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How to Make Cold-Brewed Coffee


Photo by Laurie Junker

Anyone else tried making iced coffee at home and been disappointed with the results? No? Am I the only one who’s meandered over to the drip pot in early afternoon, poured whatever was leftover into a glass with ice and wondered why it doesn’t taste as good as the ones I buy at the coffee shop? In fact, wondered why it tastes like kind of a punishment for being sleepy and heading to arabica land for a boost instead of going to bed an hour earlier the night before? But who wants to do that?

It may not feel like it today, but before long, summer weather will be here, so I went to Caribou Coffee’s corporate headquarters in Brooklyn Center to spend some time with Store Manager Liz Mrdjenovich to see how they make iced coffee that tastes rich and smooth, like a reward.

Turns out, the key is cold brewing, which is simply soaking coffee grounds in cold water overnight to gently extract flavor without bitterness. Here’s how to do it:

Step one:

Coarsely grind ¼ lb. of Caribou Blend beans (a coarse grind should resemble shredded mulch). You’ll end up with about 1¾ cups.

Step two:

Place grounds in a large pitcher or container and cover with 2 quarts (8 cups) of cold water (preferably filtered). Stir gently, cover and place in refrigerator for 12-16 hours.

Step three:

Strain through a gold cone filter (your drip-pot may have one) or a fine mesh sieve with a paper filter inside. Serve straight up, over ice or with milk, cream of whatever your heart desires. Keeps for five days in the refrigerator.

So easy, so good, but if you aren’t inclined to make it yourself, Caribou sells big glass Growlers you can take home and keep in your fridge. A summer staple so we can all make the most of these longer days.


This post is presented by Caribou Coffee Caribou Coffee Logo

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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