How To Make Cold Brew Coffee In A Mason Jar
Do you love iced coffee?
Would you like to be able to make some without spending any money on fancy equipment?
Would you like it to taste better than when you pour your leftover hot coffee over ice?
Yeah, that’d be great. My coffee sucks when I do that.
Here’s the thing; you probably have more mason jars in your house than you know what to do with, huh?
Good, because today I’m going to help you make some delicious mason jar cold brew.
Why Cold Brew?
Cold brew is the process of brewing coffee without hot water. Instead, you use room temperature or even cold water to do the job.
The actual brew takes much longer since you are not using hot water (think 12-24 hours instead of 3-5 minutes).
The grounds and the water sit together in a container, slowly extracting over time.
The result of brewing coffee this way is a smooth cup of coffee without all the acid.
The process of brewing coffee cold is made easier by specifically designed brewers. With any of these, you can make more cold brew at one time.
They come with everything you need, including a filter that will take care of even the tiniest grounds that slip by DIY filters.
But having a fancy cold brewer isn’t necessary. If you would like to test the waters of cold brew with what you already have in your kitchen, read on.
How to make cold brew coffee in a mason jar
Cold brew is so easy to make. All you need are a few kitchen basics and some patience.
Once we grind our coffee, we are going to simply put it in the jar and add water. We will let it sit for 12-24 hours and then strain out the larger grounds with a mesh strainer.
Then we’ll pour it through a paper or cloth filter to get all the micro grounds out.
Voila, we’ve got cold brew!
Now, it’s a little more complicated, but that’s the basic idea. Again, using an actual cold brewing device will save some time on the backend, as you won’t have as many steps.
You also can’t make too much cold brew (unless you have a really big jar).
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
- 57 grams coffee - Can’t make cold brew coffee without, well, coffee.
- 270 oz room temperature water. We will make enough for about 2 cups of cold brew. If you have a larger mason jar, feel free to double or even triple this recipe to make more.
- Coffee Grinder - Grinding your coffee fresh is super important for any coffee brewing that you do. A burr grinder will get you consistent grounds every time.
- Scale - We’re going to weigh our coffee and water for the best results.
- Mason jar - Make sure it’s clean and doesn’t smell weird (sometimes if they’ve been sealed shut for a long period of time, they smell funny. Wash them out so that smell doesn’t affect the coffee).
- Paddle or spoon.
- Mesh strainer.
- Paper filter - You can use any type of filter you have, a pour over filter, coffee pot filter, aeropress filter.
Use a cheesecloth, nut milk bag or some other type of cloth filter to replace the mesh strainer and paper filter (I used a microfiber kitchen towel)
Step 1 - Weigh out 57 grams of your favorite coffee
Set a cup on your scale and tare it. Add 57 grams whole bean coffee.
PRO TIP: Cold brew is extremely forgiving. That means that you don’t necessarily have to use the freshest coffee. You can use the coffee that’s 3 or 4 weeks old, and it will still taste great.
Step 2 - Grind the coffee coarsely
Grind similar to a french press, or about the size of bread crumbs. Add it to the mason jar.
PRO TIP: If the grounds are too fine, the coffee will be over extracted. On top of that, it will be harder to filter out the grounds at the end.
Step 3 - Add water
Pour 270 grams room temperature water into the jar. Using your paddle or spoon, give the grounds a gentle stir, ensuring all grounds are wet.
PRO TIP: If your water doesn’t taste great by itself, it isn’t going to make great coffee. Use water that tastes good and avoid using distilled water in order to get the best extraction.
Step 4 - Let sit for 12 - 24 hours
The longer, the stronger. The more time the water has to extract the coffee, the stronger the final cup will be.
Again, don’t let it steep more than that, or you run the risk of getting very bitter coffee.
PRO TIP: Make 2 batches of cold brew at the same time. Let one steep for 12 hours and 1 for 24 hours, if you can. Do everything else the exact same and decide what tastes better to you.
Step 5 - Strain the coffee
Set a mesh strainer on top of an empty container. Once the coffee has finished steeping, take your jar and pour it into the strainer. Empty these grounds in the trash.
Our cold brew is almost ready!
Step 6 - Use a paper filter
Now, set up any coffee brewing device with a paper filter over your mason jar from earlier. This can be any paper filter you have on hand.
Take the cold brew concentrate and pour it into the paper filter. The concentrate will slowly drip through the paper.
It may take a while since the liquid is not hot (I like using the aeropress because you can force the coffee through the filter much faster).
Alternatively, use a cloth filter
If you don’t want to filter the coffee twice, or if you don’t have either a mesh strainer or a paper filter of some sorts, you probably at least have a towel you can use.
I’d recommend using a cheesecloth or nut milk bag if you have one, but a kitchen towel will do (make sure it’s clean and probably dark in color as the coffee will stain it).
Set the cloth on top of a wide bowl. Pour the contents of the jar into the cloth, fold up the corners and squeeze all the coffee out of the cloth. You now have a coffee concentrate and a dirty towel. Proceed.
Step 7 - Dilute concentrate
Add room temperature water to your concentrate. We recommend starting with a 1:2 ratio of coffee to water.
So if you have 1 oz of coffee concentrate, add 2 oz water. Adjust to taste. More water if it’s too strong for your liking, less if you like it strong.
PRO TIP: The concentrate will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge. But if you add water to it, the shelf life decreases to 2-3 days.
Step 8 - Add ice and start sipping
Now simply enjoy your cold brew coffee. Mason jars are perfect for drinking from as well.
PRO TIP: Take this concentrate with you camping, on road trips, or any other trip where you want have all the supplies necessary to make a normal cup of coffee. Simply add water and ice to it when you are ready to drink it.
There you have it. Even with a mason jar and some other basic kitchen essentials, you have what it takes to make great cold brew.
You no longer have an excuse to pour your leftover morning coffee over ice.
Life’s too short. Drink better coffee.
Did you appreciate this tutorial? Now it’s your turn. Go make some mason jar cold brew and let us know how it tastes. We would love to hear from you in the comments below.