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How to Make Cold Brew in a Mason Jar

Andrew Pautler

Cold Brew coffee in a mason jar

Brew Specs

Grind Coarse
Brew Ratio 1:8
Water Temp 70 - 80° F Room temperature
Total Brew Time 18:00 12 -24 hours

Cold brew is one of those refreshing summer drinks that simply never gets old. It is incredibly versatile and can be drank black, mixed with cream, added to a cocktail, made as a concentrate or brewed ready-to-drink; it can be made in big batches or single-serve portions. I recently published an article about how to make cold brew that highlighted the batch method using the Honour Cold Brew Maker. In this article I’ll focus on how to make cold brew in an individual serving size using only a mason jar. It is incredibly easy and requires almost no equipment at all.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cold Brew

What coffee should you use for cold brew coffee?

Any coffee can be used for cold brew coffee, but there are some that lend themselves to it more than others. Because of the long, slow brew that takes place during cold brewing, many of the aspects of a coffee get mellowed out and become more approachable. For this reason, it doesn’t make sense to use a wild or exotic coffee for cold brew because many of those characteristics will get lost. I love bright, fruity coffees, but I would never use one for cold brew because so much of what I love in those coffees would come through in the cold brew. Instead I like to use a more balanced and approachable coffee that is rich and full-bodied. Coffees with notes of chocolate, strong sweetness and a lush mouthfeel are my favorite. I like using Central and South American single-origins, but also blends. Many roasters will create cold brew blends, which they create with cold brewing specifically in mind. In this recipe I use a cold brew blend from Oak & Bond that has the rich chocolate flavor notes, caramel sweetness and creamy body that I love in a good cold brew.

Should you use a light roast or dark roast coffee for cold brew?

The roast level of the coffee you use for your cold brew is completely up to your personal preferences. While I almost exclusively brew with light roasted coffees when making pour over, they are not my favorite for cold brewing (because they often times lose the light, bright aspects that I love so much in the pour over when made as cold brew). I find a medium roast works best for my preferences because it tends to hit a lot of the aspects I mentioned above that I like (more balanced and approachable, rich and full-bodied).

What equipment do you need to make cold brew?

While you can use a cold brew maker to make your cold brew, you don’t need any special equipment. The main benefit a cold brew maker gives you is an easy way to separate the coffee grounds from the coffee after brewing. With a cheese cloth or a strainer though, the process can be very easy to do without any special equipment. For this recipe all you will need is: a 16 oz mason jar, a strainer (mesh metal strainer or cheesecloth), coffee and water.

How strong should you make your cold brew?

Cold brew has a lot of flexibility when it comes to its strength. You can make it as a concentrate with a water to coffee ratio as strong as 4:1 or more as a ready-to-drink coffee at a more usual 12:1 to 16:1 water to coffee ratio. This recipe is an 8:1 ratio, which is more concentrated. This allows you to add ice or milk without the coffee becoming too weak or diluted.

Add cream | How to Make Cold Brew in a Mason Jar

Cold Brew Drink Recipes

Want to explore other ways to use your cold brew? I love mixing mine with other flavors or use it as an ingredient in some coffee-inspired cocktails. Here are some of my favorite!

Few drinks are more refreshing on a summer afternoon than sparkling water and iced coffee. Most afternoons in the summer…

Cold Brew coffee with cream in a mason jar

How to Make Cold Brew in a Mason Jar

Coffee, water and a mason jar is all you need to make this incredibly easy and amazingly delicious cold brew coffee.
Prep Time 2 mins
Brew Time 18 hrs
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 serving

Equipment

  • Mason jar, 16 oz or larger
  • Strainer, cheese cloth or coffee filter

Ingredients
  

  • 40 grams coffee coarsely ground
  • 320 grams water around 11oz

Instructions
 

  • Coarsely grind coffee. I use a "10" setting on my Fellow Ode or "35" on Baratza Virtuoso. Because of the long brew time, you want to keep your coffee ground coarse to avoid over extraction.
    Ground coffee | How to Make Cold Brew in a Mason Jar
  • Add 40 grams of ground coffee to the bottom of the mason jar.
    Add coffee | How to Make Cold Brew in a Mason Jar
  • Add 320 grams of water (ideally filtered) to the mason jar.
    Add water | How to Make Cold Brew in a Mason Jar
  • Gently stir coffee and water to make sure all of the coffee is saturated with water. You do not want any coffee grounds sitting on top of the water.
    Stir gently | How to Make Cold Brew in a Mason Jar
  • Twist a lid lightly onto the jar and set on the counter to brew. Brew time can be anywhere from 12-24 hours, though I have found 18 hours to be a perfect amount of time.
    Add lid | How to Make Cold Brew in a Mason Jar
  • After brewing, strain the brewed coffee from the mason jar into a glass or second jar. You can use a strainer, cheese cloth or even a coffee filter to strain the coffee.
    Strain coffee | How to Make Cold Brew in a Mason Jar
  • Add ice, milk or water to taste. The final cold brew in this recipe is a bit stronger, so you have the flexibility to dilute as necessary. Enjoy the cold brew right away or store in the fridge for up to a week.
    Add ice | How to Make Cold Brew in a Mason Jar

Notes

  • You always want to add your coffee to the mason jar first and pour the water on top to make sure the coffee gets fully saturated. Adding the water first and pouring the coffee on top makes it hard to mix the two.
  • You can easily scale this recipe up or down. I like this amount because it fits perfectly in a 16 oz mason jar.
  • You can leave your mason jar on a counter or in the fridge during brewing. If you leave it in the fridge, I’d recommend brewing for the full 24 hours.
Keyword cold brew

Free Download

Download the free, printable coffee brew guide cheatsheet

  • Quick reference for ratios, water temp & brew times
  • 8 brew methods including chemex, V60, aeropress & more
  • Serving sizes and tips for each brew method
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