Making Cold Brew in a Mason Jar – Beginner Friendly Guide

  • Date: October 22, 2020

We all love mason jars. They are cute, photogenic, and can contain a large amount of our favorite beverages. In other words, there is every reason to use mason jars to store our coffee!

All you need to brew some cold coffee with your mason jar is your favorite coarse ground coffee, warm or room temperature water, and any flavoring of your choice.

If you want to find out more about the perfect coffee to water ratio, steeping time, and other tips and tricks, you are in the right place!

What Is Cold Brew Coffee

Nowadays, Starbucks and many other coffee chains have brought cold brew to the mainstream. However, this beverage has long been a delicacy for coffee lovers all around the world, and there are several techniques to achieve the perfect cuppa.

Your average hot coffee is obtained by steeping coffee beans in hot water. As you may imagine, cold brewing plays by different rules, as it is based on extraction through cold water. This produces a unique drink, which preserves all the freshness and strong aroma of the coffee beans.

What is the difference between cold brew and iced coffee?

Many still wonder about the differences between cold brew and iced coffee.

Iced coffee is brewed hot, but served cold. Basically, you chill hot coffee by pouring it over ice, or by refrigerating it for a few hours. This makes the beverage particularly diluted, and the coffee may not taste very fresh.

On the other hand, cold-brewed coffee is made by steeping ground coffee beans at room temperature or cold water for 6 to 12 or even 24 hours. The result is a bold and strong coffee concentrate, which you can mix with water, milk, or other flavorings. Most importantly, this drink will be significantly less acidic than hot-brewed coffee and can be easily adapted for any sugar-free or keto-friendly diet.

Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine Than Regular Coffee?

Studies have found that cold-brewed coffee has less caffeine than regular coffee.

When brewing your coffee with hot water, you are more likely to extract a higher amount of caffeine. On the other hand, when using cold water, your coffee has more time to release its chemicals, and a higher ratio of coffee to water is required. This means that your cold brew concentrate will be stronger than any other conventional hot beverage.

If you want to reduce the strength of your cold brew, you can dilute it with additional water, or milk. Besides, when brewing your cold coffee in a mason jar, you can use your favorite type of coffee beans, meaning that you can use a variety of coffee which is less strong and caffeinated.

Benefits of Making and Drinking Cold Brew Coffee

Cold-brewed coffee is one of the most delicious ways to drink your favorite, caffeinated beverage. It is not just delicious, but there are several other benefits you can enjoy by making and drinking it. This includes:

  • Superior and smoother flavor. The coffee you’re going to obtain after the brewing process is intense and has a full-bodied aroma, which is usually stronger and bitter than your average cuppa. For many coffee lovers, this is the best way to really taste the real flavor of the coffee beans.
  • It’s easy to make. Cold coffee is one of the easiest beverages you can make. You don’t need any professional tool, as you most likely already have everything you need in your kitchen. Forget about expensive coffee makers, weird filters and other tools: all you need is your coffee (except water, and a container to hold it, of course).
  • You can save time. One of the best things about cold coffee is its convenience. Cold brew can be stored in the fridge for a longer period of time than other coffee-based drinks. This means that you can make a large batch of coffee and store it for several days, ready to be tasted at any time. If you enjoy your cuppa in the morning but you rarely have the time to make one, your cold brew will definitely become your best friends.
  • Versatility. Of course, you can enjoy your cold brew concentrate as it is, or add more water or some milk. However, there are several other ways to use your drink. For example, you can heat it up and serve it warm. Or you can pour it over ice for a great iced coffee. Or, if you prefer, you can use it as an ingredient for many desserts or even cocktails.
  • It’s great with any type of coffee. If you are a coffee lover, you will surely understand the importance of choosing the best beans to brew your drink. However, we all have at least a pack of not-so-fresh coffee beans at home, which are now too old to be used to make espresso or other beverages. Finally, you can say goodbye to any type of waste, and use your beans to make cold brew. Since they will have a longer time to release their aroma in the water, they will still taste great.

Is Cold Brew Coffee Healthy?

Usually, people prefer to drink less coffee because it is an acid beverage, which may stimulate acid reflux and other digestive issues, including indigestion and heartburn.

However, cold brew coffee generally has slightly lower acidity levels (around 5-6 on the pH scale). This means that it may irritate your stomach less.

Besides, studies have found that the amount of caffeine in an average cold brew can improve our mood and state of mind, especially among those who suffer from sleep deprivation. On the other hand, you must never forget that coffee isn’t the best ally of your sleep. The more caffeine you drink, the more likely you will have trouble falling asleep. This means that you should always find a balance between your love for this beverage and your need to sleep at least 8 hours every night. For example, you can make a cold brew with decaffeinate coffee, or dilute your concentrate with more milk.

Research even suggests that caffeine can lower depression rates, and it could be used as a nutritional supplement to enhance our brain functions. Coffee usually has many benefits for our health, although you should never consume too much caffeine

How to Use a Mason Jar

Named after John Landis Mason, who patented this container in 1858, the mason jar is a glass vessel used to preserve food and drinks. Its iconic shape features a screw thread on the outer perimeter of the jar’s mouth, where a metal ring is placed.

Mason jars can be used to store both cold and hot drinks. However, just as any other container made out of glass, they are vulnerable to thermal shock. This means that they shouldn’t be exposed to significant and sudden temperature changes, otherwise they will break. In other words, you can still pour your hot drink in a mason jar, but you need to be very careful. Otherwise, you can use these cute glass containers to store your cold brew coffee and enjoy your drink without fear of the consequences.

What Do I Need to Make Cold Brew Coffee with A Mason Jar?

Making cold brew coffee with a mason jar is easy and doesn’t require any special equipment. No coffee maker, special filter nor particular tools are required, but your favorite type of coarse ground coffee.

With one single mason jar, you can obtain a potentially infinite amount of cold coffee, provided that you wash the glass container after each use.

The Perfect Grind Setting

Professional baristas advocate that medium-sized grounds are the best choice for your cold brew cuppa. Nevertheless, this may vary based on the type of coffee you are using.

To make the whole grinding process quicker and easier, you can buy coarse ground coffee, which has already been ground. On the other hand, if you are a pure coffee lover and expert, or if you want to experiment with different flavors, you can grind your own coffee at home and try different settings, until you find the one which works best for your taste.
Cold Brew Coffee/Water Ratio

The coffee you obtain at the end of the steeping process is always concentrated, meaning that it has a strong and full-bodied taste.

If you wish to brew a powerful cup of coffee to enjoy the true aroma of your drink, you will need a 1:4 ratio of coffee to water. Otherwise, if you want to make some coffee concentrate, the traditional ratio is 1:16.

What’s The Ideal Steep Time?

Ideally, you should brew your cold coffee with a mason jar for about 24 hours. The minimum amount of time you should allow the coffee to release its aroma is 12 hours.

Nevertheless, if you are in a rush or if you cannot just wait overnight, you can try starting out with warmer water. Then, you can store the drink in the fridge for a few hours, leaving the warm water accelerating the brewing process.

Of course, the final taste will be different, and cold brew coffee purists may even take offence at this suggestion. You are still welcomed to experiment with different water temperatures and steeping times until you find what works best for you (and your schedule).
How to Make Cold Brew Coffee in A Mason Jar

The following is the easiest and fastest method to make cold brew coffee with a mason jar. At the end of this brewing process, you will get about 3 cups of delicious coffee concentrate, which you can dilute with additional water or milk.

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 1 ½ cups of coarse ground coffee
  • 3 – 3 ½ cups of cold water

You will need:

Preparation:

  1. Pour the coffee beans into the mason jar and fill it halfway with cold or room temperature water. Stir the mixture gently to make sure that all the grounds are wet.
  2. Fill the jar with additional water and put the lid on. Place the container in the refrigerator and allow it to steep for 12 to 24 hours.
  3. When you are satisfied with the steeping time, you can set the strainer over one large bowl. Place a coffee filter in the strainer to ensure that even the smaller coffee particles are separated from the concentrate.
  4. Pour the coffee mixture through the filter, rinse the jar out of the grounds, and transfer the beverage back into the jar.

The coffee you’ll obtain is concentrated, meaning that it will have a strong and bitter taste. You can dilute it to your liking, or use it as it is to make coffee-flavored desserts or cocktails.

How to Brew Your Coffee with a Mason Jar Without a Filter

If you don’t have a coffee filter, you can find many cheaper and easier alternatives in your kitchen. For example, you can use a handkerchief, a kitchen towel, a paper towel, or any other type of towel which has great absorbency. You can even use a cheesecloth, although it is recommended to double or triple it to ensure that no coffee grounds find their way to your beverage.
Do I Need to Dilute the Cold Brew Coffee Made with Mason Jar?

Cold brewing draws out all the flavor and caffeine of coffee means, producing a very strong and bold concentrate. The longer the steeping time, the bitter and more intense your drink will be.

Although you can drink it as it is, it is usually recommended to dilute it with additional water. If you wish, you can also add warm or cold dairy milk or any other vegetable drink of your choice.

Besides, you are free to experiment with all your favorite syrups. Making your own syrups at home is very easy, and you can find plenty of recipes on the Internet.

If you plan to store your coffee concentrate in the fridge, or if you want to use it as part of a recipe, you shouldn’t dilute it too much. This will preserve its freshness, and make it more versatile.
How to Serve Cold Brew Coffee?

One of the things that we all love the most about cold brew is that it is pretty versatile. You can drink it as it is, dilute it with milk, spice it up with syrups, or use it in a variety of other creative and delicious coffee drinks.

Iced Coffee

This is the most obvious, yet delicious, beverage you can get with your cold brew concentrate. To make it, you can either pour cold water over your brew or top it with some ice cubes. Don’t forget to add a bit of sugar or other sweeteners, as this beverage usually tastes particularly bitter.

Hot Coffee

Yes, you can make your hot coffee with cold brew concentrate. All you need to do is to top your cold brew with some boiling hot water or simply heat it up in your microwave. This beverage will have a fuller body than your average espresso or americano.

Cold Brew Mocktails and Cocktails

You can mix your cold brew with anything, including other ingredients to create your favorite mocktails. For example, cold-brewed coffee tastes great with chocolate, raspberry ganache, and dry ice. You can either get a little creative or follow one of the many mocktails recipes you can find online.

Of course, you can spice your drink up with some alcohol, making it a delicious caffeinated cocktail. There are a lot of options here, such as a cold brew coffee negroni or an espresso martini. You don’t need to be a professional bartender to play with different ingredients and discover new, exciting cold brew coffee-based drinks to enjoy on your own, or with your friends and family.

Cold Brew Soda

Looking for a bubbly twist? Mix your cold brew with some soda water, ice and simple syrup. You can make your own syrup at home with boiling water and sugar and, if you prefer, you can customize it with additional flavorings.

This is one of the most delicious ways to enjoy your coffee on a hot afternoon. Spice it up with a couple of fresh mint leaves or the juice of a lemon, to highlight to the freshness of the soda.
A Few Tips:

  • You should use a mason jar with a wide mouth. Otherwise, the filter won’t fit.
  • If you are using coffee beans, you should grind them with a coffee grinder before starting the brewing process.
  • If you want to serve your cold brew directly in your mason jar, you should first wash it to get rid of any coffee grounds.
  • You can store your cold brew in the fridge in a mason jar. However, you must close it with a lid.

How Long Does Cold-Brew Concentrate Last in the Fridge?

Once your cold brew concentrate is ready, you can serve and drink it immediately, or you can store in your refrigerator, ready for your next coffee break.

Usually, homemade coffee remains fresh for 24 to 48 hours, since there are no preservatives as in standard store-bought beverages.

If you plan to store your cold drink in the fridge and save it for later, you should only dilute the amount of coffee concentrate that you intend to drink at that moment. Studies have found that diluted coffee has a reduced life, whereas concentrated beverages tend to last longer.

Don’t forget that adding milk, dairy-based flavorings or any type of syrup can shortener your coffee concentrate lifespan significantly. For this reason, you should always smell it to check its aroma before drinking it, especially if it has spent a few days in the fridge.

How To Clean a Mason Jar

Mason jars are great to reduce waste and to rely on a reliable and versatile container in your kitchen.

If you have just bought a new mason jar, you might want to sterilize it before using it for the first time. This will preserve your beverage freshness, and create a cleaner environment for your coffee to brew.

To clean and sterilize your mason jar properly, you should follow these steps:

  • Fill a stockpot or a big saucepan with water. Bring it to a boil and simmer the mason jars and its lid for a few minutes. This will eliminate all dirt and unpleasant odor.
  • Remove the mason jar from the water and allow it to chill. Then, add some detergent or a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and salt inside the glass. Wipe it thoroughly with a sponge or scrub brush to remove any potential stain. If you don’t want to use any chemical product to clean your mason jar, you can make a mixture of white distilled vinegar and salt.

Cleaning Your Mason Jar After Every Use

Don’t forget to rinse and clean well your mason jar after every use. Otherwise, coffee beans particles may lead to unpleasant odors, and jeopardize the taste and aroma of your next drinks.

The best way to clean your mason jar is to make a mixture of white distilled vinegar and salt. If you prefer, you can just use soapy cold water. With the help of a soft scrub brush or a sponge, you can reach the bottom of your mason jar, and make sure that all stains and coffee grounds are removed.

Making cold brew coffee in a mason jar is easy and funny. Besides, it is an environmentally friendly choice, as you can use the same glass container each time you want to brew some coffee.

Based on your preferences, you can use either cold or room temperature water. Other aspects of the brewing process, such as the steeping time and coffee ration, will vary depending on your personal tastes.

As we have seen together, the best thing to do is experiment with different settings, until you find your unique and perfect cold brew recipe.

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