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Do you ever step into a coffee shop and look at their beverage board and get overwhelmed? All you want is a simple black coffee. You ask the barista for a black coffee, and they suggest the Americano. You decide to order it. As you take your first sip, you realize it’s one of the richest most delicious black coffees you have ever drunk. You start to think. Why do they call this an Americano?
What is An Americano?
An americano coffee consists of a shot of espresso and hot water. Simple huh? Some baristas like to add two shots of espresso to make it stronger. In the end, it all comes down to personal taste.
The Birth of The Americano
The Americano coffee or Cafe Americano is a classic type of coffee that has gained tremendous popularity among many coffee drinkers around the world. It is said that the birth of the Americano comes from the US Soldiers that were stationed in Italy during the second world war. Not used to the strong taste of espresso, these soldiers would dilute their shots of espresso with hot water so that they can mimic the taste of their classic drip coffee that was served back home. Many Italian coffee drinkers hold their espresso close to their hearts. Not being particularly keen on the idea of diluting their espresso, they would refer to this coffee as “dirty water” along with giving it the famous name “Americano”.
Oh, Crema, Oh, Crema.
Are you wondering what that thin light brown layer of foam is on top of your coffee? That my friend is called “Crema”. Crema is the result of a mixture of coffee oils and carbon dioxide that naturally occurs during the pull of an espresso shot. Many baristas and veteran coffee drinkers refer to crema as being a staple for a perfectly brewed coffee.
How to make an Americano
Making this type of coffee is extremely simple. It can be prepared in two ways. You can either prepare some hot water in a mug first and then pour a shot into the mug (this is the most recommended since it doesn’t break the crema), or you can pull a shot into a coffee mug and then top it off with hot water (this method is referred to as a Long Black)
Cafe Americano Variations
This coffee can be prepared in various ways. Depending on how strong or light you like your coffee, the Americano can be done in various ratios.
- Very Strong Brew – 1 part espresso and 1 part hot water.
- Strong Brew – 1 part espresso and 2 part hot water.
- The Most Common – 1 part espresso and 4 part hot water.
In the summer the Iced Americano is a great variation of the drink as well. This can easily be done by pouring the coffee into a tall glass of ice.
Americano Coffee Vs. Drip Coffee
Both of these types of coffees deliver a nice full cup of black coffee, let’s go over some of the in-depth attributes that set them apart.
Flavor – Rich/Intense, Bitter with Nutty Notes.
Caffeine – 64 mg (average) per shot of espresso. (128mg double shot – 12oz serving).
Crema – Yes
Ideal Coffee Roast – Medium/Dark Roast
Coffee Grind – Fine grind.
Flavor – Subtle, slightly bitter with Floral Notes.
Caffeine – 235mg (average) – 12oz serving.
Crema – No
Ideal Coffee Roast – Medium Roast
Coffee Grind – Medium-Coarse
Americano Coffee Vs Long Black Coffee
This comparison is at a constant debate. Some people like to argue that there is a difference between the two, others say it’s the same coffee. A Long Black originates from Australia/New Zealand, it’s said to be a variation of the Cafe Americano. The main difference between the two is the preparation of the coffee.
An Americano coffee is created when you pour a shot of hot water over a shot of espresso, while a Long Black coffee is when you pour hot water over a shot of espresso. Creating the same drink in the end.
So there you have it, folks! You’re now a cafe Americano expert!
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