Iced Espresso vs Iced Coffee: All The Differences Explained!

By Evelina •  Updated: 01/12/22 •  7 min read

The Best Answer:

Iced espresso is made with an espresso machine. An iced coffee, on the other hand, is brewed using regular coffee beans and water at a regular temperature—no need for special equipment or any kind of steaming process. The result: A refreshing cup that’s just as tasty as an iced latte or cappuccino! Both drinks are very easy to make, so it depends on your preference. Most people go for iced coffee because it’s more widely available and accessible to the general public.

We all know that iced coffee and iced espresso are two very different things. But what are the specific differences between them? How do you make each one? And which is better for you – iced coffee or iced espresso? In this blog post, we’ll answer all those questions and more! So keep reading to learn everything you need to know about these two delicious drinks!

What is Iced Espresso?

Iced espresso is, as you might expect, simply espresso that has been poured over ice. It’s basically just a cold version of regular espresso, and that’s why many people choose to drink it. It has an incredible flavor that is very rich and intense, so even a little bit goes a long way!

Also known as iced shot, iced ristretto, or iced red-eye, iced espresso is made using the traditional espresso process. Water is first heated, and it’s pushed (or shot) through finely-ground coffee to create delicious espresso. Then, the cup of espresso is poured over ice to create iced espresso. You can also mix it with cold milk to create a delicious iced latte!

What is Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is just brewed coffee with ice added to it. It’s very simple and easy to make, which is why many people drink it. And since most people have a drip coffee maker in their home or office, you can easily make iced coffee at home, too!

One of the great things about iced coffee is that you can prepare it with basically any type of coffee. Espresso, drip coffee, french press – they’ll all work just fine! We recommend using cold temperatures and plenty of ice to get the best flavor. However, you should experiment with the ratios of coffee and water to see what you like best.

What Are The Differences Between Iced Coffee And Iced Espresso?

Now that you know what each drink is, you might be wondering what the differences are! Well, several different factors make iced coffee and iced espresso unique from one another.

1) The Taste!

Although iced coffee and iced espresso are both very delicious, iced coffee has a much more diluted flavor. This is because the brewing process doesn’t use as finely ground coffee or as much pressure as it does for espresso. As a result, you’ll get a smoother flavor with iced coffee – but if you really love strong flavors, iced espresso might be the way to go!

2) The Caffeine Content

As you can imagine, iced coffee has a much lower caffeine content than iced espresso. This is because the brewing process for coffee doesn’t use anywhere near as much pressure as it does for espresso. In fact, some people prefer to drink their coffee decaffeinated because they don’t love the caffeine jitters that come along with it!

3) The Coffee To Water Ratio

Since we just talked about how the brewing process affects the caffeine content and flavor, you might be wondering what the coffee to water ratio is for iced espresso and iced coffee. For espresso, the coffee to water ratio is 1:2 (or 1 part coffee to 2 parts water), while the coffee to water ratio for regular coffee is 1:17.

4) The Type Of Coffee Used

Although both iced coffee and iced espresso can be prepared with any type of coffee, they’re typically made from either espresso or drip coffee. In fact, most people don’t even know that there’s a difference between the two! But to give you a little more insight into this topic, let’s take a look at both coffee and espresso.

Iced Coffee – If you’re going to make iced coffee, you’ll need a pot of drip coffee or a French press. The flavor of this type of beverage tends to be smoother and less intense than iced espresso, which is why it’s perfect for drinking over ice! After all, the water and ice will make a huge difference in how strong the flavor is.

Iced Espresso – As we already mentioned, iced espresso has a much stronger taste than iced coffee because it’s made using an espresso machine. In fact, most people think that the flavor of iced espresso is actually too intense to drink over ice! This is why it’s typically made using cold-brewed espresso, which is easier to drink. However, if you like stronger flavors (and don’t mind the jitters), then iced espresso might be the right choice for you!

5) The Coffee Maker Used

Last but not least, it’s important to consider what type of coffee maker you’re using when preparing your iced drink. After all, you’ll want to make sure that you choose a cold brew method that fits in with your schedule and is easy enough for you to do daily!

Iced Coffee – In order to make iced coffee at home, you can use a drip coffee maker. Just make sure to use cold water when preparing it! But if you want to go the extra mile, you can even try cold-brewing your coffee overnight in a pitcher or carafe. Then, all you’ll have to do is strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer and add ice before serving!

Iced Espresso – If you want to make the best-iced espresso possible, you’ll need an espresso machine. Although they can be expensive depending on what type of model you get, investing in one will reward you with delicious coffee every single time! In fact, the best part about making iced espresso at home is that you can make as much as you want whenever you want!

So, Which One Is For You?

Overall, iced coffee and iced espresso are both delicious ways to enjoy your morning cup of joe. But if you’re looking to experiment with different flavors and brewing techniques, then we recommend trying out both! The recipes for both beverages are pretty simple, so you’ll be able to make them easily at home. Plus, they both have different caffeine contents and flavors, which is why the choice is all yours!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is iced espresso stronger than iced coffee?

The short answer is yes. Since brewed coffee is already diluted by the water it’s made from, iced coffee tends to be less intense than iced espresso. This is because iced espresso uses a much finer ground coffee and an espresso machine, which gives it a stronger flavor than its counterpart!

Is espresso better for iced coffee?

If you’re looking for a stronger flavor, then espresso is the better choice. The reason why it has a much stronger taste than iced coffee is that espresso is made using an espresso machine, which produces a finer ground coffee.

What has more caffeine espresso or iced coffee?

Since iced coffee and espresso are both made using a type of brewed coffee, they will have roughly the same amount of caffeine per cup. However, since iced espresso is made using an espresso machine, it has a much stronger taste. Although the caffeine level is practically the same, iced espresso will give you a bigger energy boost due to its intense flavor.

Last Thoughts

So, does iced espresso or iced coffee make more sense for you? If your goal is to get a caffeine punch without the sugar and calories of traditional cold drinks like soda, then an iced espresso would be perfect. But if you’re looking for something that tastes good with milk in it (or just really want some ice cubes) then go for iced coffee! Either way, we hope this article has helped answer any questions about these two delicious beverages.


Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.