Iced Americano vs Iced Coffee: The Cold Coffee Facts

So, what's the difference between a delightful iced americano vs iced coffee? Both are cold coffee favorites not only in the summer but for many, like me, perfect year-round.


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When it comes to iced beverages, let’s look at the iced americano vs iced coffee, an iced americano, and an iced coffee might seem similar at first glance. But they have notable differences in their brewing method, flavor profile, and caffeine content. 

Looking back at these two classics, let’s start with the americano. According to Nespresso, and, the americano dates back to World War II when American soldiers based in Italy diluted hot espresso with hot water to make the strong espresso drink more palatable. The American taste buds weren’t prepared for the stronger flavor of the espresso and therefore needed to add water to make it more palatable. 

Now, let’s look at coffee, where the “cultivation of coffee and trade began in the Arabian peninsula.” However, coffee beans can be traced back to forests of Ethiopia, as described by the National Coffee Association. Coffee then made its way East, and over the last few centuries, business serving brewed coffee can be found on almost every street corner of cities like New York and London.

Based on this history, I can only imagine that one day, someone added a few cubes of ice, sugar, and milk to each of these classic coffee beverages and turned them into iced versions. According to, the first instance of iced coffee anyone can account for “was a cold, sweetened coffee drink, reportedly invented by the French military during the Battle of Mazagran.” I have questions.

Espresso vs Brewed Coffee: The Beans and the Brewing Process


Espresso is made with beans roasted at high temperatures over a long period. However, espresso drinks are made with lightly roasted beans, typically called a blonde roast for a blonde espresso. The beans are grounded and turned into a “shot” of espresso by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee grounds using an espresso machine, or more simply, without all the fancy machinery, using a moka pot.


Traditional drip coffee can be made using light, medium, or dark roasted beans. A classically brewed coffee or drip uses a pour-over method where hot water is poured over finely ground coffee beans using a coffee machine, french press, or a pour-over like a colador (cloth strainer) commonly used in Colombia.

The difference between these two is the pressurized brewing in the espresso is quite different from the pour-over or drip method used to make what we call a cup of coffee.

The Evolution of the Espresso and Brewed Coffee: From Hot to Cold Coffee Drinks

From iced lattes to cold brews, these two classics are the foundation of many new variations in some of our favorite coffee lounges, local coffee shops, and the internationally famous Starbucks. 

Espresso-Based Drink Variations:

Iced Americano Coffee: The espresso is diluted with water and then poured into a glass full of ice for a quick and easy cold americano.

Iced Macchiato: Espresso shots are mixed with ice-cold milk and lots of ice. 

Iced Latte: An iced latte is made with espresso shots, topped off with steamed milk and milk foam, then mixed with ice.

Iced Flat White: Creamy Steamed Milk is poured into a cup of iced espresso.

Brewed Coffee Variations:

Iced Coffee: Brewed coffee is poured into a glass of ice, with or without milk.

Flavored Iced Coffee: MIlk and pumps of sugar or other flavors are added to the iced coffee. You can also make this iced coffee with a variation of non-dairy milk like almond, oat, or coconut milk.

Cold Brew: A cold brew can fall under the iced coffee category. However, a cold brew is never heated. In recent years, to retain some of the coffee concentrates.

In many cases, iced coffee is considered slightly diluted because the ice is added to a hot, slightly warm, or room-temperature cup of coffee, and the ice has a chance of melting. A cold brew solves that and guarantees a strong coffee with strong flavors. 

Cold brew has made its way to mainstream coffee shops. It’s a method that requires 12-24 hours of preparation. In a cold brew, coarse coffee grounds are never passed through a coffee machine and never heated. Instead, they sit in water overnight to create a strong cold brew.

This cold brew method guaranteed a more concentrated cup of coffee, with lower acidity, and guaranteed cold even before the ice was added to the coffee. 

Iced Americano vs Iced Coffee: The Key Differences

Today, an iced americano remains a favorite among enthusiasts. But let’s consider the main difference between an iced americano vs. iced coffee. From a 10,000-mile view, an americano combines espresso shots with water to dilute the espresso shots. An iced americano adds ice to the already diluted espresso, also known as an americano. 

In an iced coffee, you have a traditional cup of coffee that’s either brewed using a coffee machine or french press (based on your preference), then quickly cooled, and ice is added to the brewed coffee. This can be the easiest option for someone who doesn’t have an espresso machine at home. 

Iced Americano vs Iced Coffee Infographic
Iced Americano vs Iced Coffee

Caffeine Content Difference: Iced Americano vs Iced Coffee

Many variables can affect the caffeine content in a cup of coffee. However, if you were to look at a traditional cup of brewed coffee and americano, A regular brewed coffee has around 95 mg of caffeine, and a double espresso has about 126 mg per double shot.

A variable that directly contributes to the amount of caffeine in your coffee is the amount of coffee you use when making a fresh pot of coffee. With the Americano, the number of espresso shots will also affect the caffeine content in the americano. Same if you prefer to make a weaker americano, use less espresso shots and more coffee.

In many cases, iced coffee is considered slightly diluted because the ice is added to a hot, slightly warm, or room-temperature cup of coffee, and the ice has a chance of melting. A cold brew solves that and guarantees a strong coffee with strong flavors. 

Which One Is Your Favorite?

Whether it’s a hot summer day, an iced coffee drink or iced americano can be a lifesaver for coffee lovers, or perhaps you’re like millions who prefer a cold coffee drink year-round. Tell me in the comments.!

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