- Brew Quality (50%)7.3/10
- Design (15%)7.6/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.3/10
- Brew Quality (50%)10.0/10
- Design (15%)9.4/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.0/10
Cafe du Chateau is a take on the French press design but comes with an immersion filter. The true value of a French press, however, is the plunge filter coupled to a free-style brewing technique. The Cafe Du Chateau with its fixed brew ratio and immersion filter eschews these advantages for no apparent gain.
Cafe Du Chateau falls short in other ways. The brewer is top heavy and cumbersome at pouring. Furthermore, the stopper is too tight while brewing and too loose when the filter is removed.
The Toddy System, by comparison, is a well-thought out design using quality materials, but filtering and decanting can sometimes be bothersome.
- Bouquet (10%)6.0/10
- Drinkability (70%)7.0/10
- Sediment (20%)9.0/10
- Bouquet (10%)10/10
- Drinkability (70%)10/10
- Sediment (20%)10/10
After 18 hours of brewing, the Cafe du Chateau produced a noticeably weak bouquet despite a reasonable brew ratio of 1:8. The bouquet did, however, have a distinctively earthy note. Overall, there was very little complexity and sweet notes were indiscernible.
Like a good wine, the first thing you want to note about a cold brew coffee is the bouquet. Our three coffee appreciators found that the Toddy created a rich and complex bouquet. Hearty and bright notes complemented sharp and deep ones. The sweeter notes also tended to be more floral.
Considering the brew ratio, we diluted the concentrate with one part water to one part coffee. The final serving was smooth to drink, but the aftertaste was neither rounded nor satisfying. It had a defined roasted and somewhat earthy flavor, but lacked character. Overall, the Cafe du Chateau produced an average to reasonably good brew, but it didn’t excite.
The Toddy Cold Brew System recommends a 1:2 or a 1:3 dilution. We chose a 1:2 ratio (one part coffee to two parts water) based on a sampling of the initial brew strength.
The Toddy has so far produced the most complex flavor balance of any device we’ve tested. The overall flavor was full-bodied and well-rounded. Roasted, nutty, and chocolate flavors were strong, with a somewhat sweetish aftertaste. There was no single overpowering flavor. Our tasters also picked up a very slight bitterness and sourness.
The Toddy brew quality was excellent all around with perhaps the most complex flavor balance of any device tested.
After allowing the concentrate to settle, we decanted the contents of the Cafe du Chateau. The filter, made of laser-cut 304 stainless steel, did a good job overall. There was not much sediment and it was mostly fine with some powdery grains. All considered, the filter seemed not porous enough to produce a high quality brew.
While the Toddy Cold Brew System scored low in terms of the filter’s practicality and ease of use, the brew nevertheless had minimal sediment. The Toddy filter has proven one of the best we’ve seen in our testing program. Our initial test used the reusable felt filter which plugs into the bottom of the brew vessel. You can also use a paper brew bag or even double filtration if you wish.
- Stopper / Lid (30%)7.0/10
- Filter (40%)8.5/10
- Build Quality (30%)7.0/10
- Stopper / Lid (30%)10/10
- Filter (40%)9.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)9.5/10
In the Box
- Box: WDH: 7 x 2.1 x 10.6 in
- Fully assembled unit
- Use manual and brew guide
The Cafe du Chateau was one of the few cold coffee brewers we bought that came with styrofoam packaging. It’s very secure and comes fully assembled. The user manual and brewing guide come together as a high-quality glossy booklet. Both the box and booklet feature a convenient QR code for the customer support email. They promise hassle free replacement for any damaged product. In terms of first impressions, we were well satisfied.
- Box WDH: 7.5 x 7.5 x 11.8 inches
- Brew vessel with detachable handle
- Decanter with suction lid
- Silicone lid
- 2 felt reusable filters
- 3 paper brew bags
- Silicone stopper
- Product manual
The Toddy Cold Brew System is not only well-boxed, but also ecologically packaged with no unnecessary plastics. The decanter flask sits neatly in the brew vessel and a flip lid with a hole secures the flask in place.
The latest Toddy Brew System includes three sample paper brew bags. These can be used as alternatives to the felt filter, for extra filtration, or for tea brewing. The product manual breaks down how to do each.
- Heightwith Stopper Lid:9 in (230 mm)
- Base Diameter:5 in (127 mm)
- Width:6.5 in (165 mm)
- Weight:29.5 oz (836 g)
- Material:borosilicate glass & stainless steel
The brew decanter has the look and feel of a solid and durable product. However, on closer inspection it’s not without its flaws. For one, we found it a bit on the heavy side even when empty. We filled the decanter with water to test pour it, and it poured rather heavily. It also felt unbalanced and the grip was somewhat slippery. The manual says the glass decanter can detach from the stainless steel sleeve, but it was difficult to do, so we left this for the cleaning stage.
- Heightwith Stopper Lid:8.7
- Base Diameter:5.1
- Weight:1.4 oz (40 g)
- Material:borosilicate glass
The elegant decanter is quite eye-catching. The ringed neck is easy to grip and pour from, but with a full-brew weight of around 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg), you should use both hands. A key design feature is its height — it measures just as tall as the brew vessel, meaning it can fit the same space in your fridge.
Stopper / Lid
- Diameter:3.9 in (100 mm)
- Material:stainless steel
- Additional Features:silicone seal
The stopper has an airtight when brewing, but is rather loose with the filter attachment removed. Furthermore, the silicone seal is very rubbery, deforms easily, and is overall not the best quality.
- Diameter:3.5 in (90 mm)
- Material:low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
- Additional Features:N/A
The stopper is another excellent design feature of the Toddy. It sits slightly above the rim, thus protecting the rim from above. The stopper also has a clever suction design and the fit is perfectly secure and airtight.
- Length:6.7 in (170 mm)
- Diameter:4 in (102 mm)
- Material:laser-cut 304 stainless steel
- Additional Features:silicone seal
The filter is made from laser-cut 304 grade stainless steel and comes with a ‘lifetime warranty’. It appeared well-machined and the edges were not sharp. However, like the decanter lid, the silicone seal around the filter top was not such great quality. The filter, however, did allow for a relatively decent brew to develop and the sediment produced didn’t require additional decanting.
- Diameter:2.7 in (70 mm)
- Material:felt filter x 2
- Additional Features:3 paper brew bags
There are two types of filters you can use. Both are a healthy and environmental choice. The felt filter can be used up to 10 times. Newer models now include three unbleached paper filter bags. You can use a bag in lieu of a felt plug or in addition to it. The bag filter is perfect for finely ground coffee and for brewing tea. You can easily buy filter pads, Toddy brand filter bags, or generic replacements online.
The materials used, except for the silicone seals, are generally good quality, however, the design is not well executed. The brewer is all-round cumbersome to handle, the lid and seals are poorly designed, and it is weighted badly for pouring. Overall, this has been one of our least favorite cold coffee brewers to work with and will probably gather dust on the shelf.
The Toddy is made from safe, durable, high-quality materials. We particularly liked the quality of the decanter, and the design of the decanter stopper is excellent. The silicone lid is very practical, but we, like many reviewers, felt that the handle build could be improved. The packaging is very minimal and also environmentally friendly. If anything goes wrong, Toddy offers spare parts on their website.
Ease of Use
- Brewing (45%)9.0/10
- Decanting (35%)8.0/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)7.0/10
- Brewing (45%)8.0/10
- Decanting (35%)7.5/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)9.0/10
Like its design, brewing with the Cafe du Chateau has its unique points. No measuring is required because you just fill the filter with grounds to about 1 cm (less than ½ inch) below the top.
Then, you gradually pour water through the grounds but you don’t push the filter completely in. The filter has an upper chamber which makes pouring water very easy. The filter itself is very fine so you must wait for water to seep through. The last 200 ml of water takes a little time to pour.
Once the water is just below the 1-liter mark, you push the filter unit completely in and do the same for the lid. Despite the cumbersome design of the silicone seals, they do a pretty good job. Most air is completely compressed out of the brew decanter. All in all, the brewing method seemed very sound and we looked forward to the brewing results.
The Toddy Cold Brew System’s felt filter demands a bit more precision than most other brewers. You must add water and grounds in a staggered manner and be careful not to stir the contents. Also, it takes some time to properly wet the grounds by gently pushing them down and mixing in.
If you use a paper bag filter for brewing, it’s a lot easier. Just add the grounds and water, and you can stir around the contents all you want. If you try to stir without the paper bag, the felt filter will clog. The process takes a few brews to master.
The lack of measurement markings on the brew vessel is an unfortunate oversight. Therefore, we had to weigh grounds for each brewing. The brewer vessel may also be a bit heavy for some. We found it best to carry with two hands, but removing the detachable handle made it easier to fit the refrigerator.
As with all similar immersion brew filters, all we had to do was remove the filter and place it in a glass to catch the remaining liquid. The stopper comes off with the filter attached. To separate the stopper, you’ll need to hold the filter tight, twist and pull forcefully.
Additionally, the decanter lid doesn’t fit so snugly when the filter unit is removed.This means that your fridge may become contaminated with coffee odors and the concentrate may oxidize and spoil faster.
Once the filter and grounds are removed, you should have around 700 ml of cold brew coffee concentrate. The overall volume is 900 ml (30 fl oz) with the difference being taken up by the filter and grounds while brewing.
- Total height when decanting: 15 in (380 mm)
Decanting is simple enough. You hold the brew vessel by the handle, pull the stopper, and slip it onto the decanter. The liquid won’t immediately come out, so it’s unlikely to make a mess.
We found, however, that the lively stream can slow to a steady drip. The felt plug filter was temperamental. We actually had to remove the contents of the brew vessel, clean the filter, and then resume. Decanting can thus take 20 to 40 minutes.
Alternatively, you can use a paper bag filter. This works out better and decanting takes 20 minutes or less.
The filter pad, despite its drawbacks, produced the best filtration results. It may also help remove coffee oils, especially if you use an additional paper brew bag. The biggest disadvantage is that you’ll need to continue buying replacement filters and/or bags.
Cleaning and Storage
Cleaning the Cafe du Chateau filter is easy enough. Use a standard non-abrasive sponge. You can reach to the bottom of the filter and the edges are not sharp. The decanter itself is easy to reach inside.
The user manual states the glass decanter is fully removable from the stainless steel jacket. Even after running under hot water, however, we were unable to remove the decanter. We didn’t want to exert too much force and break the glass, nor injure ourselves, so we didn’t succeed in separating the parts.
All components except for the silicone seals can go into the dishwasher.
Once dried, the brewer can be stored fully assembled. It looks nice on a counter and should easily fit in a standard cupboard or a shelf space. The filter also stands well on its own for storage when the decanter is in use.
- Storage diameter: 8.6 in (220 mm)
- Storage height: 11 in (280 mm)
The Toddy Cold Brew System has minimal components, so storage is straightforward. The brew vessel is easy to clean and all parts can go into a dishwasher, but hand washing is recommended for a longer lifespan.
The decanter neck is wide enough for all but the largest of hands to reach in and clean. It fits comfortably into the brew vessel for storage. Since the silicone lid is flexible, it too slips in nicely.
The felt filter, however, must be placed in a plastic bag while wet and then put into the refrigerator, which is a little inconvenient. You can easily keep the silicone stopper in the brew vessel when not in use, or place it into the empty decanter.