The Best Iced Coffee Near You Ranked From Worst to Best


Photo via Pexels by Mizuno K.

Coffee. It’s the third most consumed beverage in the world. America alone drinks 153 trillion gallons of coffee every year. Some coffee is good, and some coffee is undrinkable. Tennessee isn’t known for its coffee, but that doesn’t mean that all of it is bad.

In an attempt to discover where the best coffee is in our area, I went to 12 different coffee shops. Some places pleasantly surprised me, while others disappointed. Since over 77% of coffee drinkers prefer iced coffee over hot coffee, that’s what I ordered. At every place, I ordered the same thing: a small iced coffee with cream and sugar. It was a rollercoaster, and I’ve probably had enough coffee to give a horse a heart attack, but I think it was worth it. So without further ado, here’s the best iced coffee in our area, from worst to best. 


This is purely my opinion. You might feel differently than me, and that’s perfectly fine. Please don’t come at me in the hallways for not liking your favorite coffee place. You can enjoy what you enjoy and that’s great! You might argue that it was an inexperienced barista, or my order was not specific enough, or maybe that it was all the humidity on that day’s fault.  There are only a certain amount of variables I can control, and I did my best and gave you my outright review. Also, this article was not sponsored by any coffee companies. (I have to say that).

  1. McDonalds 

Let’s just be honest; we all saw this coming. I tried to give it a fair chance. I went into McDonalds with an open mind. It looks pretty enough, but underneath the deceitfully pleasant exterior is watery syrup, reasonably priced at $1.59. I’m not sure they even added coffee. It was thin and bland, and there was little to no flavor. It was horribly sweet. I couldn’t even get the synthetic coffee taste out of my mouth with a cone of vanilla soft serve, because the ice cream machine was broken. 


  1. Dunkin Donuts

I had high hopes for Dunkin. They were dashed the second I took a sip. It was burnt. So burnt. But I didn’t let that discourage me. I couldn’t taste the sugar, so I stirred it around and took a big sip. What I didn’t know was that at the bottom of the cup, they had dumped a block of granulated sugar. Coffee isn’t supposed to be grainy. It was a horrible experience. 


  1. Chick Fil A

I didn’t know Chick Fil A had coffee. My expectations were nearly on the floor for this one. Fast food coffee is usually bad. I was a little surprised though. It had a nice coffee flavor, but it was drowned out by lukewarm water and sugar. It was very watery, and definitely a little too sweet, but deep down, there was coffee there. Also, there was so much ice. I mean, a comical amount of ice. I think if I dumped out all the ice, there would probably only be about a third as much coffee. 


  1. Wired

I want to start this off by saying that the interior design at Wired is so pretty. It’s very modern, rustic, and trendy. In the corner of the cafe is a sign that says the phrase, “I like my cream and sugar with a touch of coffee.” I will say my coffee was balanced, not too acidic or too basic, but it seemed a tad burnt. However, you get a ton of coffee for the price you pay. This may sound strange, but the ice at Wired is one of my favorite things there. Overall, the coffee wasn’t my favorite, but nice ice.


  1. Starbucks

Never have I ever been more disappointed in a drink. I like Starbucks. There’s good croissants, and the refreshers are delicious. And yeah, sure, they may misspell the occasional name or two, but the coffee usually isn’t that bad. Except the one I got. They did not even try to hide the fact that they skimped on the coffee; it was only ¾ full despite the amount of ice they had put in. It was watery, which was such a shame. The actual coffee flavor was delicious. It was balanced, and yet all I could taste was water. 


  1. Oaks 

Oaks Coffeehouse is where students flock after a tiring day of school. I guess the question I’m asking is, “Why?” 80% of my coffee wasn’t coffee; it was milk. I felt like I should be dipping Oreos in it. It was definitely creamy, and buried deep beneath the dairy was a good coffee. But I couldn’t taste it without struggling. I’ve never been the world’s biggest fan of milk. I couldn’t finish it. I guess what I’m saying is, if you stop by Oaks, really stress the “light on the creamer” part of your order, cause this coffee was blonder than Draco Malfoy. 


  1. Four Corners Cafe 

I don’t mean to state the obvious, but it was coffee. It was good, but so ordinary. It was very traditional. There was a nice coffee flavor and a smooth texture, with a perfect milk to coffee ratio. However, it seriously lacked sugar. But you got a lot of coffee for your money (unlike Starbucks), and it was still enjoyable.


  1. Mad Priest 

In downtown Chattanooga, there is a small little coffee shop called Mad Priest. The price is reasonable and you get a good amount of coffee. The coffee is flavorful and the ice cubes are perfect, actual, literal cubes, which made me unreasonably happy. My main critique is that it was unbalanced. The acidity and bitterness didn’t match the sugar and concentration of the coffee. It was good, but slightly off. 


  1. Be Caffeinated 

Be Caffeinated was introduced to me as the best coffee in Chattanooga. So of course, I added it to the list of coffee places I needed to visit. It was hard to find, with the drive through tucked away from sight. The coffee was a bit pricey; it was almost $5 for a small. But honestly, it was delicious. It was creamy and sweet, with a fantastic, unique flavor. My main problem was that it was very acidic. It was kind of a shock because I wasn’t expecting it, but with each sip I grew to like it more. I’m not sure it’s the best coffee in all of Chattanooga, but it is definitely one of the top contenders. 


  1. Scooter’s

This was a good, solid cup of coffee, and I didn’t have to drive very far away to get it. It was so smooth and flavorful, and it had a very balanced flavor. The cup was a little bit small, and it was just over $4, but it was delicious. I liked the sweetness and the specific flavor of the coffee. It was one of my favorites.


  1. Mean Mug 

When I saw the pretty interior design of Mean Mug Coffeehouse, I started to get flashbacks to Wired. Nevertheless, I ordered. They brought it to me. I drank it. It was fantastic. It needed a little bit of sugar, but the ratio of milk to coffee was golden. It had a slight twinge of acidity, but it was nice because it mixed in so well. The flavors and smells of this coffee were so aesthetically pleasing. 


  1. Lola Beans 

At this point in time, I’m starting to get a little sick of coffee. We drove all the way out to East Brainerd, which is where little Lola Beans is located, and I’m just tired. I’ve got a headache. I’m bored. I get my coffee and take a sip sort of absentmindedly. This coffee didn’t allow for that. It was flavorful, and perfectly sweetened, and creamy, and it tasted the way “Evermore” by Taylor Swift sounds. It was so delightful. The bitterness, the acidity, the flavor, it all balanced out to perfection. You get a good amount of ice, and while it was a little more on the pricey side, it was worth every penny. 

Place Price 
McDonald’s $1.59
Wired $2.15
Chick Fil A $2.99
Dunkin Donuts $3.05
Four Corners Cafe $3.06
Mean Mug $3.50
Starbucks $3.75
Mad Priest  $3.75
Oaks $4.20
Scooters  $4.32
Lola Beans  $4.65
Be Caffeinated $4.98