What is an Americano Coffee?

An Americano coffee is a combination of water and espresso in specific ratios. The flavor of this coffee is determined by the ratio of hot water added to the number of espresso shots used.

For many coffee lovers, drinking a shot of espresso may be too strong for their liking but they enjoy the essence of this coffee style. So, creative coffee brewers came up with the Americano coffee, a brew using specific ratios of hot water added to shots of espresso.

By adding hot water to espresso, you’re diluting the strength of the shot without taking away too much of the flavor. An Americano is a richer, full-bodied cup of coffee compared to the regular coffee types although the taste may vary depending on the roast and quantity of water added.

The Story Behind Americano Coffee

While no one really knows how the Americano came about, there is a story about the American soldiers during World War II who found the Italian-style espresso drink too strong to stomach!

So, instead they devised their own style of espresso by adding hot water to a shot or two of espresso. This way they could enjoy the richness and fullness of an espresso without suffering from the jitters of too much caffeine.

How to Make an Americano Coffee at Home

Step 1

Make sure you use freshly ground coffee beans roasted for espresso. Use either an espresso maker or a stove-top Moka pot to make a shot of espresso. The number of shots you use depends on how strong you like your Americano coffee.

Step 2

Boil some water or take the hot water from the coffee machine you’re using to make the espresso. Pour hot water into the cup or mug bearing in mind the serving size will impact the final flavor. The ratio is normally 2/3 hot water to 1 – 2 shots of espresso.

Step 3

Add the espresso drink to the cup of hot water. If you like to add some ice cubes, you can at this stage. Americano is not typically served with milk but if you prefer it with milk, then add it in this step.

2 Schools of Making an Americano Coffee (the controversy!)

The controversy to making the perfect Americano came about when deciding whether it’s water first or espresso first! While the method described above uses the process of adding the espresso shot to hot water, the other way is also popular for a reason.

It all has to do with the crema. If you’re not too familiar with espresso, then you may be asking what exactly does crema have to do with making a good Americano? The crema is the foamy, thin layer that forms on top of the espresso. During the process of pulling the shot with espresso machines, the coffee oils and carbon dioxide combine to make this crema layer. True connoisseurs of espresso will argue it’s the crema responsible for the ultimate flavor of a prefect shot.

This video shows you how to make an easy Americano by adding hot water to the espresso shot.

By adding hot water to espresso, this crema is mixed, resulting in a mellow flavor which is preferred by many Americano drinkers. However, if you like the stronger flavors and fullness of espresso, then adding espresso to hot water is the better method.

This video shows you how to make an Americano by adding espresso to hot water.

Is Americano the Same as Black Coffee?

If you think you’re drinking a cup of black coffee when you order an Americano, think again. There are a few subtle but major differences between the two types of coffee. And, this is because the base of an Americano is the espresso.

This coffee style differs from a regular black coffee because of the flavor, taste, and aroma imparted by the espresso. A barista will tell you that brewing black coffee using the drip method is completely different to brewing espresso, all which results in the Americano being way different to a black coffee.

Is Americano Coffee Strong?

The reason Americano coffee came about was to dilute the strength of the espresso drink without compromising too much on the flavor, taste and aroma of this brew. However, depending on how many shots you use to make an Americano will determine how strong your coffee drink is.

An Americano can have less caffeine than a regular cup of drip coffee but this all depends on the drink size of the cup and the number of shots to the amount of water used.

Any Recommendations on Americano Coffee?

We’ve listed some recommendations below on great Americano coffee but if you’re looking for more options, feel free to use our search bar above. Use any of the following Americano coffee products to drink your own favorite brew at home:

Whether you’re making your own or drinking ready-made, it’s easy to enjoy Americano coffee at home or on the go.

Final Thoughts

The Americano coffee is a popular drink enjoyed by coffee lovers who appreciate the flavors and taste of an espresso. The benefit of this coffee style is you can enjoy a larger cup of espresso-flavored coffee while still getting the fullness and richness typical of this brew.

What’s more, you can pick between a mellow Americano without the crema or ask the barista to pour espresso last for more flavor.

Whatever your style, Americano coffee can be found in any coffee shop worldwide and you can easily brew it up at home too. Let us know how you enjoy your Americano by adding to our Facebook comments section here. We would love to hear from you!

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