A very common question that many people ask is, “what is the difference between an iced Americano and an iced coffee?” They are so similar in their preparation and taste that they are often confused with one another.

However, both beverages have subtle distinctions that can make all the difference.

In this article, I’ll tell you all about the iced Americano vs. iced coffee debate and give you all the information needed to decide which of the two coffees you’re going to order (or make) yourself.

Iced Americano vs. iced coffee

Although there are many similarities between iced coffee and iced Americano, there are also a few important differences that can help you decide which one to order when you’re in a coffee shop.

Iced Americano vs. iced coffee comparison.

Here’s a quick look at what you need to know before you get your next iced coffee or iced Americano:

  • Iced Americano is made using two espresso shots, topped with ice cubes and cold tap water.
  • Iced coffee is made using brewed coffee and ice cubes to cool it completely.

So, the difference between the coffees is the kind of coffee used as the basis for these coffee drinks.

"Iced Americano vs. iced coffee comparison."
Iced Americano on the left, iced coffee on the right.

While the Americano uses espresso as the basis, iced coffee can be made using the coffee of your choice, I’ll get into the different options later on.

What is an Iced Americano?

An iced Americano is an iced version of the already exciting Americano coffee. Two espresso shots are diluted with cold water and ice cubes to make it into an iced version.

Traditionally, Americano is made by diluting shots of espresso with hot water. Usually, double the amount of espresso is added as hot water, creating a good cup of coffee for you to enjoy.

The hot version of an Americano looks like this:

"Americano coffee in a mug."

You can also make iced Americano by diluting the hot espressos with hot water and then pouring the hot coffee on top of an ice-filled glass. This version takes longer to cool and will result in a more diluted cup of coffee.

For this comparison, I’ll show you how to make an iced Americano by adding cold water to dilute it. If you’re interested in learning the differences between iced espresso and iced Americano, you can check it out here.

What is iced coffee?

Iced coffee is made by pouring freshly brewed coffee on top of an ice-filled glass or mug. The ice cubes are there to fully cool down the coffee and make it into an iced coffee.

Any brewed coffee will suffice for this recipe. I suggest brewing coffee using the Chemex or Hario V60 for a pour over style iced coffee.

You can also use the French press to brew some full-bodied coffee that tastes amazing in the form of iced coffee.

"French press coffee brewing."

Once the coffee has been brewed, fill a cup or glass of your choice with ice cubes. Pour the hot coffee on top of the ice cubes and stir until the coffee has completely cooled and turned into an iced coffee.

If you want, you can add some add-ins to your iced coffees. For example, you can add a little sugar syrup to your iced coffee and a little bit of caramel to your iced Americano, but more on these options later.

Caffeine content difference

The first thing to note is that the caffeine content will not change when diluting the coffee with more water or ice.

The caffeine will take a bit longer to enter into your systems as you’ll most likely sip a lot longer on your iced Americano or iced coffee than you’d with hot coffee.

Iced Americano has a total of 136 mg of caffeine. This is made up of two shots of coffee that each contains 68 mg of caffeine.

You can use the following table to calculate the amount of caffeine in the iced coffee version, with the coffee brewing technique you’re going to use:

Coffee brewer used:Amount of caffeine for 1 cup (0.24 l)
French press223 mg
Hario V60185 mg
Chemex172 mg
(source)

As you can see from the table above, the difference in caffeine is relatively high when comparing the two iced coffees.

While the iced Americano will stay about the same in caffeine content per brew, iced coffee can change in caffeine significantly when using a different brewing technique.

How to brew an iced Americano

As this is a comparison between two very fast to make iced versions of coffee, I’ll be using cold water to dilute to espresso shots once brewed.

You can also dilute them by adding hot water, just like making the hot version of the coffee, but this will take longer to cool.

"Iced Americano coffee."

To get started with the brewing guide of an iced Americano, collect the following items:

  • Moka pot, AeroPress, or espresso machine for the espresso shots
  • Cold tap water
  • Ice cubes and a glass to serve

To make the espressos at home, you can use a Moka pot or AeroPress. These coffee brewers make excellent espresso-like coffees. If you have an espresso machine at home, feel free to pull two shots from the machine. Let’s start:

  1. Brew two espressos shots with the coffee brewer of your choice.
  2. Fill a nice glass or cup of your choice with ice cubes.
  3. Pour the hot espressos on top of your ice.
  4. Add double the amount of cold water to the cup and stir. For example, two shots of espresso are roughly 50 ml. Make sure to add another 50 ml of cold water to your coffee.

Your iced Americano is now finished and ready to be enjoyed, preferably in a sunny place.

How to make iced coffee at home

The iced coffee takes a bit of a different approach to cooling down the coffee, as you’ll find out by reading along. For this coffee, you’re going to need to following ingredients:

  • 1 cup (0.24 l) of brewed coffee
  • Ice cubes
"Iced coffee made with French press coffee."

As I’ve said before, you can use any kind of brewed coffee you like to drink daily. This can be pour over coffee, French press coffee, or even coffee made using a Nespresso or Keurig machine. To make the coffee:

  • Brew the coffee of your choice.
  • Fill a glass with enough ice cubes to completely cool down the drink.
  • Pour the coffee on top of your ice-filled cup and stir until completely cold.
  • Additionally, you can add more ice for an even colder coffee.

The great part about brewing iced coffee at home is that you can literally use any coffee you like. Not everyone has the equipment to brew espresso shots at home, so I highly recommend brewing iced coffee instead of iced Americano for this reason.

If you want to make your iced Americano or iced coffee even more unique, you can add all kinds of add-ins to your coffees:

Best add-ins for these coffees

If either of these coffees is a bit too strong for your taste, you can add one of the following sweeteners to your coffee:

If you want to add some sugar to your coffee, you can also do this. Make sure to add the sugar to your coffee before cooling it down with ice. Sugar doesn’t dissolve easily in cold liquids.

This is the main reason why most people like to sweeten their coffee with a syrup of choice. These coffee syrups dissolve very easily and are very delicious.

Did you know you can also add honey to your coffee? If you’re interested in learning more about it, you can click here.

If you want, you can also use a touch of milk (or milk alternative) to give your cold coffee a very different taste. Your Dream Coffee is all about making the best coffee that suits your flavor profile.

Conclusion

This was a great article to write. The differences between these coffees are pretty obvious once you know the difference. But if you’re staring at the different coffees they have at a local coffee bar; you might not see the difference straight away.

This was a nice comparison between two great coffees. I really like drinking cold coffee in the summer and have been making these cold versions for a long time now.

It’s always great to learn more about coffee. If you’re interested in trying out a few coffee recipes, you can check them out below. I’ve listed a few recipes that are also focused on the hotter days ahead.

Which of the two coffees do you prefer? 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!

Coffee recipes to try

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On my coffee blog you will find everything you need in order to start brewing coffee at home. Ranging from the basics; to the newest coffee recipes everybody talks about!

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