Everything You Need to Know About Americano 

What Is an Americano

Coffee shops use different names to describe the various products they sell. Today, we shall dive deeper and find out what Americano means. If you are American, probably you have an idea what Americano means. If not, worry not because this post has everything you need to know about Americano.

What Is an Americano?

In simple words, an americano is a shot of espresso topped with hot water. If you have ever tried Starbcukcs Americano, without a doubt, you know it comes iced or hot.

History of Americano

According to the New York Times, American soldiers while stationed in Italy during WWII encountered espresso; a drink loved by Italians. To them (American soldiers), espresso was unfamiliar, and they decided to water it down to have concoction similar to coffee they enjoyed at home. That is the short story that explains why Americano came from.

Note: that Italians call any diluted espresso dirty water.


Does an Americano Have Crema?

Yes, a true americano will have a layer of crema. Now going back to the process of brewing espresso, when brewed, the hot water first forces the aromatic oils out of the beans. These oils come out of the espresso machine before the dark coffee in the form of light brown creamy substance, which rises to the top. And since Americano is simply an espresso, this means your drink will have a layer of crema.

Note: The presence of crema for a long time has been seen as mark of great brew.

How to Make an Americano?

  • Pull a shot of espresso
  • Fill a cup with hot water
  • Pour espresso into hot water

Isn’t Drip Coffee the Same Thing?

While some people tend to think that drip coffee is the same as espresso (Americano), that is not true. You need a few minutes to prepare espresso compared to the time you need to prepare drip coffee. Below, is what you have to do to make a cup of drip.

Pour water just off boiling water over grounds and let the gravity do the work. This process allows some of the grounds to dissolve and pass through the filter along with those flavor particles. The process takes more time, but the resulting drink has a more subtle coffee flavor than an Americano.

Americano vs Other Black Coffees


Americano vs Drip

The obvious difference we have so far discussed is that Americano is brewed from a shot of espresso while drip coffee is through filtration. That is not all; below is a table with more differences.


NO Americano  Drip
Flavour  Intense, deep coffee notes. Nutty, earthy flavors – floral and lighter notes are destroyed by the high temperature. Subtle, lighter flavor. Sweeter, more floral and delicate flavors are allowed to develop with time.
Grind  Fine grind for espresso Medium-coarse 
Crema Crema is available is the espresso is not broken No crema.
Caffeine  0 mg per espresso (average). It’s common to use 2 shots per 12 oz serving, so 80 mg per cup on average.. Average of 10 mg per ounce of coffee. 120 mg per average 12 oz serving.


READ Related Article:  Kenyan Coffee: Learn About Coffee in Kenya

Americano vs Long Black

Honestly, there is no difference between Americano and long black. The only thing that makes them unique and triggers some people to think of them as different drinks is how they are made.

As mentioned above, you make an americano when you pour water over the espresso shot. Now, when it comes to making long black, you pour the espresso shot over the hot water. This slight difference is what makes the two drinks differ among some coffee aficionados.

Americano vs Espresso vs Latte

The difference between a latte and Americano is clear. While both are prepared from a shot of espresso, the shot of espresso used to make a latte is topped with a creamy foamed milk.


Can You Add Milk to An Americano?

Yes, it is ok to add milk to your Americano. You can add milk (not limited to the amount to add) if you find your drink bitter. Adding milk and sugar help tone down that bitterness. Note the milk in Americano is not frothed like in a cappuccino or foamed like in a latte.

How Much Water Is in An Americano?

There is no rule on the amount of water to add. You have the freedom to add water depending on the strength and texture you prefer. But usually, the ideal espresso to water ratio is 1:2 or about 30-50ml.

Is Americano Stronger Than Drip Coffee?

Most people will tell you drip coffee is stronger than Americano. In fact, 12-oz drip coffee contains 115-175mg while 12-oz americano contains about 40-80mg.