Today, I’m going to give you the answer to a few questions regarding the iced espresso vs. iced Americano debate. I’ll give you the answer to the main question that brought you here, what exactly is the difference between these two coffees?

Furthermore, I’ll tell you which of the two iced coffees is stronger, how much caffeine both coffees contain, what the best add-ons are, and last but not least… how to make these iced coffees yourself.

Are you ready to learn all about these iced coffees? Grab yourself a nice cup of coffee and jump right into it:

Iced espresso vs. iced Americano

So, iced espresso vs. iced Americano… what exactly is the difference between these two iced coffees?

Iced Americano is made with coffee that has already been reduced in strength by adding hot water, creating an Americano, and then adding it to ice. An iced espresso is made by pouring espresso shots into a cup filled with ice and topping this off with cold water.

Iced espresso vs. iced Americano comparison.

The flavor difference is definitely there. An Americano is already reduced in strength by adding hot water to the coffee, diluting the coffee, and reducing some of the punchy flavors commonly found in espresso.

"Iced espresso vs. iced Americano, coffees next to each other for comparison"

After the Americano is fully made, it is then added to the cup, which is filled with ice—resulting in a more balanced flavor profile.

On the other hand, an iced espresso is made by pouring espresso shots to ice and topping that off with cold water from the tap. The difference in flavor is there because adding hot espressos to ice will bring out even more punchy and full-bodied flavors of the espresso.

Is iced espresso or iced Americano stronger?

By adding hot water to an espresso first, the espresso’s crema will break, resulting in a more balanced coffee flavor for the Americano.

On the other hand, the iced espresso is made by pouring the espresso shots into an ice-filled cup, resulting in those strong flavors.

So, flavor-wise, iced espresso will taste stronger. This is purely because of the straight-on-ice method that is used to make an iced espresso.

There isn’t a difference in strength by caffeine between the two coffees. The same amount of shots is used in making iced espresso and iced Americano. But more on this down below:

How much caffeine is in an iced Americano?

Because of the use of two shots of espresso, an iced Americano contains 128 mg of caffeine.

Sometimes, three espresso shots are used to make an iced Americano; however, the recipes that I’ve listed for the iced Americano and iced espresso contain two shots of espresso each.

I recommend sticking with two shots of espresso to make these iced coffees, so you can also enjoy a good cup of joe later on the day.

How to make an iced Americano

To make yourself an iced Americano, you’re going to need to gather some equipment to get things started:

  • A coffee brewer that can brew espressos, like an AeroPress or Moka pot
  • Ice cubes
  • Water and a nice glass

First, choose the espresso maker you’re going to use. Choose a coffee brewer that you’re comfortable with, as this will save you some time when you’re in a hurry. To make the iced Americano, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Brew your shots of espresso.
  2. After your espressos have been brewed, add double the amount of hot water into your glass, along with the espressos. You are now making an Americano.
  3. Now, add enough ice cubes to the glass to cool your iced Americano completely.

For a more in-depth view on how to make an iced Americano, check out my recipe here!

Your iced Americano is now ready to be enjoyed! The iced Americano looks like this:

"Iced Americano ready to drink"

What is the caffeine content of an iced espresso?

An iced espresso contains 128 mg of caffeine, just like to iced Americano. Both iced coffees use the same two espresso shots, which have enough caffeine to get you through the day or the next couple of hours.

If you’d like to lower the amount of caffeine in your iced espresso or iced Americano, you can reduce the amount of espresso used. One espresso contains 64 mg of caffeine, so you can base this on the amount of coffee you want to use.

How to make an iced espresso

Before we can get started on making the iced espresso at home, you’ll need to gather the following items so you can get started:

  • Espresso machine, AeroPress, or Moka pot to brew the espressos
  • Ice cubes
  • Water and a glass to serve the coffee in

The most important part of this recipe is making the espressos. Because espressos are the primary flavoring in this iced coffee drink, you need to make sure you’re using your best coffee beans.

After you’ve chosen the coffee beans, you get to choose how to brew your espresso. If you’ve got an espresso machine at home, you can pull two shots of espresso from it.

You can also use the AeroPress or Moka pot to brew those espressos. I recommend you choose the coffee brewer that you’re most comfortable with, as this will make things easier for you.

How to make the iced espresso:

  1. Brew your espressos.
  2. Let your espressos cool down just a bit. You want to wait at least two minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, you can fill a cup with ice cubes.
  4. Pour the freshly made espressos on top of your ice cubes.
  5. You now have an iced espresso. You can fill up your cup with some tap water.

There you have it. This is how you make an iced espresso. It is so easy to make this delicious iced drink; it’s my go-to drink for those hot summer days.

For a more in-depth view of how to make an iced espresso, check out my recipe here!

The iced espresso looks like this. Here, I’m ready to add some milk to my iced espresso:

"Ready to add milk to iced espresso"

Do you put sugar in iced Americano?

You can add sugar to your iced Americano if you like. However, because this is an iced coffee, the sugar will not mix through your coffee as the sugar will have a hard time dissolving in cold liquids.

If you prefer to sweeten up your iced Americano, you can opt to use coffee syrup, simple syrup, or honey. All of these sweeteners have about the same sweetness to them and will dissolve into your iced Americano in no time!

If you’d like to make your own simple syrup, grab a saucepan and add the following ingredients to it:

  • 0.5 cup (0.12 l) of water
  • 1/2 cup of sugar (120 grams)

Heat this mixture until the sugar is dissolved in the liquid, and let this cool down completely. I suggest storing this in a cup with a pouring spout. You have now made simple syrup, which will work great to sweeten up your iced coffees!

Best add-ons for these iced coffees

For an iced version of coffee, I like to use a bit of milk. The milk will cut through the strong flavors of the coffee, making the coffee a bit more relaxing to drink.

Although I really like drinking strong coffees on a daily basis, when it comes to the iced version of coffee, I like to use a few add-ons to make the drink a bit more fun.

Most of the time, I like to use milk to add to my iced coffees; however, milk alternatives have become a staple in my home since I’ve drunk a few lattes that were prepared using oat milk and others with coconut milk.

"Milk in a jar for adding to the iced coffees"

By experimenting with different milk alternatives, you can really up your coffee game. Make some amazing coffee recipes using milk alternatives when you’ve got some friends or family coming over. It will surely surprise them with flavors they might’ve never tasted before.

If you’d like to make some delicious coffee recipes, I’ve listed some below the conclusion for you to check out. You can use these recipes and change them up, trying out different milk alternatives along the way.

Related coffee comparison articles

Are you wondering how the iced espresso and iced Americano compare to other coffees?

Great! Check out the articles below for more in-depth coffee comparisons:

And to compare more coffees, visit the coffee comparison hub!


This was a fun article to write. These iced coffees appear to be made the same way and taste the same way. But once you get to know the difference, I believe you’ll like one of the iced coffees better.

I like an iced espresso better than an iced Americano. Because of the more punchy flavor profile that an iced espresso brings to the table, it is my go-to coffee to brew when it starts to get quite hot throughout the day.

Which of the two 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!

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