Toddy, you my only friend
January 6, 2011 6:28 PM   Subscribe

What tips, tricks, brewing methods and recipes do you have for making cold-brewed coffee (aka Toddy)?

I've recently purchased a Toddy and discovered the world of cold-pressed coffee. I think it is fantastic in its taste and convenience and I am looking to learn more from other aficionados.

As far as brewing, so far I've just been following the Toddy instructions and using 9 cups of filtered water with 1 pound of coffee and letting it brew for 12 hours. However, I note that some people brew for up to 24 hours and a competing product, the Filtron, also instructs a 24-hour extraction. I plan to try this.

Being a prior fan of iced coffee, I serve the Toddy with milk over ice. For some of the batches I have made, I occasionally have added a small amount of cold water to the drink to dilute it if I don't want to use a ton of milk. Other batches taste a little bit more mild and work best with no water.

I find the taste of the Toddy to begin to noticeably degrade around day 5-6 and I probably would not drink it after about 10 days (hypothetically, because it is usually drank by then).

I'd be interested in any brewing methods, tips, tricks, competing products to the Toddy, favorite types of coffee to use, specific grinder settings, storage ideas, drinking recipes, etc. With so many variables and such a long brew time and large batch size, it is not exactly conducive to rapid experimentation!

In addition to my above questions, I would also be interested if you knew of any coffee-specific forums that might be worth checking out to find other cold-brew related discussion.
posted by jameslavelle3 to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I've been making cold-brewed coffee weekly for a little over a year, but I use a pitcher and a strainer rather than a Toddy. I love it!

I've found that I like a really coarse grind (one down from the coarsest setting on my Capresso burr grinder), and I don't like more than 18-20 hours of steeping--I usually strain it at 12-16 hours and am much happier with the results. At 24 hours, no matter what beans I'm using, it ends up too bitter/sour for my tastes. It's worth noting, though, that I have friends and partners who claim they like it just fine at that point.

I usually strain it at least twice for a fairly clean concentrate, though I know people who really like the taste and mouthfeel of the once-strained stuff.

I store it in an airtight container (one of those hermetic jars or French canning jars) in the fridge and it's great for ~7 days, and acceptable for a couple days longer.

I prefer using fancy-shmancy beans: usually whatever Four Barrel beans are striking my fancy at the moment, or Blue Bottle's Bella Donovan, Giant Steps, or Three Africans. I've tried a few coffees from Barefoot Roasters that I liked, too, I just can't recall what they were. I've also experimented with espresso blends, and really like the Cherry Chapstick blend from De la Paz Roasters (possibly my favorite beans for cold-brewing ever, actually, which makes me sad that I can't find them reliably), and Verve's Streetlevel.

Sometimes I will add a splash of simple syrup if I feel the coffee needs a little sweetening.

Before I got an espresso machine I used the cold-brewed concentrate to make mochas and blended coffee drinks at home. It worked pretty well, though the taste is of course a little different. It also works well in baking recipes, and now that I know my favorite coffee liqueur Firelit uses cold-brewed coffee to make their stuff, I really want to play around with using it in cocktails or even brewing with spirits instead of water to make my own liqueurs.
posted by rhiannonstone at 6:50 PM on January 6, 2011

I am not familiar with the Toddy, but here is how I make my cold-brewed coffee, as I explained in this huge thread on coffee making that you may want to look at: stir 1/4 cup coarsely ground beans into 14-16 oz of water, leave overnight, then pour through paper filter in a plastic single cup brewer (like this one), and chill to get two servings of cold-brewed coffee.
posted by Xalf at 6:54 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I used PJ's Espresso Dolce in the Toddy. Never had any left as much as a week later so I don't know about the 14-day claim. Airtight, refrigerated container, Toddy instructions, any drink you like iced. I never used cold brewed for hot coffee, preferring CC's French Roast in a drip pot or French press or sometimes espresso. The problem I have with iced coffee is always the risk of diluting it too much which is why I go for such a dark roast.
posted by Anitanola at 11:05 PM on January 6, 2011

Mr. Danaos and I adore the Toddy and are the contented slaves of its fascinations. We also steep our coffee for about 12 hours and store it in the refrigerator. It never lasts long enough to degrade.

Cold-brewing chicory coffee produces an especially happy result, so we order Cafe Du Monde by the case.

If a coffee shipment is delayed or Mr. Danaos is feeling particularly thrifty, he will extend a batch of cold-brew by reusing the grounds. After draining the first batch, he immediately re-corks the Toddy, adds fresh water just to the top of the grounds, and lets it steep for only eight hours (the second batch will become bitter more quickly). He then drains the second batch and pours it in with the first. This does make a difference in the flavor, but not one so noticeable that I will complain of it.
posted by timeo danaos at 4:50 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

My fridge is very cold and my cold press toddy is definitely good for over a week though I do drink it hot. It's made with a pitcher/strained in floursacking. I really love Sumatra this way. My favorite is from Camano Island roasters in Washington.
posted by pointystick at 6:56 AM on January 7, 2011

If you like Cafe Du Monde, you'll love Trung Nguyen

PS Making cafe sua da with this cold or hot brewed = rocketfuelled sweetbitter wakeup orgasmjuice.
posted by lalochezia at 2:31 PM on January 7, 2011

I cold brew in a mason jar, strain with a screen and then filter with paper, and then store in the fridge. I also would not leave it more than a week in the fridge, but like you, generally drink it sooner. I find that I tend to select beans with a higher acidity/brighter finish than I would for hot coffee, since cold brewing tends to remove so much of that. Lately, I've been using Sightglass' Owl's Howl Espresso Blend, which is really nice.
posted by judith at 11:06 PM on January 8, 2011

« Older How can I fix my seemingly-broken attention span?   |   If you don't use the dishwasher you are going to... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.