An easy recipe for cold brew coffee in a mason jar

Coffee lovers are always looking for new ways to shake up the old formula, and in recent years, cold brew coffee has become a favorite way to do just that.

You don’t need any fancy machinery for it. In fact, if you have a mason jar and some coffee beans on hand, you’re just about set. Stay with us and we’ll teach you how to make mason jar cold brew.

What’s cold brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee isn’t actually all that “recent.” It was served in New Orleans long before Starbucks made big bucks turning it into a big-time beverage option back in 2015.

Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee, Black Unsweetened, 11 oz Glass Bottles, 6 Count

Difference between cold brew and iced coffee

Iced coffee is brewed hot and then cooled with ice. Cold brew coffee is made with coarsely ground beans steeped in cool water right from the start. The brew cycle, at its shortest, is six hours long. At the longer end you’re looking at 12 to 24 hours of brew time

However, for fans of the drink, the result—a smooth, cool, balanced cup—is well worth it.

How to make mason jar cold brew

What you need

Just as you need the right ingredients to make a quality cuppa, you need the right equipment to make cold brew coffee, including:

  • Mason jars (obviously). For the best results, they should have a wide mouth and hold at least a quart of coffee. 
  • A straining cloth or paper filter and cone.
  • A large bowl to collect your strained coffee.
  • A silicone straw or something similar if you want to do any mixing.
  • Ice cubes if you wish to make your cold brew coffee extra cold.
It’s a cool brew no matter what, but feel free to add some ice on a hot summer day.
It’s a cool brew no matter what, but feel free to add some ice on a hot summer day. (© Matt Hoffman | Unsplash)

In addition to these basic pieces of equipment, unless you want to have your cold brew coffee black, you’ll want something to mix in, so feel free to grab any delicious creamer, milk, sugar, or whatever else you’d like to add to the mixture afterward.

Now that we have everything on hand, we can get down to business brewing up our cold coffee.

Cold brew instructions

The cold brew coffee ratio is important. If you have a one-quart mason jar, you’ll want to take about ¾ cup of coarsely ground coffee beans and pour them in, along with some cool or room temperature water. If it’s a one-pint jar, use half as much coffee. Keep in mind that although this is called cold brew coffee, you don’t have to add ice.

Once you’ve poured the water into the mason jar, use a straw to gently stir your brew. Fill the mason jar to the brim with more water.

Now it’s time to make that cold brew even colder. Put a lid on the jar and place it in the refrigerator. You should allow the coffee in the mason jar to steep for anywhere between six and 24 hours. Finding the right time may take some experimentation. Generally speaking, the coarser the grind, the longer the steeping time. If your coffee seems a little thin and somewhat on the sour side, you need a longer steeping time or a finer grind. If it’s bitter, shorten the steeping time or grind more coarsely.

Once the time has elapsed and your coffee is ready, take it out of the refrigerator and strain it into a large bowl using your straining cloth. If you don’t have straining cloth, a regular pour-over filter cone with a paper filter will do the job. Pour the coffee carefully through the strainer into the bowl, making sure the coffee grounds end up in the strainer. Give your mason jar a rinse and pour the filtered coffee back in. You can drink straight out of the jar.

Benefits of cold brew coffee

The whole process may take a few hours to a day, but the results are incredibly worth it. Not only will you be able to enjoy cold brew coffee without having to pay extortionate prices at Starbucks, but you’ll also be able to reap many cold brew coffee benefits. They include:

  • A potential boost to your metabolism.
  • The potential boost to your mood due to everything from the caffeine to the taste to the fact that you won’t have to spend a fortune at Starbucks to enjoy it.
  • This kind of coffee also contains compounds, such as magnesium and lignans, which can help reduce your risk of heart disease and lower your blood pressure.
  • Cold brew coffee may also be able to help lower your blood sugar, thereby reducing your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
  • It gives a boost to your nervous system, which can have a huge range of positive effects, from increased concentration to help in combating conditions such as Parkinson’s.
  • It is slightly less acidic, so if you find coffee too acidic for your taste (or for your stomach’s well-being) cold brew coffee may be a better alternative.
  • Cold brew coffee is comparatively easy to make when set against conventional hot brews.

By following our mason jar cold brew recipe, you can reap these benefits and try one of the 21st century’s most popular coffee drinks for yourself.