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Chains that Cold-Brew their Iced Coffee?

iambecky May 4, 2012 07:23 AM

I ordered an iced coffee this morning from my local Panera and was extremely surprised when the barista simply took a cup, filled it with ice and then poured hot coffee in it. Thinking she must be new, I asked the manager if this is really how they make iced coffee. It turns out it is. I asked if I could just have a hot coffee instead.

I was pretty surprised. I know Panera doesn't explicitly bill themselves as a coffee shop, but they do have an extensive coffee drink menu. I would think cold-brewing coffee would be standard practice. Now, I don't expect, say, Potbelly to offer cold-brewed but I just assumed that any chain with a full selection of coffee drinks would make a proper iced coffee. Otherwise, why bother putting it on the menu.

So, which chains do cold-brew their iced coffee? I know Seattle's Best does, anyplace else? (And, yes, I know my local cafe that roasts its own organic fair-trade beans does, too.)

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    ferret RE: iambecky May 4, 2012 07:40 AM

    I don't know what method McDonald's uses but it's my favorite compared to the others I've tried (Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts). No discernible bitterness.

    1. ipsedixit RE: iambecky May 4, 2012 07:46 AM

      Starbucks and Peet's.

      5 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
        Boston_Otter RE: ipsedixit May 4, 2012 09:50 AM

        Starbucks doesn't cold-brew. They brew hot coffee double-strength and then refrigerate it to be poured over ice.

        1. re: Boston_Otter
          iambecky RE: Boston_Otter May 5, 2012 10:14 AM

          You are correct on that one. I dont mind it but i wouldnt put it at the top of my list. I can add Caribou to the list of chains that cold-brew.

          1. re: iambecky
            Samalicious RE: iambecky May 5, 2012 12:56 PM

            Your Panera coffee sounds a lot like "Japanese" iced coffee. Same deal do you suppose?

            1. re: Samalicious
              ferret RE: Samalicious May 5, 2012 01:37 PM

              So the Kyoto manufacturers were lying to us?


        2. re: ipsedixit
          Radical347 RE: ipsedixit Apr 23, 2013 12:48 PM

          No...neither Starbucks nor Peet's cold brews. But Caribou, which the company that owns Peet's recently acquired, so maybe they'll start.

        3. t
          treb RE: iambecky May 5, 2012 02:13 PM

          Can't stand that method, it just dilutes the coffee and flavor.

          2 Replies
          1. re: treb
            blaquefood RE: treb May 7, 2012 12:29 AM

            Sorry for my ignorance but what is the real difference between the two methods? Is it mainly that the coffee tastes dilluted?

            1. re: blaquefood
              Boston_Otter RE: blaquefood May 7, 2012 09:12 AM

              Cold-brewing is done overnight -- you basically mix coffee grounds with cold water and let it sit for 6-8 hours, then filter it. The concentrated coffee you get can be mixed with a little water or just poured over ice. It's much less acidic than coffee brewed with hot water. Some people feel that it makes the best tasting iced coffee... others feel that it's not intense enough.

          2. a
            akq RE: iambecky May 10, 2012 04:13 PM


            1. r
              Radical347 RE: iambecky Apr 23, 2013 12:49 PM

              It's a Grind cold brews.

              Does anyone remember Diedrich? They were the ones that introduced me to cold-brewed coffee. Too bad they got acquired by Starbucks.

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