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    Iced Coffee in Hot Demand

    The National Coffee Association said the cool beverage is a hit with the 18- to 24-year old demographic.

    More than 1.6 million Americans drink an iced coffee beverage every day, according to the National Coffee Association, presenting a booming opportunity for convenience retailers to drive beverage sales.

    While many retailers may already know how to brew a delicious pot of hot coffee at home, most aren't aware that there are special techniques to brewing iced coffee. To help retailers grow their iced coffee business, Dunkin' Donuts, the largest coffee and baked goods chain in the United States, offered a few coffee-brewing tips:
    *Select blends of coffee that use 100 percent high quality Arabica coffee beans, and stay away from lower quality coffee beans," said Rob Stephen, manager of product development. Using a higher quality bean "provides the perfect blend of ground coffee and whole beans to make a great cup of iced coffee," he said.
    *Use a burr grinder instead of a propeller blade grinder to ensure that coffee is ground to a consistent particle size.
    *To brew a full-flavored pot of iced coffee, double the strength of the coffee. Dunkin' Donuts recommends using four level teaspoons of ground coffee for every cup you brew.
    *After brewing, add enough ice to the coffee to double the volume. "The melting ice weakens the coffee's taste, which is why you must brew iced coffee stronger in the beginning," Stephen said.
    *To keep your iced coffee cool and fresh, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
    *Only make enough iced coffee to last you through one day. The shelf life of iced coffee is approximately eight hours before its flavor starts deteriorating.
    *Don't store coffee beans in the refrigerator or freezer. Coffee beans absorb moisture and aromas around them. "Store your coffee in an airtight container in a cool, dry place," Stephen said.

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