What Is An Americano Coffee

An Americano coffee also called ‘Caffe Americano’ is an espresso shot that is infused with hot water. In other words, it is a black coffee drink that is made without the addition of milk. It contains almost the same quantity of caffeine as traditional coffee, but its taste is entirely different.

What Is An Americano Coffee
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If you are an American, you will know that a Starbucks Americano comes as a hot cup of coffee or iced. Where did it come from? This type of coffee is very popular, yet a lot of people do not know anything about its origin. 

‘Americano’ is an Italian word for the American style coffee. It is said that American soldiers on station during the world war II thought that the Italian espresso coffee concentration was very strong. The Italians helped to solve this problem by making the Americano coffee (diluted espresso coffee).

An espresso which means quick is prepared by forcing water through finely-ground coffee at very high pressure. This creates a cup of richly flavored coffee. 

If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.

Constituents of  Americano Coffee

The Americano coffee like we already mentioned consists of water and espresso. The proportion of these two ingredients is basically two-thirds water and one-third espresso. This ratio is dependent on the number of espresso shots you prefer.

However, most Americans haven’t fully accepted this coffee variant as most places in the United States love the latte. The Americano is a unique type of espresso because it contains no milk. 

Although some people prefer theirs with milk, a typical americano coffee is served without milk or any other dairy products except it is specifically requested.

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Video: What Is An Americano Coffee?

This video will tell you all you need to know about an Americano coffee.

Difference Between Americano Coffee and Regular Coffee 

The major variation between the Americano coffee and the drip or traditional coffee is in their making. An Americano coffee contains a minimal quantity of 1 espresso shot per mug made under high pressure. 

While the regular coffee (drip coffee) makes use of hot water during brewing to remove flavors and essential oils from medium-coarse coffee beans without the application of pressure. 

Americano coffee is brewed from finely ground coffee given that it is prepared from the espresso, this allows more flavors to be removed from the coffee beans. There is so much difference between the flavor content of the Americano coffee and the regular coffee.

Also, Americano coffee contains crema (a light brown creamy substance) which depends on how it is prepared. Crema is found on top of an espresso. It is a thin film of foam gotten from coffee bean essential oils. Some people believe it tastes great while others believe it removes the typical espresso taste.

There are 2 ways of making an americano because it has only two ingredients. You either add water to a cup first before adding the espresso shot or add water on top of the espresso shot in a cup. 

The former gives a less even mixture of water and coffee, this is called the ‘Long Black’. While the latter completely mixes the crema and coffee and makes the coffee taste like the drip or normal black coffee.

Long Black coffee is very common in Australia and New Zealand. It is basically stronger and has more flavors than Americano coffee. This is mostly due to the way it is brewed. 

It is prepared by pulling one or two espresso shots over water resulting in more formation of crema. It keeps the unique aroma of the crema and the fullness of flavor.

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Difference Between Americano Coffee and Latte Coffee

The process of making an americano is the same as a latte coffee. The major difference is that the latte coffee is one espresso shot that has an addition of foamed milk. That is, it is made with one-third espresso and two-third foamed milk.  

This makes a latte creamy white and milky while americano coffee is more like the black coffee drink. You can put sugar and milk into your americano, it removes its bitter flavor.

How Does the Americano Coffee Taste?

The addition of water to the espresso shot changes the taste of Americano coffee. Although it lacks the typical espresso taste, it is lighter than a black coffee. While the drip or traditional coffee is stronger in taste and so contains more caffeine. 

Also, americanos get to a temperature higher than the traditional cup of coffee. This is because the water used in making the americanos is boiled separately from the coffee grounds. As a result, the water does not have contact directly with the coffee grounds.

That is, the boiled water is poured directly into espresso to make a cup of americano coffee. This makes its temperature higher than the regular coffee that is brewed in the coffee maker.

Factors That Affects the Taste of An Americano

The taste of americano is affected by the quality of the espresso beans used in its brewing. It is imperative that you use fresh espresso beans always. The coffee beans should have been roasted at least 3 weeks before brewing.

You should also use filtered water for both the espresso machine and the hot water added for the final brewing. The aroma or flavor of your americano depends on the espresso you use. The concentration of your americano can be adjusted by changing the ratio of water to espresso.

If you add more espresso shots, the concentration of your americano increases. This will give you more crema and brim-full body. While, the addition of excess water to your espresso makes an acidic, bitter and watery americano coffee.

You can be creative when making your americano coffee. Try various ratios of water and espresso and find out the variant you like most. You can also make it by using decaffeinated espresso beans to see how it taste

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Can Americano Coffee Be Brewed at Home?

Manual brewing methods can be used to make americanos. While most baristas can not afford an espresso machine for their homes, a lot of people can get a French Press, Moka Pot or an AeroPress.

These methods of making espresso are not good for making straight coffee shots, they can be used for coffee drinks that are intentionally diluted. While the milk-based latte can change the espresso flavor, it is very easy to perfectly brew the water-based Americano coffee after a couple of trials.

Caffeine Content in Americano Coffee

Americanos have less amount of caffeine than regular black or drip coffee. One espresso shot which is about 30 to 50 ml and contains about 50 to 63mg of caffeine. 

Since water contains no caffeine, a cup of Americano coffee has a caffeine content of about 63mg in total. While a cup of drip coffee (237ml) consists of about 70 to 140 mg of caffeine or averagely 95mg.


If you are looking for a drip or regular coffee but don’t want sugar and milk added, Americano coffee is a perfect alternative you should try. You can order a cup from any coffee shop or make it at home.

In any case, it is a simple and classy drink that won’t let you down. We believe that you should have this coffee drink in your list of coffee variants. And you should introduce it to all your family members and your friends the next time they come over for some coffee.

You can serve your americano either alone just as it is brewed, or with sugar, milk or syrup. You can also have it as iced americano coffee. Your serving variation depends on your preference. 

The bottom line is that it is totally worth the try.