This article details the humble iced cafe Americano in a way that no other website does. Get the history, the recipe, and details regarding the caffeine, calories and fat content that the refreshing coffee drink has.
The best part is you can easily emulate the same drink that you see on the Starbucks menu for a fraction of the cost!
Keep reading for the details!
What Is Iced Cafe Americano?
An iced cafe Americano is a coffee that was created by the General infantrymen of the United States Army while stationed in Italy. The black coffee that they were used to, brewed coffee, drip coffee, was not available in Italy and the local espresso was both too strong and too small. As a solution they added hot water in winter and cold water and ice in the summer.
Since the only people ordering the drink were Americans, the coffee which translates to American coffee became known as Cafe Americano, which translates to American coffee.
An iced cafe Americano is the iced version of a regular cafe Americano which is made with shots of espresso that are diluted with water, cold water for iced Americano and hot water for a regular Americano.
The espresso shots to cold water (or hot water) ratio at Starbucks is 1:5. The better coffee shops serve a small jug with cold water and a tall glass with the ice and the coffee and leave it to the client to add the cold water themselves to suit their own personal taste.
Fun Fact: The latte was created in a similar way. The US soldier found their cappuccino to be too strong and added extra steamed milk and thus created the humble café latte was invented.
How Is Iced Cafe Americano Different From Iced Coffee?
Iced cafe Americano is often confused and mistaken with another cold coffee drink, an Iced coffee. To give you a better understanding of how they are different, let’s compare both these drinks side by side:
- Iced Cafe Americano: A cold coffee drink made with espresso shots, cold water and ice cubes.
- Iced Coffee: A cold coffee drink made with brewed coffee and ice.
The two coffee drinks are made using different brewing methods with an iced Americano using espresso and a regular iced coffee using brewed coffee (drip coffee). Regular iced coffee is not watered down and has a slightly different taste and texture.
How Is Iced Cafe Americano Different From Cold Brewed Coffee?
These two cold coffee drinks are very different. To get a better grasp of how different these two coffee drinks are, let’s look at them side by side:
- Iced Cafe Americano: A cold coffee beverage that uses a hot extraction method, espresso, to make the coffee base, which is then watered down with cold water and cooled with ice.
- Cold Brewed Coffee: A cold coffee beverage that is made using a cold water extraction to extract the cold flavor compounds.
Cold brew is very different. It has a balanced flavor and low acidity. The brew time is 16 hours to more than 24 hours. It’s a coffee that is best extracted with ice-cold water and kept in your fridge while extracting.
Can You Add Milk To Iced Cafe Americano?
Yes, you can milk to your iced Americano, although it is not at all that common to do so. It’s a black coffee and is supposed to be enjoyed this way, with no milk or sugar.
As a barista, I have served this drink tens of thousands of times. I’ve never heard of milk being added, although it does happen, very occasionally.
Any type of milk can be used, oat milk, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk and even sweet cream.
As little word. An iced Americano with milk added is an iced Americano misto.
An Easy Iced Americano Recipe
Let’s get making a great Iced Americano recipe, one that gives you the option of a Starbucks copycat recipe depending on what beans that you decide to use.
At Latte Love Brew, we encourage you to follow the baristas principle where the best ingredient and the best equipment produce the best results.
Let’s get to it!
Equipment And Ingredients Needed
You will need the following equipment and ingredients to make a great iced Americano coffee.
- A home espresso machine.
- A conical ceramic burr grinder.
- Digital coffee scales.
- Dark roasted coffee beans: Starbucks espresso roast coffee, Koa coffee estate dark roasted coffee beans (A 100% Kona coffee), Lavazza super crema espresso roast.
- Mineral water, filtered water.
- Ice cubes.
Water makes up 98% of coffee, and thus the better the quality of your water, the better your coffee will be.
How To Make Iced Cafe Americano Step By Step
Follow each of these steps to make the perfect iced Americano.
Step 1: Weigh Your Coffee Beans
Weigh your coffee beans while whole. Their mass is the same be they whole or ground. 20 grams of whole beans will yield 20 grams of ground coffee. Delaying their grinding until the point of brewing will give you a freshness boost.
Weigh 20 grams of whole beans per shot that you want to brew.
Step 2: Grind Your Beans
Grind your coffee beans to a fine powder like grind using a conical ceramic burr grinder. This type of grinder causes less heat dissipation and will help to maintain the quality of your beans during the grinding process. grind in short 10 to 15 second bursts.
Step 3: Tamp Your Ground Coffee
Tamp with an even 30 kg of pressure. Tamping is an often overlooked skill; poor tamping can result in channeling.
Step 4: Pull Your Shots
Before you pull your shots, place your digital coffee scale on your drip tray, put your glass on top of it and use the tare function to weight your shot as it is pulled.
Pull and time your shot.
Your shot should weigh 30 grams (1 Oz) and 60 grams (2 Oz) for a double shot. The brewing time should be 25 seconds with a variance of 5 seconds.
If your shot weighs 30 grams (1 Oz) for a single shot and 60 grams (2 Oz) for a double shot and had a brew time within set time. Congratulations, you have the perfect shot.
If your brew time is out, you will need to adjust the grind size slightly. If it takes too long to brew, make your grind slightly larger. If your brew time is too short, make your grind slightly smaller.
Step 5: Prep Your Cold Water
Transfer to a tall glass and add ice to your drink. Using a ratio of 1:5, 5x as much cold water as there is espresso, add the cold water in this ratio to emulate a Starbucks iced Americano.
Add your cold water to a small jug and add it slowly and add it in stages. Sip test many times until you get the flavor that you want.
Remember to stir well when you add your cold water.
Is An Iced Americano Sweet?
Yes, because it is brewed with hot water, an iced Americano has all the bitter notes and acids that you would expect.
It’s made thinner and with a reduced potency of the coffee flavor by watering it down with cold water and chilled with ice to make a great tasting and refreshing coffee that is sweet and crisp.
Iced Americano Caffeine
An iced Americano is a coffee drink with more than ample caffeine content, and you should expect an ample boost.
The amount of caffeine is as follows:
- Tall 12 Oz (360 ml): 150 mg of caffeine.
- Grande 16 Oz (480 ml): 225 mg of caffeine.
- Venti: 24 Oz (720 ml): 300 mg of caffeine.
All drink sizes will get you a decent caffeine kick and wake you up.
Caffé Americano Starbucks Calories
Café Americano is a low calorie drink enjoyed by K-Pop stars and other celebrities that need a boost and watch their weight at the same time. The drink has only 10 to 15 calories. The tall 12 Oz (360 ml) has only 10 calories while the two larger sizes, Grande and Venti have 15 calories.
All drink sizes have no sugar and no fat, which makes it the best drink for coffee lovers that are on a diet.
Frequently Asked Questions About Iced Cafe Americano
Is Iced Americano Stronger Than Iced Coffee?
And iced Americano is more watered down than an iced coffee, which means that an iced coffee is stronger. An iced Americano contains a varying amount of shots of espresso depending on the drink size. Traditionally, they are made with a ratio of water to espresso shots as 1:1; and equal amount of cold water as espresso is used.
An iced coffee is made only with brewed coffee; its strength depends entirely on the brewing process and the coffee to water ratio.
Is Iced Caffe Americano Strong?
No, and iced caffe Americano is a mild coffee drink with a very mild flavor thanks to the bold espresso and its bitter edges and acidity being toned down by the addition of an equal amount of cold water.
Is Americano Stronger Than Regular Coffee?
Regular brewed coffee has a stronger flavor and a more prominent coffee taste than a café Americano, regardless of the temperature, hot, cold or iced. This is due to the fact that water is used to water down the café Americano. In terms of caffeine content, brewed coffee is stronger.
Does Iced Americano Have Milk?
An iced Americano is not served with milk nor does it have milk added while it is being made. An iced Americano with milk is another drink; it’s called an Iced Americano misto, which is made with shots of espresso, cold water and milk.
Why Is It Called Iced Americano?
A café Americano, which translates to American coffee, is so called as it was the coffee requested by American service men during the second world war. While stationed in Europe (Italy), the G.I’s found an Italian espresso too strong for them and would water it down to replicate the brewed coffee that they were used to. Since the drink was only ordered by Americans, it became known as café Americano.
Is Americano Stronger Than Latte?
Yes, a café Americano has a stronger and more prominent coffee flavor than a latte. A latte is light, mild and is dominated by the milk, which hides a lot of the coffee flavor.
Final Thoughts – Iced Cafe Americano
Iced cafe Americano is a great and tasty coffee drink with a very surprising history and is easy to make. It is even so easy to get a coffee that is identical to what is sold by Starbucks – all you need to do is use their espresso roast coffee beans.
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