Cold Brew

Cold Brew

Let's throw some cold water on cold coffee.

Ice coffee has taken over this subject since Starbucks popularized Frappuccino. In reality, it's been old news since the mid-80's when Coffee Toddy's were curious items alongside Krups drip machines driven by LED alarms.

Cold coffee shouldn't have been relegated to trend; the Toddy has been around since 1964. History of cold brewing dates to ancient Peru, but the Dutch began documenting cold brew in 1840.

But let's take a step back. Ice coffee is popular and has a place in your day. But if you taste carefully, the result is as forgiving as it is unforgiving. Cold-water extraction will not excite the precious acids in coffee that evoke the character of a single-origin profile.

There are hot-water methods that brew and drip over ice, but you finish with diluted flavor. The simple facts are that cold water will remove some bitters at the expense of muting tasty acids. Add cream or sugar and flavor is muted further.

It has a place in your coffee choices, but if you brew it, don't buy prized beans. We found that coffee roast more than a month old is often relegated to this method in fine coffee houses.


Toddy: Unparalleled Cold Coffee

Coffee: 340g (12 oz)
Grind: [fine] 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 [coarse]
Water: 1587g (56 oz or 7 cups) @ 60F
Filter: Reusable Felt Filter
Brewer: Coffee Toddy
Insert the stopper into the outside bottom of the brewing container; then, dampen the filter and insert it into the inside bottom of the brewing container.
Add 1 cup of water into the bottom of the container and 6 ounces of ground coffee. Slowly pour 3 more cups of water over the grounds, in a circular motion. Wait 5 minutes, then add the remaining 6 ounces of ground coffee. Slowly add the last 3 cups of water.
Don't stir. Stirring the bed of grounds results in a clogged filter. Lightly press down on the top-most grounds with the back of a spoon to ensure all grounds get wet.
Steep your coffee grounds for 16 hours. Extra care: carefully place the Toddy in the refrigerator overnight.
Place the Toddy on top of the decanter and remove the stopper. In 20-30 minutes, all the concentrate will flow into the glass. Makes close to 40 oz.
Start with a 1:3 ratio of concentrate to water or milk or your choice of dilutant. Add 1 teaspoon extra concentrate to taste. For a real treat, squeeze a wedge of fresh orange with a black, cold coffee — sensational.
Hot water (170F) is also a candidate for hot coffee.
Storage: This universally trips up people. Even the manufacturer is far off the mark. The coffee is not fresh for long. At most 5 days before flavors begin to trail off on initial extraction. Oxygen is its biggest enemy. If you have a Vacu Vin Wine Saver and a sanitized wine bottle, you're in business. Remove the air each time you store the concentrate in the fridge.

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