Why is My Cold Brew So Light? Learn How to Make Better Cold Brew

Why is My Cold Brew So Light

When we brew cold coffee at home, we want it to taste like Starbucks coffee – strong and delicious. But, when you make cold brew at home, you realize it tastes weak and light. Even after doing everything right, why is your cold brew so light?

Your cold brew is too light because you’re most likely not using fresh enough beans or the appropriate sized (medium-coarse) coffee grounds. Cold brew also takes much more time than normal coffee to brew and needs at least 8 to 24 hours. these are the most common reasons why your cold brew is so light.

But there are additional factors that can make your cold brew too light. In this article, we will discuss them in detail along with the best ways to solve them.

Let’s explore and learn.

Why Is My Cold Brew so Light?

Light cold brew coffee is not always the result of a single reason. Several factors can lead to this unpleasant experience. Let’s figure out what makes your cold brew too light.

1) Too Short Brewing Time

Many people don’t know the fact that cold coffee requires more brew time than normal coffee. Extraction of the coffee bean flavors from cold coffee often takes more than 8 hours. One of the most common reasons people get light cold brew is that they don’t let it brew long enough. So, check that first. I’d recommend at least 12 hours, and I usually brew mine for 24 hours.

2) Using Ultra-coarse Coffee Grounds

Ultra-coarse coffee grounds won’t extract enough in cold water. Different coffee grounds are the best fit for different coffee types. And the ultra-coarse ground is not typical coffee grounds for cold brew coffee. Use a medium grind size and play around with different grind sizes until you find a taste that you prefer.

3) Wrong Ratio of Coffee To Water

Putting more water than coffee in the mixture will result in light coffee. Besides, the proportion of sugar, milk, etc., can also make a difference in your taste. Therefore, follow the exact guidelines of the recipe you are using – and if it’s still too light, use more coffee grounds.

4) Stale Coffee Grounds

When you crush beans into grinds, the oxidation process begins. Coffee grounds will become stale and lose quality if you don’t store them properly. So, try to grind coffee immediately before making your cold brew and store the extra properly.

How to Solve Light Cold Brew Coffee

Glass cold brew coffee with ice and milk on black or dark background

Hopefully, you figured out the reason why your cold brew coffee is so light. Here are some tips you can follow in preparing your next cold brew coffee to avoid weak coffee!

Use Finer Coffee Grounds

Author Note: Medium coarseness grinds are ideal for making cold brew coffee. Neither Ultra-coarse nor fine grounds will give you the best results. You may face difficulty in filtering out fine grounds coffee beans.

On the other hand, grinds larger than medium-coarse won’t give you the expected flavor. Medium grinds will help you to get rid of the limitations.

Use Fresh Coffee Grinds

Make sure you’re using fresh coffee grinds because grind quality affects your coffee’s caffeine and flavor intensity. Don’t use grinds that are older than 2-3 weeks and be sure to put them in the air-tight container.

Increase the Ratio of Coffee

Alter your coffee and water ratio to make your coffee darker according to your preference. An adequate coffee solution ensures you the perfect coffee cup, which is neither too harsh nor too light. There are many different recipes online for cold brew, ranging from 1:5 (grams of coffee:water) all the way to 1:10 – and this is usually for a concentrate recipe which means you dilute it with water when ready to drink. If you are already at 1:10 and dilute the concentrate 1:1 with water, you’ll end up at 1:20 ratio which even for hot brewed coffee is very weak. I’ve found that my preferences have resulted in a cold brew recipe with a dark roast and 1:5 ratio.

Brew Coffee for at Least 8 Hours

Generally, Starbucks steeps their cold brew coffee for 20 hours. Cold water takes more time to dissolve and steep in coffee grinds, so be prepared to wait additional time when making cold brew coffee.

Is Lightly Roasted Coffee Good for Health?

Statistics show that over 35% of Americans prefer light roast coffee to dark roast coffee, and 19% consider light roast coffee over other varieties.

So is it healthier to use lighter roasts when making cold brew coffee? Does light roast coffee have more nutrients than other varieties?

In the new study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, a Korean researcher found that lightly brewed coffee contains higher chlorogenic acid that prevents cell damage and pain.

Light roast coffee bears more chlorogenic acid that facilitates the functions of antioxidants in our body, controls sugar in the blood vessels, and alleviates inflammation. The chlorogenic compound works in weight management and anti-diabetic supplement as well.

Here are some proven health benefits of lightly brewed coffee:

1) Increases Consciousness

Light coffee offers you increased alertness and logical reasoning ability. Perfectly light brewed coffee contains enough caffeine to relieve pain from sleep deprivation and break down carbohydrates to make you feel strong.

2) Improves Hair Growth

Caffeine stimulates hair growth. Light coffee can possibly assist you with hair loss and baldness.

3) Acts as an Immunity Booster

Consumption of light roast coffee reduces the risk of liver and kidney disease. The antioxidants of Caffeine breaks down cholesterol in the liver and calcium in the kidneys.

Light brewed coffee is also shown in some studies to be beneficial for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

4) Stimulates Reproductive Health.

The caffeine of light roasted coffee is said to increase sperm production and lower the risk of erectile dysfunction.

5) Boosts Healthy Weight Loss

Light coffee prevents you from weight loss. A high level of caffeine helps to rise in the proportion of metabolism, strengthen muscles, and keeps your heart safe and sound.

Keep in mind that too much caffeine intake may lead to fatigue, nervousness, insomnia, and an upset stomach.

So, be sure you are taking a reasonable amount of lightly roasted cold coffee because an excess of anything is bad.

Some of the Best Ways to Get Creamy Coffee

Refreshing iced latte coffee in a glass with heart waffles and coffee beans

Author Note: Using cream and dairy milk will make your coffee delicious. Why not try making an easy but super-delicious cup of coffee for yourself. Here’s our top pick among many types of creamy coffee.

Whipped Coffee

Nowadays, drinking whipped coffee has become a common trend. It is known as Dalgona coffee. Dalgona coffee is a cold beverage that has velvety sweet and creamy coffee foam on top.  Inspired by Dalgona candy, a toffee sponge comes with a creamy dollop on the iced coffee.

It is popular in South Korea, Greece, and India. To enjoy a perfect whipped coffee, follow the instructions below:

  • Mix water, instant coffee, and granulated sugar in an equal ratio.
  • The mixture should look like a dark, dense solution. Whisk the mixture, and after some time, you will notice the change of color to lighter coffee.
  • Keep whisking the mixture till it looks like peanuts. Then pour the mixture over water and milk. Lastly, stir it properly.

How to Make Thick Iced Coffee

You can easily make a thick, iced coffee at home. Before starting, make sure you have the followings;

  • Instant coffee
  • Sugar
  • Chilled milk
  • Medium-sized vanilla ice cream fresh cream
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Ice cubes
  • Hot water
  • Coconut powder and whipped cream


  • In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of warm water with 1 tablespoon of instant coffee. Stir the mix properly to dissolve the coffee.
  • Take a blender jar. Add ½ cup fresh cream, 2 cups of boiled milk, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and the coffee mix. Then blend this mixture and wait till the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add 3 ice cubes and 6 scoops of vanilla ice cream to it. Blend this to mix the ice cream properly. Don’t over blend the mixture.
  • Put some coconut powder and whipped cream over it.

How to Make Cold Coffee Treat without Ice Cream

You can also make a coffee treat without using ice cream. It uses almost the same ingredients.


  • First, put instant coffee, milk, sugar, and ice cubes in the blender.
  • Blend the mixture and pour it into the cup.
  • You can use coconut powder on it.

By the way, you can also try the cold brew soda recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cold brew iced coffee. Refreshing cold summer drink on a dark table

What is the best way to make cold coffee? 

You can make your coffee in many ways, which gives you different tastes. Our personal favorite is the immersion method. First, you have to keep coffee grounds with cold water, then filter the mix for 12-15 hours. Brew the coffee and pour-over the coffee dripper to filter it.

Is cold coffee good for health?

Yes, cold coffee is good for our physical and mental health. Cold coffee has ingredients that may lower the risks of heart diseases.

Author Note: You can get caffeine, phenolic compounds, trigonelline, quinide, magnesium, and lignans from a cup of cold coffee. These compounds may increase your insulin sensibility and stabilize your blood sugar.

Besides, drinking cold coffee can reduce your risk of depression, boost your mood, and improve brain function.

Can you use regular ground coffee for cold brew?

It would be best if you used medium-coarse coffee grounds. If your grounds are ultra-course, you may miss the taste because of weak and underdeveloped mixing. On the other hand, fine grounds result in too much oil and bitter flavor. Use the right coffee grounds for your cold coffee.

What happens if you use fine ground coffee for cold brew?

You may face two main problems while using finer ground coffee. Firstly, you can’t properly filter out the coffer from the little floating grounds. Secondly, over-extraction may result in a bitter flavor of the coffee. If you face these problems, stop using fine grounds. Medium to coarse coffee grounds is standard for cold brew coffee.

How do you store brewed coffee?

Pour the coffee into a carafe and keep it in the refrigerator. Keeping the coffee cold preserves the flavor and scent of your coffee beyond a two-hour window.

Experts suggest you can store coffee in the refrigerator for up to a week. Besides, you can reheat the cold coffee from the fridge, but it won’t taste as good as a freshly brewed coffee.


I hope you now know how to fix the problem of brewing cold brew coffee that tastes too light. Have you discovered other reasons why your cold brew coffee is brewing too light? Let us know about it in the comment section below. And when in doubt, try and stick to what the recipe tells you to do.

Stay caffeinated, friends!

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