Hot Summer months are now upon us and we have spent no small amount of time talking about the wonder that is iced coffee. I was recently sent a product to review which promises to make the production of Cold Brewed Iced Coffee that much easier. The Ronco Coffeetime Brew System. Ronco the same company who makes all sorts of As Seen on TV goodies have tried their hand at a coffee system. And the best part is that I get to try it out! One more reason why i love running this website.
I like simple and easily provable claims to judge products on. Most companies that make simple statements don’t have anything to hide, which is what I like. Cut the buzzwords give me the facts.
- Claim #1: Brews Coffee with much less acid
- Claim #2: Easy to Use
- Claim #3: Saves money over expensive coffee drinks
Simple claims and a very thirsty reviewer make for an easy review to write.
But wait… There’s More!
The box opens to reveal two main parts of the kit nestled inside of one another. The top white basket is where the magic happens. There was also a silicon plug for the tank, two reusable cloth filter plugs, the plastic carafe with seal-able lid. On top of all of this the kit also comes with a recipe booklet. I appreciate the last addition because not only is it a way to keep the instruction booklet around and useful for the long term, but I’m always up for new recipe ideas.
How it works:
You plug the hold in the bottom of the basket chamber, place a cloth filter in the opening. Then you put a paper filter with coffee grounds over the cloth filer and fill the basket with cold water. Cover with a lid and let it sit for 8 – 12 hours. My only complaint about this would be that the basket while very sturdy has a slight chance of tipping over while in the fridge… which would be epically bad.
Pull the plug and sit the basket over the plastic carafe. This is a relatively stable setup and the connection between the basket and the carafe is very sturdy. However the rounded edges on the carafe could allow for tipping if you have a small kitchen or active kids. It took on average 20 -30 minutes to filter the coffee without any help.
I have made three batches of Coffee Concentrate with the system and the last time I switched up the instructions slightly. I filled the plastic carafe with the coffee and water sealed it and let that sit for the 8-12 hours. This let me be certain that my overactive three year old helper wouldn’t spill an entire pot of cold coffee in the fridge. I then poured the coffee concentrate into a plugged basket with paper filter, rinsed the carafe out to remove any stray coffee grounds and proceeded. This gave me the same results with a bit more assurance against spills.
One of the claims that it is possible to make an espresso or a cappuccino with this product. As much as I like the product I have to call foul on this claim. Espresso is described as “a concentrated coffee beverage brewed by forcing hot water under pressure through finely ground coffee“This system has no pressure component other than the specific gravity of coffee infused water. The water is also cold, no heat to extract the oils from the finely ground coffee. Cappuccino, by extension is “prepared with espresso, hot milk, and steamed-milk foam.” Whole the average person be able to tell the difference in the final product? I’m not sure but So for now we’ll put espresso based beverages aside.
How well does this system stack up in creating a tasty cold brewed coffee? It does a fantastic job. It removes a good deal of the problems I face when creating Cold Brewed coffee. And it does a great job of incorporating the storage of the coffee
Any time you brew coffee through a cold brewing process you reduce the overall acid content in the coffee, the taste is slightly smoother, and a fantastic treat for the summer.
The system is incredibly easy to use and very easy to clean. I hate when i get fantastic coffee toys that are difficult to clean. the system came apart very easily, parts cleaned up beautifully and stores nicely.
Anytime you brew coffee at home vs making a trip you your local coffee shop you are going to save money, whether to product will be the same or not needs a bit more investigating.
The Coffeetime Brew system comes in at 19.99 for the unit I received for 10 dollars more you get the toppings accessories as well. I can’t speak on them as i didn’t get a chance to try them out. But i do feel that the cost is incredibly reasonable and well worth adding to your vast coffee arsenal if you are looking for a simple solution to creating cold brewed coffee.
While I would strongly disagree with the claims that it is possible to make an espresso or a cappuccino with this product I do think that it is a nice and easy way to create wonderful cold brewed coffee. The system is inexpensive, easy to use and store. Overall a great product at a good cost
:: Disclosure I was sent the Ronco Coffeetime Cold Brew System for the purpose of reviewing it ::
What ratio (coffee to water) did you do? Can you make it weaker or stronger? Was there really less acid taste?
I used about 2-3 ounces of whole bean coffee ground to one full container. I shifted the directions around slightly I used the plastic bottle that goes on the bottom of the machine to hold the coffee and water mixture overnight, for the brew, then i poured it into the top, rinsed the grounds out of the bottom piece and placed it back in so the mixture could filter. I’m not sure of the final ratio but i did find out slightly more coarse coffee worked much better than finely ground. Hope this helps and thanks for the question!
To answer the last part of your question yes you can make it vary in strength by using more or less coffee. And the taste is significantly smoother, without much of the bitter acid taste, even with regular folgers / maxwell house store brands
Would 2 – 3 ounces equal to 1/4 or 1/3 cup – (to the entire bottom half filled with water)? I love coffee but can no longer handle the acid so I’m desperate to find a solution. Would you purchase this item?
i think that would be a rough equivalent. i would deff buy this ven if it was just to use during the summer. this will drop the acid down a bunch, but i would also check into low acid varieties of coffee. certain regions have higher acid content than others. check out http://www.sweetmarias.com for information on the regions, they sell green beans so you would have to roast them, but as an information resource for what area has higher acid it can’t be beat
Can anybody tell me if the Cold Brew System coffee is better or equal an espresso machine make coffee?
i would say its a very different way of making coffee completely. Most espresso machines force water under great pressure through a small portafilter creating the crema you see. So the espresso has a better extraction rate. This method using the coffeetime only uses the pressure of gravity to strain the coffee. it creates a very potent coffee concentrate, but i wouldn’t put it in the same category as espresso.
For an inexpensive method of creating espresso i’d try a mokapot, they make fantastic stovetop espresso for very little investment
Have you also used the Toddy cold brew system, and is the Ronco easier to use? I have read complaints that the Toddy sits uncovered for the duration of the cold brew process.
I don’t need acid reduction as the coffee I use is lower in acid, but I like the idea of making up the storable liquid, and have been looking at both Toddy and Ronco.
Really enjoyed your review of the Ronco.
I haven’t used the Toddy system but for the price point the Ronco was, and still is a fantastic option. Its one of the few products that I have bought a second one after getting to keep the review model!
Many thanks for reading
Just wondering why you’re worried about the basket spilling in the fridge. You’re supposed to leave it on the counter for 8-12 hrs, not the fridge.
I own both the Toddy and the Ronco. The Toddy is the old standard but the Ronco is actually made of higher grade plastic. The Toddy scratches and eventually cracks, I’ve already worn out my first one. I do like the Toddy filters better. Unfortunately Ronco seems to have never made replacement filters. It is possible to cut Toddy filters to fit, kinda…