Hario vs. Toddy
Two cold brew systems go head to head for the ultimate summer java
Cold brewed coffee is smoother, less acidic and exceptionally more tasty than dumping ice into a steaming hot cup of coffee. By relying on time rather than temperature the results are much more concentrated. To see which of the more well known cold-brewing systems do the job better we pitted the beautiful Japanese Hario against the more plain-spoken American Toddy.
Hario's Water Dripper Clear sticks to the conventional drip set up of most cold brewers. A nozzle easily adjusts to leak water at roughly one drop per second from from the glass container into a grounds-filled beaker below. The drop-by-drop percolation process takes three to five hours, filling a small glass pitcher (in Hario's charming trademark shape) with the the highest-quality concentrate.
The Toddy, on the other hand, has less stunning looks but equally satisfying results. Easing the grounds into the brewing process involves a series of steps designed to ensure thorough saturation. Once the 12 hour steeping period is over you remove a small rubber cork from the bottom, which allows the fresh coffee to drip freely through a filter into the pot. The resulting bold infusion is reportedly 67% less acidic than a hot brewed version.
Both processes produce a strong flavor specific to the cold brew process, but Hario was the office favorite. Not only does it look like a mad science project on kitchen counters, it produces a slightly cleaner-tasting concentrate and involves a less complicated process. The Hario sells at a steep $243 through Amazon. For the price and utility (it's easier to clean too) the Toddy is also a great system, selling for a considerably more accessible $35 though Toddy's online shop.