Can You Drink Cold Brew Concentrate Straight? The Best Ways to Enjoy It

Can You Drink Cold Brew Concentrate

Congratulations! You have entered the world of cold brew coffee. Cold brew coffee is rich and smooth in taste, so we don’t doubt that you are going to love it. Not only that, cold brew coffee is easy to make and it is very versatile. You can also buy cold brew concentrate from your local grocery store if you don’t have time to make it yourself. If you are new to this, you might find yourself puzzled over if you can drink it. Can you drink cold brew concentrate straight?

The short answer is yes, you can drink cold brew concentrate straight. Much like other strong drinks or espresso, you can sip on it. But we recommend diluting it first to fully appreciate cold brew. Our favorite ratio is 1 to with cold water. This will make your cup of cold brew coffee with about twice the caffeine of a regular hot brew cup of coffee.

But there are so many delicious recipes that you can make with cold brew concentrate, which we will go into detail in this article.

Let’s get started!

What Is Cold Brew Concentrate? 

Cold brew coffee is coffee brewed using cold water. While hot water can extract the taste from coffee fast, cold water needs more time. A lot more. Depending on the temperature cold brew takes from 12 to 18 hours to prepare. And while the process is long, it is very easy. Once you set it up, you just need to leave it while it brews.

If you buy cold brew at your local grocery store, however, you can also get it in concentrate form. Cold brew concentrate is even stronger than normal cold brew, as it has been concentrated commercially. If you dilute it with water in a 1 to 1 ratio, you will still have about twice the strong cup of coffee you would normally get from a hot brew.

Author Note: Cold-brew concentrate should be kept in the fridge in an airtight container and can last up to 10 days or even 2 weeks. If you store it correctly, you should be able to preserve the taste as well. 

Ways To Drink Cold Brew Concentrate 

Cold brew coffee in a two glass with metal straw on a dark background

Cold brew coffee has a very smooth and rich taste, without the bitterness and acidic taste a hot brew can give you. As we mentioned, it comes in a concentrate so you should plan on diluting it. Luckily, it is a very versatile coffee and can go with anything, from drinks, to deserts, to cocktails. 

So let’s get into it. 

Diluting Cold Brew Concentrate with Water 

This is probably the most obvious one and is why I am mentioning it first. The concentrate is strong so a 1 to 1 ratio with water will do the trick. Using cold water and adding ice will make for a great coffee during the warmer months. You are going to end up with a cup of strong black coffee. If you still find the taste a bit too much, you are more than welcomed to add more water or ice until perfect.

It might look like you have now ended up with an iced coffee, but iced coffee made with a hot brew and iced coffee made with a cold brew is different. The most important difference is the taste. Iced coffee from a cold brew has a smoother, sweeter taste, while iced coffee from a hot brew has a bit of an acidic taste. 

If you are more of a warm cup of joe kind of person, then have no fear. Yes, you can have a warm cup of coffee with the sweet taste of a cold brew. Just as you would dilute with cold water, you can just add hot water to your cold brew concentrate and have a warm cup of delicious coffee. If this is still not hot enough for you, you can warm up your cup as well. The taste will remain about the same. But in my experience, just adding hot water is enough. 

Diluting Cold Brew Concentrate with Milk or Cream

You might not be a huge fan of black coffee, so fear not. You can still enjoy your cold brew in the form of a white coffee. Depending on your tastes, there are few ways you can go about it. The most obvious being, just follow the 1 to 1 ratio and make yourself an iced latte. You can add chilled milk with some extra ice cubes for warmer days. This is probably the second most common way to drink cold brew concentrate.

Or if you prefer your coffee warmer, you can use hot milk to balance it out. This will give you a warm cup of latte for those colder days. 

If you don’t want to go too heavy on the milk, or cream, you can add water and then add some milk. 

My personal preference is using a smaller glass, adding about ⅓ to ½ concentrate, adding some ice cubes, 3 or 4 depending on the size, and then filling it up with milk. 

Cold Brew Concentrate with Soda 

This would be the eccentric aunt of cold brew recipes. It’s a fun and refreshing version instead of just adding water. You can use soda water to dilute the cold brew concentrate. This ratio should be: concentrate 1 to 3 soda water.

You can also add some syrup or mint leaves to make it even tastier. It might not be the first cup of coffee you make in the morning, but It’s a great recipe for summer days. You can even try out different syrups and mix it up with the taste. I usually just squeeze a bit of lemon or citrus for extra freshness but feel free to go on the sweeter side. 

Making Smoothies with Cold Brew Concentrate 

Iced americano coffee

This is a great way to have your breakfast and coffee in one. If you are in a hurry in the morning you might already be familiar with adding caffeine to your protein smoothie. Adding cold brew concentrate to your smoothie is a great way to kick start the day. 

Author Note: I usually add a shot of concentrate to my smoothies. You can dilute it first and then add it to the smoothie mix, or you can even just add a shot or two of cold brew concentrate to mix everything. 

I usually make my smoothie with some coffee, some oats, some honey, and maybe a banana to add some extra flavor. But hey, you are free to experiment. 

Cocktails with Cold Brew Concentrate 

I call these in between drinks, or drinks for when you start drinking early. But all joking aside, coffee cocktails have become very popular. And there are so many recipes to choose from. This is another great way to drink cold brew concentrate.

From Cold Brew Martinis to Cold Brew White Russians, there are many choices. Depending on the alcohol of your choice, you can find a suitable recipe to make a cold brew cocktail. 

It’s also a fun way to add an extra layer of thoughtfulness to a party. So review your alcohol inventory and mix something up for your next get together. 

Cold Brew Concentrate With Ice Cream

Another way to enjoy cold brew concentrate is in a desert. My favorite way is to pair it with ice cream. There are two ways to do this. If you are making homemade ice cream, you can go ahead and add cold brew concentrate to the mix and make a homemade coffee ice cream. It is a delicious dessert that I am sure you will enjoy.

If you are using store-bought ice cream, that is great too. You can take a couple of scoops and then add the cold brew concentrate on top of the ice cream, syrup style. 

My favorite is an excellent french vanilla ice cream and then a shot of cold brew concentrate on top. The subtle taste of the vanilla ice cream goes great with the coffee concentrate. 

If you want something sweeter, you can go with some chocolate or fudge ice cream. 


Iced coffee in a low glass with ice and a straw on a white saucer on a beige background.

Cold brewing is an easy way to get great coffee. Even if you are not using your most premium quality coffee beans, you will still end up with rich tasting, smooth coffee. The good news is that once you make a cold brew concentrate, it can last up to 10 days or even two weeks. And there are so many ways to drink it. And yes, you can drink cold brew concentrate straight! 

On a day to day basis, you will probably opt for just diluting it with water or milk. This is the simplest way to enjoy cold brew concentrate. Making an iced coffee or iced latte for the warmer months. Or making a warm cup of coffee or warm latte for the colder months. Either way, you will end up with a tasty cup of coffee. 

Another way to enjoy your cold brew concentrate is to add it to your morning smoothie mix. I often do this, because I often find myself with not enough time in the morning for both breakfast and coffee. This way you can have both, and on the go. While it might not be the perfect way to enjoy your coffee intake, it a great saver when you are running low on time. 

Author Note: And there are also fun ways to enjoy cold brew concentrate. Mixing it with alcohol to make cold brew cocktails will be great for a party or a get-together. There are so many recipes online that I am sure you can find some depending on your choice of alcohol.  

Or if you are more into desserts, you can use the concentrate to make coffee ice cream. Or just use it as a syrup to pour over your favorite store-bought ice cream. 

However you choose to enjoy it, cold brew is your friend. It’s so versatile and enjoyable in any way. So much so that I doubt it will last for 10 days in the fridge.

Stay caffeinated friends!

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