Choosing the right type of coffee in the morning is a big decision. You want something that not only jolts you awake so that you can handle all of the challenges of the day, but you also want something that tastes good and satisfies all of those cravings. When you walk into the coffee shop, you may wonder which option you should choose for the best cup of coffee in the morning.
Two options should instantly stand out to you; cold brew and iced Americano. But what are the differences between the two so that you can make the right decision for your needs?
Our guide will take a look at both of these coffees so that you can choose cold brew vs. Americano for your morning drink.
Cold Brew Coffee (Overview & Why It's Popular)
A cold brew coffee is a type of coffee made using cold water rather than hot water. Traditionally, this type of coffee will be made when you immerse ground coffee into water that is cold, or at least room temperature, and then let it infuse in the water for up to 24 hours.
A slow drip method is popular for this too. Rather than combining the coffee into the water right away, it will be added slowly over a few hours. The cold brewing process will take longer because cold water cannot extract the flavor as quickly as hot water.
Once the water and coffee have been infused together, the drink can be filtered through a paper or cloth filter. The coffee can be stored for up to a week when it is done. To make this work, a large ratio of coffee has to be added to the water. Since it is so concentrated, water or milk will be used to dilute the drink.
Many people like the cold brew because the infusing method makes the coffee sweeter than hot coffee. This can take away some of the acidity and the bitterness of most traditional coffees, making it a much better option for some who can’t handle the taste of bot brewed coffee.
Iced Americanos (Overview & Why It's A Good Choice)
Iced Americano is another option that coffee lovers can enjoy in the morning. This drink is made from espresso, similar to what we see with lattes and cappuccinos. It is made just from water and espresso, so the consistency is similar to a drip coffee. However, the flavoring will be different than a drip coffee due to the method of brewing.
Espresso coffee, which is used in Americano, is made with a brewing method that will make the coffee taste stronger and more intense. The final taste is bold and aromatic. The overall flavor is attributed to the hot pressurized water that is used to help brew densely packed coffee grinds.
While drinking espresso on its own can be bitter and strong, when combined with water and ice, like with the iced Americano, it can be the best way to wake up in the morning. Depending on how it is made, you will get between 1/3 to ½ a cup of espresso, and the rest is filled up with water and ice.
When a customer wants a coffee drink that is strong and bold, they will go with the iced Americano. The cold flavoring is nice, and the espresso will kick things up a notch to make sure you get a good wake-up call in the morning.
Cold Brew Vs Iced Americanos (Differences Compared)
1. Production Process
The cold brew coffee will rely on coffee infused with cold or room temperature water for up to 24 hours to get the work done. This can be as strong as you need, though it tends to come out more potent than the hot brew varieties and will need to have ice or milk added to it to taper it down.
Americanos will rely on espresso to make the coffee. This is really strong, and most of the cup of coffee will be ice and water to help make it not too bitter. However, because it is not steeped as long and there is a lot of water used to dilute it, the Americano may not be as strong.
The taste is the most significant difference between these two types of coffee. Cold brew can sometimes taste stronger than the iced Americano, though the espresso generally will have more caffeine than the cold brew.
Since the Americano is espresso that is diluted down with water and ice, it often tastes like diluted espresso, and the flavoring may not be as unique and full as you would like. The cold brew is often more robust and rich if that is the flavor that you would like.
3. Caffeine Content
While the cold brew coffee is going to be stronger and has more of the coffee taste to it, it generally has less caffeine compared to the Americano. The cold brew coffee caffeine intake will vary based on the type that you get, but it generally has around 125 mg of caffeine.
If you get a cup of Americano coffee that is the same size, it will have 136 mg of caffeine instead. These numbers are found assuming that there are two espresso shots put into the Americano, and then it is diluted to about ½ cup of the coffee total. The same amount is used for the cold brew to keep it even.
The good news is that both the iced Americano and the cold brew have very few, if any, calories in them. Coffee has only about 2 calories per 8oz brewed, so it does not matter how much you add into the cup; it will still not add up quickly.
The issue comes when you start adding creamers, milk, sugar, honey, and coffee syrups into the iced Americano or the cold brew. The more of those that you put in with the coffee, the higher the calorie count will go.
5. Negative Health Aspects
There are no real health concerns for drinking either of these. They are both relatively strong, so if you have a sensitivity to caffeine, you need to be careful and maybe watch out for the espresso shot. Always be mindful of the additives that you put into the coffee.
Drinking coffee on its own is healthy, but adding a lot of creamer and sugars can add to the negative health aspects of coffee. If you drink the coffee plain, you will not have to worry about the negative health effects at all.
6. Price In Cafes
The cost of the coffees will depend on the café you go to and how big you get the coffee. For an Americano, you will find that a small is around $2.25 while a tall will be $2.45, a grande is $2.95, and a venti will be $3.25. If you would like to add more espresso to the drink to make it stronger, it is often close to $0.80 per shot.
A cold brew is going to cost a little more than the iced Americano. Due to how long it takes to infuse the coffee, the price will be higher and can be a bit off-putting to some. A regular cup of coffee is closer to $2 in most cafes, while a cold brew cup will be $5 before you put any additives into it.
Starbucks Cold Brew Vs Iced Americano
Starbucks has a lot of options when it comes to the types of coffee that you can choose. You can get either a cold brew or an iced Americano added to your order and then put in other flavorings and more to suit your needs.
You can choose from the three main sizes for a regular cold brew, including the tall, grande, and venti. They make theirs to be approximately 5 calories before you choose any additives, like vanilla and pumpkin spice, which are popular right now. The tall will cost $3.45, and the Venit will be closer to $4.25.
The iced Americano is similar in the different sizes as well. You can easily add in more or less espresso to meet your needs, helping you to get the right holt in the morning. The flavoring is really smooth with this one from Starbucks, especially if you add in some of their great flavorings.
Americano Vs Cold Brew FAQs
Why are iced Americano coffees so bitter?
The Americano coffee can taste bitter from the coffee beans inside. The espresso is going to provide a bitter taste, which can sometimes be more hidden in a hot coffee than a cold one. Add in some sugar or artificial sweetener if you find that the iced Americano coffee is too bitter for your tastes.
What is the difference between the nitro cold brew vs. Americano?
The biggest difference you will find between these two is the texture. Nitro is basically a cold coffee that will have an odorless and colorless nitrogen gas added to it. This results in a coffee that has a richer and smoother taste attached to it.
Are Americano coffees bad for you?
For most people, an Americano coffee will not be bad for you to drink each day. However, you do need to watch how you react to caffeine. Since there are two shots of espresso in it, if you have a caffeine sensitivity, you should avoid drinking this often. As for your diet or health, the Americano coffee will not add to your calorie intake unless you add a lot of creamer or milk to it.
Cold-brew and Americano coffees are great options to choose from for your morning cup of coffee. They both bring some unique flavors to the mix and will help you to get the most out of some of the caffeine that you want to have in the morning.
If you are uncertain about which one to try in the morning, look at some of the tips above and see how these two types of coffee are the same and different.