Primula Cold Brew coffee maker is one of the best rated brewers, and it is slightly cheaper that the competition. Toddy, Filtron and Oxo are all more expensive, but the reality is that Primula works just as well as the more popular ones.
There are a few key differences between the two cold brewing systems, and we will show you these differences, but ultimately, the brewing method is the same.
If you already own the Primula brewer, you should check our comprehensive tutorial on how to make Cold Brew. That article is here: Perfect Cold Brew at Home. If you are looking to buy one, and you want to learn more about it, this review is the perfect start point.
Primula Cold Brew Coffee Maker vs Toddy and Filtron
Let’s see what are the most important features of a cold brew maker and compare Primula with the most known makers on the market. Any immersion cold brew maker needs a brewing chamber and a filtration system. The standard is the Toddy system where the brewing chamber sits above the filter. Primula has the filter in the brewing chamber, the maker calls this filter a core. This makes the filter more compact than Toddy Filtron, and others. Another advantage of the Primula system is the convenience of not having to filter the coffee after brewing. With Toddy, after brewing you need to let the brew to drip through the filter. With Primula the brew is ready to be consumed right away, you just need to remove the filter, (core), that contains the coffee grounds. This type of filter is very similar to Hario’s coffee filter. Hario has some of the best drip coffee devices on the market, and their design is a great source of inspiration for many manufacturers. I personally like this better than the Hario cold brew maker. The brewing core screws in into the brewing pitcher, to secure it into its place. There is also a screw lid that tightly closes the pitcher during steeping. This serves two purposes, minimizes the oxidation even more, (less oxygen in the pitcher), and prevents spillage during transportation if you need to transport it. There is one more accessory that I didn’t find extremely useful, but you might use it. This is the mixer, which is a device to help you mix in your coffee flavors, milk, sugar, etc… While the mixer is a great concept, the mixing bit happens in the cup, and not in the carafe. That’s why I couldn’t quite use this flavor mixer.
Primula Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Primula cold brew coffee maker has 50 oz capacity, which is similar to the competition, it has a thermal shock resistant, borosilicate glass carafe, which is great for hot brews if you need it. The brewer also is BPA Free and non-slip rubber foot. The removable stainless steel mesh is also a great accessory for both cold and hot brews, it is very durable and easy-to-clean. Compared to Filtron and Toddy, you need to pour the water very slowly over the grinds. That is because of the different design of the brewing chamber/filter. The grinds are contained in the filter, and if you pour water too fast they will overflow into the brewing chamber/decanter. On the other hand, with the separated brewing recipient, (with Toddy and Filtron), you still have to pour, then stop to stir, pour more, and stir again, in order to ensure a uniform saturation of the grinds. With coarser grinds, water flows better, but brewing takes longer.
Primula Cold Brew and Grind Size
One aspect you need to adjust to your taste is the grind size. For cold brew, there is no accepted standard grind size, as with French press, or Turkish coffee. One reason is because of the different filters. Some filters are very fine, and they will capture the fines associated with finer grind sizes.
Other filters, like Primula, need a regular drip grind size. If you don’t mind a little sludge in your coffee, the finer grinds will shorten the brewing time, while still ensuring a complete extraction.
A finer grind gives your cup a little more body, but it’s probably not good for an iced coffee, which needs to be very clear. If you brew cold as your daily cup of joe, grinding finer will dramatically improve the extraction, but coffee will not be as clear.
An interesting experiment, which contradicts my endorsement for finer grinds, is here. The article basically concludes that finer grinds are bad no matter what. However, I have my reservations about the conclusion. From my experience, finer grinds are better tasting with low-temperature brewing. The only disadvantage of fine grinding is the sludge in your cup, which cannot be filtered out. Going back to the article, it looks as the coffee was cupped straight, which is not the proper way to drink it. Most cold brew recipes ask for a dilution of the coffee syrup obtained after brewing. My second doubt regarding the validity of the experiment was about the tasters. How many tasters were in the experiment? For an experiment like this, you need at least 10 tasters chosen randomly. Enough with this already, the fact is Primula needs a slightly coarser grind than Filtron or Toddy, because of the metallic screen filter.
Oh, while on the grinding subject, a good grinder is imperative. Don’t think that a blade grinder can work. A good grinder is a burr grinding machine, with adjustable grind size, and with a uniform grind.