What Is an Americano?
If you live in the US, don’t be fooled by the name. The Americano, Cafe Americano, or Caffè Americano isn’t the same as the coffee coming out of your Keurig or served to you at most restaurants.
Like many coffee drinks, an Americano is an espresso-based beverage. It starts with a shot of a strong, fresh brew topped with hot or boiling water to mellow it out a bit and remove the crema.
About an Americano
|Added Water||yes – 2 parts espresso and 4 parts hot water|
|Coffee : Milk Ratio||n/a|
|Type of Milk||optional|
|Cup||wide mouth cup – similar to cappuccino|
|Supplies||espresso, hot water|
|Sugar or Added Flavors||optional|
|Notes||you don’t need an expensive espresso machine as there are optional espresso-making methods like the Nespresso machine, L’OR, Moka Pot, AeroPress, Cezve, or even espresso coffee sticks|
How To Make an Americano
1. To make a Caffè Americano or Cafe Americano, first begin by making an espresso shot or two, depending on how big of a portion you want. A typical Americano starts with two shots of espresso.
Measure out the desired amount of espresso grinds into the portafilter, tamp it down evenly, and lock it into place on the espresso machine. Then turn on the machine to start brewing the espresso shots.
If you’re using a Nespresso, use your favorite espresso pods. But there are other ways to make espresso, too. So, don’t be deterred if you don’t have a machine.
Spillin’ the Beans Espresso Making Alternatives
2. While your espresso is brewing, prepare your hot (almost boiling) water. An optimal temperature is 185° F.
3. Once you have your espresso and water ready, you’ll want to pour the water over the espresso to dilute the crema. This step is what separates the Americano from other espresso drinks, like the Lungo.
The Ratio of Espresso to Water
One of the best things about the Americano is you can customize the brew to your taste. A standard Cafe Americano is 2:4 (two parts of espresso to four parts hot water). However, some people add as much as six parts of water to espresso for a slightly weaker 8-ounce cup.
Americano or Long Black?
A Long Black is similar to an Americano. It’s made with one part espresso to two parts water. However, what sets them apart is the prep order.
Espresso is slowly added to the hot water for a Long Black. The process preserves the crema, which is why it’s reversed for the Americano. Water comes last with the Cafe Americano to remove as much crema as possible.
When preparing a Caffè Americano, the hot water is added to the espresso last to remove most of the espresso crema.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Americano
No. An Americano is a standard drip or pour-over coffee – it’s an espresso-based beverage. An Americano is hot water added to a shot of espresso to reduce its strength and remove the crema.
Like an Americano, a Long Black has two parts of hot water per shot of espresso. The difference is in the preparation, though. With a Caffè Americano, the water is added last to remove the crema. But, for the Long Black, the espresso is slowly added to the hot water to preserve the crema.
No. An Americano or Caffè Americano is made with extra hot water added to a shot of espresso.