Iced Americano vs Iced Coffee; Ingredients, Taste, Caffeine & More

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Iced Americano vs Iced Coffee: do you know the difference between these two coffee drinks? You probably know which one you like, but do you know its ingredients and how it’s made?

Somehow the question of the difference between an Iced Americano and an Iced Coffee has become a hot-button topic for coffee people of all types, from the hater to the dilettante to the professional. Why is it so hard to distinguish between these two drinks?

Well, mostly because both these beverages look almost the same even though there are some major differences between the two.

So, what’s the difference between an Iced Americano and an Iced Coffee?

Iced Americano vs Iced Coffee

Iced Americano is made by adding two shots of cooled-down espresso into cold water and then topping it with ice. Iced coffee, on the other hand, is made by pouring freshly brewed room temperature or chilled strong coffee into an ice-filled glass. The addition of milk and sweetener is optional. 

Key Takeaways:
  • An Iced Americano is a cold coffee drink made with ice, espresso, and chilled water.
  • Iced coffee is a cold coffee drink that is made by pouring room temperature (or chilled) strong coffee into an ice-filled glass.
  • A standard iced Americano has around 136mg of caffeine. An iced coffee, on the other hand, has about 96mg of caffeine.
  • Iced Americano tastes like a slightly diluted cold cup of espresso coffee. Iced coffee tastes milder and mellower than hot coffee.

In the rest of this article, I will further explain the differences between the two beverages in terms of their preparation, caffeine content, taste, strength, and more.

Iced Americano vs Iced Coffee; What’s the difference?

Here’s a table that shows the differences between iced Americano and iced coffee. Each of these differences are explained in a lot more detail in the following sections of this article.

Iced AmericanoIced Coffee
IngredientsEspresso, chilled water & ice.Brewed coffee & ice. (Optional: Milk)
TasteRobust but diluted taste of espresso.Milder taste of coffee.
Caffeine136mg from 2 shots of espresso.96mg of caffeine from 1 cup of coffee.
CaloriesLow-calorie beverage.Generally low in calories but the addition of milk may increase the calorie count.
Which is stronger?Tastes stronger because of the espresso.Bold taste but lighter than iced Americano.

Although there are a few similarities between iced coffee and iced Americano, there are also a few important differences that can help you decide which one to order when you’re in a coffee shop.

First, let me tell you the ingredients used and how each of these coffee drinks is made.

One common trait that both these beverages share is that they need very few ingredients and are extremely easy to make.

Let’s begin with Iced Americano.

What is Iced Americano?

An Iced Americano is a cold coffee drink made with ice, espresso, and chilled water. It’s the iced version of an Americano, which is made with just espresso and hot water. Iced Americano is basically a watered-down espresso.

The drink must be made with espresso to be called an Iced Americano. If it’s made with any other kind of coffee, it’s no longer an Iced Americano. 

Espresso can be made in an espresso machine, or a Nespresso, or a Moka pot. We will discuss more on this later in the article.

The taste of an iced Americano may shock you at first for sure but you will get used to it.

Once you start liking it, you cannot stop. It’s the only ultimate recipe. It really relieves your tension and exhaustion after a long hectic day of work. 

I have known many people who have stopped drinking any other coffee after they tried iced Americano. Now they swear by this coffee only.

How To Make an Iced Americano?

An iced Americano is one of the easiest coffee drinks that you can make. The traditional way of making an Iced Americano is by adding cold tap water to two espresso shots, then adding ice.

The entire recipe literally comprises of just 3 effortless steps. So simple yet remarkable.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 shots of espresso
  • Cold water
  • Ice

Here’s how you can make an iced Americano:

Step 1: Brew 2 shots of extra-strong espresso and then let it cool down to room temperature.

Step 2: Pour the cooled-down espresso into a glass filled with cold water and stir it a couple of times.

Step 3: Top drink with ice.

That’s it! Your iced Americano is ready to be enjoyed and relished.

Adding a sweetener is optional. Make sure that you add a liquid sweetener as they are easier to dissolve in cold beverages compared to solid granulated sweeteners.

Try flavored simple syrups for a tasty twist. Vanilla syrup or caramel syrup are popular add-ins.

To make it decadent, top the drink off with homemade vanilla sweet cream cold foam!

To make a proper Iced Americano, make the drink by adding espresso into cold water, then adding ice. By adding espresso after the water, you can get more crema from the espresso on the surface.

What is an Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is a cold coffee drink that is made by pouring room temperature (or chilled) strong coffee into an ice-filled glass. The addition of milk, cream or a sweetener is completely optional.

If you really feel like pushing the boat out, you could make it using a shaker. Chuck all your ingredients in and shake, like a cocktail. Think of it as a non-alcoholic espresso martini! 

Iced Americano vs Iced Coffee

How To Make Iced Coffee?

Making iced coffee is super easy, really. All you need is a tall glass filled with ice, brewed coffee, and some sweetener & milk (if you fancy). Mix it all up and there you have it! A decadent glass of homemade, no-fuss iced coffee.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup coffee at room temperature or chilled
  • 50ml cream or milk (optional)
  • Sweetener or vanilla syrup (optional)
  • 1 cup ice

Here’s the iced coffee recipe:

Step 1: Fill a glass with ice.

Step 2: Pour over room temperature or chilled coffee. 

Step 3: Serve black or fill with 50ml milk, and mix.

Step 4: Add vanilla syrup (optional) for a sweet kick.

That’s it! Your ice coffee is ready to be enjoyed.

Pro Tip To Prevent Iced Coffee From Going Watery

To make sure your iced coffee doesn’t turn out to be a cold watery mess, try doubling down on the amount of coffee you’re using. Or, if you like, make your own coffee ice cubes. Simply make a batch of coffee, allow to cool, pour in an ice tray, and freeze.

Iced Americano vs Iced Coffee: Caffeine

A standard iced Americano has around 136mg of caffeine as it’s made with two shots of espresso. An iced coffee, on the other hand, is made with 1 cup of brewed coffee which has about 96mg of caffeine.

The amount of caffeine in either of the drinks is dependent on the number of shots of espresso used to make the iced Americano, and the quantity of coffee used to make iced coffee. 

A single shot of espresso has 68mg caffeine and a standard 8 oz. (236ml) cup of coffee has 96mg caffeine.

Keep in mind that since both these beverages are diluted with water the caffeine will take a bit longer to enter into your systems as you’ll most likely sip a lot longer on your iced Americano or iced coffee than you’d with hot coffee.

Moreover, the caffeine content in brewed coffee also depends on the brewing technique used. 

Generally, coffee brewed with French press has the most amount of caffeine followed by Chemex and pour-over drip-brewed coffee.  

This means that the iced Americano will stay about the same in caffeine content per brew, iced coffee can change in caffeine significantly when using a different brewing technique.

Iced Americano vs Iced Coffee: Taste

Iced Americano tastes like a slightly diluted cup of espresso coffee but it’s very cold because of the added ice cubes. Iced coffee tastes milder and mellower than hot coffee because of the presence of ice in it. The optional addition of milk in ice coffee further lightens its coffee taste.

Often, iced coffee is made with flavored syrups, sugar, and some sort of milk or creamer. With these fixings, iced coffee turns into a sweet beverage like melted ice cream.

Iced Americano, on the other hand, is always made only with espresso, ice, and cold water, which gives it a mild taste of rich espresso.

Iced Americano vs Iced Coffee: Which is stronger?

An iced Americano tastes stronger than an iced coffee as iced Americano is made with espresso. Espresso typically has a stronger and more robust taste and flavor than brewed coffee which is used to make iced coffee.

If you compare the strength of the beverages in terms of the amount of caffeine present, iced Americano wins again as a typical iced Americano is made with two shots of espresso, which means it has 136gm of caffeine as compared to 96mg of caffeine present in a standard cup of coffee used to make an iced coffee.

Iced Americano vs Iced Coffee: Calories

An iced Americano and an iced coffee without milk or added sugar are both very low-calorie beverages. Both of these beverages, without milk, sweeteners, or any other additives come up to less than 10 calories.


Both of these coffee drinks are served cold. 

Iced americano contains espresso, meanwhile iced coffee can contain coffee brewed using any type of coffee maker. 

It’s quite easy to differentiate these two drinks once you know their actual differences.

On the other hand, if you’re presented with these two coffees at a local coffee bar, you might not see the difference straight away unless you know how each one of them tastes, as they look quite similar.

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Amit Gupta

Hi, my name is Amit Gupta, and I am the owner and contributor at Cafeish. My obsession with coffee started when I received my first French press as a gift almost ten years ago. Since then, my love of coffee – and the number of coffee gadgets I own – has grown considerably.

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