Ten Best Iced Coffees in Broward and Palm Beach Counties
It's hotter than a billy goat's ass in a pepper patch right now.
With almost every move causing you to break out in a sweat, the thought of imbibing anything warmer than room temperature sounds just about as appealing as a root canal.
Even so, we still need our caffeine.
Sure, it's easy enough to gulp down that morning coffee before stepping out into the wet oven outside our front doors, but that puts a damper on the relaxing morning routine.
Iced coffee is a better option.
Of course, not all cold java is created the same.
Rather than subject you to a watered-down, subpar drink or a withdrawal from caffeine — that's only going to ruin your day — we rounded up a list of the ten best iced coffees in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
One of the best places to find a brew in Delray Beach — coffee or hops, that is — the Coffee District is not just a pretty place to hang; it serves some damned good drinks. The iced coffee is not different from the rare beers on the premises. (The place gets hard-to-find items, like Goose Island Bourbon County.) For fans of caffeine, it offers a wide range of hot and cold drinks, including an iced coffee that's as smooth as can be. Here, freshness is key: The shop gets deliveries of medium house blend from locally roasted beans every couple of days.
With its first location opened just a couple of months ago in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, this doughnut and coffee shop is reinventing the wheel in a good way — equate it to the difference between rubber and wood wrapped with steel. Using a special process, similar but slightly different from hot brew, the shop makes its iced coffees from its own proprietary blend of smooth beans. It's the ideal treat to sip on the beach. Or in loose-fitting clothes with a doughnut in hand. Expect to see more locations — Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Coconut Creek, Fort Lauderdale — popping up across South Florida in the next few months.
Set in Fort Lauderdale, this charming little coffee shop serves one of the best cups of coffee in one of the coolest settings in town. Lined with local art and used books stacked around, it's a refuge for lovers of art, culture, music, and, obviously, java. The hot and cold coffee drinks are just as beautiful as the surroundings. The shop offers everything from Thai coffee to bubble milk tea. But, as with most of life, simplicity is key; the iced coffee is as good as can be.
With more than 50 blends and styles of beans, this place is king when it comes to options for coffee. Same goes for chilled options. For those who like frappuccinos, the spot offers a selection of blended drinks, from the namesake Gizzuchino to mocha and Russian to cookies and cream. As good as these suckers may be, purists prefer unadulterated things. Gizzi's offers a rotating selection of house-roasted cold brews — with options ranging from flavors like hazelnut to straight-up Brazilian beans — that can convert even the most java-averse caffeine seekers.
One of the newer ventures of nightclub and restaurant empresario Rodney Mayo (he's already got other concepts in the works) along with local coffee connoisseur Sean Scott, this West Palm Beach roastery is one of the best places in Broward and Palm Beach to grab a cup. It even won New Times' pick for Best Coffee Shop Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach - 2014. Set right on Clematis Street, it's the real deal. Mayo and Scott actually roast the beans onsite. Small batches are then cold-brewed in a Japanese-style Oji machine, which creates a rich and flavorful liquid. And it's one of just a few places in the area to use the elaborate process.
The trick to any and all consumables (aside from liquor and wine, at least) is that the fresher the product, the stronger the flavor. When it comes to coffee, the faster the beans make it from roaster to cup, the better the product. The first roaster to open up shop in Broward and Palm Beach counties combined, this Jupiter spot offers the freshest cold brew found within the area's confines. It uses a sealed Toddy system to produce a smooth, low-acid concoction from one of its many medium blends. For customers looking to try their hand at brewing their own, the store sells everything needed, from equipment to beans.
One of the busiest coffee shops in Fort Lauderdale (or really two), this has been the longtime go-to spot for locals looking to get a good cup of brew. Both locations, Victoria Park and the new artcentric spot in FAT Village at C&I Studios, are laid-back and cool, ideal for catching up on work or a chill coffee date. The stores offer a wide selection of cold beverages, from blended frappuccinos to a special 12-hour cold brew. Made with a medium-dark blend of South American and Indonesian beans from Anodyne Coffee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it's a really mellow yet slightly acidic treat. And it's perfect for a pick-me-up on a hot summer day — or any day, really.
This Lake Worth coffee shop takes its coffee seriously. The iced coffee is just the same. Owner Chris Palacio uses an airtight Toddy system to cold brew his beans. It's a simple device that produces a sensational cup of cold coffee. Developed by a Cornell chemical engineering student a half-decade ago — got to love those geeks — it filters the liquid through felt before it's released into a glass decanter. As far as Palacio is concerned, the lack of oxygen prevents loss of flavor, leading to full-bodied and bold cold brew every time. We say, we have to agree.
While this West Palm Beach spot is a cool place to hang out, it's more than just a pretty face. It offers a special cold-brew process for one of the best cold cups of coffee around. Harold's uses the Blue Bottle Kyoto-style cold-brewing system made famous by the renowned San Francisco-based shop. Known as an Oji machine in Japan, with tall, glass drip towers, it looks like a chemistry lab for caffeine addicts. But there's a reason for the fancy set-up. The slow-drip process — at 48 drips per minute, it takes seven hours to produce a batch of six cups — produces a deep and smoky yet light and refreshing cup. And it's hard to beat.
When it comes to coffee in South Florida, one name elicits the strongest feelings of pride in the local coffee scene: Panther Coffee. While the local roastery has yet to open a store within the confines of Broward and Palm Beach counties — don't worry; we've been praying to the coffee gods — its wares can still be found north of the 305 border. Green Bar & Kitchen offers drinks made from the beloved company, including its famous cold brew, made from the airtight Toddy system of brewing (like Coastars). The sweet and smooth concoction is so good, you won't even mind forgoing the dairy. (If you really need to add something, coconut creamer is available.) The only problem: You better get there early, as the delicious brew sells out quickly.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to South Florida dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.