsely ground coffee beans and not finely ground.
  • Pick your beans carefully based on how you want to take your cold brew. If your coffee grounds are too fine, the taste will be more bitter than expected.
  • Softer and more delicate coffee, like Central American washed coffee, doesn't show its potential with a cold brew recipe and is best avoided.
  • Experiment with flavored espresso cold brew. It’s still made with cold water but just makes the taste more interesting if you’ve got accustomed to having straight-up cold brew espressos.
  • Experiment with a range of roasted coffee beans and adjust the grind size. This way, you can observe the taste when serving the coffee after 12 hours of steeping.

Factors That Affect The Taste Of Cold Brew Espresso

Water Temperature

Cold brew coffee needs a cool temperature for the 12-24 hour steeping time.

The ideal temperature is about 68 F. This is room temperature and less cool than you might expect.

Just bear in mind that the temperature for brewing coffee hot is 197-205  compared to that.

If the temperature is off, then the taste suffers significantly.

If using a dark-roast traditional espresso cold brew, it's best to keep the temperature at room temperature. Stronger flavors will infuse at a faster pace than if it's made in the refrigerator.

Brew Time

Although I advocate 12-24 hours, some have pushed it down to 8 hours. A research paper from the Molecules journal refers to a pioneering new method called “vacuum cycles.”[2]

This method cuts the time down to an astonishing 65 minutes!

As it's only experimental right now, you're still stuck with the standard time window of multiple hours for a while longer, though.

If you don’t steep it long enough, the cold brewed coffee becomes under-extracted. It just won’t have the texture and strength you’d expect.

Roast Type

Light espresso beans emphasize the acidity of the coffee. A cold brew espresso recipe made using these beans mutes that acidity, so I often choose not to use these beans in cold brews.

Medium and dark roasts bring out stronger and unique flavors. Examples include nutty and chocolatey overtones that bring character to the coffee.

Therefore, I recommend the darker roasts to get the most pleasing aroma and refreshing taste. If it’s too intense, I’d recommend adding cream or milk.

Grind Size

Getting a real espresso coffee means grinding up those whole beans yourself. It's what I do at home as a barista - and it's pretty easy!

When you grind coffee beans like this, ensure you aim for a coarse grind. This helps ensure the water can penetrate and steep the grounds properly.

The result is delicious coffee drinks that you and any guests will love.

If the size is too fine, you won't get as much intensity in the coffee, and the taste won't be as strong.

You can get a barista to grind at a coffee store, but it's still simple as part of at-home brewing methods.

Related Cold Brew Espresso Questions

Are espresso and coffee beans the same?

Yes, they are - almost! You’ll be putting the same source material in your coffee grinder, namely coffee beans from your nearest coffee shop. However, espresso beans have a longer roasting time to ensure bolder and richer flavors during oil extraction.

Can you make cold brew with espresso?

Yes, you can add espresso to cold brew. The way to get this done is by making an espresso concentrate on those hot summer days when you need a cool refresher. Just take some espresso beans, grind them coarsely, make the espresso, and pour it into a glass with ice.

Can you mix espresso and coffee?

Espresso is a type of coffee, so mixing them depends on whether you want to include your espresso grounds when making coffee of a different kind. If you do, you'll be making what we baristas call a 'Red Eye' or a 'Black Eye.' The former is black coffee with a single espresso shot. The latter has two - so drink with care!

Can I make cold brew with regular ground coffee?

Yes, you can make cold brew coffee with regular ground coffee. Just use room-temperature water and steep the coffee for 12-24 hours. Check your coffee beans to determine if you'll get a strong flavor or bitter taste. If you're concerned about this, use light-roast coffee beans.

Can you make cold brew coffee with a French press?

Yes, you can produce cold brew coffee with a French press. Cold brewing and steeping ground coffee using a French press is quite simple. Just add the water and coffee to your French press and leave for 8-24 hours!

Does cold brew go bad?

Yes, cold brew coffee does go bad. If you leave cold brewed espresso at room temperature, you'll only have a good cup of cold coffee for 6 hours. Keep it in the fridge, and you'll add around 3-4 days with a moderate loss of flavor and quality.

How do you store cold brew espresso?

To store cold brew espresso, use an airtight container like a mason jar. This will keep your coffee drink safe and secure. Then simply put your coffee in the fridge, and you'll have a couple of days to consume that lovely cold brewed espresso!

How do you make an iced espresso?

Making iced coffee drinks is simple. Brew your coffee using an espresso machine or manually. Then, take a glass with ice cubes and pour the espresso into it. Stir it before it's served, and you'll be good to go.

Conclusion: Try Cold Brew Espresso Today!

There you have it, espresso lovers! Can you create a cold brew with espresso at home like a barista? Yes, you can.

The only difference is that you need some practice to get it served up just right and hit the spot with the taste.

All you need to do is follow the steps above, and you won’t need fancy equipment! You can even store it in a sealed container for several days.

I hope you have an awesome time experimenting with homemade iced coffee.


1. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/cold-brew-coffee
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9104833/ 

Chloe Page


Chloe Page
A lifelong mocha fan, Chloe is an award-winning writer with over eight years’ experience weaving words. Her journey in the coffee industry is highlighted by extensive research and interviews with coffee experts. In her moments of relaxation, you'll often find her sipping on Bird and Blend tea, thoughtfully scribbling in her notebook.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... Bird and Blend Co Tea

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