Summer has arrived in the Quad-Cities… Since this is the first summer I’ve had a “grown-up” job, I now fully understand the importance of coffee in the morning. But not just any coffee, iced coffee. That is why, in honor of the beginning of summer, I have tasted iced coffees from six “iconic” QC coffee shops. This is Part Two of two, featuring three of the six shops.
A good iced coffee meets expectations
When I order an iced coffee I expect it to be and do certain amazing things. In this post I will be tasting iced coffee from several recommended local coffee shops. At every shop I will ask for the barista to make what is considered to be their best iced coffee.
I will be judging these drinks based on this criteria:
- Taste and ice-to-coffee ratio. I ain’t got time for bland or watered-down coffee… I’m trying to get my day started here!
- “HYPED”factor. Just how HYPED does this coffee make me feel and how long does the HYPE last? I do have a nine-to-five you know…
- Price. I am prepared to pay quite a bit for good coffee… But I would rather avoid bankruptcy caused by my search for HYPE.
The history and general atmosphere of each shop will also be included in my experience and a final score will be given to the drinks themselves.
3451 Devils Glen Rd., Bettendorf, IA
Coffee Hound has been around for several years and has become a favorite among Pleasant Valley high school students and Quad-Cities residents from near and far. When I went to high school at PV, Coffee Hound was always the “go to” for my friends… Though I’ll be honest, it never quite impressed me, but I decided to give this place another try with an open mind and an open coffee-lover heart.
The vibe inside of Coffee Hound is very laid back and comfy. The “doggy theme” is very apparent in the decor and the aptly named drinks. You can tell that the founders of Coffee Hound had the pups in mind when they created the place. There is even a dog-friendly outdoor seating area and, upon request, doggy bowl with water are provided.
I went to Coffee Hound on a Wednesday afternoon and went through their drive through. I was greeted by a friendly barista right away and she quickly told me what their best iced coffee was at the moment. I thought it was cool that she said, “hold on, let me see what we’ve got on tap today…” It made my order seem very hip. She suggested two different drinks and I went with the hazelnut-vanilla iced pour over. This can be served black or with creamer, I chose to treat myself and add the cream.
- Taste and ice-to-coffee ratio.
The drink had a very familiar taste to what I remember from high school… At first I was disappointed but the more I drank it, the more I liked it. Something that I really liked was that I could taste the hazelnut and the coffee and the drink was not sweet at all.
I know they use syrup but either they use the exact right amount to cancel out the bitter sweetness or they use syrup that is not sweet. Either way, it was very enjoyable.
I could taste the coffee well but for some reason I always feel like it is just a tad too watery. I don’t know if this is the way they brew it or if it is the ice cubes’ fault but I wish it was stronger.
I did not feel completely “hyped” after drinking this coffee. Again, maybe this is because of how weak the coffee really is…
However, it did wake me up just enough to finish out the work day productively.
The prices at Coffee Hound are incredibly reasonable. I might just have to visit more often…
Final score for Coffee Hound’s pour-over iced coffee:
Seven wagging tails out of ten.
4707 N Brady St., Davenport, IA
The new kid in town, Atomic Coffee, has only been around for a few months and is already bringing in heaps of customers. All lining up with their cars at the drive-through only location and waiting patiently, most of the time, for their turn to order.
The coolest thing about this place, besides it’s totally unique drink concoctions, is the vibe. Every time I come up to the window there is some cool music blasting and the baristas are all smiling, jammin’, and serving up some fresh-to-death coffee. Just seeing this sight is worth waiting in the car line.
I went to Atomic in the morning before work and the line was, as I expected, about as long as the Chick-fil-A at lunch time… But they crank out coffee pretty fast there so I only waited a little less than 10 minutes. I asked the energetic and friendly barrista what the best iced coffee was and, after she thought about it, she told me a lot of Atomic patrons like the “Nutty Professor.” I was very happy about this suggestion after she told me it would taste like a Snickers candy bar.
disclaimer: I ordered it with soy milk.
- Taste and ice-to-coffee ratio.
The drink was absolutely delicious… I will definitely be ordering it again. It was however just a tinge too sweet for me. I think this is simply because I enjoy black coffee most of the time and don’t usually order sugary drinks like this. This aside, I was satisfied and impressed. I could still taste the coffee through the sweetness and the soy milk they use is exceptionally creamy. I could hardly tell it was soy.
I’ve gotta say, I was pretty dang hyped after this coffee. It was a perfect way to start the work day.
The prices at Atomic coffee are very reasonable, especially considering the quality of their coffee, specialty drinks and even their water. They have a very fancy water filter.
Final score for Atomic Coffee’s Nutty Professor iced coffee:
Nine dancing baristas out of ten.
This post is Part Two of two. Part One features iced coffees from Redband Coffee Company, Dead Poet’s Espresso and Milltown Coffee.
Where is your favorite iced coffee from? Tell me about it in the comments section!