Keeping Those Jars Cozy + Cold Brew Coffee

April 21, 2010(updated on July 1, 2022)

jar cozy!

For years now, I’ve been in the habit of using jars as to-go containers. On days when I make a smoothie for breakfast, I tote it to work in one of my precious 24 ouncers (please Jarden Home Brands, bring back the 1 1/2 pint wide mouth jar). I frequently eat a yogurt, granola and jam concoction out of a wide mouth pint. And when I don’t have a traditional travel mug handy, I pour my coffee into a jar.

jar cozy in hand

During warmer months, I’m strictly an iced coffee girl (see below!). I use the cold brew method, which results in a smooth, nuanced cup. However, in the winter I like my coffee toasty. And while the jar can handle the heat, my fingers can’t always. Enter the jar cozy!

A couple of weeks ago, I put the call out on the Food in Jars Facebook page (come hang out, there’s so much good jar chatter happening!) for jar cozies and got a number of enthusiastic responses. And happy day, the first one arrived today from Leah in Minnesota. I may have to brew up some hot coffee tomorrow morning, just to make use of it. Thanks Leah!

cold brew coffee - full coffee grinder

As far as the cold brew coffee goes, here’s my super simple approach. Fill a cheapo coffee grinder nearly to the top with beans (I’m working on the dredges of a couple different varieties, so there’s both medium and dark roasts in the hopper. Obviously, I’m no purist).

cold brew coffee - 6-8 ounces of ground coffee

Using a wide mouth funnel, knock the grounds into a quart jar. I typically use just shy of a cup of coffee grounds. Fill the jar to the top with filtered water. Tightly screw on a lid (do not use one of the white plastic ones in this situation) and give it a good shake, in order to fully saturate the coffee.

cold brew coffee - filled with water

Let the jar sit for 8-10 hours (overnight works pretty darn well here). In the morning, line a drip funnel (something like this) with a paper filter and set it over another jar or a pitcher with a quart capacity. Pour the coffee into the filter and let it drip through (this will take a little more time than it does when the water is hot).

The resulting coffee has a ton of flavor and makes this caffeine addict very, very happy. I pour mine into a pint jar, leaving enough room for a generous splash of milk and head off to work.

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40 thoughts on "Keeping Those Jars Cozy + Cold Brew Coffee"

  • i got hooked on cold brew last summer and found that my french press works perfectly. toss in the grinds and water, stir and in the morning, plunge and pour! so, so good. in fact, going to go mix some up now.

  • I’ve been cold brewing coffee for a few months now using a thrifted French press. Super easy and no icky paper filter to throw out. Bonus: fewer dirty dishes!

  • I love cold brewed coffee & usually keep a pitcher of it in the fridge all summer. I usually add a bit of simple syrup in addition to milk.

  • Yes I love cold brew coffee… But never thought to make it! I usually drink mine at room temp throughout the morning. I know what I’m doing for tomorrow!

    Oh, and must find a knitting “recipe” for a jar cozy. The one you recieved looks lovely, but appears crocheted…I haven’t tried crochet yet either.

  • Hi Marisa! I haven’t had much time for reading (or writing) blog posts lately with the growing season in full swing but I saw your jar cozy and had to comment. I knit mine and they are super simple to make…takes about an hour while watching tv. I cast on 60 stitches (for a wide mouth jar) to double pointed needles and divide them to knit in the round (if you’ve ever made a mitten or hat, just like that). I knit until I have enough of a tube to cover my desired jar. I then bind off using a flexible binding technique…see here: Using a wool or other stretchy fiber is best to get a nice snug cozy. I’ll have to make you one sometime if you’re collection doesn’t get too large. 🙂

  • Now how can we get Jarden to start making those 11/2 pint jars. Just the right size for me!

    Coffee, yes I also will add whip cream and chocolate shaving to mine…sooo good!

  • I second (or third at this point?) the use of a french press. I’m not a fan of paper filters, both for the waste and because they leach out some of the coffee oils, and effect the taste.

    We make our coffee in a half gallon jar, which usually lasts us a day and a half-ish. I also use a bit more coffee than you, Marissa, just over 2 cups for the half gallon. I like my coffee STRONG.

    Also, for anybody trying cold brew for the first time, I would actually recommend either having your coffee ground, or using a burr grinder set to french press (very coarse). It’ll give a more even grind, and prevent any issues with bitterness that might occur with a more uneven or finer grind.

  • Hey guys, I hear you on using a french press to do cold brew coffee. The reason I don’t is that I really don’t like having fine particulate matter in my coffee and I find that when you pair grinds from a cheap grinder with a french press (or a reusable filter), you get a bit of particulate sludge. I had a burr grinder, but it broke, so I’m trying to use what I’ve got. If it’s any consolation, I rinse, dry and reuse my paper filters until they rip (I get 3-4 uses out of each one).
    I do love how many ways there are to make cold brew coffee though, it means that there’s a way to make it work for everyone!

  • Love the idea of cold-brewed coffee! Could it be made like sun tea in a sunny window so it can be slightly warm too?

  • Coffee filters are biodegradable and coffee grounds are highly recommended for compost. Throw both in your compost pile or bag them up and give them to a gardener friend!

  • Another way to make cold coffee is to make a concentrate. From The Splendid Table: “Take 1 pound medium grind coffee. Add 10–11 cups of cold water. Leave it on the counter overnight. Strain in the morning. For hot coffee just add hot water to taste; for iced coffee, ice and water or milk. It should keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.”

  • I have never heard of cold brewed coffee … where have I been? I’ve been using a mason jar for my water for a little while now, much better than plastic and sometimes there is a taste with steel bottles.

  • I love my cold brew! I actually like to use a jar cover in the summer to prevent condensation from getting everywhere. The one in the picture looks just perfect.

    (Being the spiller I am there is also the bonus that the jar cover tends to catch some of the spillage and keep it off my clothing) 🙂

  • I’m floored. What a great notion! I also take jars with me everywhere – even if they only have water in them. I really cannot wait to try this. Thanks for the awesome idea.

  • Thank you! I’m new to canning, bought my first batches of jars and have only been using them for storage so far…but just discovered green smoothies and was in a quandary as to how to tote them to work because my plastic (ack/evil!) containers have less than reliable tops…so simple!

  • Re your comment about the white plastic jar lids. If you haven’t discovered this yet, mayo jar lids fit beautifully on all regular mouth canning jars.
    And Green Mountain Gringo salso jars are perfect pint sized canning jars, Their lids are reusable for storage, too, but not for canning. I do use them when I make refrigerator pickles, they’re perfect.

  • I want to try this cold brewed thing. So, because it’s cold water, it doesn’t get that bitter over-extracted problem?

    Do you get a little protective of jars going into the hands of “tossers” by which I mean people who THROW JARS AWAY? I know I have a little voice shrieking “Nooooooooo” in the back of my head whenever I need to hand a jar into unappreciative hands.

  • I also use coffee grounds to “clean” the disposal. Dump them when you run it and it makes the sink/kitchen smell better.

  • What a great idea! I love the simplicity of the jar cozy, and I’ve never thought of it. I eat my granola and yogurt out of a jar daily, but stay away from hot beverages for the same reasons as you . . . until now!

  • I live in midwest and can a lot of veggies etc. I am also a iced coffee fan. I have done the french press method and the brew hot then cool overnight method. Currently in a pinch I brew then pour over ice. All have diff tastes but all good with a little milk and vanilla or caramel syrup. I have never heard of using jars for anything but storage interesting…

  • I use jam jars as glasses and to go cups all the time, but for my cup warmer, I cut the foot off an old pair of socks and slip the “ankle” around my hot coffee: a great re-use of foot worn socks. They’re also useful as wrist warmers as the weather cools, before the need for gloves arises. Thanks to you and to my friend Casey who showed me your site.

  • And make a tray of coffee ice cubes so that you can keep it cold without diluting the coffee. Gonna go do this RIGHT NOW.

  • Love this type of coffee. I pour mine into ice cube trays so that I have iced coffee whenever I feel the need. Saves me the $5 at Starbucks.

  • Why should we not use a white plastic lid when making cold brew? Is it because the lid will stain or something more nefarious?

    1. They’re not liquid tight. If you try to shake the jar that’s closed with a white plastic lid, it will leak.

    1. The reason I said not to use one of the white plastic lids in this situation is that I was recommending that you shake the jar to combine the water and grounds. Those white plastic lids are not water tight and so if you shake the jar while one is applied, it will leak. If you don’t plan on shaking the jar to combine, go ahead and use one.