Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jun 28, 2006 04:21 AM

Cold Brewing Coffee Without the Toddy?

Has anyone tried this? There's no way I'm going out and buying another coffee making contraption, but I thought I could do the following:

-grind a pound of coffee to a fine espresso grind
-place in a glass jar with the amount of cold water specified on Toddy's website (8 cups? I forget)
-refrigerate overnight to cold brew
-slowly filter out the coffee grounds. I have a plastic manual drip that sits over a mug and am willing to filter batches of the cold coffee using more than one filter if necessary

It sounds good to me, but does anyone know if it will work for sure? The allure of having coffee concentrate that won't go bad for two weeks is appealing. I don't usually finish even half a pound of coffee in a week, and every day as the flavor deteriorates I find myself wanting to drink it less.

Pei, formerly nooodles

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Yes, I have done exactly as you outline. I don't recall the details -- it was about 10 years ago -- but I happily made my own cold brew and used it for iced coffee with milk all one summer.

    I found a guideline here: one pound coffee, 9 cups water, 12-24 hours. That sounds about right:

    1. I remembered Jess' reply to one of my previous posts. It has instructions for you to use. I'd suggest using a medium grind coffee instead of fine espresso, I seem to remember another post saying fine grind can get messy. The coffee toddy website gives the proportions to use. HTH

      1 Reply
      1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

        Update: I screwed up when making my first batch of cold brew for the summer. I put the stopper in upside down so I couldn't pull it out. As a solution I poured the grounds and liquid though a mesh strainer line w/ coffee filters. It was still good. I had discovered my stupidity in the morning so I transfered the coffee when I got home so the coffee steeped about 24 hrs. The longer time steeping did not make the coffee turn out too bitter or strong. In fact, I think I liked it better and my accident turned out for the better because sometimes I'm not around my house enough to work 12 hours steep time into my routine.

      2. My mother's best friend (from the Netherlands) used to brew all her coffee this way. I was only a kid, but I tried it a few times (with lots of milk and sugar) and it was good.

        Another tip. I buy my coffee beans and immediately freeze them. I take out what I need each time I brew coffee. Lasts a long time with no ill effects. Refrigerate? Never! Freeze? Always.

        1 Reply
        1. re: oakjoan

          I am not an expert on coffee, but I have been working as a barista for the last 3 1/2 years in a little gourmet coffee shop. The problem with freezing the beans is that they lose their oils and it leaves the coffee less-flavorful than it started out, same with refrigerating them. Also if pre-ground coffee is being bought it has lost a considerable amount of flavor by being ground way too soon. Coffee should be brewed no more than a couple hours from being ground. Whole coffee beans should be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark cabinet void of moisture. Never buy pre-ground coffee, always grind your own, never freeze.

        2. I've heard so many things about storing coffee, and nothing works as well as I'd like. I've frozen whole beans in tight glass jars, put them in the fridge, vacuum sealed with a home system, etc. It just doesn't work for me. Though, out of all the easy choices, freezing is best.

          Hopefully, the cold brewing will be my solution.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Pei

            How long are you storing them for? I find that storing beans in an air-proof container inside a cabinet keeps coffee well. But I usually only buy a week's worth, and the beans I buy are freshly roasted. If your beans are going bad within a week, I would guess they weren't fresh when you bought them. Or, are you talking about more long-term storage?

            1. re: Pei

              I never store beans in the freezer for more than 2 or 3 weeks. Works for me. I must have a palate compromised by years of eating Twinkies and Spam.

              Also, I have a question about the cold-brewed coffee. Why doesn't it deteriorate after brewing and during storage? I mean pretty soon after - not weeks.

            2. You can do it like that, that's how I did it before I bought a "contraption" it will just take you longer to filter, and it can be messier.