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Amy Cho / Spoon

Cold Brew by the Mason Jar

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DePaul chapter.

Hello friends.  It’s your friendly iced-coffee-loyalist Alex!  I hope you all are doing very well, and finally enjoying your well-deserved break! Over the last leg of the fall quarter I have been making my own cold brew by the mason jar, and it has been nothing short of delicious and energizing, especially if it is coming from a small mason jar in my fridge! After a few weeks of making and mastering the perfect single-jar serving of cold brew for morning Zoom lectures, here is the foolproof recipe that will get, and keep, you nicely energized throughout the year! 


Cold Brew By The Jar 

    Things You’ll Need : 

Your Ingredients : 

  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons of ground coffee from ground beans, or pre-ground coffee, you can use a little more for a stronger flavor and brew if you wish

  • 12-14 Ounces of cold filtered water + an extra tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half 

  • Optional Flavors and recommended measurements of choice 



Instructions :

  1. Scoop your coffee grounds into your mason jar according to your brew strength preference. 

  2. Measure out 1-1.5 tablespoons of water and add it to your grounds in the jar, and use your long-handled spoon to mix it into a slightly runny to thick, paste-like concentrate. This step is essential to ensuring the best, and strongest flavor and caffeine extraction possible from your coffee grounds,  as opposed to pouring your water into the jar all at once and letting your grounds float to the top, which results in a weaker and flavorless brew. 

  3. Before adding in the remainder of your water, you can also stir in any or all the flavorings into your cold brew concentrate if you wish, with your long-handled spoon. 

  4. Pour in the rest of your filtered water and give your cold brew a good stir with your spoon. Pop on the lid and band, and give your jar a good shake to thoroughly distribute, and mix your ingredients together. 

  5. Let your jar of cold brew sit in your fridge overnight for 12-18 hours, you are welcome to steep it for a little longer, but no longer than 24 hours. If it’s left in the fridge for more than a day with the grounds still in the jar, the brew will be unpleasantly bitter, which is all the more reason to watch your brewing time. 

  6. The next morning, slowly pour your cold brew over your mesh strainer,  and a coffee filter or two, letting the cold brew drip into your measuring cup. 

  7. Discard your grounds and coffee filter(s), and pour your cold brew over ice into a glass of your choice. 

  8. Enjoy black, with a splash of your favorite milk, additional flavorings, and/or sweeteners of your choice. 

Coldbrew Milk
Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon


Notes and suggestions for my favorite glass that I also recommend 

  •      Depending on when your day starts, I recommend, and will usually start making my jar between noon and evening to ensure the most optimal brewing time and a good flavor for the brew. If your day starts earlier, you can definitely get your jar going sooner! 

  •      If you are unsure of what coffee brand to use for your first jar, I highly recommend using Lavazza Ground Coffee for a more robust and strong espresso flavor, with notes of chocolate if you wish, or a local brand, which will be explained more thoroughly. The first I recommend is  Halfwit Coffee for a smoother brew with notes of a variety of fruits from apple to black raspberry. The same can be said for another favorite local brand I recommend called Dollop Coffee which has flavors such as Berried Alive and Papua New Guinea Sigri Estate Pearberry with notes from fruits such as peaches and nectarines. Last, but not least, and for a complex kick to your brew, especially when drinking black, I highly recommend Dark Matter Coffee. Dark Matter Coffee has that complex, and “spirited” kick in their coffee because their beans are kept in barrels that are used for storing local or national, and great whiskey and beer brands, such as Knob Creek, Goose Island, and Koval. There are other varieties available for drinking with milk and anything else you like from Dark Matter Coffee too. These brands are ‘proof in the pudding’ that there is something for every coffee drinker, and you are definitely more than welcome to use any other brand you like based on your personal flavor preferences, and/or whatever you have in your part of the country or world. 

Coffee Beans Close Up
Keriss101 / Spoon

  •      If you wish for a stronger coffee flavor, you can make and cool hot coffee ahead of time for freezing into ice cubes to pour your cold brew over.

  •      My favorite plant milks to add to my cold brew are Silk Almond Milk, Califia Almond Milk , or  Oatly Oat Milk. I highly recommend either of the three, but you are definitely more than welcome to use any other brand of milk you like in your cold brew. 

  •     Since I also love, and highly recommend, a good mocha from time to time, I like to add cinnamon and extra cocoa powder to my concentrate before adding in more of the brewing water, and letting my cold brew sit in the fridge. The next morning, I add in a little Silk or Oatly, and a small splash of Califia Farms  Dark Chocolate Truffle Almondmilk Creamer. That Califia Farms flavor is limited edition over the holidays, so I highly recommend getting a bottle while it lasts. You are also more than welcome to add in chocolate Silk or Oatly plant milk all year round for your mocha cold brew. 

  •     I also like to add a small touch of Torani Vanilla Syrup for a little extra flavor sometimes to my mocha cold brew! If you want, you’re also more than welcome to have an entirely vanilla-essence cold brew. Prior to pouring in more of your cold brewing water, add in your vanilla extract into your cold brew concentrate. The next morning after you have let your cold brew drip and strain, stir in a little bit of plain or vanilla plant milk, and Torani vanilla syrup! You’re in for a lovely treat with that glass of cold brew! 



      No matter how you decide to drink your cold brew, have fun making your jar in the process while saving up some money having it homemade all year round! If you’d like, you can definitely make this in bulk to prep for your week, just be sure to increase the amount of ingredients used in the recipe, and adjust your mixing, measuring, and storage materials accordingly. With thorough straining and filtering of your coffee grounds, you can keep your cold brew in your fridge for up to a week in a big container to serve, share with friends and families if you’d like, or smaller ones to take with you on the go! There is no wrong way to make your cold brew as long as it is well-flavored to your liking, and will keep you nicely energized throughout the day! Cheers to a great break, and a new winter quarter! 

Hello everyone,I am Alex Acain, and a senior at DePaul. I am Chicago born, and raised. I am double-majoring in Journalism, and Sports Communication, and minoring in Photography. Whenever I have the spare time, and depending on the season, I always like to either watch, or listen to, Bears, Blackhawks, and Cubs games while cheering for them of course. I also like to ; watch movies, listen to music, make different tea and coffee drinks, other simple recipes, and cosplay every once in a while as I am also a big pop culture fan. Finally, since I think the West Coast is the best coast, one of my favorite places to travel to is Southern California to see my family and for the, food scene, beaches and places like Universal Studios and Disneyland.