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Cold Brew Vs Americano Coffee: Differences Between Them

When you’re craving a refreshing coffee drink, the choices can be overwhelming. Two popular options you may come across are cold brew vs Americano.

pouring cold brew into a glass with ice

To help you make an informed decision on which beverage to sip next, it’s essential to understand their differences in flavor, brewing process, and strengths.

Cold brew coffee is known for its rich, smooth taste and often contains fruity or floral notes, depending on the beans used.

It is made by steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, typically 12 to 24 hours. This slow extraction process results in a strong and bold coffee flavor.

On the other hand, an americano is a lighter, more balanced coffee drink made by diluting espresso coffee shots with hot water. Or in the case of an iced americano, cold water, and ice.

The taste is clean, subtle, and less intense compared to cold brew.

Armed with this knowledge, you can now confidently choose between a cold brew and an Americano based on your personal preferences.

Whether you prefer the robust body of a cold brew or the mild, balanced flavors of an Americano, enjoy your next coffee break with a better understanding of these two delightful beverages.

Cold Brew Vs Americano Overview

cold brew being poured into a glass with ice

History and Origin

Cold brew and Americano are two popular coffee beverages that originated from different places and offer unique tastes.

Let’s dive into their backgrounds to understand where they come from.

The history of cold brew can be traced back to 17th-century Japan. Where Dutch merchants introduced the technique of using cold water to brew.

This method gained popularity in the United States over time, particularly among specialty coffee shops and enthusiasts.

On the other hand, the Americano has a more military background. This coffee beverage was created during World War II by American soldiers stationed in Italy.

They found the local espresso too strong, so they diluted it with hot water. Resulting in a coffee that resembles the familiar American filtered coffee.

Brewing Methods

To make a delicious cup of cold brew or Americano, understanding the brewing methods is crucial. So let’s explore the process of making each coffee.

Cold Brew

  1. Choose your coffee beans: For cold brew, you might want to go with a coarse grind. Which helps extract flavors during the steeping process.
  2. Add cold or room temperature water: Combine the coffee grounds and water at a ratio of 4:1 (4 parts water to 1 part coffee).
  3. Steep the coffee: Let it steep for at least 12 to 24 hours, either in the fridge or on your countertop.
  4. Filter the coffee: After the steeping process, use a paper or metal filter to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid.
  5. Enjoy your cold brew: Now, your cold brew is ready to serve over ice or with your desired dilution and flavors.


  1. Prepare espresso: Using an espresso machine, pull a shot or two of espresso (depending on your taste preference).
  2. Add hot water: Pour the espresso into a cup, then add hot water to fill the rest of the cup. Typically at a 1:1 ratio with the espresso.
  3. Serve your Americano: Your Americano is now ready to enjoy. Optionally, you can add milk or sweeteners, if desired.

While cold brew is brewed with cold or room temperature water and has a smoother taste, the Americano is made by diluting espresso with hot water, resulting in a stronger taste.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

cold brew coffee in a glass with a green straw

If you are a devoted coffee lover, you may always be in search of new and refreshing ways to indulge in your favorite beverage.

Cold brew has quickly become a go-to cold coffee drink, thanks to its smooth and rich flavor.

The process of cold brewing involves steeping coffee grounds in water for an extended period. Resulting in a concentrated cold brew concentrate.

To enjoy this delightful elixir, pour the cold brew concentrate over coffee ice cubes in a tall glass. Creating a different flavor profile with each sip.

While the brewing technique may vary, many often opt for the cold brew method. Which requires a longer brewing time and results in a milder taste compared to hot brewed coffee.

However, if you’re craving hot coffee, simply dilute the cold brew concentrate with hot water using a drip coffee maker or a trusty moka pot.

Cold brew also serves as a great way to enjoy popular iced coffee drinks, such as the refreshing cold brew Americano.

Another benefit of this brewing method is the lower caffeine content. Making it a perfect choice for those seeking a milder pick-me-up.

With its versatility and exquisite flavor, cold brew has undoubtedly become my preferred choice when it comes to satisfying my coffee cravings.

What is Americano Coffee?

Americano coffee is a versatile and popular choice among coffee enthusiasts, as it allows for customization based on personal preference.

This espresso-based drink is made by diluting a hot espresso shot with water, resulting in a delicious hot americano.

One can adjust the strength of the coffee by adding more or less water, tailoring it to their desired taste.

While it contains a higher caffeine content compared to regular coffee, the amount of caffeine can still be adjusted based on individual preferences.

For those who enjoy a strong coffee flavor and an extra kick of caffeine, a double shot of espresso can be used as the base for the Americano.

However, americano is not limited to just hot versions. Iced americano is a refreshing drink that combines the unique flavor of espresso with cold water.

Making it a delightful choice for warmer days.

Regardless of the type of coffee maker used, be it an espresso machine or a manual brew method, americano can be easily prepared.

By using espresso beans and the right ratio of coffee to water, one can enjoy the distinct and robust taste of this classic Italian espresso based beverage.

So, whether it’s for a quick caffeine fix or a leisurely sip, Americano coffee provides a satisfying and customizable option for coffee lovers everywhere. With its rich flavors and invigorating ounces of water.

Ingredients and Preparation

americano coffee in a mug

Grind Size

When it comes to making a cold brew or an Americano, the grind size of your coffee beans plays an essential role.

For cold brew, you’ll need a coarser grind, similar to what you’d use for a French press.

For an Americano, however, you’ll need a finer grind since you’re using an espresso machine.

This ensures that the water can flow through the coffee grounds easily and extract the flavors within a short period.

Coffee Beans

The choice of coffee beans can significantly impact the flavor of both cold brews and Americanos.

The cold brew process slowly extracts coffee bean oils, sugar, and acid, resulting in a unique, subtle flavor.

As such, it is recommended to use beans that have a robust and sweeter profile.

For an Americano, you can use any type of coffee bean that suits your taste. As it is made with an espresso shot.

Just make sure the beans are freshly roasted and ground before brewing.

Water Temperature

Cold brew, as its name suggests, requires cold water for preparation. You should use cold, preferably filtered water to steep the coarsely ground coffee beans.

This process usually takes at least 12 hours.

For an Americano, you need hot water to make the espresso shot first. After that, you can pour it over ice or mix it with cold water to achieve your desired temperature.

Cold Brew Recipe

  • 80 grams of coarsely ground coffee beans
  • 800 ml of cold tap water

Combine the coffee grounds and water in a container and mix well. Let the mixture steep for at least 12 hours. After steeping, strain the liquid, and enjoy your cold brew.

If you want a bigger batch, simply adjust the amount of coffee and water according to your preferred ratio.

Americano Recipe

  • 1 shot of espresso (made from finely ground coffee beans)
  • Ice (optional)
  • Cold water

Prepare your shot of espresso using an espresso machine. Add ice to a cup if you desire. Pour the espresso over the ice and top it off with cold water.

The ratio of espresso to water can be adjusted based on your preference.

Taste Differences

pouring creamer into a glass of cold brew with a straw


When it comes to acidity, cold brew, and Americano have significant differences.

Cold brew is known for having a less acidic taste, which is often preferred by people with sensitive stomachs.

Because it is brewed with cold water, the acidity level is up to 66% less than an Americano.

On the other hand, due to the espresso and hot water used in the brewing process, Americanos have higher acidity levels.


In terms of bitterness, you might find that cold brew coffee has a smoother and less bitter taste compared to an Americano.

The longer brewing time for cold brew allows the coffee beans to release their natural flavors slowly, resulting in a less bitter taste.

Conversely, the brewing process of an Americano, which involves hot water and espresso, tends to result in a bolder and stronger flavor with slightly more bitterness.

Flavor Profiles

Cold brew coffee and Americano have distinct flavor profiles.

A cold brew often has intense, strong flavors with a robust body. It can have floral or fruity notes depending on the origin of the coffee beans used.

As a result, your cold brew might be perceived as smoother, sweeter and richer compared to an Americano.

In contrast, an Americano has a lighter taste, being clean, subtle, and balanced.

The more dominant taste in Americanos is due to the shots of espresso which give it a fuller body and a stronger flavor.

Some people prefer the boldness in the taste of an Americano, while others appreciate the complexity found in cold brew coffee.

As you explore the world of coffee, keep in mind that your personal preferences will influence your enjoyment of cold brew and Americano.

Experiment with different beans, brewing methods, and serving styles to find the perfect coffee experience for you.

Caffeine Content

americano coffee in cup with ice

When it comes to caffeine content in cold brew and Americano, there are some differences to consider. Let’s take a look at the caffeine levels in both beverage options.

In a cold brew, the caffeine content is typically higher than in an Americano brewed with a single shot of espresso.

There are 200 mg of caffeine in an average 16-ounce serving of cold brew coffee.

However, this number can vary depending on the brand or the way it’s prepared. Notably, Starbucks cold brew has around 205 mg of caffeine, while Dunkin Donuts contains 260 mg per 16-ounce serving.

Considering Americanos, the caffeine content depends on how many shots of espresso are used. A 12-ounce serving with one shot of espresso usually contains 150 mg of caffeine.

However, an Americano brewed with two shots of espresso has slightly more caffeine than a cold brew.

For example, a 16-ounce Starbucks Americano with two shots of espresso has about 225 mg of caffeine.

To summarize, here’s a comparison of caffeine content per serving size:

  • Cold brew:

    • 12 ounces: 155 mg
    • 16 ounces: 200–260 mg (depending on the brand)
  • Americano:

    • 12 ounces (1 shot of espresso): 150 mg
    • 16 ounces (2 shots of espresso): 225 mg

So, when choosing between cold brew and Americano, keep in mind that the caffeine levels can change depending on factors like the brand, serving size, and the number of shots of espresso.

Feel free to experiment and find the right balance for your taste and caffeine needs.

Appearance and Texture

Here’s the scoop on the appearance and texture of cold brew and americano coffee. Pay attention to several key aspects, such as color, body, and thickness.


When comparing cold brew and americano, you’ll notice a discernible difference in color.

Cold brew coffee generally has a darker color due to its long steeping process and the concentration of the coffee.

On the other hand, Americano, which is made by mixing hot water and espresso, has a lighter color resembling a classic brewed coffee.


As for the body, the cold brew is characterized by a robust body, often with floral or fruity notes, depending on the coffee beans used.

This unique profile is due to the cold water brewing process, which allows the extraction of more flavor from the beans.

In contrast, the americano has a lighter and milder body, with a clean and subtle profile, giving it a more balanced flavor.

This difference in the body might also influence your preference, so keep that in mind when choosing between the two.


When it comes to thickness, cold brew, and Americano have slightly different textures.

Cold brew usually has a creamy and thick mouthfeel, thanks to the coffee’s higher concentration and the cold water extraction method.

On the other hand, americano has a thinner, more watery texture, resembling traditional brewed coffee.

This is because the addition of hot water dilutes the espresso shot, resulting in a lighter and more rounded sensation when sipping your americano.

So, the next time you’re at your favorite café or preparing your coffee at home, keep in mind these differences in appearance and texture between cold brew and americano.

Knowing the color, body, and thickness of these popular coffee drinks will help you make a more informed decision based on your preferences.

glass filled with coffee and ice

Iced Options

When it comes to cold coffee drinks, you may want to try an iced version of either cold brew or Americano.

An Iced Americano is made by adding shots of espresso to cold water, while a cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water.

If you prefer a stronger flavor and want more caffeine, choose an iced Americano. If you’re looking for a smoother and less acidic coffee, a cold brew might be your best option.

Making your own Iced coffee you can add ice cubes to your American or cold brew.

Keep in mind that adding ice will dilute the coffee, so you may want to use less water when brewing or add more espresso shots in the case of an iced americano.


Customizing your cold brew or americano with a variety of add-ins can make your coffee experience even more enjoyable. Here are some popular add-ins to consider:

  • Milk or cream: You can change the taste and creaminess of your coffee by adding your preferred milk or cream. Whole, 2% milk, nonfat milk, and non-dairy alternatives, such as soy, coconut, almond, and oat milk, can all be used to create a new flavor profile for your drink.
  • Sweeter options: If you prefer a sweeter coffee, you can add sugar or other sweeteners like honey, agave syrup, or artificial sweeteners. Some people enjoy adding flavored syrups, such as toffee nut, white mocha, or dark caramel, to give their cold brew or americano a unique twist.
  • Less caffeine: If you’re sensitive to caffeine or prefer a milder coffee, you can reduce the number of espresso shots in your Americano or use decaffeinated coffee grounds for your cold brew.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to make your cold brew or Americano more personalized and enjoyable.

Feel free to experiment with combinations of these options to discover your perfect cold coffee drink!

Nutritional Factors


When it comes to choosing between cold brew and Americano, you might want to consider their calorie content.

Cold brew coffee is known for its smooth and velvety texture, but it’s usually made with more coffee beans than an Americano.

The good news is that both cold brew and Americano have relatively low calorie counts, as long as you don’t add any sweeteners or creamers.

The calorie content largely depends on the size of your serving and any additional ingredients you choose to enhance the flavor.


If you’re concerned about antioxidant content, you’re in luck – both cold brew and Americano brewing methods are rich in these beneficial compounds.

Antioxidants provide numerous health benefits and can help protect your body against free radicals, which contribute to several diseases and aging.

Cold brew coffee is believed to have a slightly higher antioxidant content when compared to Americanos.

This is due to the long steeping process of the coffee grounds in cold water, which extracts more of the antioxidant compounds from the beans.

In contrast, americano coffee is more acidic than cold brew coffee, primarily because the beans are exposed to hot water, which extracts more of the coffee bean’s oils.

This process creates a more acidic drink but doesn’t necessarily translate into a significant reduction in antioxidants.

To sum it up, both cold brew and Americano coffees have their benefits when it comes to calories and antioxidants.

By selecting either option, you are enjoying a refreshing coffee beverage that contributes to your overall health and well-being. Happy sipping!


coffee in a cup filled with ice

Does Cold Brew Have Less Acidity?

Yes, cold brew typically has less acidity compared to an Americano.

This is because the cold water brewing process extracts fewer acids from the coffee beans, resulting in a smoother and less acidic coffee.

In contrast, the hot water used to make an Americano exposes the beans to higher temperatures, leading to the extraction of the deep oils of the coffee bean and a more acidic drink.

Is Iced Coffee the Same as Iced Americano?

No, iced coffee and iced Americano are not the same. Iced coffee is a simple coffee drink that has been brewed hot and then poured over ice, whereas iced Americano is made by adding cold water to espresso shots, then poured over ice.

The flavor profile of these two drinks also differs – iced Americano tends to have a balanced and subtle flavor, while iced coffee can vary depending on the coffee beans and brewing method used.

Can I Make Cold Brew with an Espresso Machine?

Technically, no. Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold or room-temperature water for an extended period (usually 12-24 hours).

This process results in a robust, sweeter taste compared to iced Americano, which uses espresso shots.

Espresso machines are designed to brew coffee quickly and at high pressure, which is not suitable for the slow extraction process used in making cold brew.

However, if you prefer a stronger flavor and more caffeine in your iced coffee, using espresso for your Americano could be an alternative.

Choosing between Cold Brew and Americano

hot americano coffee in a coffee mug

Personal Preferences

When it comes to choosing between cold brew and Americano, your personal preferences play a significant role. Both beverages offer unique tastes and experiences.

Cold brew coffee is known for its smooth and intense flavor, often featuring floral or fruity notes.

On the other hand, an Americano is a lighter and milder coffee option, providing a clean, subtle, and balanced taste.

Considering the taste differences, you might find that:

  • If you prefer a strong and bold flavor, an Americano might be your ideal choice.
  • If you’re a fan of a smoother, less acidic taste, you may lean toward cold brew.

Situational Factors

Besides your taste preferences, various situational factors can influence your choice between cold brew and americano. Some aspects to consider include:

  • Hot day: On a hot summer day, you might crave something cold and refreshing to help cool you down. In this situation, a cold brew would be a more suitable option. With its cooler temperature, it provides a perfect way to quench your thirst in warm weather.
  • Brewing methods: The brewing process for cold brew and Americano is quite different. Cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, while an americano is created by adding shots of espresso to hot water. Depending on your coffee-making equipment and the time you have, one method might be more convenient than the other.
  • Acidity levels: If you’re sensitive to the acidity in coffee, it’s helpful to know that cold brew typically has lower acidity than an Americano. Choosing a cold brew can save you from any discomfort that high acidity levels may cause.

As you can see, choosing between cold brew and americano comes down to your unique tastes, personal preferences, and situational factors.

By considering these aspects, you can make an informed decision and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee tailored to your liking.

Things to Remember

americano coffee in a small cup

When it comes to comparing cold brew and americano coffee, there are a few key differences to consider.

The main difference lies in the brewing method and base coffee used.

Cold brew is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee in cold water for a long time, resulting in a smooth and less acidic black coffee concentrate.

On the other hand, americano is created by diluting a shot of espresso with hot water, providing a stronger and more robust flavor profile.

Another distinction is the temperature of the final product. While cold brew is served chilled or over ice, americano is typically enjoyed hot.

Both options can be transformed into iced versions by adding cold milk or ice, with a delicious iced americano being a popular choice for those seeking a refreshing caffeinated beverage.

In terms of much caffeine content, americano coffee generally contains a higher caffeine content due to the concentrated nature of espresso, making it an ideal choice for a quick caffeine fix.

However, the overall amount of caffeine can still vary depending on factors such as the roast level and the amount of coffee used.

Whether you prefer the simplicity of a cold brew or the boldness of an Americano, both options have become popular drinks among coffee lovers.

So, the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and the desired taste experience for your taste buds.

Whether you’re at a local coffee shop or brewing at home, the choice between these two delicious coffee options is sure to satisfy your caffeine cravings.

Final Thoughts

Coffee lovers have a variety of options when it comes to choosing their favorite beverage.

A hot cup of coffee is a classic favorite for many, providing the perfect balance of energy and flavor.

Popular iced coffees are also becoming more and more common, offering a refreshing alternative to traditional hot beverages.

American coffee typically refers to drip-brewed methods such as pour-over or French press, while caffè Americano is an espresso-based drink.

From the classic iced latte to the bold caffè americano, each drink has its own unique flavor and texture.

For those who prefer something in between, an Americano vs long black can provide a balance of both espresso and coffee flavors.

And for those looking for something even more special, red fruit infused drinks offer a delicious twist on traditional coffee beverages.

No matter what type of coffee you’re craving, there’s sure to be an option that will satisfy your taste buds!

cold brew vs americano Pinterest image

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