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The Magic of the Cold Bean

Posted by Kim Hojaboom

Thu, May 12, 2016

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Toddy Anyone?

Holy Macaroni! I cannot believe how cold brewed coffee has exploded in the past six months. It’s the bacon of the coffee world! It is fascinating to watch the debates over brewing methods and benefits. So, what is a Toddy? Aka, cold brew? The simple explanation is it is a brewing method involving soaking grinds in cold or room temperature water to produce a smooth, low-acidic concentrate.

Fun Fact: This process has been around in the US for over 50 years.

What it takes:

  • Coarsely ground coffee (think French Press level)

  • Cool water

  • Cheesecloth or similar ‘filter’ apparatus

  • Pitcher or container of sorts

  • Time (about 12 hours)cold_brew_1.jpg

Brewing toddy is similar to the methods of making a FrenchPress. You grind the beans coarsely, add them to water and steep for a designated amount of time. In fact, it is so similar that some people are actually making cold brew in presses. This is a subject of debate and I will not engage. J The differences are the temperature of the water and the amount of time steeping. Personally, I have a bucket with a lid that I dump my grinds and water into, give it a stir and walk away for 12 hours. Then I use a strainer to pour the bucket of goodness into a pitcher.

What are these ratios all about?

  • The water to coffee ratio is another debated area, but on average it’s about 1 cup of coffee to 4 cups of water.

  • Steeping coffee is like steeping tea - there is a standard amount of time, a good amount of time to strengthen and weaken, and a point in time that it becomes redundant. On average 12 hours is the ideal amount of time to steep. A couple of hours in either direction will strengthen or weaken and anything beyond is just torture to those waiting for the liquid gold.

So what’s all the hullabaloo? Cold brewing coffee is said to come from ancient Peruvian roots. Interestingly, bean sales from Peru are rebounding, with Germany and the US being the two biggest buyers. Cold brew offers a great benefit to customers with sensitive stomachs, boasting over 60% less acidity than hot brewed coffee. This is possible because of how it is brewed. Cold water does not absorb the acidic oils the way hot water does. This leads to less acid and a more sweet tasting coffee. Many hot coffee drinkers choose to not add their normal milk and sugar to their cold coffee because of smoothness of the beverage. Drinkers also have more control in how strong they want their coffee. Hot coffee drinkers can only dilute their beverage by adding water or ice cubes. Toddy drinks can cut the strength in varying degrees, or not at all, simply by adjusting the water to concentrate levels, but without compromising the integrity of the brew.

Toddy is a great option in the coffee brew family and definitely helps with survival of those upcoming melting hot summer days!

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Topics: coffee, Brewing, Industry Trends