Iced Americano
25 August, 2020 | Samira Valiyeva

Iced Americano: History, Recipe, Tips, and Differences

We're all huge coffee lovers. That soothing and relaxing hot drink helps us to get us on our toes every daybreak, and we are grateful for that. But sometimes, it's not all-time convenient. Maybe it's sweltering outside for a scorching hot mug, or you had several hot coffees, making it impossible to cool off. In such instances, turning the hot coffees into cold ones might do the trick. And that's exactly what Iced Americano is all about. 

So in the name of all the hot days, and the claim that Iced Americano should (without shame) be drunk throughout the year, we will break down everything you should know about Iced Americano. 

Let's start with its history, shall we? 

History of Americano Coffee

Americano coffee has a fascinating history. During World War II, Italians offered two types of coffee, Espresso, and Cappuccino. American troops in Italy found the local Espresso coffee too intense. As Americans were familiar with drip-brewing coffee with added milk, they preferred a lighter flavor. Hence, Cappuccino was more suitable to their tastes. However, its size was smaller for Americans as they were used to a 16-ounce cup serving while Cappuccino was only 5- ounce. Soon, the local coffee shops started to serve Espresso coffee in full-sized cups to satisfy these soldiers' needs. They filled the cup with a shot of Espresso and water for a hot drink

Iced Americano Recipe and Preparation

Making Americano is easy as it has only two fundamental ingredients- Espresso and water. First, coffee shops make an Espresso. It is enough to have one shot of Espresso. However, some people prefer stronger beverages. Hence, it is advisable to use one to four shots of Espresso. Next, they add hot or cold water and ice cubes. 

Debates about Americano

Coffee lovers do not hesitate to debate when it comes to Americano. There are only two ingredients, so much of these debates revolve around them. The debate revolves around the order in which they put the ingredients. This section will share the arguments, but you will find more answers to the questions in the following sections.  

The order of the ingredients matters most for one factor- crema or foam. Crema is a mix of oils and carbon dioxide. It emerges when making the Espresso. Some people like the creamy texture on top of the Espresso and think that it enhances the taste. Others argue that foam makes the drink bitter. Hence, the order of the ingredients gains importance. If the baristas add water to the Espresso, the cream mixes with the water and disappears. This order is typical if you are ordering Iced Americano in Los Angeles. However, when pouring the Espresso over the water, the cream floats on the surface. 

There exists a drink called Long Black, which solves this debate. Regular Americano is prepared by adding hot water over the Espresso. Long Black, in turn, requires pouring water first. In short, if you like the foam, you can order Long Black, which guarantees the foam. If you prefer a lighter, more diluted coffee drink, Americano is the best. In summer, you can order coffee like Iced Americano for a refreshing beverage. 

Tips for Making Fantastic Drink 

making of americano in la

The ingredients look simple, but there exist some tips that only true baristas know. For instance, whether the water should be hot or cold is questionable. Some specialists claim that you need to use hot water, but it should not be boiling. They recommend having water with temperatures between 90 to 94 degrees Celsius. Others claim that it is okay to use cold water or add ice cubes directly to the Espresso. If you use hot water, make sure the drink chills before adding the ice cubes. Iced Americano in Los Angeles is usually made by pouring Espresso into a cup filled with ice cubes. Sure, all the options will create the same drink with different tastes. Hence, coffee lovers can try all alternatives and decide which one they like the most. 

Another question might pop up in your mind regarding the amount of water. It is advisable to use at least the same amount of water as the Espresso you add. However, if people prefer lighter beverages, they can add up to three times more water than the Espresso to Iced Americano. Yet, this ratio is suitable when only one shot of Espresso is used. If you add more Espresso shots, it is more reasonable to add the same amount of water as the coffee. 

Espresso Tips

When making an Espresso for Americano, you should use an Espresso machine. If you do not have an Espresso machine, you can use a Moka pot instead. However, Moka pots do not make real Espresso. It is simply an accessible alternative that does not provide the same result as the Espresso machine. The general rule of thumb is that if one uses seven grams of ground coffee, it will generate 20-25 milliliters of Espresso. In other words, around four teaspoons of ground coffee are needed to make one shot of Espresso, which is a little less than an ounce. Usually, making one shot of Espresso takes around 20 seconds with machines. When you pour the hot water into the Espresso, try to be slow and gentle. In this case, your Iced Americano will have gentle, creamy foam on top. If you do not like the foam, you can ask the barista to mix it well to avoid the crema on top when ordering Iced Americano. 

How to Ensure the Taste of Americano?

As the ingredient list is not long, Americano's taste highly depends on the quality of coffee beans. Organic coffee beans give the best flavor to the drink, and it is advisable to use filtered water, whether it is hot or cold. When making an Americano, the Espresso should be freshly prepared. The beans roasted in the last two or three weeks have the best flavor for this beverage. 

Americano, usually, has rich cream or foam on the top. The beverage has a smoky or fruity taste, which depends on the coffee beans used. This coffee drink gives lovers much flexibility as it is possible to adjust the water- Espresso ratio. People who like lighter coffee can add more water to dilute the taste. Intensity-lovers can increase the number of Espresso shots. Yet, people should keep in mind that adding much water can make coffee watery, acidic, and bitter. If you are making this drink at home, try different ratios, and choose your favorite one. When making Americano, it is best to pour the Espresso over the ice cubes, rather than adding ice into the Espresso. 

Additions to Americano

americano with cream

Making a classic Americano or its Iced version is a simple process. However, some people might prefer this drink with additions to enhance the flavor. Sure, coffee-lovers can argue that Americano is a strong drink, and there should be no additions to Americano. If there is, then the beverage will be another type of coffee instead of Americano. While we understand their claims, people are free to drink their Americano in a way they want. If you are also looking to make some regular coffee changes, you can also enjoy some adjustments.  

Iced Americano is usually a simple version of the drink with water and Espresso. However, asking for adding half and half or creamer is one of the viable options for Americano. Sure, adding water to Americano reduces its strong taste. However, for some people, it can still be too rich. In this case, you can enjoy adding half and half. Yet, it should be steamed so that it does not cool the drink when pouring into the coffee. The resulting beverage will be similar to the latte. Cold creamer is also an alternative, especially on hot summer days. 

For a sweet taste, people can add sugar. It is advisable to add sugar to Espresso so that it dissolves in the coffee's heat quickly. However, the result can be grainy coffee if you are not careful in mixing. Another suggestion is adding fruit, like apricot, to the Espresso and then make the Iced Americano drink. You cannot find such options in most coffee places. While this recommendation can sound weird, it's fantastic taste deserves a try if you make Americano at home. 

Difference Between Iced Americano and Other Beverages

As Americano has simple ingredients, it might seem similar to many other beverage types. However, there exist some differences between the after tastes or the preparation methods. If you want to taste them, you can also order now with Bontea's fast delivery services. 

Long Black

long black

This beverage is specifically popular in regions like Australia and New Zealand. As the ingredients are the same as Iced Americano, some people do not understand the difference. One of the main distinctions between these two beverages is the preparation order. In Iced Americano, you pour the water into the Espresso. However, in long black, baristas pour Espresso into the water. Hence, watching how long black coffee is made is visually satisfying. The creamy part of the Espresso stays on the top, and the rest sinks slowly down in the water. Therefore, it is also recommended to stir the long black before drinking. As the Espresso sinks slowly, the beverage's last sips can be quite watery without the Espresso taste.

The cream on top of the Espresso shot is usually bitter. Therefore, Americano requires adding water into the Espresso, so that the cream is dissolved. This process decreases the bitter taste of the beverage. However, in long black, the reverse order is required to keep the cream on top. Hence, it has a much bolder flavor. 

Another point of difference is the ratio of Espresso to water. As discussed before, Iced Americano usually has one Espresso shot and four times more water. In contrast, long black coffee is generally made with two shots of Espresso. In short, Americano is more watery and diluted than the long black coffee. Also, keep in mind that you can ask for more shots if you order this coffee in Los Angeles. 

Caffe Lungo

lungo

Another similar drink to Iced Americano is Caffe Lungo. Not surprisingly, it also has the same two ingredients. However, what creates the difference is mostly the amount of water and the preparation method. Caffe Lungo has more water, which decreases the bitterness further. Yet, it is still a strong drink for coffee lovers. Similar to long black, Lungo also keeps the creamy Espresso on top of the drink. 

In Italian, Lungo means long. The drink has a long pull, which led to this title. You need a longer brewing time for Lungo than other similar beverages. While Americano's Espresso shot is ready in 20-25 seconds, it takes around a minute for Caffe Lungo's Espresso. Sure, the type of the machine and bean affects the brewing time. What is important is that you do not add hot water on top of the Espresso. Instead, all the hot water passes through the Espresso machine's portafilter, which affects the preparation time. Also, as each drop of water contacts the coffee ground to make Espresso, it becomes richer and bolder.  

Ristretto

ristretto

The opposite of Caffe Lungo is Ristretto. Compared to Iced Americano, Caffe Lungo has longer brew time because all the water is brewed, not directly added into the Espresso. Differently, Ristretto has a shorter brew time than both Americano and the Caffe Lungo. The same amount of ground coffee is required as Americano but with half as much water. It takes around 15-20 seconds to brew this coffee beverage. Short brewing ensures a more concentrated taste with a thick texture. When brewing an Espresso, the first part of extraction is the strongest drink. It usually has a dark chocolate color. As you brew more, the rest of the extraction becomes lighter in flavor, and its color is much brighter. Therefore, short brewing skips the second process and results in an intense, thick, rich Espresso. 

Black Coffee vs Americano

black coffee

Coffee beverages have a wide selection, which confuses many people who are not familiar with many types. Another drink that is similar to Americano is black coffee. Typically, people do not understand the difference between black coffee, Espresso, and Americano. They all use almost the same ingredients with varying preparation methods. 

First, black coffee is made with a drip method. It means, baristas let the water drip and pass through the coffee grinds to the cup. In contrast, Espresso involves forcing the steam through the grinds. Hence, it takes a shorter time to prepare this drink. Also, people need much more finely ground coffee for Espresso than black coffee. Only in this case, the steam can pass through the grinds effectively. Americano, different from both drinks, is the Espresso diluted with water. It requires one shot of Espresso and around four times more water. As these drinks have different characteristics, you should not confuse them with each other.  

Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee

cold brew in Los Angeles

Some people might confuse these two terms. While they are both made with the same ingredients, the process and the preparation duration are different. When making an Iced coffee, baristas add hot water to the machine. The water passes through the coffee ground and extracts the coffee's primary flavors in less than a minute. However, as the name suggests, Cold Brew requires brewing coffee with colder water. The water temperature for Iced coffee is usually around 93 degrees celsius. For Cold Brew, baristas use room temperature water. Hence, it takes a longer time for the coffee flavors and the water to mix. Cold Brew is ready to serve only after 12 to 24 hours. 

Although it takes a long time, the resulting drink has the best essences and flavors of the coffee ground, eliminating the bitterness considerably.

Some people claim that Cold Brew is less acidic. While it can be less acidic, there is not enough scientific data to support this claim. Yet, if people face acidic drinks problems, it can be better for them to move from Iced coffee to Cold Brew, though eliminating coffee is much more desirable. 

Enjoy the Coffee at Bontea Cafe!

If you are fond of the strong coffee taste, you can enjoy the Iced Americano in Los Angeles at  Bontea Cafe. Iced Americano is especially fantastic during summer with its refreshing taste. For people who like their coffee beverages with more diluted taste, we can recommend Iced latte. 

Different from Americano, Iced latte is prepared by adding milk and ice cubes into the Espresso shot. Therefore, Iced latte is creamier and less bitter than the Americano. You can choose your preferable milk type and enjoy this beverage at any time of the day. 

Regardless of your preferences, our baristas will make delicious coffee beverages from organic coffee beans.