What You'll Need
Brewing Cold Brew at home is simple and can be as cheap as using a mason jar and cheesecloth filter. For today’s recipe, we will be brewing with the Toddy Cold Brew system ($39.99), a fun and delicious way to make cold brew.
- Toddy Cold Brew Coffee System
- Grinder or preground coffee (not ideal)
- Toddy Paper Filter
- Toddy Felt Filter
- Toddy Rubber Stopper
Coarse. You'll want to grind the coffee coarse here, slightly more coarse than French Press which is more coarse than pour-over brewing.
Brew Ratio: Concentrate
1 gram of coffee for every 5.3 grams of water to make a coffee concentrate. Once complete, you can add 1:1 or 1:2 parts of the concentrate either with water or milk to dilute your beverage.
Room temperature or cold water
Water represents 99% of the liquid in your cup so brewing with a good spring water makes all the difference.
Always brew freshly roasted whole-bean coffee and grind on demand. The optimal timeframe to brew and enjoy your coffee is 7 – 30 days past the roast date.
Always time and measure your brews to understand better the outcome and one you can repeat our iterate on.
Step 1: Measure and Grind Coffee
Coffee amount: 340 grams
Brew ratio: 1:5.3 to make cold brew concentrate (1 gram of coffee for every 5.3 grams of water)
Your grind size and quality are crucial for all brewing methods, including cold brew. We recommend a coarse grind that is coarser than pour-over and French Press for cold brew.
A grind that is too fine will plug up the felt filter making it difficult for the cold brew to drain once the brew is complete. While our images below show us not using a paper filter, it is recommended to use one as it helps prevent blockage of the felt filter and makes draining and cleaning up a breeze.
Step 2: Rinse Felt and Paper Filter
If you are using the felt filter for the first time, soak it in warm water for 1 – 3 minutes before using it. Once the soak is finished, wring it out and place the filter on the bottom of the Toddy system. The filter won't sit flat and needs to be shaped into place.
Post-brew, it is recommended to rinse your felt filter thoroughly and place it in a resealable plastic bag and place it in the freezer. Putting the filter in the freezer will help prevent any bacteria from growing.
Once you are ready to use your felt filter again, place it in boiling water for 1 – 3 minutes, run it through cold water, wring it dry, and then it is ready to be used again.
The felt filters should only be used up to 10 times.
Step 3: Rinse Paper Filter and Add Rubber Stopper
Rinse your paper filter and place it inside the Toddy.
Next add the rubber stopper to the bottom of the Toddy to prevent your cold brew from seeping out before it is ready!
Step 4: Add Coffee
Coffee amount: 340 grams
Pour your coffee into the paper filter within the Toddy and secure it with a twist tie or rubber band. Some brew with their Toddy without using a paper filter but from our experience, you have a high probability of blocking the felt filter and making it difficult for the coffee to drain. There are steps to mitigate a blockage of the felt filter, which we detail below.
Step 5: Add Water and Mix
Water Amount: 1,800 grams (64 ounces)
Temperature: Room temperature or cold water
Next, add 64 ounces of good spring water to the Toddy system. There are a few ways of brewing here, some leave the paper filter untied, and this would be an excellent time to use a wooden spoon to ensure all the coffee and water are mixed properly. The downside of leaving the paper filter untied is that you may get coffee grounds seeping over the outside and potentially plugging up your felt filter.
If you tie your paper filter, try to remove as much air from the filter as possible as it might begin to float in the water. To prevent this, we often place plastic wrap over the top of the Toddy and weigh down the tied filter with a bottle of water.
Step 6: Let sit for 16 - 24 hours then drain
Total Brew Time: 16-18 hours
Once the water is added, it is time to start the clock. We find brewing your cold brew in a room-temperature environment acceptable and does not need to be refrigerated. There is little to no difference in taste when brewing in the fridge, but test it a few times to see if you notice a difference.
We typically aim for 16 – 18 hours and find that to be the sweet spot for cold brewing. You can certainly push it to 24 hours if you want a very strong and robust-tasting cold brew. We suggest starting at the lower end and working your way up. If you are quick handed, possibly remove the plug in intervals of 1
hour starting at 16 for a quick taste test (good luck with this!)
Step 7: Dilute and Enjoy!
Recipe Suggestion (1): 6 ounces of cold brew concentrate and 4 ounces of spring water
Recipe Suggestion (2): 6 ounces of cold brew concentrate and 4 ounces of milk or milk alternative
Your final beverage is what is considered a cold brew concentrate. You can certainly drink it as is or add 1 to 2 parts of water or milk to your cup. Cold brew refrigerated with nothing added to it will stay good for 7 – 10 days.
*We enjoy our cold brew on the stronger side and often drink it straight or only adding 2/3 parts of water or milk.
Cold Brew FAQ
What is the best grind size for Cold Brew?
A coarse grind - one that is more coarse than your standard pour-over or French Press grind.
Where should cold brew concentrate be stored?
In order to keep your concentrate fresh, you can store it in your refrigerator using a glass decanter with a lid or an airtight container like our clear pitcher, which is a sturdy plastic pitcher that works well with the Toddy® Cold Brew System. If you refrigerate your cold brew extract, it can remain fresh for 7-10 days.
How frequently should reusable felt filters be replaced?
The felt filter may be used up to 10 times (discard after 3 months). Toddy® Paper Filter Bags are for one-time use only.
What temperture should you brew your cold brew with?
We find brewing your cold brew in a room-temperature environment acceptable and does not need to be refrigerated. There is little to no difference in taste when brewing in the fridge, but test it a few times to see if you notice a difference.
What is the difference between Iced Coffee and Cold Brew?
The main difference between iced coffee and cold brew is that iced coffee is brewed like any other hot coffee and then cooled before serving. On the other hand, cold brew is brewed using room temperature or cool water for 16 – 24 hours.
The difference between the tw brewing methods goes far beyond just how they are brewed, and we broke down all the differences between iced and cold brewed coffees in our blog post here.
My Toddy® system won’t drain. What should I do?
To prevent clogging, it is important to ensure that the coffee you use is coarsely ground. This allows water to fully saturate the grounds without causing any blockages in the filter. Additionally, when pouring water over the grounds, be sure to do so gently to minimize any disruption to the coffee. In the event that your filter does become clogged and you experience a stoppage in drainage before full extraction is complete, you can use a rounded blunt end of a dinner knife to gently poke through the grounds until it reaches the filter. Once there, carefully scrape the top of the filter. Avoid stirring your coffee grounds or brewing on an unsteady surface as it can agitate the grounds. To prevent felt filter clogging, consider using Toddy® Paper Filter Bags in your next batch.
Can I drink cold brew concentrate hot?
The Toddy® Cold Brew System is capable of producing a delicious concentrate that can be used for both hot and iced coffee. For a flavorful and smooth cup of hot coffee, we suggest mixing 1 part concentrate with 2 parts steaming hot water.