The Toddy T2N Cold Brew System Review
Everyone wants to find the best way to make a smooth and refreshing cold brew at home. Luckily, the Toddy T2N Cold Brew System lets you brew more coffee with less work. And, who doesn’t love getting more for less?
We gave this product an in-depth review so you know what makes it stand out in the crowd of other cold brewers available.
The Toddy T2N ‘In a Nutshell’
”I usually drink my coffee hot. I add a 1/4 cup of brew to a cup and add the heated water over the brew. I only drink one cup a day and the carafe lasts two weeks. Great coffee!”
The Toddy T2N Cold brew system is an easy to use, easy to set up, and easy to clean cold brew coffee system. It’s minimal, containing only 4 main pieces: The plastic brewer, the glass carafe, the cloth filter and the rubber stopper.
The Toddy has the capacity to brew a large amount of cold brew concentrate at one time, so you can yield enough for a week’s worth of coffee. The setup process is so quick and easy, even a toddler can do it. Simply insert the stopper and filter, add coarsely ground coffee and room temperature water.
Voila, in 12-24 hours you’ve got yourself a batch of cold brew concentrate.
The secret lies in the filter: a specifically designed cloth filter to hold back all the unwanted compounds and create a refreshing, smooth coffee.
Many cafes use the Toddy system for cold brew (either the small home brewer or the larger commercial version). It can produce really solid coffee without requiring any sort of expertise or other fancy equipment.
Watch our fun video review here:
Before Buying a Cold Brew Coffee Maker, Consider…
Cold brew is one of the easiest ways to make a lot of coffee at once. It can be as simple as pouring cold water over coarse coffee grounds in a French press and letting them stand overnight. The result of this brewing process is a coffee concentrate that’s good for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. The idea is that you brew a batch and add water to make a cup when you want it. But just as with any other coffee brewing method, there’s a range of produces and practices that can produce it, and each one has its own quirks.
One feature of the Toddy is its set-and-forget nature – the ease of setup is a strong point, but it doesn’t allow for a lot of variation. If you want to have more control over the brewing process, the Toddy might not be for you. You might prefer a brewer which is a bit more hands-on. (We’ll talk about some alternatives to the Toddy later in this review.)
If you are leaning towards the Toddy, simply consider:
- How much coffee you want to brew at a time.
- How hands on or off you want the brewing to be.
- How much or how little effort you are willing to spend cleaning.
The Toddy Home Cold Brew System Review
Created in 1964 by a chemical engineer, the Toddy was designed specifically to produce a smooth, balanced cup of coffee – hot or cold. Todd Simpson found that the traditional hot coffee brewing process yields many undesirable attributes in the final cup of coffee, such as bitter oils and fatty acids.
The cloth filter he designed has changed the way coffee can be brewed. Combined with the cold brew process, coffee from the Toddy is popular among people with sensitive stomachs as it allows them to enjoy coffee without all the unpleasant side effects (1)
The Toddy is said to brew coffee that is up to 67% less acidic than your average coffee.
It’s the brewer of choice in many cafes these days, and even coffee snobs can appreciate the coffee that comes from these simple brewers.
Ease of Use 4.5/5
With only four major parts, the American-made Toddy T2N is simplicity itself to put together.
Once everything is assembled, the cold brew coffee brewing process can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. It turns out that the “sweet spot” is somewhere in the middle (2):
”Anywhere from 14-18 [hours] is fine. We’ve found the water and coffee reach an equilibrium, which slows extraction drastically towards the end.”
This slow brew is a big part of the reason cold brew coffee is so smooth, as the components that make coffee bitter are normally extracted at high temperatures. In practice, if you set up your brew in the late afternoon or early evening, you can probably decant your coffee concentrate in the morning – after sampling a cup, of course.
We took off half a point for one simple reason: the rubber stopper. It’s a simple plug located at the bottom of the brewing container, which is a natural place for it. But it means you have to be careful when removing it, or you can spill coffee all over your countertop between the time you pull the plug (literally) and the time you get the brewer situated on the carafe. Some Toddy faithful decant in the sink, for the sake of easy cleanup.
Quality of Brew 5/5
This one’s easy: between the chemistry of cold brewing and the special cloth filter, the Toddy makes an amazingly smooth cup of coffee – or glass, if you prefer it chilled. Some cold brew lovers dilute theirs with ice-cold milk; non-dairy fans swear by coconut milk for an exciting, tropical twist. But almond, soy, or dairy milk are equally satisfying, whatever your choice.
One other tip: if you like your cold brew icy and sweet, consider making a little simple syrup to add to your cuppa. This is nothing more than equal parts sugar and water, heated in a saucepan till fully dissolved and then popped in the fridge for up to a month. No more stirring to dissolve sugar crystals in cold coffee: just pour a slug of the sweet stuff and give it a quick swirl to distribute it evenly. You can also use simple syrup in iced tea and in cocktails (3).
The Toddy T2N lets you brew up to 1.5L of concentrate, which you dilute with water to make a total of 4.5 litres of sipping coffee, hot or cold. 120 ml of concentrate plus 240 ml of water (hot or cold), or milk, makes a cup or glass of coffee in seconds.
Some people use even more water or milk, which potentially raises the output to 6 litres of drinkable coffee, as expressed by one of our favourite roasters, Koffee Kult (4):
“For the perfect Toddy and Koffee Kult cold brew, use a ratio of 1:2 or 1:3 depending on how strong you like your coffee. Use one part coffee and either two or three parts water, milk, creamer, or soy.”
As with all things having to do with coffee, the final decision is yours. If you’re the one drinking it, you have the ultimate say about the strength, temperature, add-ins, even what kind of glass or cup you drink it out of. (I swear that my espresso tastes better in my favourite demitasse…)
The Toddy will set you back about twice of what the Hario Mizudashi (our least expensive cold brewer out of our top rated cold brew coffee makers), but it’s still slightly cheaper than the Good Grips. So if your main goal is to find a bargain, the Toddy might not look like your best value. We’ve deducted a point for this.
But considering the ease of use and the volume of coffee it produces (1.5 litres of concentrate, which works out to more than four times the volume of drinkable coffee produced by the Hario), it’s not a bad deal at all.
One additional cost: the filters may need to be replaced a few times a year. Toddy recommends replacing the filter pad every 10-12 brews or three times a year, whichever comes first. These are inexpensive, though, as are the paper filters. Particularly since one batch of Toddy brews enough concentrate to match the volume of 4 to 6 full-size Chemex pots of pour over, it’s pretty comparable, economically.
Alternatives to the Toddy T2N Cold Brew System
The Toddy is a great system, but it might not be for everyone, especially if you like to fiddle with the brewing process, or if you only want to use a Mason jar. If you aren’t convinced the Toddy is right for you, check out these cold brewers.
The Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew
The Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Maker is one of the most affordable brewers out there. Like another Japanese-designed brewer, the Takeya cold brewer, the Mizudashi has a simple design, with only 3 pieces: the glass carafe, the reusable filter and a lid.
The filter sits in the top portion of the carafe. Add ground coffee to the filter, pour enough water over top, and let it sit for 12-24 hours. And speaking of fiddling with the brewing process, Hario recommends 80-85g of coarse-ground coffee, but some owners bump this up to 110-115g for a bolder, deeper flavour. Once it’s done, simply pull the filter out of the top and your coffee is ready to go. Full review of this cold brewer here.
The Yama Cold Brew Tower
The Yama Cold Brew Tower is the most expensive cold brewing system you can get. Taking one look at it, you will know why: it looks like something from a mad scientist’s laboratory or a piece of artwork suited for a modern kitchen.
The main draw to this brewer is the amount of control you have over the process. Similar to the way that brewing coffee as a pour over gives you much more control than an automatic drip, this cold brewer is the most hands-on.
IIt’s designed for coffee nerds. If you like to manipulate every variable, this is the brewer for you.
The Filtron Cold Coffee Brewer
Another popular cold brewer is the Filtron. This is the brewer of choice for places like Stumptown Coffee.
It’s quite similar in design to the Toddy but what sets it apart are its twin filters. It has a wool and a paper filter to greatly reduce the amount of sediment in the final cup. The grounds guard disc holds the coffee bed flat during brewing, to ensure even hydration of the grounds.
The result is a very clean cup of coffee.
The downside? The number of pieces the system contains means setting up the brew is a little bit more hands-on. Read a full review of the Filtron here.
It’s no secret that the Toddy T2N Cold Brew System is an awesome brewer. It produces a hefty amount of excellent, smooth, flavourful coffee without a lot of effort.
While it’s no design piece (it’s been described as looking like a bucket sitting on a pickle jar), the coffee it brews speaks for itself. Here’s a nice Toddy cold brew recipe for you try once you get your hands on this brewer.
Leave the acid and bitterness behind. Brew a coffee you (and your stomach) will thank you for. And if the Toddy is not the right brewer for you, head back to our list of top rated cold brew coffee makers to look for an alternative.
- Meyer, M. (2009, August 18). Coffee’s Dirty Little Secret. Retrieved from https://www.thedailybeast.com/coffees-dirty-little-secret.
- Cold Brewing FAQs: Stumptown Coffee Roasters Blog. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.stumptowncoffee.com/blogs/news/cold-brewing-faqs
- Wheaton, H. (2018, August 14). Yes, Making Simple Syrup Really Is This Simple! Retrieved from https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/how-to-make-simple-syrup/
- Brew Guides: Toddy Cold Brew Instructions. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.koffeekult.com/pages/brew-guides-toddy-cold-brew-instructions