The Best Coffee For Iced Coffee: Top 3 Favorites

Are you trying to find the best coffee for iced coffee? This article gives you info on how to choose the coffee beans that will give you the best results.

best coffee for iced coffee
Read on to learn how to pick the best beans for iced coffee

Before cold brew, there was iced coffee, and hot brewed coffee over ice is still a major favorite among coffee lovers. But when it comes to iced coffee, how do you pick the best beans for the job? There are a few factors to consider, and after all: few things are as disappointing as weak coffee, especially iced coffee.

By knowing what to look for, you can choose the best coffee for iced coffee and get a great, ice-cold cup every time.

Great Iced Coffee Takes More Than Just Coffee And Ice

How long does brewed coffee last
The best iced coffee is brewed at double strength

The prospect of iced coffee sounds simple: brew some coffee and pour it over ice, then drink. But to get the best iced coffee, you have to put a little more thought into it. The best iced coffee is usually brewed at double strength to prevent the ice watering it down, so you need a coffee that still tastes good when brewed at double strength. It’s also essential to start with a coffee that tastes good cold.

Cold food and beverages have an odd effect on the tongue: the cold actually makes it more difficult for your tastebuds to work. This is why most cold food and beverages have powerful flavors–usually so strong that they’re almost unpleasant at room temperature or served hot.

Ice cream tastes too sweet and cloying at room temperature, for example. So for your iced coffee, you want beans that are robust enough to still have sufficient flavor when cold.

What Makes Great Coffee For Iced Coffee?

coffee, coffee beans, roasted
Use medium to dark roast to get the best flavor

So knowing that we want a coffee that will stand up to brewing double-strength and one that will have an equal depth of flavor, cold as hot, what are the traits to look for specifically? In addition, roast tends to be more important than the region in this case, but region can absolutely play a role. 

To get the best flavor from your iced coffee, you want moderate acidity and a medium to dark roast; while you can get decent results from light roast coffee beans, I have found that light roasts tend to result in a weak-tasting coffee, even brewed at double strength. There’s some overlap between the beans that make great cold brew and the beans that make great iced coffee, but you don’t have to go with cold brew blends–there’s definitely room for experimentation.

The Best Coffee For Iced Coffee: My Picks

The best coffee picks for iced coffee are medium to dark to ensure they hold up to both brewing and drinking cold. I tend to like blends as well as single-origin coffee for iced coffee.

However, I tend to prefer African and Latin American beans–Indonesian beans tend to be a bit heavy and smoky in flavor for a good iced coffee experience. Here are my favorites:

Peet’s Coffee Major Dickason’s Blend: Dark, rich, smooth, and intriguing; this dark roast blend is great for many different purposes, but I find it works especially well for iced coffee. The bold flavors carry over well, even cold.

Peet's Coffee, Major Dickason's Blend - Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee - 10.5 Ounce Bag
  • Major Dickason's Blend: Conceived by Mr. Peet and his most discerning customer, Major Dickason’s Blend has become the coffee that epitomizes the rich, flavorful taste of Peet’s
  • Flavor and Roast: Incomparable world blend, rich, complex, and full-bodied. Dark roast. 100% Arabica Coffee
  • Signature Blends: Alfred Peet was renowned for achieving perfection through his blends, bringing together coffees so exceptional, each could stand on its own. For unparalleled complexity and nuance, look no further than our signature blends
  • For Keurig Brewers: Peet's recyclable K-Cup Pods are compatible with all Keurig K-Cup Brewers
  • Contents: 1- 10.5 Ounce Bag of Peet's Major Dickason's Blend Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee

Even brewed at double strength, it doesn’t taste bitter or burned. The complexities of the blend don’t get muddled up, and it’s surprisingly refreshing, especially with a splash of milk.

San Francisco Bay Coffee French Roast: While french roast is not usually considered a good option for iced coffee, this blend of Central and South American beans is balanced enough to keep its flavor, and depth even poured over ice. It has a somewhat smoky finish, which makes for a more savory iced coffee than some other options–but it’s still a great choice, and the smoky notes aren’t overwhelming. For bold flavor and adding a kick to your iced coffee, this is a great option.

SF Bay Coffee French Roast Whole Bean 2LB (32 Ounce) Dark Roast
  • FRENCH ROAST: We blend beans from Central & South America & roast until the flavor oils rise to the surface of the bean for a full-bodied, dark roast coffee with notes of chocolate & toasted cinnamon.
  • COFFEE FOR EVERY OCCASION: We offer a wide selection of 100% Arabica coffee from whole beans & ground coffee to single-serve coffee pods. Our coffees are sustainably grown & Kosher. Satisfaction guaranteed!
  • WHOLE BEAN COFFEE: Whether you're into finely ground espresso or drip coffee, or coarsely ground French Press or pour over coffee, our 100% Arabica coffee beans deliver a robust cup for every taste.
  • QUALITY COFFEE: San Francisco Bay Coffee uses only 100% arabica coffee and certified Kosher coffee beans. Unlike kcups, our roasted coffee is ground and packaged fresh. We're so confident you'll love it, we back it with a satisfaction guarantee.
  • SF BAY COFFEE is a family owned, American made company with a rich tradition. Our reputation reflects on us as a family so if you're ever not happy with your purchase, call us at 1(800) 829-1300 and we'll make it right.

Kicking Horse Three Sisters Blend: While I typically find Indonesian beans overpowering for iced coffee, this blend of Latin American and Indonesian beans by Kicking Horse is an exception. Rich and bold in flavor, the smoky earthiness of the Indonesian beans gets a lift from the Latin American coffees blended in, adding complexities of acidity and sweetness that work beautifully in iced coffee. It’s complex and smooth at the same time, making an iced coffee that’s refreshing but still intriguing, with a pleasant depth of flavor. 

Kicking Horse Coffee, Three Sisters, Medium Roast, Whole Bean, 10 Oz - Certified Organic, Fairtrade, Kosher Coffee
  • Medium Roast, whole bean: smooth, savory, seductive. The 3 sisters are a trio of towering Canadian Rocky Mountains. Pay homage to these powerful peaks.
  • Tasting Notes, brew method: well-rounded and complex with notes of sweet tobacco, stone fruit and cocoa. Recommended methods: French Press, drip machine, pour over and cold brew.
  • Origin Indonesia, Central & South America: grown in a socially and environmentally responsible way, by farmers with sustainable businesses they can depend on.
  • Organic, Fairtrade, Kosher, Shade Grown, Arabica coffee: Coffee that is good and fair for the coffee drinkers, the farmers and the planet. 100 % certified.
  • Roasted in the Rocky Mountains: it’s all deep, dark and delicious, roasted right below the towering Canadian Rocky Mountain peaks.

Author

  • Savannah is a coffee lover who took her appreciation of the brew to the next level starting in college, becoming a barista before combining her love of writing with her affection for a good brew. She has written for several publications including Cracked.com and TopTenz, and also works as a ghostwriter.