Review of Takeya 2 Quart Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Several years ago, I donated my cold brew coffee maker.  It was a cheaper, plastic made but functional cold brew set up that I randomly found on discontinued sale at a Walgreens in the beginning of 2010.  It did require finding the right filter size.  I would grind the coffee pretty fine like espresso, fill the filter, add water, and let it sit over night.  In the morning, I would pull this plug out, and let it drip through.  It created a concentrate which I would then dilute with water, heat and enjoy.  I really have come to prefer the smoother taste of  cold-brewed coffee.  However, I stopped using it, during a several year time period where I was not drinking much coffee at all.  Eventually, I just donated it to clear up the space.  It's not like it was super bulky, but my kitchen cupboards are already fairly full, so it seemed right to let it go.

Flash forward to the present.  I have been drinking coffee in the mornings again.  I really enjoy it.  For the longest time, I drank strong, dark roasts, black.  Lately, I do add cream.  Heavy cream!  It's so delicious!  But, in order to extend our morning fasting until post workout, I have been switching back to having some black prior to exercising, saving some for afterwards.  Adding the cream to the rest is like an amazing treat.

Enter the Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker!  (The link will take you to their website.  This is not an affiliate link.  I do not make money from any sales.)

I decided it was time to research the cold brew coffee makers, and see what was newer on the market since I never really compared them to begin with.  My first one was a spontaneous purchase, and a great deal as I knew the glass cold-brew coffee makers were somewhat pricey.

It didn't take long.  I found the Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker  right away on a Google search in the row of photos on the first page.

I clicked on it, and began to read about it, and check out the reviews.  The reviews were pretty positive, and the entire system seemed very sleek and efficient.  It has a built-in filter.

Simply add 2 cups of coarse ground coffee to the filter, place water in the main pitcher up to about three quarters full, add the filter, and screw it all on tight.  Shake it up a bit, then let it sit in the fridge on its side for 12-24 hours.

The suggested recipe is about 2 cups coarse ground coffee per the 2 qt. coffee maker.
Fill the carafe to about 3/4 full.  Place the filter with the ground coffee inside, making sure to
screw the lid  on tight.  It should seal pretty well.  Shake a bit, then place in the refrigerator
on its side to 'brew' for 12-24 hours.  You can periodically shake it up a bit during that time.

You can see the coffee looking pretty well brewed right away.  They recommend shaking it up a bit here and there throughout the entire time it's 'brewing' in the fridge.  When ready, remove the filter.  It does retain a lot of water, so let it drip into a container.  I squeezed the filter a bit all around into the main carafe to get out what I could then let more collect as it sat.

What remains is a concentrate.  You use two parts water to one part coffee.  You can use it straight poured over ice instead if you like iced coffee.  We don't have ice, but I love iced coffee, especially cold-brewed, with the nice thick heavy cream or even half-and-half in it.  Something about that white viscous, creamy and thick cream pouring over the cold iced coffee is such a treat.

I purchased the two quart.  It also comes in a one quart.

Once you have your concentrate, Takeya's  sleek designed carafe can fit right into the shelf in the door of your refrigerator.  Depending on how much coffee you drink, and how strong you like it, it should last several days.  Takeya claims it will remain fresh at least two weeks.

I have been heating up 1.25-1.5 cups of the concentrate in a small pot.  I separately bring water to boil in our kettle.  The concentrate is shared between Don and I.  If it were just for myself, I would use just half cup or a tad more of the concentrate.

I top it off with the hot water, filling up my big mug.  I have not measured the amount of water I used, but I would guess it is about a two to one ratio.  You can taste test to get your desired strength.

I find it much easier to drink the cold-brewed coffee black, because of it's lower acid content, and yet, it is still such a nice treat enjoyed with half-and-half or heavy cream.

Cold brewing prevents all the oils from being released, which are what contribute to the higher acid levels, and the bitter flavor.  Those with acid reflux, or other digestive issues, may find the high acid content of coffee difficult to tolerate.

I would highly recommend giving the Takeya Cold-Brew Coffee Maker a try.  It's sleek, slender, simple, and doesn't require purchasing separate filters.  Best of all, Takeya is made in the USA!  That was what cinched the deal for me!

As per the description on the Takeya Deluxe Cold-Brew Coffee Maker page, some of the features include:

  • Fine-mesh coffee filter keeps coffee grounds out of the coffee ~ yes this is true, but there was a small amount of sludge towards the end.  Not a big deal to me as I'm used to it.  Once your mug sits for a bit, it will sink to the bottom.
  • A non-slip silicone handle
  • Creates a balanced, less acidic, smooth tasting cold brewed coffee
  • A patented airtight leak-proof lid locks in freshness and flavor
  • Made from high quality BPA-free Tritan plastic which can withstand boiling hot and cold temperatures
  • Can be washed on the top rack of your dishwasher (which is not something I would personally do)
  • Made in the USA
I do not have an affiliate account with Takeya.  I am sure it is probably available on Amazon, however, when able, I highly recommend supporting the company directly and avoiding the middle man.

What's your opinion on cold-brew coffee?  Like it?  What type of coffee maker do you use?  Let me know in the comments section below!  Grab a cuppa, let's talk!

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Benefits of The Hypercarnivore Diet Approach Plus Finding Your Ideal Range of Macros

In a recent post, I discussed the possibility of getting too much protein in the diet, and possible side effects.  I also shared the importance of getting enough protein, especially if you are over the age of forty, female, petite, and already over weight.  So which is it?  How do you know if you are getting either too much or too little protein?

The answer is, and remains ~ you have to discover that for yourself!

Our Hypercarnivore Diet is intentionally open-ended and flexible.

How each responds to these slight nuances ~ the percentages of protein, fat, and carbs, whether eating plant foods or not, and if so, which types, and/or whether eating raw versus cooked, organs or no organs, etc. ~ will vary.

Eating an animal-centered diet is essential, from our perspective, to ensure optimal nutrition through the ages.  This has been shown by cultures around the world who maintained healthy dental carries, bones, immunity, and even fertility when they stuck to their traditional diets ~ all of which centered around animal foods.  Learn more in The Hypercarnivore Diet, Don's new book, now available.

The Hypercarnivore Diet, NOW available on Amazon!

However, he and I have differing needs, and as a result, our ranges of minimum to maximum total grams of protein and fat, or ratio of protein to fat where we each feel our best will reflect our individual physiologies, and needs.  Even these will vary day to day, and over time, depending on our changing energetic requirements.

Don seems to experience digestive issues if his diet gets too protein heavy, especially without either adequate levels of fat, sodium, and/or too little sleep!  He will experience a slight queasiness, digestive stagnation, and watery stools ~ his tell-tale signs letting him know he consumed too many protein-heavy meals in a row.  For example, he recently had over 600g of steak each of two days in a row, which may have been too much for him at once.  (That was in addition to eggnog, or whatever we had at our first meal.) If we also happen to have disturbed sleep, he will then feel like his digestive system needs a break, so he fasts until hunger returns.

So far, I've been reaching a near two to one (2:1) ratio of protein to fat without trying by virtue of our recent meal plan and timing.  My macros have been averaging 150-165g of protein, and 80-90g of fat, with up to 50g of carbohydrates, primarily from whole milk, or whole milk products such as our homemade yogurt.  If I do not consume enough fat, I simply crave more fat for a day, then tend to go back to craving higher-protein meals.

If I happen to not stack my meals appropriately, I will have a little temporary upper abdominal fullness.  I feel this way especially if I consume yogurt after my bigger, protein-rich meal.  I feel better if I have the yogurt earlier, or post-meal if I eat my main meal early enough.

Each person can discover what their optimal macronutrient amounts are directly through experience.  You can test to find your ideal ranges of macronutrients simply by experimenting to find a range where you feel your best.  Or, just pay attention to the subtle messages of your body ~ i.e., if you are craving more fat, have more.  But if you keep craving fat, and are not having the desired results, cut back, and up your protein instead.  Be patient, and trust your Self!

If you want help discovering which foods will best help you thrive, take The Hypercarnivore Challenge!  Or, click here learn more about the basics of what is included in The Hypercarnivore Diet, and why.

My total calories have been ranging between mid-1500s to mid-1600s, on average.  This is plenty for me.  Considering I know I experience better health keeping my total carbohydrate intake to 50g or less, with few exceptions of going over that amount, the net result is seeming to be the 2:1 ratio of protein: fat.  This still may change over time.  I may enjoy some winter squash or tubers during the fall season, more fresh local fruits during the summer, all depending on my cravings, and local availability.

Sunday's Slow-Roasting, Meal Prep Results.  A big beef brisket, not shown.  You can watch this in our recent Shopping Haul Plus Weekend Meal Prep, below.

One whole, organic chicken, and two separate bone-in chicken breasts.

A super tender, lean Beef Rump Roast. It slow-roasted for hours, but remains nice
and pink inside.  Slow-Roasting is nearly fool-proof for roasting a variety of meats!

Our meal timing has made a difference as well.  Instead of trying to consume a protein-heavy, and calorie-heavy meal in the morning before heading to our office, we pack our main meal to go.  We have an eggnog prior to leaving.  Some days, if I feel I want more, I either have my coffee with heavy cream, or I also consume either some yogurt, or 25g of cheese, and a slice of turkey summer sausage or ham.  The eggnog + little bit of fat and salty food combo holds me for hours.

Again ~ this could NOT be easier!!!

General Eggnog Recipe: 12 oz. whole milk blended w/ 2 eggs
Optional additions:  A couple oz. brewed coffee, 1 tsp. cinnamon, vanilla, or cocoa powder,
and/or if wanting higher fat, add 1-2 tbsp. heavy cream or if using, .5-1 tbsp. coconut oil.
If I am out of milk, I sub a blend of ~ 1/4c+ half-and-half & coffee.

We have been eating our main meal around 1:00, most days, typically finishing by 4:00 at the latest.  However, if I ever feel the need, I will drink some milk with my eggshell calcium  ~ either very cold and blended with cold water for a refreshing end to the day, or warmed, before bed.

What are the benefits I am experiencing with this current hypercarnivore diet meal plan?

  • It is so darn simple and easy!!!  We do a little prep work over the weekend, roasting several items at one time.  We mostly enjoy having our grilled steaks on the weekend, saving what we prepare on Sunday's for our work week.
  • I have never experienced such freedom from cravings!  I am not sure if it is just because I have been eating a hypercarnivore diet for over one year now, or I am getting all my needs met, and therefore want for nothing.  But I am not even craving, desiring, or 'having to have' my tiny piece of 100% bakers chocolate post meals.  Incredible!!!  I practically don't want it, but if you were to would be rude to say no!  Seriously, I have been forgetting I even have any.  I have had at least 5-7g every day for almost the entire time up until our recent diet tweaks.
  • I am feeling more energized eating higher protein to fat.  
  • I can go longer between meals.
  • I feel very satisfied.
  • I am able to eat enough calories to satisfy, without going over.
  • I have no interest in, nor desire for making lots of high-fat 'keto' alternative foods, snacks, desserts, fat-bombs, keto brownies, like keto pizzas, keto breads, keto grilled cheese that are primarily made from fats ~ cheese, cream cheese, butter, and possibly eggs, and a little meat and/or almond or coconut flour.  I think these can be enjoyable as an occasional treat, but they are not meant to be primary staple foods.  Almond flour and coconut flour are not health foods with which to build a diet around.  I will extrapolate on this in an upcoming post.
The video below is a look at our recent hypercarnivore diet shopping haul, or carnivore diet shopping on a budget, and a look at our recent Sunday meal prep.

We roasted a whole chicken, two separate bone-in chicken breasts, a leaner beef rump roast, and a huge brisket.  We also made another batch of yogurt, and eggshell calcium.  Both recipes can be found on the previous post, here.

A Carnivore, or Hypercarnivore Diet, or even any variation of a low-carb and/or ketogenic diet need not be complicated.  One of the greatest benefits is just how simple meal preparation can be!

Just to make a Hypercarnivore/Carnivore Diet even more simple and enjoyable....

...Here are few fun tools you could purchase to make your meal prep even faster and simpler, like a Hot Pot, pressure cooker, a grill pan, and/or a Hot Air Fryer, which people seem to be really enjoying.  I think I'll put that one on our wish list!  Just prepare some slow roasted meats ~ beef, chicken, turkey breast, or whatever you like ~ and you will have easy meals all week.

I've got my eye on the Red GoWise, made in the USA 3.7 quart size for Don and I!  By the way, we are using a Presto Pressure Cooker, shown below for our Pressure Cooked Bone Broth.

Simple Money Saving Recipes ~ Homemade Yogurt, Eggshell Calcium & Hibiscus Tea

Homemade Yogurt, Eggshell Calcium & Hibiscus, Rose Hip & Roasted Dandelion Root Tea

Here are a few simple money saving recipes to boost your intake of calcium & Vitamin C.  Homemade yogurt is so delicious, and much cheaper than store bought!  Eggshell calcium is a great way to increase your calcium intake, especially if you are not eating dairy.  I've already written a couple of posts (beginning here) discussing the importance of calcium intake.

While we were consuming a 'whole-foods, plant-based' (WFPB) diet, we began to accept the information being passed around in the plant-based circles, including the belief that we can get adequate levels of calcium from plant foods.  Supplementation was being frowned upon including by some of the plant-based doctors.

Now that Don and I switched to our Hypercarnivore diet, we have experimented with both avoiding and including dairy foods, and have come to see the error of our previous ways!

After spending some time researching, it became clear that the lack of calcium could be hindering Don's psoriasis from healing.  Sure enough, it stalled while we avoided dairy, and began to heal again once we added it back.  You can see before and after photos, and read his explanation of why consuming adequate calcium levels is improving his psoriasis on his website page discussing his new book, The Hypercarnivore Diet, now available on Amazon and Kindle.

Since dairy has received a bad rap lately, many have switched to non-dairy milk substitutes.  In our opinion, these pale in comparison.  They are more expensive, and lack the bioavailable nutrition found in dairy foods.

I used to believe that dairy caused me to have mucus problems, and worsened my allergies.  I avoided dairy for years, with no change to these conditions.

If anything, I have come to find the opposite to be true.  Not only am I digesting dairy foods just fine, but my chronic sinus congestion with excess phlegm has cleared.  It is such a relief!  I believe the whole grains were a big culprit to my ongoing sinus issues.

Dairy foods provide such a level of satisfaction and ease to our hypercarnivore diet lifestyle!

If you enjoy yogurt like we do, this recipe is super easy.  It comes out pretty creamy most of the time.  On occasion, it may come out less thick than others.

To make yogurt, you will need something to keep the milk + yogurt starter warm for at least 8 hours.  We have been using a classic ice cooler used to carry a six-pack, along with a heating pad.  You could also leave it in an oven that has been warmed up first on the lowest setting.  You don't want the temperature to come above 110º, so it may require leaving the door to the oven slightly ajar, or turning it off after it warms up, then checking it again later, turning it back on briefly as needed.

Since most people have an insulated cooler, and an electrical heating pad always comes in handy when experiencing an achey back, I suggest the investment in one, as it will certainly pay for itself in money saved from buying store bought yogurt in no time.  Of course you could also look on Amazon and purchase a yogurt making apparatus as well.

Homemade Yogurt:

To make about 2 quarts of yogurt, you will need:

An insulated cooler and heating pad
One half gallon of milk (8 cups)
1/2 cup yogurt - (1/4 cup per quart)
2 wide-mouth quart-sized jars, or 4 16 oz. jars - make sure they are clean and dry
Thermometer (A candy or meat thermometer will work)

Warm the milk briefly, until the temperature reaches 110º.  Pour a little of the warmed milk into the yogurt, stir, then pout back that back into the pot, and stir it through.

We used to heat the milk up to 175º first, then let it cool to 110º, but realized the milk has already been pasteurized, so this step seemed unnecessary.  However, if using raw milk, you may want to do that.  It is to destroy any unwanted bacteria.  You can see us making it this way in the video below.

Pour the mixture into the jars.  Place in your cooler, and cover, or wrap with the heating pad, turned to medium heat.  Place cover on and let it set undisturbed for 8 plus hours.  Check and see if the yogurt has set, and if so, just place in the refrigerator.  Enjoy after it cools.  We eat it plain, but you could stir in a little vanilla, or pinch of stevia, or for a real treat, some local raw honey.


Eggshell Calcium:

Save up your eggshells in a container on the counter.  When you have a dozen or more, place in a pot, and cover with water.  (You can include the filmy layer inside the shell, or rinse it out, either way.)

Bring to a boil for a couple minutes, then turn the heat off.

After the water has cooled a little, strain.

Place eggshells on a baking sheet.  Bake in a 200º oven for about 20-30 minutes, until they are dried and a bit crisp.  Grind as fine as you are able in a designated coffee grinder, Vitamix, or food processor.

1 tsp. = ~ 800mg calcium

I take 1 tsp. at night before bed.  You can take up to 2500mg of calcium per day if from a combination of dairy foods, bone broths or other food sources, including the eggshells.  It is a better option than taking capsules, and much more affordable.

I just put it right in my mouth, and chew it up a bit, as our coffee grinder is old, and didn't produce a very fine grind.  Once ready, I chase it down with a little water, or water mixed with milk.  Take a magnesium capsule, and a salt bath, and you should sleep great!

Eggnog is super refreshing.  Boost your calcium, biotin, and so much more with eggnog.  People who eat a low-fat diet, and avoid eggs have been found to develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.  While the advice to eat low-fat, and low-cholesterol foods has been drilled into our heads for decades now, it isn't the whole story!

Hibiscus Rose Hipe & Roasted Dandelion Root tea:

Roughly equal parts of hibiscus and rose hips, and half as much roasted dandelion root.  In measurements, I would measure the following:

1/4 cup each hibiscus and rose hips
1/8 cup roasted dandelion root
1 small piece of dried citrus peel, optional (Save peels from citrus, and let them dry.  They are great in teas, and can help stimulate digestion.)

Place ingredients in a pot and cover with ~ 4 cups of purified water.  Let it sit overnight.

In the morning, turn to medium and bring to a gentle simmer.  Simmer on low, covered, for about 10-15 minutes.  Strain, and add more water to the pot, with a pinch more of each of the herbs.  Simmer a little longer for the second pressing.

Once strained, it can be sweetened if desired.  Then place in the fridge, and enjoy cool, or reheat to drink.  I find it refreshing.  It is actually good with a little heavy cream and/or half-and-half.

Hibiscus and rose hips are a good source of vitamin C.  Another option would be to add licorice root, ginger, or a small piece of a cinnamon stick.  The ginger and cinnamon will warm it up.  Ginger also aids digestion.  Sweeten with a little local raw honey if you use it, or sweetener of choice.  Or try with heavy cream and skip the sweetener!  I find this to be very refreshing.

If you have some dried cranberries around that need to be used up, add a tablespoon or so to the pot.  I sometimes use my very dried fruit up in home made teas.

Don't forget about bone broth as another excellent and enjoyable nutrient booster, no matter what type of diet you adhere to!

Pressure Cooked Beef Bone Broth

As I suggested in my posts covering the importance of maintaining adequate intake of calcium, bone broth can be a great alternative for those who do not tolerate dairy foods.

A good bone broth can have as much as 100mg per tablespoon, or 1600mg of calcium per cup!  That's excellent!

Follow the easy steps to make your own bone broth.

You can see how thick and gelatinous it came out in the video below.  I think using a pressure cooker or Insta Pot help really pull the minerals out of the bones to make a very calcium and collagen-rich broth!

 I also have a Basic Stove-Top Chicken & Turkey Bone Broth Recipe on my website, including different ingredients you can add to further fortify your bone broth.

Super Gelatinous & Calcium-Rich BEEF Bone Broth

1) Stock pile your bones!  After eating, I'll keep bones in a container in the fridge, or in a freezer bag until ready.  While I have until now typically made bone broth from poultry, and occasionally have used the bigger round beef shank bones or pig toes, these bones from our steaks made a great broth!

You can use whatever you like.  The joints contain cartilage, and the feet of chickens or other animals are considered ideal for making a collagen-rich bone broth.  You can use a mix of bones, carcass, and/or the feet, toes, neck, or other parts. You can even add some fresh meats with the bones if desired.  When doing a chicken bone broth, I may add a mix of carcass bones and fresh drumsticks or wings.

2) Place bones in  your pressure cooker, Insta Pot, or stock pot.  Cover with water.  Add a strip of kelp or kombu seaweed to further mineralize and flavor your broth.

3) Add about 2 tablespoons of vinegar.*  

If using vinegar, we generally use cider vinegar, but red wine vinegar is good in beef broth as well.  The vinegar flavor is not detected in the final broth.  The acid pulls the minerals out of the bones.  You could add fresh lemon instead if you like.

*I think this is more essential if cooking with a traditional stove-top method.  I have not needed the vinegar for the pressure-cooking method.  

4) Pressure cookers and Insta Pots are ideal for this.  Bring up to pressure on a high heat, then reduce to a medium to medium-low, and simmer for several hours ~ at least 3, and up to 4 or 5.  Just pay attention to the sounds, and/or follow instructions if using an Insta Pot.  The Insta Pot will be much quicker!

5) Strain.  Keep in jars in the fridge.  That creamy off white layer on top is good quality tallow from what fat and meat remained on the bones.  Keeping this layer on top helps preserve the broth.  We usually add some when warming up broth to enjoy.  

This broth came out super creamy, indicating high calcium, and very gelatinous,
a sign of being rich in collagen.  Score on both counts!  One cup can contain
as much as 1600mg of calcium, or about 100mg per tablespoon!
6) When ready to eat, just heat some, as is or dilute with a little water.  Season with salt and enjoy! 

Great with the slow roasted meats for a super simple and nutrient-rich meal!

Learn how simple it is to prepare slow-roasted meats in this post here.

This is the quintessential time-saver for busy people!  We often prepare enough different roasts, chicken, or even meatloaf all at once on Sundays, so all we have to do all week is slice it and eat it or pack it to go.

Here are some pressure cookers and Insta Pots.

As always, any purchases made through the links provided potentially helps me with a small commission, and is greatly appreciated!!!