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Toddy Cold Brew System

January 9, 2011

It’s official—I may never drink hot coffee again. (Check out my ode to cold brew here)

Of course, I love my Clever, but after dropping it on the floor and spilling boiling coffee all down my leg, we’re taking a short break.

I’m currently recovering from second-degree burns. No, this is not a joke. I was tempted to upload a photo of my blistered, blackened thigh, but this is a food/coffee blog and should make you want to put stuff into your mouth, not puke it out.

The Toddy seems to be the universal cold-brewing alternative to the much more expensive Kyoto-style coffee. Slightly pricier than the Clever at just under $40, it’s also not as attractive. Intelligentsia, where I bought mine, doesn’t put the Toddy on display on its shelf of coffee apparatuses like siphons and hand-grinders that look like they belong in a Renaissance alchemist’s laboratory. According to the barista, “It’s just kind of a big bucket.”

Speaking of buckets, I’ve heard that an alternative is to actually just use a plastic bucket instead of investing in another coffee-maker. On the other hand, the Toddy comes with special filters, a decanter, stopper, and instruction manual.

The best part? It’s really hard to mess up—even if you don’t follow the exact coffee-water proportions, you end up diluting the concentrate to taste.

Of course, it’s easier to just start with one pound of coffee beans to nine cups of (filtered) water, but I ended up using ¾ of a pound because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I used Intelligentsia Sulawesi, which has some really interesting blackberry notes that I figured would get mellowed slightly during cold brewing, which extracts the acidity.

The process itself is fairly self-explanatory.

Put the stopper into the bottom of the Toddy from the outside, followed by a filter on the inside. Weigh your beans if necessary, then grind them on the COARSEST possible setting.

Pour 1 cup of water into the Toddy, followed by 1 cup of ground coffee. Slowly pour 4 cups of water over the grounds, trying to saturate equally the way you would with a hot pourover.

Add the rest of the coffee, then the rest of the water (I ended up using around 8 cups, but some of that was just eyeballing). Try to eliminate air pockets. DO NOT STIR. Instead, tap the grounds with the back of a spoon so that they’re even.

And now, the hardest part: waiting a minimum of 12 treacherous hours.

Wake up the next day, remove the stopper and immediately place the Toddy over the decanter. It may take a while to filter, but makes quite a bit of coffee concentrate.

Just don’t chug it without diluting it like I did, unless you feel like having a caffeine trip.

Pour over ice, and dilute with a little filtered water. The instructions say to dilute it with 50%, but are you kidding me? Not sure how much I add… honestly, just a few drops. The final cup is mellow and chocolatey, but shocks me into ultraviolet visions every time.

Also, the concentrate keeps for a week.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Olivia permalink
    January 9, 2011 5:15 pm

    also, “ultraviolet visions” is an excellent pairing of words.

  2. Catriona permalink
    January 9, 2011 6:58 pm

    Looks amazing, I’ve been thinking of getting one of these for a while, my only problem is I need a good grinder and they don’t come cheap!


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