Cold brew coffee is a great alternative for iced coffee in the summer. But how do you get the perfect coffee-to-water ratio?

Perfect the Ratio

The science of cold brew starts with the ratio of the ground coffee to water. In general, if you use between 1/2 cup and 1 cup of ground coffee, you’ll want to use between 4 and 8 cups of water. (3 tablespoons to 6 tablespoons coffee to 2 quarts water.)

Take It Slow

You’ll want to start by pouring room-temperature water into a pitcher and sprinkling some coffee grounds in. Let the grounds steep for 30 minutes, then use a sieve or slotted spoon to gently press the grounds against the bottom of the pitcher to filter out any large pieces. After that, you can put the pitcher in the fridge and let it sit overnight, or you can set it out on the counter and let it sit for 12 to 18 hours.

Pick the Perfect Container

There are few rules for how to store cold brew coffee. Whether it’s glass or ceramic, plastic or stainless steel, as long as it’s clean it’s fine. If you’re using the fridge or freezer, make sure your container is airtight to prevent exposure to odors.

Adjust the Strength

If the strength of your cold brew isn’t quite right, you can dilute it with water. But remember, you lose a little bit of the coffee’s complexity when diluting. I like to adjust the strength of the coffee by dissolving a few tablespoons of coffee concentrate in a cup and adding more water. Then, I have a perfect cup of coffee, rather than a cup of coffee that’s too weak or too strong.