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I tried iced black coffee from 4 coffee chains, and there's only one I'd like to buy again

I tried iced black coffee from 4 coffee chains, and there's only one I'd like to buy again
  • I tried a small, signature iced black coffee from Starbucks, Gloria Jean's, Tim Hortons, and Dunkin'.
  • My favorite iced coffee was from Dunkin' because the drink had a nice, refreshing taste.
  • The iced coffees from Starbucks and Gloria Jean's both tasted a bit too bitter for my liking.

The iced coffee from Dunkin' was heavy on the ice, but it had a great flavor.

The iced coffee from Dunkin' was heavy on the ice, but it had a great flavor.
The iced coffee from Dunkin' was nice and refreshing. Erin Ajello for Insider

Although I did not find the drink to be as "full of flavor" as the chain's website mentions, this coffee had a crisp, light flavor that was enjoyable without being overwhelming.

This was definitely the most refreshing iced coffee I tried, and I would absolutely order this again.

Interestingly, this was also the cup of coffee that had the largest amount of ice in it. Usually, a lot of ice can lead to a super watery, overly diluted drink, but I was pleasantly surprised that wasn't the case here.

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Tim Hortons' coffee had the most unique flavor.

Tim Hortons' coffee had the most unique flavor.
The iced coffee from Tim Hortons had a nutty flavor. Erin Ajello for Insider

The iced coffee from Tim Hortons was the only one that seemed to have a clear flavor. The brew actually tasted slightly nutty, which was pleasant.

However, despite being described as a medium roast, the brew seemed very strong and quite bitter.

The coffee didn't have a lot of ice, either. I think if more ice had been used and melted into this coffee, it may have been diluted enough to be more drinkable.

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In my opinion, the iced coffee from Starbucks was the worst one I tried.

In my opinion, the iced coffee from Starbucks was the worst one I tried.
The iced coffee from Starbucks tasted bitter to me. Erin Ajello for Insider

In my experience, Starbucks makes its iced coffee using its medium-roast Iced Coffee Blend, which is described as "smooth" and "caramelly." This was not my experience.

I found this coffee to be the most bitter of all the ones I tried, and difficult to finish. Just like the hot Starbucks coffee I'd previously tasted, this is not a drink I would order again.

This also had the least amount of ice, which should've been a good thing — more room for coffee! – but didn't do much to sway my opinion on the overall drink.

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I typically love Gloria Jean's hot black coffee, but I wasn't impressed by the iced version.

I typically love Gloria Jean's hot black coffee, but I wasn't impressed by the iced version.
The iced coffee from Gloria Jean's was just OK, in my opinion. Erin Ajello for Insider

When I tried hot black coffees from these same four chains, Gloria Jean's brew was my favorite — so I was surprised that the chain's iced coffee was too harsh for my liking.

The coffee tasted rich, but it was very bitter and ultimately difficult to drink. This drink had a lot of ice — just slightly less than what Dunkin's had — but it didn't do much to dilute the overly bitter flavors of the coffee.

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Out of all the iced coffees I tried, the only one I would go out of my way to get again is Dunkin's.

Out of all the iced coffees I tried, the only one I would go out of my way to get again is Dunkin's.
The iced coffee from Dunkin' was loaded with ice. Erin Ajello for Insider
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