- Brew Quality (50%)7.8/10
- Design (15%)9.6/10
- Ease of Use (35%)9.2/10
- Brew Quality (50%)10.0/10
- Design (15%)9.4/10
- Ease of Use (35%)8.0/10
County Line Kitchen is a popular mason jar type brewer and comes in two jar sizes: 1-quart and 2-quart. The screw-on lid with a flip cap is one of the most convenient and practical designs for a brew carafe. Both brewers are an easy fit for a refrigerator door, and can be laid on their side for storage once the filter is removed.
For an immersion-style brewer, the County Line Kitchen has a favorable brew ratio of 1:9, whereas the Toddy, using a free-style brew system, has a brew ratio of 1:4.6. The Toddy, of course, produces a full strength cold brew concentrate which can be further diluted to one part coffee and three parts water. County Line Kitchen, at best, has a 1:1 dilution ratio.
Both brewers come as eco-friendly packages. With County Line Kitchen, you can choose a brewer with or without a handle attached to the lid. The Toddy comes with a felt filter and two additional paper filter bags.
- Bouquet (10%)7.5/10
- Drinkability (70%)8.0/10
- Sediment (20%)7.0/10
- Bouquet (10%)10/10
- Drinkability (70%)10/10
- Sediment (20%)10/10
The County Line Kitchen mason jar brewer produced, at a best, a medium-strength bouquet. We detected a slight nuttiness as well as more subtle sweet notes. The results were not as good as we had hoped for, but promising nonetheless.
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.
We diluted the concentrate with one part coffee to one part filtered water. It had a dominant roasted flavor, but with a slight sweet aftertaste. The drink lacked nutty and fruity flavors that our top brewers were more successful at producing. Although smooth to drink, it lacked body and was not as satisfying as a cold brew can be.
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.
We brewed according to the County Line Kitchen manual’s instructions. This means we did not shake the vessel before putting it in the refrigerator. After allowing the brew to settle and then decanting, we were surprised to see a relatively significant amount of sediment.
The filter is a rough mesh rather than a laser-cut stainless steel filter as seen in other types of brewers. Although this brewer did better than average in producing a sweeter brew, we suggest additional decanting to remove excess sediment. Either that, or run the coffee through a paper filter.
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%)10/10
- Filter (40%)9.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)10/10
- Stopper / Lid (30%)10/10
- Filter (40%)9.0/10
- Build Quality (30%)9.5/10
In the Box
- Box WHD: 8.3 x 4.5 in x 6.3 inches
- Assembled unit
- Warranty card
- User brochure manual
The County Line Kitchen 1-quart cold brew coffee maker comes in a really neat box. There’s no superfluous packaging and zero disposable plastics. The brewer comes fully assembled and the brochure outlines six easy steps to brewing and three suggested serving recipes. The warranty card directs you to their website to register your product, after which they provide a sales support email. There’s no QR code, so you have to do it the old-fashioned way.
- 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:7.7 in (195 mm)
- Base Diameter:3.5 in (90 mm)
- Width:6.3 (160 mm)
- Weight:17.0 oz (482 g)
The brew decanter is just as robust as any mason jar. The inner lid has a silicone gasket for a perfect seal. A handy notch lets you easily pluck the gasket out for cleaning. When sealed, even if you shake the jar around, no liquid spills and the flip cap stays secure too.
- 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:6 in incl.handle (150 mm)
- Material:polypropylene plastic
- Additional Features:silicone gasket
The lid of the County Line consists of three parts. The handle is molded onto the crew-top lid. The handle is easy to grip with an inner thumb groove. To pour the liquid, you simply clip the flip-lid open which also detaches for easy cleaning. Inside the lid is also a gasket for airtight sealing. Although the handle is convenient, you can also opt for a simple screw top without a handle for a more compact option.
- 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:5.5 in (140 mm)
- Diameter:3.2 in (82 mm)
- Material:stainless steel
- Additional Features:silicone seal
Compared to other stainless steel filters we’ve examined, the County Line Kitchen’s looks and feels heavier. It matches the sturdy solidity of the mason jar and adds to its old-fashioned country feel. Although a fair bit of sediment is produced, our tests revealed that the brew produced is relatively good quality.
- 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.
It’s difficult not to like the design of the County Line Kitchen cold brew coffee maker. If you like the solid practicality of a mason jar, it fits the bill. The part count is minimal and all components fit well. We also appreciate the option of buying a lid with or without a handle.
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%)10/10
- Decanting (35%)8.5/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)8.5/10
- Brewing (45%)8.0/10
- Decanting (35%)7.5/10
- Cleaning and Storage (20%)9.0/10
Brewing follows six easy steps. Simply load the filter with coffee grounds — one cup per quart (reaching about one inch from the top) — and place the filter in the jar. Then, you slowly add water until the grounds are completely covered and the water level nears the top of the filter.
Allow to stand for a few minutes while the water makes its way through the grounds. Top up with water as needed, screw on the lid, and place in the fridge to brew. We found this process completely effortless with no need for weighing or measuring.
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.
We found the screwable cap may require a little force to remove depending on how tightly you put it on. The filter, though, is easy to grip and remove without any grounds dropping into the vessel. Like similar long-funnel filters, you can always place it in a cup to catch the last few drops. It’s best to rinse the lid of any grounds before replacing and putting the finished brew in your fridge. Because of the amount of sediment produced, we recommend recanting for a second time once the brew has been allowed to settle.
- 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
For deep cleaning, you need to remove the flip cap and the lid’s inner gasket. The silicone ring seal for the filter simply slides off. The filter rinses out easily and you can use a gentle bottle brush if you wish. We found the small 1-quart jar a little narrow for hand cleaning, so we used a bottle brush there too.
All parts are dishwasher friendly, but it’s probably better to just rinse off the silicone filter seal and lid gasket. You’ll periodically need to soak the filter in a mixture of water and baking soda, vinegar, or citric acid to unclog coffee oils and remove odors.
After brewing, you will need a small space to store the filter. You should place it upside down so the silicone seal stays safe. When you are not using the jar, everything conveniently stores as a single unit.
- 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.