Many years ago, my husband and I were in Cleveland in the summer.  We went to this coffee shop called Arabica, near the Case Western Campus, that had the best iced coffee.  We told the barista that we loved the coffee and she said that they cold brewed the coffee using the Toddy method.  As soon as we returned to Michigan, we began to investigate the Toddy method.  It turns out that it is really easy and the Toddy maker is very inexpensive ($40).

The Toddy brewing container is designed to hold one pound of coffee and nine cups of water.  To make the Toddy, you add a stopper and filter into the bottom of the white plastic container.  Then, add two cups of water.  Then, add 1/2 pound of coffee.  Then, slowly pour five cups of water over the roughly ground coffee beans.  Add the water in a circular motion.  Then add the rest of the ground coffee.  Finally, wait five minutes then slowly add two more cups of water (in a circular motion).  Do not stir.  You can lightly tap the grounds with the back of a spoon.  It will seem like the water and coffee is going to spill out.  Don’t worry — it won’t.  Cover the top with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter for 12 hours.

After 12 hours, take the stopper out of the white plastic top part and let the coffee flow into the glass jar.  The Toddy is very concentrated — go easy with this stuff.  I use about 1/3 ice, 1/3 Toddy, and 1/3 water then a splash of soy milk.  You can play around with these ratios; but, please water the Toddy down — it is very potent.

If you don’t feel like buying the Toddy maker — you can make iced coffee by soaking the beans and water in a huge plastic container and then straining it through cheesecloth.  The Pioneer Woman explains how to do this on her website at  I haven’t tried her method.  However, The Pioneer Woman is one of my idols and I trust she can make a good iced coffee.

Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

(Toddy System Method)


1 pound coarsely ground coffee

9 cups of water


Toddy system

1.  Assemble Toddy System.  You just follow the directions that come with the system.  To start, put plug and filter in the bottom of the white plastic top.  Put top white plastic part on top of the glass jar.

2.  Fill and Brew.  Add 2 cups of water into the brewing container (the top white plastic part).  Then, add 1/2 pound of ground coffee.  Slowly pour 5 cups of water over the grounds in a circular motion.  Add the remaining 1/2 pound of coffee.  Finally, wait five minutes and then slowly add 2 cups of water in a circular motion.  Do not stir.  Lightly tap the topmost grounds with the back of a spoon.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 12 hours.

3.  Serve.  Release the stopper from the brewing container and all the coffee to flow into the glass jar.  This coffee is very concentrated — go easy.  I add 1/3 cup of coffee, 1/3 cup of ice, and 1/3 cup of water to my drink along with a splash of soy (or milk).  If you like more milk/soy you can use less water or ice.

4.  Store.  Put the top on the glass jar and put in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.