Iced Americano Vs Iced Coffee: Differences and Recipes

Iced Americano Vs Iced Coffee

Are you wondering about the differences between iced Americano vs iced coffee? Do you want to try these drinks but have no idea how to make them at home? Don’t worry, we got you covered!

Coffee is considered the second most consumed drink in the world after water! And most of us cannot live without getting a daily fix of freshly brewed coffee in the morning. But sometimes we come across two coffee drinks that look exactly the same and we can’t differentiate between them.

Among these popular coffees, is the iced coffee and iced Americano, they are very similar and mostly confused with one another. And although they share many similarities, they have some common differences as well.

In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about these two coffee drinks, their origin, nutritional values, the differences between the two, and how can you make them at home easily.

What Is Iced Coffee?

Iced Coffee

Iced coffee is a type of coffee drinks that is served cold and it is simply prepared like any regular hot coffee and then poured over ice after been cooled down for a while.

To make an iced coffee drink, all you need to do is to choose your favorite brewing technique whether it is a single-serve style, espresso, pour-over, French press, drip coffee, etc. And each of these methods has its own characteristics and will affect the taste and flavor of your final drink.

Additionally, iced coffee may be served alone or with some added milk for a rich flavor profile, you can also add other sweeteners and flavorings like some sugar, coffee syrups, or some caramel sauce.

Iced coffee is usually confused with cold brew which is a completely different method of brewing coffee. A cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cool water at room temperature for a long period of time, then the coffee grounds are strained out, and the remaining drink is chilled and served.

Unlike an iced coffee that can be ready in minutes, a cold brew needs about 16 hours to be ready, and the more it sits the more flavorful the drink will be.

What Is an Iced Americano?

Iced Americano

A regular Americano, also called Caffé Americano which is an Italian term that means American coffee, is a simple espresso-based drink that is made by mixing espresso and hot water.

According to the myth, the first Americano beverage ever was invented by two American soldiers during world war II. The two soldiers did not like the taste of the bold Italian espresso, so they tried to make it lighter by adding hot water to it, and that how the first Americano drink was made.

Americanos are different from drip coffee and each of them is prepared in a different way using different coffee equipment. Drip or black coffee is a bit stronger than Americano and contains more caffeine. On the other hand, combining espresso with water results in a smooth and light-bodied coffee drink that can be served hot, or iced.

An iced Americano is simply an iced version of the traditional Americano. However, iced Americano can be made in two different ways: you either add hot water to espresso shots and then pour over ice or you can dilute the espressos with cold water and then pour over ice which will result in a different taste of course.

You can also sweeten things up and add your favorite syrup, milk, creamer, or caramel sauce to your iced Americano coffee.

Iced Americano Vs Iced Coffee: The Main Differences

As a matter of fact, no two coffee drinks taste the same even if they look exactly identical, and there are many variables that affect the taste and strength of coffee such as the brewing style, the water temperature, the coffee beans used, the time of brewing, the flavors added, etc.,

For instance, people usually confuse between regular iced coffee and iced Americano, both drinks are delicious, refreshing, and perfect to be consumed daily, but they still have many differences.

Here are the main differences between these two coffee drinks to help you decide which one to make at home or to order next time you visit Starbucks.

The Brewing Method

Unlike other coffee drinks, cold brew for example, both iced Americano and iced coffee are first brewed hot then poured over ice. However, the main difference between the two is in the kind of coffee used to make these drinks; while an iced coffee can be made with any brewing style including single-serve, latte, macchiato, cappuccino, espresso, French press, etc., an iced Americano is made only using espresso shots.

The Caffeine Content

Whether you prefer enjoying your coffee hot or iced, you will still get the same amount of caffeine no matter how much water or ice you add. However, iced coffee and iced Americano do not have the same caffeine content that will differ according to various factors.

Concerning regular iced coffee, the amount of caffeine will depend on the brewing method you are using, for instance, if you use a French press, pour-over, or drip coffee, you will get stronger coffee with more caffeine in your cup.

On the other hand, making an iced americano with two shots of espresso instead of one will result in more caffeine, and this way it can be even stronger than a regular iced coffee.

How to Make Iced Coffee at Home?

How to Make Iced Coffee at Home

Making an iced coffee drink at home is super easy, it is just like brewing your regular cup of joe and adding ice to it. Just grab everything you need and follow our easy-breezy recipe.
Before you start, you will need:

  • Your preferred coffee brewer.
  • Ice cubes.
  • A tall coffee mug.
  • Your favorite coffee add-ins.

After you have all your ingredients, start by following the simple steps below:

Step 1: brew your favorite cup of coffee using your coffee maker, whether it is a Keurig machine, a French press, a pour-over, a Chemex coffee maker, or a drip coffee machine.

Step 2: grab your tall mug or glass and fill it with enough ice cubes.

Step 3: let your coffee cool and then start pouring it slowly over the ice and then stir.

Step 4: This step is optional but you can always sweeten your iced coffee by adding some milk, cinnamon, some coffee syrup, or any flavors you prefer. Just avoid using sugar since it does not dissolve well in cold drinks.

Step 5: Enjoy your iced coffee!

How to Make an Iced Americano at Home?

Similar to iced coffee, iced Americano is also super easy to make and requires no special skills, just gather these ingredients and start brewing.
Before you start, you will need:

  • Your espresso machine.
  • Cold tap water.
  • Ice cubes.
  • A tall coffee mug.
  • Your favorite coffee add-ins.

After you have all your ingredients, start by following the simple steps below:

Step 1: brew one or two espresso shots using extra fine ground coffee, you can use an espresso machine, a Nespresso machine, an AeroPress, or a stovetop Moka pot as well. But if you don’t have any of these machines at home, you can always grab a shot or two of pre-made espresso from your local coffee shop.

Step 2: grab your tall mug or glass and fill it with enough ice cubes.

Step 3: pour your cold or room-temperature water over your espresso shots. Usually, the amount of water we use is double the amount of espresso but it is up to you to decide how much water to add depending on how strong you prefer your Americano.  

Step 4: start pouring your Americano coffee slowly over the ice but do not stir to avoid getting a watered-down cup of coffee.

Step 5: This step is optional but you can always add some milk, creamer, cinnamon, vanilla, honey, or your favorite coffee syrup for extra sweetness. Just avoid using sugar since it does not dissolve well in cold drinks.

Step 6: Enjoy your sweet iced Americano! 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, after you have learned what is the difference between iced coffee and iced Americano, you are now ready to decide which one to order next time you visit a coffee shop or to recommend to a friend to try.

But if you don’t like driving to the coffee shop every time, these two coffee beverages are also super easy to make at home in no time without the need for any special equipment.

Furthermore, both drinks are delicious and contain enough caffeine to give you a nice little morning boost for a unique coffee experience. And unlike hot coffee, they are sweet and don’t leave a bitter aftertaste what makes them just perfect to enjoy on a hot summer day.


Selena started writing about Coffee to document her own journey. She fell into some very bad habits and knew things had to change. That’s why she began this site!