If you like coffee, then you probably like it brewed hot. But you may not have tried it iced. If that’s the case, there’s a whole new world out there for you to explore!
Just in time for summer, here’s a breakdown of the differences between iced Americano and cold brew, two ways to take your daily dose of caffeine.
Iced coffee drinks are one of the most refreshing ways to enjoy a caffeine fix. Iced Americano and cold brew are two popular iced coffee drinks that many people enjoy on a daily basis.
Both come with their own charm and advantages, but which one is better? Let’s compare iced Americano vs. cold brew and find out.
Iced Americano vs. cold brew taste difference
While the iced Americano and cold brew coffee are both iced coffee options, they differ in terms of taste, caffeine content, and preparation. Let’s break down the difference between an iced Americano and cold brew coffee:
- Iced Americano is made by pouring two espresso shots into a glass, pouring cold water on top, and adding ice cubes to this concoction.
- Cold brew coffee is made by adding ground coffee to a jar or large container and adding cold water on top. It is then steeped for 15 hours.
The difference in taste is what makes these coffees so different from one another. Cold brew tastes stronger than iced Americano. Iced Americano is based on espresso coffee, while the cold brew is steeped for longer with a different amount of coffee beans.
Iced Americano tastes like a slightly diluted cup of espresso coffee but very cold because of the ice cubes added. On the other hand, cold brew coffee tastes much richer and robust because more coffee is used.
In my testing, the cold brew has more strong flavors compared to the iced Americano. Both coffees have a very unique and robust coffee flavor that is very different.
Is cold brew stronger than Americano?
Cold brew coffee is stronger than Americano because it uses more coffee beans and has a longer extraction time than an Americano. The number of coffee beans used is greater as well and makes for a more robust coffee flavor.
Most of the time, dark roasted coffee beans are used to produce both coffees. Because of this, the taste has some similarities.
But while an Americano uses two espresso shots, the much longer steeped cold brew coffee has a more flavorful taste.
The cold brew coffee developed such a different flavor profile that you can’t make with any other coffee brewing technique. At the same time, the Americano stays roughly the same in flavor, and you can still taste the fantastic espresso taste.
Does cold brew have more caffeine than iced Americano?
Cold brew coffee has less caffeine than an iced Americano per serving. Cold brew coffee has 125 mg of caffeine, while the same amount of coffee in an Americano has 136 mg of caffeine.
- An iced Americano is made by combining two shots of espresso with ice and cold water; the two espresso shots make for 136 mg of caffeine.
- The cold brew coffee has 125 mg of caffeine for the same amount of coffee, steeped for 15 hours. (source)
These numbers are based on the use of two espresso shots for the iced Americano and diluting it to about 1/2 cup (0.12 l) of coffee in total. I’ve used the same amount of cold brew coffee for this comparison.
The number of caffeine is an estimate and can differ slightly when you steep your cold brew longer. The longer you steep cold brew coffee, the more caffeine you’ll have.
Of course, when steeping for less than 15 hours, you’ll lower the amount of caffeine in the coffee, and the iced Americano will have more caffeine in total.
Cold brew vs. iced Americano calorie difference
Both cold brew and iced Americano have slim to no calories in them. Because coffee has only one calorie, it’s virtually calorie-free. When ordering either coffee, you’ll get black coffee without any sweeteners or creamer in them.
Once you start adding coffee syrups, honey, sugar, milk, creamers, or another kind of add-in to your cold brew or iced Americano, you’ll start to add calories.
I like to add a splash of milk to my iced coffees (either cold brew or any other iced coffee), making for a more balanced drinking experience. The coffee will simply not give you that punchy flavor each time you take a sip.
Down below, I’ll show you how to make cold brew coffee yourself. After that, I’ve listed a recipe for an iced Americano as well.
How to make cold brew coffee
Making cold brew coffee is amazing and super easy. Down below, you’ll find a recipe that you can follow to make cold brew coffee yourself. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make and how great it tastes.
You’ll only need two ingredients to make cold brew coffee at home:
- 80 grams of coarsely ground coffee beans
- 800 ml of cold tap water
This will make a robust – yet balanced cold brew coffee. It uses a 1:10 ratio. You can easily make more cold brew coffee at once by upping the amount of coffee and water.
I suggest using a French press beaker to steep the coffee. This will save a lot of time filtering the coffee afterward. To make the cold brew coffee, follow the steps listed below:
- In the French press beaker, combine the ground coffee beans and cold water.
- Give this mixture a good stir, so the coffee beans are equally wetted. This will ensure proper extraction of the coffee beans.
- Cover the French press beaker with some plastic wrap and set it aside on your kitchen counter for the next 15 hours.
- After 15 hours of steeping, it’s time to filter the coffee.
- Place the French press plunger on top of the beaker and slowly press downward.
- You’ll be left with a clean cold brew coffee you can drink as is.
For a more in-depth view on how to make cold brew coffee, check out my recipe here!
If you don’t have a French press coffee brewer at home, you can also use a large container or mug to steep your coffee. Follow the same steps by mixing the coffee and water and setting it aside to steep.
- Grab a sieve and a cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel.
- Place the cloth in the sieve and place it on a container.
- Strain the coffee through this homemade filter system.
Make sure to catch all that amazing cold brew coffee. You can now drink this coffee. I suggest testing the coffee without anything added first.
See if you like the taste of the cold brew coffee, and if you feel like it’s a bit too strong, you can add a touch of water or milk to dilute it. This is also how I drink my cold brew coffee, and it’s amazing.
If you want to make a stronger cold brew coffee, you might want to consider checking out my guide to cold brew concentrate and espresso cold brew.
These coffees are much stronger and use a lot more coffee beans. They also use a different grind size to give you a stronger-tasting drink that you’ll love time and again. So make sure to check them out!
How to make an iced Americano
Iced Americano is one of those drinks that I love to drink in the summertime. It’s such a breeze to make and tastes delicious and refreshing.
To make an iced Americano at home, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Two espresso shots
- 2 oz (60 ml) of cold tap water
- Ice cubes
You’ll have roughly the same amount of espresso and cold tap water. This will make for the most balanced coffee flavor. The ice cubes are there to make it nice and icy. To make an iced Americano:
- Pour the shots of espresso in a glass of choice.
- Add enough ice cubes to the espressos to cool them down completely. I like to stir through the mixture to cool it quickly.
- After the coffee is cooled thoroughly, pour in the cold water.
You’ve just made an iced Americano. It’s so easy to make, it’s just amazing.
For a more in-depth view on how to make an iced Americano, check out my recipe here!
For this recipe, you can use any espresso you like. Do you have a Nespresso or Keurig coffee machine at home? Place two coffee pods in the machine and brew some espresso coffees.
If you have an espresso machine at home, make sure to pull two great shots of espresso as the basis for this recipe.
Are you interested in learning to make espresso coffee using the AeroPress and Moka pot at home? Then you can check out my beginner’s guide to the AeroPress and Moka pot.
Related coffee comparison articles
Are you wondering how the cold brew and iced Americano compare to other coffees?
Great! Check out the articles below for more in-depth coffee comparisons:
- Cold Brew vs. Espresso
- Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee
- Iced Americano vs. Iced Coffee
- Iced Americano vs. Iced Espresso
- Iced Americano vs. Iced Latte
And to compare more coffees, visit the coffee comparison hub!
Now that you know the difference between two very similar coffees, you can decide which of the two you like most. For me, the winner is cold brew coffee. Cold brew coffee has such a unique flavor, and I can’t seem to get enough from it.
I’ve shown you ways to make both coffees, and I highly suggest brewing both coffees and making your own flavor comparison. It’s a great way to find out which coffee is your favorite.
If you want to learn more about the difference in coffees, you can check out the coffee comparisons I’ve listed below. It has the same setup as this article, and you’ll learn a ton.
Which of the coffees is your favorite? Let me know by leaving a comment down below. If you have any other questions regarding coffee, you can also contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!