How to Make Cold Brew for Your Coffee Shop

Are you wondering how to make cold brew for your coffee shop? It isn’t as complicated as you may think.

Cold brew is a simple yet profitable option to add to your coffee shop’s menu. It is easy to make, has a long shelf life, and is highly versatile. The majority of a latte’s preparation happens once the drink is ordered, but the beauty of cold brew is that most of the work is done in advance. The convenient process of cold brew cuts down wait time without sacrificing quality.

Cold brew initially takes a few minutes of prep time, followed by 12-24 hours of steep time. While 24 hours seems like a long time to wait, its two-week shelf life makes it worth the wait. The long shelf life allows plenty of time for the product to sell, eliminating waste and increasing profit margin. When selecting a roast for your cold brew, is best to select a medium or light roast. The cold brew process boosts the flavors in these roasts well and even decreases some of the acidity. We highly recommend our Honduran Medium Roast Coffee or our Mexican Light Roast Coffee for your cold brew.

There are two different approaches in the cold brew making process. You can choose to make a room temperature cold brew concentrate or a chilled ready-to-drink cold brew. If you are unable to chill your cold brew during open hours, a concentrate is the best option. Once you pour the cold brew concentrate over ice, the ice will begin to melt. However, since the cold brew is concentrated, it will not water down the cold brew. If you use a dispenser that chills your cold brew, then a ready-to-drink cold brew is best because it will not melt the ice as quickly. If you would like to make your cold brew in bulk, we highly recommend this 5-gallon cold brew system from Toddy.

Below are the recipes mentioned above. We provided two different size options depending on the volume you desire.

Cold Brew Concentrate

  • 2 lbs. of ground coffee + 1.25 gallons of cold filtered water
  • 5 lbs. of ground coffee + 3 gallons of cold filtered water

 Ready-To-Drink Cold Brew

  • 2 lbs. of ground coffee + 2.5 gallons of cold filtered water.
  • 4 lbs. of ground coffee + 5 gallons of cold filtered water.

Once the water and coffee grounds are combined, put on the lid and let steep for 12-24 hours in room temperature. Once the cold brew is complete, you may add it into another covered container to chill or let sit. We recommend that you chill both the cold brew concentrate and ready-to-drink cold brew at night to help retain its freshness for customers. Once the cold brew is ready to serve, you simply pour it over ice (flavors and cream may be added as well).

For seasonal cold brew recipe ideas, visit our HOPE Coffee Sunnyvale menu to browse through our cold brew options and more! For a simple at-home recipe, check out our cold brew coffee page.

*It is important to note that cold brew is not the same as iced coffee. Iced coffee is technically hot brewed coffee that you chill and then pour over ice. Our current coffee culture often (understandably) misuses the term “iced coffee” by using it to refer to any cold drink with coffee in it; cold brew, iced americanos, iced lattes, etc. Thus, “iced coffee” has become more of a genre of “cold coffee techniques.” It is important to explain the differences between each cold coffee technique to your baristas. This will enable them to avoid miscommunication with customers.