iced americano
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With different varieties of coffees coming out left and right, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends.

One such coffee is an americano which has recently risen to high popularity. It also has a cold counterpart known as an iced americano.

Continue reading to find out more about what these drinks are and how they can be made.


What is an Americano?

There is a widespread, but unconfirmed, association with the advent of americano. It is said that in World War II when Americans were stationed in Italy, they found the coffee there – which was essentially just espresso in a cup – to be quite strong for their taste.

Therefore, to mitigate that strong flavor, American soldiers added water to their espresso which is now called an americano.

Today, an americano is one-fourth or one-third (one or two shots) of espresso mixed with three-fourths or two-thirds water. Basically, a diluted down espresso.

It is commonly made with an espresso shot from an espresso machine and mixed in hot water with some sugar (or a sugar substitute) for a classic americano. It is mixed in cold water with syrup to make an iced americano.

How to Make an Americano?

You may not want to spend money on overpriced cafes, or maybe your nearest café is too far away. Whatever the reason, here is how you can make an americano at home.

What do you need?

These are the things you require to make an americano at home:

  • An espresso machine
  • Hot water
  • Coffee beans or pre-ground coffee
  • Grinder, in case of whole beans
  • A coffee cup

Steps to follow

Now, follow these steps to result in a classic, hot americano.

  1. Firstly, turn on your espresso machine. You can also use a Nespresso and make espresso with any of its pods.
  2. Then grind your coffee beans. If you already have pre-ground coffee, you can skip this one.
  3. Tamp your coffee grounds in the portafilter of your espresso machine.
  4. Pull your espresso shot – one shot or double, depends on you.
  5. In the meanwhile, prepare your hot water.
  6. Once the espresso has fully dripped, mix the water and espresso in your coffee mug.
  7. You can add any syrups or toppings now.
  8. Lastly, enjoy your freshly brewed cup.

How to Make an Iced Americano?

Now, onto the cold version. Here’s how you can make iced americano at home:

What do you need?

These are the things you require to make an iced americano at home:

  • An espresso machine
  • Cold water
  • Ice cubes
  • Coffee beans or pre-ground coffee
  • Grinder, in case of whole beans
  • A coffee cup

They are fairly similar in both cases since they are two sides of the same coin.

Steps to follow

The first few steps are alike in both drinks since you do need an espresso shot for both versions. These are the steps you need to follow to make an iced americano:

  1. Firstly, turn on your espresso machine. You can also use a Nespresso and make espresso with any of its pods.
  2. Then grind your coffee beans. If you already have pre-ground coffee, you can skip this one.
  3. Tamp your coffee grounds in the portafilter of your espresso machine.
  4. Pull your espresso shot – one shot or double, depends on you.
  5. Fill your coffee cup with ice cubes.
  6. Once the espresso is made, pour cold water and espresso over the iced.
  7. Again, this is the time to add any flavorings.
  8. Now just enjoy your iced americano!

Substitutes to Using an Espresso Machine

The essence of an americano is that it uses espresso as a base. To make that espresso, you do need an espresso machine. Or, as I mentioned, a Nespresso.

However, not many people own an espresso machine. In that case, you can use whichever equipment you have to brew the most concentrated coffee that would kind of parallel an espresso shot.

The best alternative is a Moka Pot. It’s the closest you can get to an espresso, without it being an actual espresso.

You can also use French Press or Aero Press to form a concentrate. Fair warning, a French Press does result in a weak concentrate compared to the other two options.

Water – Before or After?

A major debate in the americano world is whether you should add water before you pour in the shot of espresso or after.

This argument is for the sake of preserving the crema which is a layer that forms over an espresso shot. People may or may not like it although, from most standards, it is considered extremely essential for any espresso-based drink.

So, the two options are:

  • Pour water first then espresso shot
  • Pour water over the espresso shot

Mostly, in the case of an americano, water is poured over the espresso shot since that is already in a cup. But in the case of iced espresso, you have to pour both water and espresso so it can be done either way.

The best way to decide which option you prefer is to try out both for both drinks. After all, coffee is a game of taste and everyone’s taste is different.

Starbucks makes their iced americano by first pouring water over the shot then pouring the mixture over ice.


If you don’t like your coffee to be too milky or just be straight-up concentrated then an americano is a great middle ground for you.

The good thing is that you can enjoy it year round; normal in the winters and iced americano in the summer heat.

You now know how to make both variations of an americano. All that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy!

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