What’s An Iced Americano – And How To Make An Iced Americano?

An iced Americano is refreshing, bitter and delicious. In its traditional form, you make one by pouring cold water over ice and adding shots of espresso.

Iced Coffee

As you pour the coffee over ice cubes, it cools as it brews.

How did an Iced Americano even evolve?

Well, an espresso isn’t quite for every palate.

Those who felt it was too bitter or strong chose to dilute their espressos with hot water… and the Americano was born.

It isn’t strange that someone came up with the idea of trying it cold – and used ice cubes instead of boiling water as the diluent.


The iced Americano emerges.

It’s the same as your favorite bold American coffee drink – just colder!

In taste, it’s nearly identical to a strong coffee brewed in a drip coffee machine.

So what is an iced Americano?

The classic Americano is an espresso drink made using hot water and espresso. It’s also known as a Caffe Americano.

You make it with two shots of espresso by adding water. No milk, unlike a cappuccino or latte.

An iced Americano is served over ice. So the recipe is essentially espresso shots, ice, and maybe cold water too.

Is this the same as an iced coffee? Not really!

The iced Americano is made from espresso, while an iced coffee uses hot brewed coffee that’s cooled with ice. With an iced Americano, you’ll be able to see a crema on top – though not with other cold coffee drinks.

How to make an iced Americano?

Americano Coffee

You’ll need

  • a double shot of espresso
  • half a glass of ice
  • cold water

Use a robust dark roast coffee to brew your espresso if you want a strong, tasty iced Americano.

You can use an espresso machine, French press or moka pot to brew it.

Pour the espresso into a glass half filled with ice. Swirl it around, and sip it to see if you like the taste.

If it’s too strong, add some cold water to dilute it further. Remember, as the ice melts, your drink will become diluted – so don’t add too much water and make it weak!

You could choose to add syrups (vanilla and caramel are popular favorites), honey, or other flavoring (like cinnamon powder) to your drink, if you wish.

Topping it off with cream or cold foam makes for a decadent drink.

Your yummy home-made ice cold Americano will taste a lot better than the kind you can order at Starbucks in tall (12 oz), grande (16 oz) or venti (24 oz – with an eye-popping 225 mg of caffeine!) sizes – with one, two or three espresso shots respectively.

Strange as it might sound, there’s even a decaf iced Americano!

Question: Can you add milk and sugar to an iced Americano?

Well, you could add anything to anything, I guess.

But what’s the point?

An Americano is an espresso with water. Period.

No milk. No sugar.

And most often, nothing else!

How To Make Your Espresso

Espresso with crema

The key component of an iced Americano is the espresso shots… the fresher, the better.

So focus on making a great base coffee drink. Espresso roast coffee grounds give a robust and rich flavor.

A countertop espresso maker is best for strong coffee. If you don’t have one, you can use a portable espresso machine, a French press coffeemaker, or even a Moka pot.

Iced Coffee Drinks

An iced Americano is a delicious and relaxing coffee drink, ideal for a hot summer afternoon when it’s too hot for a cappuccino, but too lazy to not need a caffeine boost.

There are other cold coffee drinks that are also nice substitutes.

Enjoy a long one this coming summer.