Most coffee-based drinks are a combination of espresso, water, and sometimes milk. An Americano is made with a mix of espresso and hot water. An Iced Americano consists of two espresso shots, ice, and water. Iced Americanos are quick to brew and perfect for hot summer days.
Interestingly the name "Americano" means American in Italian. It originated in World War II, when soldiers added water to their espresso shots to dilute them.
The difference between Iced Americano and cold coffee
Simply put, for a drink to be an Iced Americano, it must be made with espresso. The crema on top is what differentiates the espresso shot from a drip coffee. An essential aspect of the espresso shot, this foamy and creamy layer gives the espresso a fuller flavor and a stronger aftertaste.
Iced coffee is brewed coffee that has been cooled down using ice.
As an authentic americano is made with an espresso you should be able to see the crema along the top, which you won’t find on an iced coffee.
One other notable difference is that iced coffee is normally mixed and served with milk, where an Iced Americano is typically served as is.
Any coffee roast or blend can be used to make the espresso shots in an Iced Americano. However, dark roasts are preferred.
Iced Americano recipe:
To make an iced americano, you’ll need:
- 2 shots of espresso
- Cold water
Here’s the process:
- Prepare 2 shots of espresso with an espresso machine, Aeropress, a Moka pot, french press or via your preferred brewing method.
- Pour the cold water into a cup and add the espresso.
- Top the drink with ice and you’re ready to go!
A perfect and tasty caffeine kick to add to any hot summer day.
Iced Americano pro tips
The proper way to make an Iced Americano is to add espresso shots directly to cold water. Adding the ice after will preserve the crema. Many cafes also make an Iced Americano the opposite way, where ice is added to the espresso shot, reducing the crema. Test both to see what you prefer!
While Iced Americanos are usually served without any sweeteners or milk, you can try adding any of your favorite creams or sugars to see which you like best. If you want to simply sweeten your drink with no extra flavor, avoid sugar as it doesn’t easily dissolve in cold beverages; instead, use simple sugar syrup.
Another option is to experiment with flavored syrups. Vanilla and caramel syrups are pretty famous and go really well with coffee. If you want yours to be extra decadent, you can add homemade vanilla sweet cream cold foam to the top!
The best coffee for an Iced Americano
Unlike iced coffee, the caffeine content of Iced Americanos doesn't change when diluting the coffee with ice. Any of your favorite roasts or blends, whether blonde, light, or dark, will work great.
We suggest our Downtown Blend, with its notes of cedar and lemongrass, which complement each other perfectly. This medium roast seasonally sourced from South America, Africa, and Asia has a smooth and creamy texture with hints of cocoa, making it ideal for espressos to make an Iced Americano!