Cold brew is speculatively one of the oldest methods of coffee brewing because unheated water is far easier to come by than hot water in the coffee growing regions of the world. It can be brewed like sun tea, gently warmed by daylight. Or it can be done under modern refrigeration.
We chose the Toddy Cold Brew system because of the quality of its brew and the consistency in which it produces it. Another nice feature is they make commercial sizes up to 5 gallons. This allows a coffee producer like us to offer a smaller version of the same brewer that we use to produce our cold brew.
Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee
Iced coffee when done well is amazing. We use what is now referred to as Japanese Style iced coffee. Even though we were doing it way before we were aware of the tag, the name does help differentiate the process more than just calling it iced coffee.
Similar to a Chef putting steamed green beans in an ice bath immediately after cooking; in this method coffee is brewed at double strength over its own weight in ice. This stops the brewing process cold…pun intended.
The benefit of this method is it retains all the flavor of fresh hot brewed coffee just served very cold.
Cold brew never gets hot enough to extract all the flavor compounds and acidity of the hot brew resulting in a sweeter slightly flatter cup of iced coffee. Depending on the way the coffee being used was roasted has a major factor in determining which method of coffee will be more to your liking. The return of lighter roasts coincides with the popularity of cold brew as a brew method.
My recommendation; if you like dark roasts try brewing traditional Japanese Iced Coffee. This will accentuate the little acidity left in the coffee from the longer roast process. For light roasts cold brew will soften the brightness of the acidity in those beans.
A little bit from the Toddy manufacturers:
“For nearly 50 years, Toddy has delighted baristas, food critics, and regular folks alike for its smooth, delicious flavor. By extracting the bitter acids and oils that other brewing methods leave behind, the Toddy Cold Brew System produces a smooth, low acid concentrate ideal for hot or iced coffee or tea.”