I began using the Coffee Toddy cold brew system many, many years ago and have stuck with it because of its great simplicity. First, I live alone so every day I struggled with making a small enough amount of coffee in a regular drip machine. I drank a cup with breakfast and then turned off the machine as I left for work. In the evening if I wanted an after dinner cup of coffee I wrestled with trying to re-heat the morning brew--yuk!--or pitching the leftover and making another pot. I could also use instant but liked real coffee too well to settle for that stuff. And with whatever kind I choose, it was never hot enough by the time I put in enough milk to get that pale tan color of coffee-milk that I preferred. So, I was always "nuking" my cup to heat it up, adding one more step.
I must have been in a cooking/chef stage when I discovered the Coffee Toddy because I ordered it from a gourmet supply catalog. My first Toddy came in this burlap sack just like in this photo. And what low tech genius that sack contained. In order to make a half gallon of deep, dark, intensely smooth and delicious coffee extract that I could keep in the refrigerator for weeks, all I needed was the Coffee Toddy, a pound of ground coffee, cold water and 24 hours! Here's how you do it:
2. Fit that round white pad (it looks like a complexion buffer) in the depression over the cork. This filter pad collects all the bitter acids from the coffee when the extract drains out, making a very smooth coffee that keeps the richness of even the more intense varieties without the bitterness and acidity that you get with brewing.
3. Add 1 pound of ground coffee to the white container. Then slowly fill the container with COLD water.
4. Cover the container with foil or saran. Let it set out on the counter for at least 12 hours.
5. When time to descant the coffee extract, remove the the rubber cork and set the white container on top of the glass carafe. The extract will slowly drip out and you'll end up with a full carafe of rich coffee extract. Store in the refrigerator for weeks.
6. When you're ready for a cup of "freshly brewed" coffee, just pour a measured amount of the extract in your coffee cup, add water and milk or cream (if you use it) and heat in the microwave for a couple of minutes to the desired temperature. At first you have to experiment to get the right strength for your taste. For a 12 ounce coffee mug I use 4 oz. coffee extract, 4 oz. cold water, 4 oz. 1% milk and heat for 3 minutes--perfect every time. No waste, no bother.
The only other thing you need for a great coffee experience is a special coffee mug. Every season I like to get a new one. This one I got last weekend at the St. James Art Show in Old Louisville. Going to this show is a fall rite for me and my friends. It's set up on St. James Court in one of the oldest parts of Louisville--great historic houses bedecked with fall flowering containers and landscaping. I chose the black mug from the Red Oak Pottery booth. My creamy coffee looks and tastes wonderful from this mug.
Now be sure to check out the favorite gadgets of other Fun Monday players. And let's keep it at least PG, people! :-)
(P.S. Can you believe I actually saw this title for a magazine article yesterday? "GIDGETS--Gadgets for Girls" Honestly Senor Valdez, I did!)