Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker
The Liquid Lab Team gave the Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker 8 out of 9 planets across the board! The overwhelming conclusion is that cold brew coffee allows more of the coffees flavors to be extracted with far less bitterness and acidity creating a very smooth cup of Joe. We're still working on getting over the mental hurdle of thinking cold brew needs to be enjoyed cold but equally excited about all the potential this method has. Read each individual review below:
Mike (aka drip-all-day): I am going to start this review off with another one of my blanket statements: “I DON’T drink cold coffee.” I am the kind of person who if my coffee is not piping hot I am either heating it up again or not drinking it. So, to say that I was skeptical going into this cold coffee review is a bit of an understatement. The Toddy Cold Brew Coffee maker comes out of the box and presents itself with clean lines and a simple but timeless look. Included in the package are two filters and a pair of plugs for the steeper. It is my understanding the filters can be used several times before needing to be replaced but if you plan on using this a lot extra filters would not be a bad thing. I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the results. The brewing process was quite simple. I think the key is to have the grind very course. To brew, all that we had to do was dump a 12oz bag of the Liquid Planet Toddy Coffee Blend (shameless plug) into the steeper, let it sit overnight and voila… The final product revealed a cup of coffee where the typical chocolate, nutty undertones of the bean come to the forefront. Additionally, true to what is advertised, the bitterness of the coffee had all but disappeared. I enjoyed my Toddy coffee over ice with a touch of cream and a pump of Irish Crème flavored Liquid Planet Organic Coffee Syrup (shameless plug). Now I’m a believer - 8/9 planets.
Stella (aka the Sipper): Like many folks out there (especially those in snowy climates) I'm not much of a cold coffee drinker - but here's the important thing to remember "JUST CUZ IT'S CALLED COLD BREW DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO DRINK IT COLD" - The 'cold' refers to the 'brewing method' - and how brewing with cold water over a long period of time results in a completely different extraction that brewing hot over a short amount of time. The flavor profile is generally more pronounced with cold-brew but a lot of people choose cold-brew because the cold brew extraction method yields a FAR LESS acidic cup... so big bonus points there. The downside, of course, is the initial time commitment of between 12-24 hours - but then for a week, you need to only to mix with water and you recover some of that initial time investment. Hands down, the taste is worth it alone. The decreased acidity is a huge benefit but for me, the FLAVORS that came out were mind-blowing. My brew was ridiculously smooth and though i didn't particularly enjoy it cold I keep reminding myself - IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE COLD. I simply add near boiling water with some cream and sugar or syrup and it's a sensational brew... i'm really starting to understand the rage that is cold-brew - now how to re-train all the coffee drinkers out there that Cold-brew doesn't mean you have to drink it that way?? 8/9 planets for me.
Paul (aka Pour-Over Paul): I actually have owned a Toddy since before it was introduced to the liquid lab, but this was a good opportunity for me to make some cold brew coffee and reflect on some of my brews from the past. The Toddy is a simple and functional design. A pitcher style reservoir is filled with very coarse ground coffee and water and the coffee will slowly brew or steep at room temperature overnight on your counter. There is a re-usable filter that resembles a woven puck you insert to the toddy before you brew so that when you extract the cold brew from the reservoir the coarse grounds are left behind. There are some things I absolutely love about the Toddy and a few things I feel can be done better. When you release the cold brew from the Toddy, you set it atop a glass pitcher and release the coffee by removing a rubber stopper or cork from the bottom of the toddy allowing gravity to move the liquid from the brew area into the pitcher. Removing the cork can be a bit awkward and although you can do it without spilling, I would not recommend trying it over a white linen tablecloth. The plastic brewer and removable handle are a bit flimsy separate from each other, but feel sturdier when connected and integrated with each other. The filter has both positive and negative attributes as well. It does fit snugly in the bottom of the brewer and does a fantastic job of keeping ground coffee out of your cold brew. However, because it fits so snugly, it is quite hard to remove and I find myself having to poke at it from underneath with the round end of a chopstick to get it to pop out for final cleaning. For the brewing process, you leave the Toddy un-attended overnight on your counter top, which is fine, but it really could use a simple plastic cover to keep household debris from joining the party. On a positive note, I absolutely love the carafe that the cold brew is extracted into. It has a mid-century modern feel, pours well, and comes with a plastic lid that integrates snugly for keeping it in your refrigerator. One of the most important features of the Toddy is that it makes amazing coffee. Every time I make cold brew coffee in the Toddy, I get nuances I had not ever tasted with other brewing methods. Nuances of dark chocolate, cashew, black cherry, and orange blossom are common and a welcomed change in a cold beverage. For a naturally decaffeinated change of pace, I have also used the same brewing method to make rooibos tea and I have been pleased with the results every time. Although I feel there are a few things the toddy could do better, the bottom line is it makes fantastic cold brew drinks, is affordable, and the pitcher is fantastic. 8 of 9 planets-
TR (aka Sud Bud):I'll be the first to admit, I'm a drip. Drinking drip coffee for the better part of the day, is a tradition passed down to me from my grandparents on both sides of the family. I can find just about any time of the day or evening to enjoy a good cup of hot, black coffee. The idea of enjoying a cold coffee concentrate drink was a little rough for me to wrap my head around (seems to be a theme for me this year). Part of the reason I like drip coffee is because it's fast. I'm always getting to shoot to the front of the line in the coffee shop while folks wait for their "Double Irish Creme Latte, with only one and a half pumps of flavor, definitely not two, skim milk, extra whip and no more than 185 degrees" drinks. The idea of waiting 12 hours to even try this concoction was SLOWING ME DOWN!
The more I enjoyed the taste, I started to realize how Toddy could save me time. I like the idea of having a carafe in the fridge when you have coffee drinkers over at the house. At little hot water and you're all set. I'm also famous for making too much coffee as not everyone has got the all-day bug like me. We're also pretty famous around our house for finishing a full pot of coffee and wanting "just one more, but not a full pot". Been there? Toddy to the rescue! After talking about my experience with our Liquid Planet Roaster, he also recommended our Liquid Planet Guatemalan Origin Coffee as a cold brew option. He and a group friends have discovered that the fruit & vanilla notes in this origin coffee really come out when brewed this way. For the price and unexpected convenience, I give the Today Coffee Brewing system an 8 out of 9 planets. I'm looking forward to further experiencing how some of my favorite drip coffees will get even better using this method.
For more in-depth information on the Toddy as well as the Cold-Brew technique see the links below:
- Toddy is typically made using one pound of fresh ground coffee at a time. The grind should be a french press grind (medium to coarse grind), ground using a burr grinder. Using a smaller grind or using a blade grinder that will produce an uneven grind that may clog the filter and greatly affect the quality of the brew.
- In general, use one pound of coffee and 9 cups of cool clean water per batch (based off the toddy maker you use and the size it is, this general ratio should not really be adjusted….the strength of your coffee is adjusted AFTER the toddy is made and when you cut the concentrate with hot water, NOT when the coffee is being extracted)
- For tea, use approx 1/2 pound of loose leaf tea per 9 cups water
- Slowly add a portion of water and grounds to the toddy maker one at a time to ensure all grounds are saturated, until full, while also ensuring the grounds are not stirred. Stirring your grounds while wet allows the fine grounds to fall to the bottom and thus clog the filter.
- Leave your coffee, uncovered or covered, on the counter or in a fridge for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. The longer you steep, the more intense the result.
- Once the brewing process is done, unplug your maker and allow it to slowly drain, which might take some time. If it plugs up, very carefully use a blunt knife to scrape the grounds off the top of the filter to allow for proper drainage.
- This process will produce approx. 48 ounces of concentrate which will last in a fridge for up to 2 weeks. It can then be ‘cut’ with hot water or milk, or cool water and ice, making it as strong or weak as desired. It can also be microwaved, if desired, however NOT boiled.
- Leftover grounds can be recycled into gardens and potted plants
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