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May 28 2019

Mark’s Cold Brew Coffee

By Mark Sisson

Welcome to summer, everyone. (I think most people agree it starts after Memorial Day, right?) One of the things I’ve always loved about summer is cold brew coffee. As most of you know, I’ll take coffee anytime year round, but cold brew is its own animal and worth appreciating as such. That said, cold brew needs to be done right to achieve the smoothness and sweetness its known for. Here’s how I create my own cold brew.



  • 2/3 cup medium-coarse ground coffee
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • Optional: 4 Tbsp. Milk, Cream or Alternative Milk (I personally use regular cream, but many of my readers avoid dairy. Thrive Market has a clean and tasty version of Oat Milk. For those looking for other alternatives, check out this post on non-dairy milk.)
  • You’ll also want a couple medium mason jars with lids.


Grind 3/4 cup of whole bean coffee to a medium-coarse consistency as pictured to make about 2/3 cup ground coffee. (I wouldn’t advise the pre-ground coffee you find in the store, since you’ll have a heck of a time trying to drain it. The result? Coffee that’s likely too strong and muddy instead of smooth.)

Divide the ground coffee between two medium mason jars. Pour room temperature filtered water over the coffee—one cup of water per jar. Screw the lids on tight, and let infuse at room temperature for 12 hours. This is where the magic happens. You could go a little shorter (e.g. 10 hours) if you need it sooner, but I’d be cautious about exceeding 12 hours as I’ve found a lot of coffee gets bitter pretty quickly past that point. Start with 12 hours and experiment from there if you want a more concentrated brew. Some people like to put the jars in the refrigerator for added chilling. This works, but the infusing process will be a little slower.

After 12 hours, open each jar. Filter through a clean dish towel or cheesecloth. I know some folks use a very fine sieve or paper coffee filters for this step. Others like to double filter.

Check for concentration and dilute (to your own personal taste) with cold, filtered water, diluting less if you’re going to add milk or cream or if you’re going to use ice.

Put a few ice cubes in the bottom of two glasses, pour coffee over them. Add milk or cream if that’s your thing.

Store any extra filtered coffee in a clean mason jar in the refrigerator, and use within a few days for freshness.

Thanks for stopping by, everybody. Do you have a recipe you’d like to see the team or I cover? Share your ideas below. Have a great week.

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13 thoughts on “Mark’s Cold Brew Coffee”

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    1. The Oats are strained out so it’s not like eating whole grains. Plus, with a “splash” it’s totally Paleo, as is a splash of any kind of dairy, cheese, Mark even admits to a teaspoon of good old regular sugar in his normal morning coffee (and a splash of whole cream.)

    2. This sounds like it would pair well with some whole wheat Thrive Market english muffins and Primal Kitchen grape jelly.

      Kidding aside, after following this blog for like 10 years, I find it hard to believe Mark drinks his coffee this way. There’s probably a lot of oat milk approaching the sell by date that they need to get rid of. After all of the posts promoting coconut and raw dairy I would think one of those two options would’ve been suggested as the creamer of choice. But what do I know?

      FWIW, I prefer my cold brew black. If I want coffee with cream or a small amount of sweetener (maple syrup or raw honey) I have it hot. This time of year I want it black for intermittent fasting and/or keto purposes.

    3. I’m guessing here, but coconut oil solidifies at lower than about 72 degrees and might make a lumpy mess if you try to have gum-free coconut milk very very cold.

      I’m not on board with oats because I’m celiac and finding purity protocol oat milk is very unlikely.

      I wonder if cashew cream would work here? Or almond milk. If it’s homemade, or that processed type from a store, it would work. I’ve refrigerated homemade almond milk before and it didn’t lump up.

      The old reliable recipe for homemade almond milk includes a mucilaginous seed like flax or chia, buzzed with nuts and hot water in a blender until milky. Allowed to settle, then buzzed a few more times. Strain. Add sweetener, or not, and refrig. Experiment, it’s seriously easy to make.

  1. I love cold brew! I usually do it straight in the French press, then “straining” is just pushing down the plunger.

  2. 1. You guys should make a cold brew product!
    2. You guys should make a primal cocktail!
    I am full of ideas… you’re welcome!

  3. Oh my Mark, Oat milk? I checked my calendar to make sure that it wasn’t Aprils fool; alas, it’s not. Never mind that this beverage doesn’t qualify as milk, unless oats grew nipples. I am also know that Paleo isn’t what it used to be but you too? But then again, you koshered white potatoes and seed oil (to name a few) if it was extracted in a certain way, so perhaps I should not be surprised;

  4. Oh no, Mark sold out and used oat milk.
    Then said legumes were ok.
    Boo hoo.
    He’s not paleo anymore

    I only consume foods that were available 10,000 years ago.
    Even if dairy has proven health benefits, I dont go near it, ‘coz Grok…

    Our ancestors didn’t drink oat milk, so I wont either. Because I love the story of paleo man and I’m a paleo being too.

  5. My favorite raw vegan restaurant makes cold brew with homemade hazelnut milk. I think they sweeten the milk lightly with dates. They call it “cracka” cuz it IS!

  6. I just tried this for the first time and I have to say it’s absolutely delicious, Mark. I’ve always thought cold-brew was just too fussy to bother making myself and I end up spending excessively on take-out cold brew nitros from the cafe instead.

    Can I ask: I have pre-ground coffee which already has a very fine consistency. If I use this to follow your recipe should I be double or even triple filtering with cheesecloth to keep the consistency right? Or should I just invest in some fresh whole bean coffee? Thank you!