As an IT person, coffee and caffeine is essential to work and to walking and talking. So I have gadgets and stuff to make just about every kind of coffee and I dabbled with cold brew coffee when a local Ollie’s Bargain Outlet had Ronco’s old cold brew system after Ronco shut down. Last year I had heard Presto’s Dorothy cold brew machine being advertised on various podcasts and my Ronco had long fallen apart, so I thought, “let’s take a look at Presto’s Dorothy Cold Brew Coffee Maker.”
The Dorothy looks like a modified french press brewer and the grind you use with your coffee beans is essentially the same as with a french press. The difference here is you start with and end with cold or room temperature water. The way this works is you put the grind cup in the bottom of the carafe first. This cup collects the grinds after your brew is finished. It also has the thing that makes the “tornado” as Presto calls it which is responsible for helping to speed up the brewing process. Once this is up in the carafe, you fill it with water up to the line and then you put it on the base of the maker.
Turn the dial from off, to halfway. After the tornado starts to form, turn the knob up until the bottom of the tornado reaches the bottom. At that point, you add 2/3rd cup of medium ground coffee slowly into the carafe. Don’t worry if you still see dry grounds at the top as they will be incorporated in about 3-4 minutes after they’re added.
Set a timer on your phone or other device for 20-30 minutes. I use 30 as I always start with cold water from my refrigerator dispenser. After the timer elapses, turn the Dorothy off and let it settle for 5 minutes. After that point, put the plunger on the top of the carafe (note you may want to take it off the brewer base before doing this) and slowly press the mixture until the plunger makes contact with the grind cup. It should click when you get to the bottom, as this is how you remove the cup after you pour. Then pour the coffee into another container or a couple of glasses. Add sweetener, cream or milk if you prefer and enjoy.
Once you pour it out, cradle the carafe like a football and then pull on the plunger to remove the grind cup, and then dump out the grinds into the garbage. Clean any remaining grinds out with cold water. You can then wash these by hand. They are also top-shelf dishwasher safe. I’ve washed mine both ways and it does clean up nicely. The only negative with the cleaning process is too much of the grinds can go down your drain. This can act like sediment and combine with grease and other waste and clog your drain. Be careful here.
Other cold brew makers/methods take 12-24 hours to be completed. This is completed and ready to drink in about 30 minutes and the best part is you can store it in your fridge so you can grab it on the go. It tastes as good as the premade stuff you buy at the store and the best part is you can use any coffee you’d like from really good stuff to really cheap stuff as long as it’s medium ground it will work.
One negative with this that I don’t mind – but many will – is that it has the same problem as the french press does in that you will get a little silt in the bottom of your cup. If you don’t like this you can filter the coffee using a pour-over device and a filter and that should help reduce the sludge at the bottom.
Presto’s Dorothy doesn’t take much space on the counter and costs around $35 dollars to 41 dollars on Amazon and doesn’t require anything but water and coffee. No filters to buy or anything else. I can’t recommend this enough for cold brew lovers.