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What is Steeping Coffee?

If you are trying to figure out a way to cut your daily coffee budget by preparing coffee at home, or you want to eliminate the need for single-use plastics, then steeping coffee may be the best coffee making method for you. So what is steeping coffee? Probably, you have heard about steeping in tea making, but have not heard about it in coffee. In this article, we will discuss steeping coffee in detail.

steeping coffee

What Does Steeping Entail?

Steeping is the process of making coffee by soaking ground coffee in hot water. It is a form of immersion brewing. Steeped coffee has complex flavors since the grounds get soaked in hot water for an extended time, unlike other coffee making methods.

You can get a tasty, hot cup of coffee by steeping coffee grounds in hot water for 5 minutes at most. Steeping coffee works the same way as making cold brew by soaking medium to coarse grounds in cold water for about 24 hours.

Coarse grounds are the best grind size for steeping coffee. The reason is that finer grounds leave coffee dust in your cup of coffee. You will not like the feel of drinking the coffee dust. Coarse grounds are easy to sieve as they barely pass through sieves and coffee bags.

The French press is the most common way of steeping coffee. Their design allows for perfect coffee steeping. Regardless, you can make steeped coffee without a French press. Some coffee lovers use coffee bags to make steeped coffee. Coffee bags work like tea bags. However, they are not ideal for steeping coffee since the paper filter alters the flavor.


How is Steeping Coffee Different From Brewing?

Although brewing and steeping are all coffee-making methods, they are relatively different. When brewing coffee, you pass hot water through ground coffee. Water goes in while clear and comes out as ready coffee. As the hot water passes through ground coffee, it extracts coffee flavors and oils that give your cup of coffee its slightly acid and chocolate tones.

On the contrary, steeping coffee involves submerging coffee grounds in a container containing hot water, or cold water for cold brew. When steeping, coffee grounds remain in contact with hot water for at least 1 minute. As the grounds soak, they release the flavors and oils into the hot water. The result is tasty coffee featuring rich, acidic tones.

Both steeping and brewing use about the same ratio of water to coffee, apart from espresso. However, steeping coffee gives you more control over how weak or strong your brew is. For instance, when steeping coffee with a coffee bag, you can remove the coffee bag from the hot water at any desired time. Also, steeping can be used to make individual servings rather than making a whole pot. If you are preparing coffee for a crowd, then brewing is better.



Coffee steeping is one of the simplest coffee-making methods. It is suitable for making a quick caffeine fix without using any special equipment. You only need to steep coarse grounds in hot water for at least 1 minute or as desired to get a ready cup of steeped coffee. Hopefully, we have now answered your question about what is steeping coffee.