Coffee in Our Kitchen – Cold Brew Recap

Coffee in our Kitchen Cold Brew

Thanks for checking out our second ever Coffee in Our Kitchen, we love connecting with you all and helping everyone Experience Better Coffee! Below is the run through of how we brewed the Northern Lights Cold Brew Blend with the Toddy. In addition, there are some of the questions that were asked throughout the video with our answers for your reference. We hope you enjoyed it and be sure to come back next week as we dive into the Clever Dripper!


Posted by Driven Coffee on Saturday, April 18, 2020

Toddy Cold Brew Bundle
Get the Toddy Cold Brew Bundle used in this video

How We Brewed Our Toddy

  • Coffee: Driven Northern Lights Blend
  • Grind: Coarse, like a French Press
  • Coffee Weight: 12oz
  • Water Weight: 56oz
  • Water Temperature: Room Temperature
  • Yield: 38oz of concentrate
  • Concentrate Shelf Life: Two Weeks Refrigerated

Making Cold Brew Coffee

  1. Place stopper plug in outside bottom of white brew chamber
  2. Pre-wet reusable filter and place inside at the bottom of the toddy
  3. Add 8oz of water into Toddy
  4. Add 6oz of coarse ground coffee into Toddy and water
  5. In a circular motion, slowly pour in 24oz of water, be sure to saturate all grounds.
  6. Wait 5 minutes
  7. Add the remaining 6oz of coffee
  8. Add the remaining 24oz of water. Do not stir and this can cause the fines to fall to the bottom and clog the filter.
  9. Cover if desired, store at room temperature for 20 hours
  10. Place brew chamber above carafe, pull plug, set brew chamber on carafe and allow it to drain completely.
  11. Upon completion of draining, you should have around 38oz of concentrate ready to cut with water or milk. Keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Cold Brew Questions That Were Asked

  • Cold brew vs cold press: are they the same? The title Cold Press was made popular in the café setting and became synonymous with any form of cold brew. Technically speaking cold press would be using a French Press to steep the coffee in and pressing or plunging it down when ready to drain. Cold brew is the infusion method of the Toddy with no press, just a drain out at the end.
  • Do you have to use Northern Lights for this or are other good coffees? You can cold brew with any coffees, but we recommend medium to dark roasted coffees. Our Northern Lights has been specifically roasted to brew a balanced and smooth cup.
  • Do you have to use a Toddy to make this? Great question! No you can really use anything to steep the coffee in, the difference with the Toddy is the filter and the convenience. A French Press or a pitcher would work as well, just be sure to filter it when draining.
  • What is the difference between cold brew vs iced coffee? Cold Brew is coffee that is steeped at room temperature for 20 hours, the result is a smooth low acidity concentrate that can be cut to make a constitute. Iced coffee is hot coffee brewed over ice in a carafe. Iced coffee has high acidity and a very different flavor profile that cold brew.
  • What grind size do you use? Due to the long extraction time needed to make cold brew, we use a very coarse grind, like that of a French Press.
  • What are some ways to jazz up your morning cold brew? This is such a fun question and the answer is, there are so many ways. The easiest way is to add a little milk, this will change the mouthfeel and flavor while cutting the acidity even more. If you want to make your cold brew even more fancy, add some pumps of syrup to sweeten up the drink. We like to add a little milk and a couple pumps of vanilla and shake it in a cocktail shaker to fully infuse the flavor and add aeration.
  • Can you use Toddy filter bags? Yes! You can place your ground coffee in a Toddy filter bag and submerge it in a pot of water to brew or you can pour your concentrate through a Toddy filter at the end to pull out any fines and oils.
  • When do you stir or tamp down the coffee? We don’t stir the coffee in this brew method as that will effect the extraction. We tamp the coffee down into the water to saturate the grounds completely after each time we add coffee and then water.
  • What’s the filter life? Does using them over and over affect the taste? These filters hold up pretty well. After brewing just hand wash it with warm water to pull any grounds or trapped oils out. It is good to use as long as it holds up and doesn’t start shredding. As the filter is used repeatedly it will absorb some of the oils from the coffee resulting in a bit of discoloration and a potential for flavor cross contamination, but we have found this risk to be very low and the difference in flavors to be pretty negligible.

Check out our Driven Northern Lights Blend promo video

Coffee in Our Kitchen – Cold Brew Live Stream Transcript

Good morning everyone! Thanks for joining us for our second episode of Coffee in our Kitchen. Again, I’m Matt and I’ve got Michaela here on the phone, and she’s fielding questions you guys pose and will ask them to me.

Today, I’ll be using the Toddy cold brew system. This comes with a glass carafe, the plastic brew chamber, a reusable felt filter, and a plug to keep the coffee inside.

Cold brew has been in existence since the 1960’s and has been a popular method for cold coffee lovers. People like it because it has a high caffeine content, and is low in acidity. That said, it’s easy to drink. In fact, cold brew has 67% less acidity compared to a normal cup due to how it’s steeped. It’s also considered an immersion brew for that same reason, unlike the Chemex from last week, which is a pourover.

The system here is pretty easy: the plastic brew chamber rests on the carafe, and the coffee steeps in it. Compared to other methods, this one is pretty foolproof since there aren’t a lot of variables. As long as the coffee and the water are in contact, you’ll be set!

To make cold brew, the first step is to put the felt plug in the bottom and make sure it’s secure. This is important because it’s the only thing preventing the coffee and water from rushing out. Once that is placed, wet the filter and make sure it’s pushed down all the way. Note: your filter will darken the more you use it and ours isn’t new here.

Today, I’ll be doing everything in ounces. While it is possible to use a measuring cup, a scale will help develop consistency. For example, if your coffee tastes great in one batch and not as much in the other, it could be as easy as using a scale when brewing. You’ll need 12oz of coffee and 56oz room temperature water for today’s brew.

Once your Toddy is set up, place it on your scale and turn it on. From there, tare the scale, switch to ounces and pour in 8oz water. This is to get a bed of water under the initial pour of grounds. It’s really important that everything is completely submerged with these immersion methods…make sure you have a stirrer ready too!

Now that we’ve added the water, tare the scale out again and pour in 6oz of coffee. I’m using Northern Lights, which we’ve formulated for cold brew. The coffee should be a very coarse grind. The reason for this is that the more coarse your coffee is, the longer it will take to extract. Since this will be steeping for 20 hours, we want this very coarse.

Tamp your coffee down with your stirrer, making sure to not stir it. Stirring the mixture will agitate it, which we don’t want to do.

Tare your scale again and add 24 more oz of water. Again, the goal is to completely cover and saturate all of the grounds.

Michaela: Derek is wondering if using Toddy filter bags makes a difference?

Matt: Using the bags is more of a commercial application. It yields a cleaner cup, as it filters out a little bit more. It’s not necessary by any means, but is a preference. Our filter here is about .25” thick.

Currently, we have 6oz of coffee and 32oz water. At this point, I like to let it sit for 5 minutes and let everything saturate, making sure to tamp down the grounds once.

Now that you’ve done that, tare your scale again and pour in your remaining 6oz coffee. Again, don’t stir it, but tamp it down. You’ll be tamping down your coffee every time you add water, making sure each layer is saturated.

Once that’s done, add your final 24oz of water, wetting everything and tamping it once more. Despite this being an offset spatula used for baking, this is working very well!

That’s it! Now we steep this for 20 hours. The Toddy website recommends between 12 and 24 hours. We think the ideal steep is about 20 hours and like to set an alarm or timer. This can be left on the counter, just make sure it’s in a safe spot. I’m always conscientious about it, as I have 2 small kids who could knock it over!

When the 20 hours are up, put the brew chamber on top of the carafe, pull the plug out, and let it drain. This might take up to 30 minutes, but if it’s getting clogged you can take a butter knife along the filter and lightly scrape it.

After that, you can cover it up and you should have about 38oz of concentrate. This should be refrigerated and can last up to 2 weeks. While it’s not going to make you sick if you keep it for longer, the flavor profile will get altered.

It’s worth noting that this form of cold brew right now is a concentrate of coffee and is very strong. Each ounce of concentrate has the same caffeine content as a shot of espresso, since it steeps for so long. We don’t drink our concentrate straight, as it can be expensive and strong.

We dilute our concentrate using a 1:1 ratio with water. Some people cut theirs even more by adding more water or ice when serving it. You can also dilute it with milk, which cuts the acidity. Milk has an enzyme that cuts acidity, which is the same reason why people drink milk after eating spicy food.

There’s numerous ways you can dress up your cold press if you don’t want to drink it straight. We do a lot of cold brew bars for our wholesale customers and have found that it’s very versatile when it comes to adding flavors. One of our more basic drinks is as simple as adding 2 pumps/20 grams of vanilla syrup in a 12oz cup and adding a splash of milk. When you add in flavors, it almost becomes like an iced latte. It’s perfect for a spring or summer day!

Of course, there’s so many more ways to dress up cold press. Let us know if you’re interested in seeing some of our recipes!

All in all, cold brew is a very easy method that yields a great product.

Michaela: Derek is here with another great question: how many times can you reuse your filter?

Matt: It should hold up for a while. If you start to see the felt shred a little, I’d recommend buying a new one.

Michaela: Can you explain the difference between cold brew and cold press? Can they be used interchangeably?

Matt: Think of it like Kleenex. In the industry, we use both interchangeably, but it’s the same product essentially. Technically, cold press refers to using a french press (which won’t pull out the oils), but it still yields the same product at its core.

Michaela: Besides Northern Lights, what other coffees work in a cold brew setting?

Matt: Like last week’s Chemex, anything works. The industry belief is that easily drinkable coffees (not fruity or roasty flavored) make great cold brews. We prefer medium to dark roasts, such as Minneapolis Mud, Guatemala, Peru, etc. if you’re not using our Northern Lights, which we crafted for this purpose.

Well, we’re about at our time limit. Thank you again for joining us and be sure to tune into next week’s episode!

Further Reading: Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee

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