How to Brew the Perfect Iced Americano
Iced coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the summertime. That refreshing hit of bitter-sweet coffee on a hot day is hard to beat! The taste, mouth feel and overall drinking experience of an iced coffee are vastly different from regular, hot coffee.
Not everyone wants cream or milk in their iced coffee though. Sometimes, an iced americano is a way to go for the most refreshing iced coffee sensation!
An iced americano is a great way to experience that familiar bold espresso flavor without diluting any of the flavors.
Brewing the perfect iced americano from home is easy, there are just a few simple steps to follow to get it just right!
What is An Iced Americano?
The word americano comes from the idea that during the second world war, American soldiers fighting in Italy found that regular espresso shots were too strong. They wanted something more similar to what they tasted back on home soil, so they decided to add hot water to espresso and hey presto, the americano was born!
When we bring ice into the picture, an americano becomes a much more refreshing drink. However, compared to its milky counterpart, an iced americano is actually quite a bitter and abrasive beverage for the uninitiated coffee drinker.
That splash of milk in a traditional iced coffee just adds a bit of creaminess to take the edge off the bitterness that accompanies even watered-down espresso.
If you are new to coffee, I’d recommend adding a splash of milk or sweetener to your iced coffee until you get used to the flavor.
However, if you are a coffee hardcore and want to make a great-tasting iced americano from the comfort of your own home, you’ve come to the right place!
How to Brew Iced Americano
Whilst it may seem like making an iced americano is simply a matter of chucking some ice, espresso, and cold water into a glass, there is a bit more to it than that.
Step 1: Choose Your Espresso
As with a regular coffee brew, the bean type you use will have a massive impact on the end result. Everyone has their favorite coffee brands, blends, origins, and roasts.
If you are a fan of nutty, refreshing chocolate or caramel-type flavor, then opting for a full-bodied, balanced medium roast arabica would work well for this recipe.
However, if you are a fan of strong, intense flavors that won’t get watered down, then go for a dark roasted, smokey arabica or even a blend that includes robusta beans.
Step 2: Brew
The next step is to brew your coffee. I’d recommend a double espresso regardless of which beans you have chosen for the best results.
Considering we are going to add water to this, you’ll be best off having a strong base of espresso to stand up to the ice.
Also, brew your espresso in a separate espresso cup to the glass you’ll be using, that way you can leave it to cool a little whilst you prepare the other elements of the drink.
Step 3: Add Ice
Next comes the ice!
For the best results, you’ll only want to get your ice from the freezer just when you are about to serve, to ensure you don’t get a coffee any more watered down than it needs to be!
Add ice to your glass before you put your coffee or water in there, as this will help to cool it down even more.
Step 4: Pour and Enjoy!
Finally, we put it all together!
Once your glass is filled with ice, add your now-cooled double espresso and approximately the same amount of cold water.
Typically a double espresso comes in at around 120ml or 4 fl oz of coffee, so use the same amount of water to fill up your glass.
Once you have the espresso, cold water, and ice all together, simply stir, sip and enjoy!
Helpful Hints and Tips
Here are a few helpful hints and tips to give you the best-iced americano experience possible!
Put your Glass in the Freezer
I sometimes see this in fancy bars and restaurants, and it is quite a neat trick if you want to impress your friends.
Putting your iced americano glasses in the freezer for about 20 minutes before you use them will frost them up. This not only looks cool, but it helps to keep your iced americano extra cold as well!
Use Larger Ice Cubes
Using larger ice cubes, or even a few ice cubes that are frozen together for your iced americano will help keep your coffee colder for longer.
What’s more, it will also reduce melting water, diluting your double espresso, so you maintain that delicious, strong coffee taste.
Leave Your Espresso to Cool Down
Another tip to help keep your coffee cold is to simply let your espresso cool for around 10 to 15 minutes before pouring.
Brew your espresso before you start anything else. This way you’ll have less chance of a melted coffee slushy when you come to drink it!
Use Filtered Water
If you want to enjoy the best-tasting iced americano possible, use filtered water. This just takes one more variable out of the coffee brewing process and ensures you get the cleanest, crisp, and most delicious iced americano every single time.
Use Strong Coffee
Using a stronger coffee tends to work better for an iced americano since the melting water tends to dilute the flavor somewhat.
Of course, personal preference comes into play here. But if you are debating between two medium roasts and one is slightly stronger than the other, maybe push the boat out and go for the slightly bolder taste.
Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
Iced Americano Water Ratio
Finally, one of the most common mistakes people make when brewing their iced americano is using too much water.
Aim for a 1:1 ratio of espresso to cold, filtered water for the best results. A typical double espresso is 120 ml or 4.2 fl oz, so using the same amount of water will yield the best results.
You can of course use slightly more water for a weaker iced americano, or slightly less water for a stronger drink. Either way, think about the size of your glass, how much ice you’re going to use, and how strong you want your iced americano to be beforehand for the best results.
Overall, an iced americano is a perfectly straightforward espresso-based drink to make, and anyone can enjoy one from the comfort of their own home.
Iced coffee in general is becoming more and more popular as mainstream brands offer them so widely in the summer months.
However, you don’t need a specialist iced coffee maker to brew the perfect iced americano. All you need is a good quality double espresso, some cold filtered water, and a small block of ice!
Is Iced Americano Healthy?
Yes, very healthy indeed! You’ll get a caffeine boost and a thirst-quenching drink for next to no calories at all. This is a great way to keep hunger pangs at bay when you are on a fat-loss diet.
What’s the Difference Between Iced Americano and Iced Coffee?
Iced americano is specifically brewed without milk. It is simply, espresso, water, and ice. Whereas, traditional iced coffee tends to include some form of milk and or sweetener. The most popular type of iced coffee is an iced latte.
Do Iced Americanos Have a Lot of Caffeine?
No more than regular coffee. Most coffee-based drinks tend to use a double shot of espresso, that depending on the beans and brewing method used, will usually have between 100mg and 130mg of caffeine.
How to Make Iced Americano Without a Machine
If you don’t have an espresso machine to brew your coffee, you can always use a moka pot, strong instant coffee, a cafetiere with a small volume of hot water, or Aeropress.