X

Toddy Cold Brew System review: Toddy makes concentrated cold brew on the cheap

If you're looking for an affordable cold brew coffee maker, there's a lot to like in the Toddy Cold Brew System.

bb-ces
Brian Bennett
bb-ces

Brian Bennett

Senior writer

Brian Bennett is a senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET. He reviews a wide range of household and smart-home products. These include everything from cordless and robot vacuum cleaners to fire pits, grills and coffee makers. An NYC native, Brian now resides in bucolic Louisville, Kentucky where he rides longboards downhill in his free time.

See full bio
2 min read

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

The mechanics of brewing cold brew coffee are simple but in practice the activity is often messy, frustrating, and time consuming. There are products for sale to help make the process go more smoothly though. The $40 (roughly £30 in the UK and AU$55 in Australia) Toddy Cold Brew System is one such gadget which certainly succeeds at its task and for not a lot of money.

coldbrewcapsulephotos-1.jpg
7.0

Toddy Cold Brew System

The Good

The Toddy Cold Brew System is an inexpensive way to make a large volume of cold brew coffee without much hassle. The cold brew the Toddy creates is concentrated, strong, yet smooth, sweet and delicious. The Toddy system has only a few parts and is a snap to assemble.

The Bad

Like many manual cold brew coffee products, brewing with the Toddy system takes some practice to perfect. The Toddy Cold Brew System is also tall and eats up some counter space when brewing.

The Bottom Line

The Toddy Cold Brew System is an exceptionally simple, affordable way to create concentrated cold brew coffee and lots of it.

As kitchen contraptions go, the Toddy is very bare bones. The kit consists of a plastic brewing container, essentially a bucket, attached to a handle. At the bottom of the container is a small, recessed hole and reusable felt filter pad that you place above it. The Toddy comes with paper filters too. They're not reusable, but are more convenient. Plugging the brewing container's hole is a tiny rubber stopper. The lidless container then rests on top of a squat glass decanter.

Editors' note: This review has been updated to reflect the fact that the Toddy now also comes with paper filters.

coldbrewcapsulephotos-1.jpg
Enlarge Image
coldbrewcapsulephotos-1.jpg

The Toddy cold coffee brewer is a very basic but effective contraption.

Chris Monroe/CNET

To brew, just add 12 ounces (340.2 g) of coarse coffee grounds to the container. You then combine that with 56 ounces (1.7 L) of cool water. Of course, you can't throw everything together all at once. Instead the manual asks that you stagger ingredients, half your grounds then half your water, and repeat in order to ensure an even mixture. It takes a little practice to get the process right.

By comparison the Oxo Cold Brew is much easier to use since you can dump all your grounds in at the same time. The Oxo also has a handy "rainmaker" lid you pour water over which acts as a shower head for even saturation and coffee extraction.

The Filtron, another cold brew product, also takes all your grounds in one go but uses a third part -- a water bowl -- which adds extra complexity and size. The Toddy isn't small either and its tall height requires lots of overhead clearance.

After 12 to 24 hours you remove the rubber stopper to drain your fresh cold brew liquid into the decanter, about a 20-minute wait. Your patience will be rewarded with a flask full of almost 36 ounces of concentrated coffee. This is about as much java as the Filtron brews but half of what you get from the Oxo Cold Brew. My drink was strong too, with a high TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) percentage of 4.7 percent.

coldbrewcapsulephotos-7.jpg
Enlarge Image
coldbrewcapsulephotos-7.jpg

The Toddy decants its brew into a glass carafe below.

Chris Monroe/CNET

All this makes the $40 Toddy system quite compelling to people serious about their cold brew. If you don't mind less coffee per run and would rather use a metal filter, the $50 (roughly £40, AU$65) Oxo Cold Brew is the better choice.

coldbrewcapsulephotos-1.jpg
7.0

Toddy Cold Brew System

Score Breakdown

Performance 8Design 6.5Features 6.5Maintenance 6