I Never Liked Cold Brew Concentrate Until I Tried This One — And Now I Can’t Get Enough

published May 14, 2024
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Iced Coffee Pour
Credit: Stocksy | Emily Triggs

I’ve had beef with instant coffee for a while now. It all started during my first internship at a food magazine, where the only option for coffee in the morning was a fancy espresso machine that had more knobs and dials than my 19-year-old self could handle. Not wanting to make a huge mess — or let my coworkers find out I didn’t know how to pull a shot of espresso — I rummaged around the cabinets of the test kitchen until I found a jar of instant Café Bustelo. Did it work? Absolutely. Was it the best coffee I ever had? Not exactly. However, while I didn’t love the flavor, I was immediately drawn to the convenience of a cup of instant coffee. 

Years later, when cold brew took over the coffeesphere, I gave a few cold brew concentrates a try, and while the flavors were a little better (but not much) the ones I had tried were 1:1 concentrates, which meant I had to use 6 ounces of cold brew and 6 ounces of water to make a 12-ounce cup. So I was stuck with a big jug of cold brew concentrate in my fridge that took up about the same amount of space as an actual cold brew maker — I just didn’t see the appeal in that. That’s why, after I recently tried out the cold brew concentrate from Jot, I was so psyched. The tiny bottle takes up less room in my fridge than a bottle of Gatorade, it only takes a tablespoon of concentrate to make an entire cup of coffee, and the coffee it makes is delish. Plus, Kitchn readers can use code KT45 at checkout for 45% off new subscription orders until June 30.

What Is Jot Cold Brew Concentrate?

Jot calls itself “The Most Concentrated Coffee in the World” — and while I can’t say whether or not that’s accurate, I haven’t seen any other brands with a more concentrated offering. Each 200-milliliter bottle holds about 14 cups worth of coffee, and all you have to do to make your morning cup is whack a tablespoon of jot into a glass, fill the rest up with water (or milk) and ice, and voilà. It really couldn’t be easier, which is definitely something I value when I’m groggy first thing in the morning. I’m partial to the original, but plenty of other flavors are available, too, including Dark, Vanilla, Spring Seasonal, Cinnamon Dulce, and Chocolate Hazelnut. (My girlfriend is a big-time vanilla stan.)

Why I Love Jot Cold Brew Concentrate

Besides the fact that it’s one of the easiest ways to get my morning caffeine fix, Jot is superconvenient for small apartments, since it takes up virtually no space in my tiny NYC fridge. It’s roughly the size of a can of beer, so compared to a cold brew maker (which I also love, but can be bulky), this is a space-saving option. Plus, it makes really good coffee for what it is — and while a bottle is a little pricey, it still works out to be way less than what I’d pay for cold brew at the café. So if you’re looking for café-quality cold brew and you don’t want to make it yourself (or sacrifice the fridge space), Jot Cold Brew Concentrate is a great option. Plus, if you like it enough to purchase a subscription, it knocks down the price of each bottle to $19, saving you even more money in the long run.