As early morning hits and another week begins, I start my day with a cup of coffee. If you’re like the majority of folks I know, you do too. I brew my coffee many different ways; from standard coffee makers, French press pots, and Toddy Cold Brew. The latter is one that many of my friends aren’t as familiar with but it’s the way I drink most of my coffee these days.
For Father’s Day this past year, my daughter purchased me a Borders’ Books gift card knowing I had my eye on a Toddy maker for some time. It’s really simple actually. The coffee maker “cold” brews your coffee at room temperature for 10-12 hours and the result is a coffee concentrate you mix with water for the perfect cup. As you can see in the picture, the brewer has a white base that sits on top of the decanter once it’s done so it can drain. The base has a stopper and filter that you put in first before filling it with a pound of medium to coarse grind coffee and nine cups of cold water. The product is then stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
The benefits? Well, coffee brewed in this way is a bit smoother with less acid making the cup healthier for you. I still like my French press at times but the cup of coffee made from Toddy concentrate is very, very good and contains less caffeine and acid than traditional methods. Also, I can make it a cup at a time so an entire pot isn’t wasted. In the past, I’ve brewed a pot to watch about a third of it (on average) go into the sink. To make Toddy coffee hot, you simply boil some water (or Microwave it though I prefer to use an old fashioned tea kettle) and add one part concentrate to three parts water. If you like iced coffee, you can add two parts water to one part concentrate and ice to make a perfect cold coffee beverage during the hot summer months. The concentrate really is quite versatile. I’ve used it in shakes to make coffee blended mochas, to flavor recipes, and other ideas.
There are a couple of things I’ve discovered as I’ve brewed cold coffee. Certain blends do better than others. A good light bodied blend with floral notes tends to make excellent coffee as the cold brew method extracts the perfect flavor of the beans in this mix. Heavier dark coffees are good but tend to get their flavor from the fats and acids in them and are much better suited to a French press.
Brewing less than a pound of beans really doesn’t seem to warrant the effort. The instructions inside the Toddy brewer give you a breakdown for brewing less but the design of the brewer was made for a pound of beans and I’ve had my best results using that amount. Besides, the concentrate stays fresh for a while so you will likely go through a decanter of contrate within 2 weeks if you drink a cup or two a day.
I really enjoy the smooth, rich taste I get from cold brew coffee. With less acid and caffeine, I get enough of a pick up without the upset stomach and I can make the coffee as strong or weak as I want it that day.
If you’re looking for a unique Christmas gift for the coffee lover on your list, pick up one of these brewers ($30) and surprise someone this year.