Can You Use Regular Ground Coffee for Cold Brew?

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For most people, coffee is the driving force that gives them the energy to get up from bed and function productively. It has the power to turn them from grumpy shut-ins who can’t be bothered to perform even the most basic daily tasks to social butterflies that can handle anything thrown at them.

However, if you want to take your coffee drinking game to the next level, we only have three words: Cold brew coffee! You probably already have regular grounds at home to make your daily cups of joe, but can you use regular ground coffee for cold brew or do you absolutely have to have a different type of grind? The short answer is that regular ground coffee is not ideal for cold brew but it will do in a pinch and there are ways to make the most of the limitation.

On that note, let us look at a few tips on making the perfect cup of cold brew coffee down below.


What Grind Do You Use For Cold Brew Coffee?

If you’re new to coffee brewing, you will feel overwhelmed by the plethora of grind sizes as far as getting the right grind goes. Our coffee grind guide has all the necessary details you’ll require to master the art of coffee grinding, especially for making a fresh cup of cold brew. The quick answer? You ideally need an extra-coarse to coarse grind for cold brew coffee. If I’m looking to buy pre-ground beans, my favorite coarse grind for a smooth cold brew is Bizzy made from 100% organic Arabica beans. But if you like to grind them at home, take a look at our picks for a coffee grinder that’s best for cold brew coffee. So, let’s begin!

Typically, there are six main types of coffee grinds. The type of grind you need usually depends on the use case. The finer the grind, the more surface area exposed for brewing, therefore extraction of flavor is fast. This is why espresso uses fine ground coffee beans. Coarse ground beans need more time to sit in the water for full flavor extraction and that’s why cold brew takes several hours to brew.

In addition to brew time and ground size, the temperature of the water also affects the quality of the brew. The hotter the water, the more flavorful your brew is, as long as the brewing time is the same. If your coffee tastes watery or acidic, you can either try a finer grind or use a brewing method that is slower. If your drink is too bitter, try a coarser grind or reduce the extraction time.

Extra-Coarse Grind

An extra coarse grind involves grinding coffee beans using your burr grinder on the largest settings. They have a rough texture, allowing you to see the original shape of the coffee beans. Furthermore, the particles in extra coarse grind measure 1.5 millimeters. Extra coarse ground coffee beans are typically best for cowboy-style coffee or cold brew.

Coarse Grind

Coarse ground beans are similar to sea or Kosher salt in terms of their texture. They consist of large, even granules. These bean particles measure around 1 millimeter. This type of grind is perfect for percolators, French press, and coffee cupping, and if your grinder doesn’t go further towards the left for coarseness, this setting should do just fine for cold brew coffee.

Medium Grind

A medium-coarse grind is similar to the texture of rough beach sand. The particle size in medium-coarse grind comes in at around 0.75 millimeters. This type of grind is perfect for drip coffee, Chemex, pour-over, or Café Solo.

Medium-Fine Grind

What Grind Do You Use For Cold Brew Coffee
A medium-fine grind is the most commonly used grind size as far as pre-ground coffee beans are concerned. Their texture is similar to grains of sand. The particle size of medium-ground coffee beans is around 0.5 millimeters. This type of grind is best suited for siphon brewers, drip coffee makers, Aeropress, and stovetop espresso.

Fine Grind

The texture of finely ground coffee beans is smooth and a little powdery. Fine-ground coffee beans also come in pre-ground bags. It is commonly known as espresso grind. This type of grind is typically used in espresso makers and Aeropress. Plus, they have a particle size of around 0.3 millimeters.

Superfine Grind

Lastly, we have the super fine grind. This type of coffee grind has a texture similar to flour or powder. The particle size of superfine ground coffee is around 0.1 millimeters. This type of grind is best suited for Turkish coffee.


Tips on Brewing Fine Ground Coffee

Tips on Brewing Fine Ground Coffee
Maybe you only have fine-ground coffee powder and you suddenly have a craving for cold brew, which ideally uses coarse to extra-coarse grounds. If that’s the case, make sure to keep the following points in mind while using the fine-ground coffee:

  • Using a fine grind cloth filter
    As fine ground coffee has a powdery texture, regular paper filters that work in a Chemex won’t work too well for your filtered cold brew. Similarly, a metal filter with fine holes will get clogged up fast. Hence, use a fine-grind filter cloth or paper filters specifically made for fine ground coffee instead. The paper filters made for the Aeropress are good.

  • Reducing the brew time
    Doing this will allow you to control the strength of the cold brew. For a low-strength cold brew, keep the brewing time under 8 hours.

  • Stirring coffee grounds after brewing
    This is a complete no-no as far as cold brew goes. Stirring the grounds after brewing is complete will displace coffee grounds that have settled at the bottom of the pitcher. As a result, it will become difficult to filter your cold brew properly.

    How to Make Cold Brew With Fine Ground Coffee

    Using finely-ground coffee beans for cold brew can result in bitterness and over-extraction due to high acidity levels. However, by following the proper brewing technique, you can still make a delicious cup of cold brew in no time if that’s all you have on hand. So, on that note, listed below is a step by step guide for cold brewing finely-ground coffee beans:

  • Add 100 grams of fine-grind coffee to a 1-liter pitcher.

  • Next, add around 900 ml or four cups of water to the pitcher.

  • Slowly stir the contents of the pitcher for 1 minute or 30 seconds. This is important because you don’t want clumps to form, as the cold water has to circulate freely all through the fine coffee grounds for maximum flavor extraction.

  • Once the contents are completely homogenous, store the pitcher in your refrigerator.

  • Refrigerate the pitcher for eight to sixteen hours.

  • Next, take out the pitcher from the refrigerator and decant the coffee into another carafe by passing it through a cloth filter. Do not stir the contents at this point!

  • Finally, serve in a glass and add ice(optional).

  • You can add milk or creamer if you like milky coffee.

  • If you think your brew is too concentrated, you can always add more water to dilute it.

  • You can also add vanilla, cardamom, or cinnamon to give your cold brew an extra flavor kick.


    So, what are you waiting for? Take the plunge now and make yourself a nice, cold cup of cold brew today or serve it at your next lunch party. If you’re a coffee lover, we are sure that you will enjoy the subtle notes and awesome kick that cold brew has to offer!


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