Iced Americano Vs Iced Coffee - The Differences Detailed

Iced Americano Vs Iced Coffee – The Differences Detailed!

Last updated on October 25th, 2023 at 13:59

If you are undecided about an iced Americano Vs Iced coffee, reading this article will give you greater clarity as I dig down and detail the differences and similarities between these two great tasting and refreshing coffee drinks.

If you are in a rush and need the quick answer, here it is:

Both drinks are brewed using hot water. One, an iced Americano, is made with shots of espresso while the other, an iced coffee, is made with brewed coffee that is chilled using ice.

Keep reading for the detailed answer.

Iced Americano Vs Iced Coffee – An Overview

To get a greater understanding of an iced Americano Vs Iced coffee it’s best that we have a quick look at how they are made:

  • Iced Americano: An espresso-based coffee drink made with shots of espresso that are then diluted with cold water. Ice is added to chill the drink.
  • Iced Coffee: Hot brewed coffee (drip coffee) that is chilled with ice.

The stand-out main differences is the brewing method, which produces a different tasting cup of coffee.

Iced Americano Vs Iced Coffee
Iced Americano

Read: Starbucks cold brew Vs iced coffee

What Is An Iced Americano?

An iced Americano is the iced version of the popular strong black coffee that was invented by American servicemen during the second world war while in Italy.

As the legend has it, American servicemen while looking for the strong black filter coffee that they were accustomed to simply could not find it in Italy. Unfortunately, the local drink, an Espresso, they found to be too strong, and too small. To overcome the problem they simply added hot water in the winter and cold water and ice in the summer.

Since the only people ordering the drink were American, it became known locally as caffé Americano and iced caffé Americano.

At Starbucks an iced Americano has 2 to 4 shots of espresso depending on the drink size ordered and an espresso to cold water ratio of 1:5. If you want to emulate the recipe at home buy and use Starbucks espresso roast coffee beans.

How To Make An Iced Americano

Making an iced Americano is easy, very easy. It is one of the simplest coffee drinks that you can make. It’s espresso shots with cold water and ice. That is all there is to it.

Start by selecting your favorite coffee beans or using Starbucks espresso roast to emulate the drink served at Starbucks.

Start by weighing your coffee beans and weighing 20 grams for every shot of espresso that you want to make. To make an Italian espresso shot, 20 grams of coffee and a coffee to water ratio of 1:1.5 for your shots.

Using your espresso coffee maker, pull a double shot of espresso. Transfer it to a tall glass with ice and add 10 ounces of coffee for 12 ounce (360 ml) iced Americano.

How To Make An Iced Americano
An Iced Americano

Read: Iced americano with cream

Is An Iced Americano Sweet?

Iced Americano is crisp, sweet and with all the low bitter notes and crisp acids that you would expect from a coffee that is brewed with hot water. It’s sweet, but still has some bitter notes.

What Is Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee, although it looks very similar to iced Americano, it is, in fact, brewed in a very different way. Iced coffee is simply brewed coffee with ice cubes added to cool it down.

Unlike iced Americano, iced coffee is not watered down.

How To Make An Iced Coffee

To emulate the iced coffee at Starbucks, make drip coffee. Use your favorite coffee beans and grind them to a medium-coarse grind size and add them to your coffee filter. Add water to your drip coffee machine, switch it on and let it brew.

Your coffee should be ready in a few minutes. There is nothing for you to do as the rest of the process is automatic.

When you see enough coffee in your carafe. Fill a tall glass with ice and pour your brewed coffee over ice.

It is that easy.

You can also use a few other brewing methods, including French press, and pour over. If you want to use a high quality, expensive single origin coffee bean and get the flavors of origin into your iced coffee, I highly recommend that you use the pour over method.

The pour over method extracts more total dissolved solids into the cup than any other brewing method. The fresh flowing hot water results in a great coffee that extracts all the intricate and complex flavors.

How To Make An Iced Coffee
Pour Over Is A Great Method For Iced Coffee

Read: What is an iced Americano?

The Main Differences Between An Iced Americano An Iced Coffee

Both an iced Americano and an iced coffee are very similar; there are also many differences.

  • Iced coffee has its origins in Algeria by French colonialists.
  • Iced Americano was created by US Servicemen stationed in Italy.
  • Iced Americano is diluted with water and has a milder flavor. The flavor intensity can be altered by how much cold water you add to the drink.
  • An iced coffee is stronger, and its strength can be altered by adjusting the amount of coffee used to make the drink.
  • Both drinks have different amounts of caffeine and calories (more on this later).
  • An iced coffee can be made with any type of coffee maker, except an espresso machine.
  • An iced Americano must be made with an espresso machine as it needs to be made with espresso shots.

These two cold coffee options are not the only ones that you have as you have the choice of a cold-brewed coffee and a nitro cold-brewed coffee as well, which are also popular coffee drinks enjoyed during the hot summer months.

Let’s now look at the similarities between these two beverages.

The Main Similarities Between Iced Americano and Iced Coffee

Despite their differences, there are a lot of similarities between these two coffee drinks.

  • Both are brewed with hot water.
  • Both can be easily customized with cream, sugar, milk or coffee syrup to suit your taste.
  • Both are served in a tall glass with ice.
  • Both are ready in a few minutes.
  • Both are iced coffee drinks.
  • Both are a refreshing cold coffee drink.
  • Both drinks have an ample caffeine content.
  • Both have a hot coffee version of the drink and are just as enjoyable.

Iced Americano Vs Iced Coffee Taste

Iced Americano hot brewed and has the lightly bitter notes and crisp acidity that you would expect from hot coffee brewing methods. It’s crisp, sweet and very refreshing.

The addition of ice cubes and cold water to cool it down makes it a great coffee for a hot day.

Iced coffee is also made using a hot coffee brewing technique and has a fuller body, a fuller taste as it is not watered down with cold water. With nothing added to sweeten it, it has a bitter taste.

Notably, as a standard order, Starbucks adds simple syrup to sweeten an iced coffee. Which is better will depend on your own personal taste.

Iced Americano Vs Iced Coffee Taste
Moka Pot Iced Coffee

Iced Americano Vs Iced Coffee Caffeine

Both drinks in all drink sizes have an ample caffeine content and will give you a good caffeine boost. Even the lowest amount of caffeine per cup, the iced coffee tall 12 Oz (360 ml) which has 120 milligrams of caffeine is more than enough to wake you up.

The highest, 300 milligrams of caffeine, in the Venti (24 Oz, 720 ml) iced Americano will give even the seasoned caffeine aficionado a serious kick.

Check the table below for details on the caffeine content for these two drinks for all drink sizes.

Drink Size Iced Americano Iced Coffee
Tall 12 Oz (360 ml). 150 mg 120 mg
Grande 16 Oz (480 ml). 225 mg 165 mg
Venti 24 Oz (720 ml). 300 mg 235 mg
Trenta 30 Oz (900 ml) N/A 285 mg

Iced Americano Vs Iced Coffee Calories

Iced coffee at Starbucks has notable more calories than an iced Americano. If you are on a diet and watching your figure, an iced Americano is by far the better choice.

Check the table below for the details.

Drink Size Iced Americano Iced Coffee
Tall 12 Oz (360 ml). 10 Calories 60 Calories.
Grande 16 Oz (480 ml). 15 Calories. 80 Calories.
Venti 24 Oz (720 ml). 15 Calories. 120 Calories.
Trenta 30 Oz (900 ml) N/A 160 Calories.

Iced Americano Vs Iced Latte

To understand the difference between these two drinks it is best to take a look at their composition:

  • Iced Americano: An espresso-based coffee drink that has the shots watered down with cold water and then chilled with ice.
  • Iced Latte: An iced version of a latte made with 2 or more shots of espresso and cold milk in an espresso to milk ratio of 1:2. Ice is added to chill the drink.

The main difference between these two coffee drinks is that an iced latte is a milky drink with the milk and creaminess of the milk dominating the beverage. The best coffee flavors make their way through the milk.

An iced Americano has no milk and is notably stronger tasting.

Iced Americano Vs Cold Brew

To get a better understanding of these two cold drinks is to give a side by side comparison:

  • Iced Americano: Made with two shots or more of espresso which is diluted with cold water and then chilled with ice.
  • Cold Brew Coffee: A cold brew coffee is brewed with coarse coffee grounds and cold water. It uses cold water to extract the low temperature compounds to create a coffee that is smoother, mellow and well-balanced.

Despite cold brew coffee and iced Americano looking very similar, the key difference between both these drinks is that one is brewed with hot water while the other is brewed with cold water.

The flavor profile of both are very different, with a cold brew coffee being a very low acid coffee with a mellow and balanced flavor with no bitterness at all.

Frequently Asked Questions About Iced Americano Vs Iced Coffee

Are Iced Americanos Popular In Korea?

Yes, iced Americano coffee is popular in South Korea; it is literally their go-to coffee drink. It’s cheap, tasty and Korean people are very hardworking people. Workers love it for its nice boost while students enjoy it to keep them packing in the study hours.

Koreans tend not to

K-pop Idols and stars love iced Americano due to the way that it is made, it’s an espresso shot with ice and water. It’s low calories and helps them to keep to the strict diet and won’t gain any weight from it. Being sugar-free and having a good caffeine kick helps to keep them going during their busy schedule.

 In iced Americano has a peculiar name and abbreviation in Korea, Ah-Ah like saying the first letter of the English Alphabet and how a child would say it repeating it twice Ah-Ah.

It’s a logical abbreviation Ah-Iced Ah-Americano simply becomes Ah-Ah.

Is Iced coffee A Thing In Spain?

Yes, iced coffee is very popular in Spain during the hot summer months. Café con hielo (iced coffee) and Americano con hielo (Ice Americano) are both popular in Spain. I can 100% confirm that as a fact after having worked for 12+ years in bars, restaurants and coffee shops in Spain.

It’s very rare for Italians to drink iced Americano. It happens, but it is extremely rare. Italians see caffé Americano both with or without ice as dirty water!

There are only two reasons why your iced Americano tastes sour:

  • 1. Poor brewing technique.
  • 2. Low quality beans or old coffee beans.

These two are easy to fix by simply ensuring that your coffee beans are fresh and focusing on your brewing technique, and you will get a better taste.

Final Thoughts – Iced Americano Vs Iced Coffee

Now that you know just how different an iced Americano Vs Iced coffee are, all that is left for you to do is to try both coffee drinks and find out which of the two meets your taste preferences. 

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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