Iced Americano

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With just 3 ingredients consisting of ice, espresso, and water, an Iced Americano is one of the easiest and simplest espresso drinks to make. See how to make it at home and how it’s incorrectly made at Starbucks.

Iced Americano drink in a cup.

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What Is an Iced Americano?

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

The drink must be made with espresso to be called an Iced Americano. If it’s made with any other kind of coffee (brewed coffee, cold brew, or instant), it’s no longer an Iced Americano.

Americanos and Iced Americanos are incredibly popular in South Korea. Iced Americanos are shorted to “Ah-Ah” from Ah-ced Ah-mericano and you can go to any coffee shop in South Korea and order it by asking for an “Ah-Ah.”

RELATED: Iced Shaken Espresso

Difference between Iced Americano and Iced Coffee

The difference in the two comes down to the method used to make coffee. Iced Americano is made with espresso while iced coffee is made with hot brewed coffee that has been chilled.

Because Iced Americano is made with espresso, you should be able to see crema along the top, which you won’t see in iced coffee.

Iced Americano at Starbucks

The traditional way of making an Iced Americano is by adding espresso shots to cold water then adding ice. Starbucks makes theirs backwards by adding cold water to espresso shots instead. The overall taste will be the same as a regular Iced Americano, but you’ll see less crema on the surface.

An Iced Americano can be ordered in 3 drink sizes at Starbucks: tall (12 ounces), grande (16 ounces), and venti (24 ounces). A tall sized drink contains 2 espresso shots, grande has 3 espresso shots, and a venti has 4 shots of espresso.

You can ask for the espresso to be made ristretto (short shot), or as a long shot, made decaf or with blonde espresso. If you want a more caffeinated drink, ask for an extra shot or two of espresso.

If you don’t see a decaf coffee drink option, ask for a decaf Iced Americano, which can be made to order. The Iced Americano at Starbucks is made without any syrups or milk so you must specify if you want to add those to your order.

RELATED: Iced Caramel Macchiato

Ingredient Notes

Ice, espresso, and water in individual containers.
  • Espresso: Any roast (dark, medium, or light/blonde) can be used to make an Iced Americano as long as the drink is made with espresso. Use an espresso machine or a Nespresso.
  • Water: Use filtered cold water for a better tasting Iced Americano.
  • Ice: Use ice made with filtered water if possible.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Pouring water into a cup.

Step 1: Pour cold water into a cup.

Pouring espresso into a cup.

Step 2: Add espresso. Top drink with ice.

Nespresso Notes

Nespresso machine is the easiest way to make espresso drinks like Iced Americanos at home.

1 shot of espresso = 1 Nespresso espresso capsule

This Iced Americano recipe makes a 16 ounce (Starbucks grande size) drink using 3 espresso shots so you’ll need 3 Nespresso capsules. Make sure the Nespresso capsules are espresso capsules, not the coffee/mug capsules that makes a full cup of coffee.

Iced Americano is usually made with dark roasted coffee. Use a Blonde roast if you want a smoother flavor with slightly more caffeine or make it ristretto (short shot) for a less bitter taste.

Serving Suggestions

  • Iced Americanos are served without any sweeteners or milk but they can be offered as options on the side.
  • Always use simple syrup to sweeten iced drinks since it’s the easiest way to mix sugar into a cold beverage. Try flavored simple syrups for a tasty twist.
  • To make it decadent, top the drink off with homemade cold foam!

Expert Tips

  • To make a proper Iced Americano, make the drink by adding espresso into cold water, then the ice. By adding espresso after the water, you can get more crema from the espresso on the surface.
  • Freshly made espresso is best. Hot espresso is cooled down instantly by adding it into cold water.
  • There is no standard in the amount of cold water that’s to be used in an Iced Americano, so use as much or as little as you like, depending on how strong you want the espresso flavor to be.
  • If you don’t have espresso, you can use instant coffee. Combine 1 ½ tablespoons of instant coffee and ⅓ cup hot water to replace the 3 shots of espresso in the recipe. Just a note that since espresso isn’t in the drink, it’s not technically an Americano.

Questions You May Have

What’s the difference between an Iced Americano and cold brew?

Iced Americano is made with hot espresso shots that are instantly cooled in cold water while cold brew is made with ground coffee that has been steeped in cold water for several hours.

Can you add milk and sugar to an Iced Americano?

Yes, you can add any milk or sweetener you wish, but the drink comes without any unless you specify.

Which cold coffee drink has the most caffeine at Starbucks?

The Nitro Cold Brew has the most caffeine at 280 mg in a grande, followed by the Iced Americano with 225 mg, which has 3 shots of espresso in a grande. The Iced Coffee has 165 mg of caffeine in a grande, the Iced Latte with 2 espresso shots has 150 mg of caffeine, and the Iced Flat White, made with 3 ristretto shots, has 130 mg of caffeine.

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How to Make an Iced Americano

By: Jee Choe
With just 3 ingredients, an Iced Americano is one of the easiest espresso drinks to make at home.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Yield: 1 serving (16 ounces)

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Pour cold water into a cup. Add espresso shots.
    Use filtered water for a better tasting drink.
    ⅔ cup cold water, 3 capsules Nespresso espresso
  • Top drink with ice.
    1 cup ice

Notes

  • Freshly made espresso is best. Hot espresso is cooled down instantly by adding it into cold water.
  • There is no standard in the amount of cold water that’s to be used in an Iced Americano, so use as much or as little as you like, depending on how strong you want the espresso flavor to be.
  • The drink is made without any milk or sweeteners like sugar, but you can always add any you like.
  • If you don’t have espresso, you can use instant coffee. Combine 1 ½ tablespoons of instant coffee and ⅓ cup hot water to replace the 3 shots of espresso in the recipe. Just a note that since espresso isn’t in the drink, it’s not technically an Iced Americano.

Nutrition

Calories: 15Carbohydrates: 1gFat: 1gSodium: 20mgPotassium: 3mgVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 12mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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