An Iced Americano is a refreshing cold espresso-based drink perfect for those hot summer days. With a twist on the classic Americano, the iced Americano is diluted with cold water and ice rather than hot water.
In this article, we will consider the Iced Americano – what it is, how to make an Iced Americano, and how it compares to other iced coffee drinks.
What Is An Iced Americano?
An Iced Americano, or Iced Caffè Americano, is an iced coffee drink made from espresso, cold water, and ice. This is an iced version of the traditional Americano or Caffee Americano, which is made by diluting an espresso shot with hot water.
An Iced Americano is typically made with one to two espresso shots and a varying amount of water and ice, depending on how strong you want your drink. The standard ratio is anywhere from 1:3 to 1:5 espresso to water/ice.
What Does An Iced Americano Taste Like?
An Iced Americano is a diluted espresso shot that is similar in taste to an American-style drip coffee. It is typically served black, without any milk. Because of this, it is a very strong drink with a bitter taste. This is further amplified by chilling the espresso and diluting it with water. If you are not used to drinking coffee, then an Iced Americano is not the best drink to start with. espresso. Because of the strong bitter taste, many people opt to sweeten Iced Americanos with sweeteners or flavored coffee syrup to compensate.
Caffeine Content In An Iced Americano
An Iced Americano has a similar amount of caffeine in it to most other espresso-based drinks. Given that an Iced Americano is simply made by diluting a double shot of espresso with water it has around 125mg of caffeine in it.
Difference Between an Iced Americano And Iced Coffee
The main difference between an Iced Americano and an Iced Coffee is how they are brewed. Iced Americanos are made with espresso that is diluted with water and chilled over ice. They typically have a layer of crema on top.
In comparison, Iced Coffee is made by chilling hot brewed coffee over ice. The coffee can be brewed with a range of brewers including a drip coffee maker, pour-over brewer, or Aeropress. Because brewed coffee isn’t as concentrated or strong as an espresso shot, it is typically chilled with ice cubes not diluted with cold water.
Difference Between An Iced Americano and Cold Brew
Once again, the difference between these two iced coffee drinks comes down to brewing methods. As mentioned above, an Iced Americano involves diluting and chilling an espresso shot with ice and water.
In comparison, a cold brew coffee is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee in cold water for 12-24 hours. Because no hot water is added cold brew is typically less acidic than hot coffee. Cold brew is usually brewed as a concentrate and then diluted with ice and water or milk.
Iced Americano At Starbucks
An Iced Americano is a popular drink at Starbucks. At Starbucks, the drink is made slightly differently by first pulling a shot of espresso and then topping it with cold water to produce a light layer of crema. Finally, the drink is served over ice.
The Starbucks Iced Americano comes in three cup sizes: Tall (12 oz) Grande (16 oz) and Venti (24 oz). The Tall has 2 espresso shots in it, the Grande has 3 espresso shots, and the Venti has a whooping 4 espresso shots. While the Starbucks Iced Americano is low in calories, it has a high caffeine content if you order one of the larger sizes. The Venti has 300mg of caffeine, which is ¾ of the recommended daily caffeine intake.
The Starbucks Iced Americano is served black, however, you can customize the drink by adding different flavored syrups or sweeteners.
How To Make An Iced Americano
An Iced Americano is one of the easiest coffee recipes to make at home, however, access to an espresso machine is essential. If you are brewing coffee another way, like with a Moka pot, Aeropress, French Press or Pour Over you will end up with an Iced Coffee rather than an Iced Americano.
There are three key ingredients required to make an Iced Americano: espresso, water, and ice. The espresso is the key component that gives the Iced Americano its flavor. While you can use any beans, it works best with an espresso coffee blend which is formulated to highlight the best flavors of the beans. Espresso can be brewed on an espresso machine, a manual espresso maker, or a portable espresso maker. While a semi-automatic espresso machine is simpler to use, manual machines are more affordable and capable of pulling delicious shots of espresso. The other option that could work is to use a Nespresso machine.
Other than espresso, the only other ingredients you need are ice and water. It is preferable to use filtered water for both the ice and water for the best-tasting iced coffee.
There is not much consensus over whether you should pull the shot into a cup and then add cold water or pull the shot directly into cold water. The former results in a nice layer of crema on top of the drink which looks nicer, and is our preference.
Iced Americano Recipe
- Pull a shot of espresso into a small cup
- Fill another cup with cold water
- Pour the espresso coffee shot over the cold water then add the ice
- Swirl around to mix then drink
An Iced Americano is typically served black without any additives. However, this does come down to personal preference. You can serve an Iced Americano with a dash of milk, or a milk alternative like Almond milk, to add some creaminess to the drink and reduce the bitterness. Just don’t add too much, diluting an espresso shot with milk rather than water creates an Iced Latte rather than an Iced Americano!
Another popular additive is a sweetener or coffee syrup to counteract the bitterness. Vanilla or Caramel syrup are popular flavors to add to an Iced Americano.
The other tip some coffee professionals recommend is to scoop the crema off the top of the drink once it has settled. While the crema looks good, it has tiny pieces of coffee suspended in it which can taste bitter. Scooping this off can create a better-tasting iced coffee drink.
Iced Americano- In Summary
If you like black coffee and are craving a cold coffee drink for those summer months, an Iced Americano is worth trying. You make an Iced Americano at home by diluting an espresso shot with cold water and ice. While this iced coffee can be a little bitter, this can be counteracted by adding a dash of flavored syrup or sweetener.