On a day like today, when the temperatures swell to unbearable levels, one mustn’t spend much time outside. And if one must venture out into the steamy streets, it better be for an iced beverage. Spending more than five minutes outside will lead to a flushed face and grumpy disposition. Thus, for this week’s Battle of the Dishes, we ventured forth for iced coffee. Faced with sweltering heat, we scouted the most decent options within a two-block radius of the Village Voice office. Any further than that would have been too much to take. So without further ado, behold the Battle of the Iced Coffee: Think Coffee vs. Mud Truck.
We began our quest at Think Coffee, ordering a medium, 16-ounce iced coffee for $2.30 before tax. The coffee is cold-brewed, which iced-coffee purists believe is better, since hot water produces a more bitter brew. Think uses its house blend to make the coffee, which, overall, had good — if not super-pronounced — flavor, and no bitterness whatsoever. Plus, we were able to cool off in its air-conditioned café, which is clearly a perk.
We then headed north to the bright-orange Mud Truck, parked at Astor Place, where we ordered a small, 12-ounce iced coffee for $2.55 (they don’t offer medium). When asked if it, too, was cold-brewed, our amiable barista acknowledged that it wasn’t, since they go through so much iced coffee in a day that it wouldn’t make sense to do so. This coffee was much darker than the one from Think, and arguably did have a more robust, slightly bitter flavor. If that’s your thing, awesome, but it was a bit too bitter for us. Once we added some milk, though, we enjoyed the complexity of its flavor.
So, if you’re a Voice staffer — or East Village resident — in need of an iced coffee today, where should you go?
Think Coffee! Really, the cold-brewing made all the difference here. While any iced coffee is better than no iced coffee, Think offers an overall tastier beverage to please your palate. And help you from drowning in your own perspiration.