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Americano coffee drink (Caffè Americano) – what is it and is it different to regular coffee?

Coffee has come a long way since its discovery. Now, it is the 2n’d largest traded commodity and one of the most popular drinks around the world. Can you blame anyone? There is nothing like a freshly brewed cup of coffee to give you that energy boost to start your day. 

Americano coffee drink has become popular drink in America and other places across the globe. While it is extremely popular, not many people know where the drink originated from. 

The origin of caffé Americano

Caffé Americano is Italian for ‘American coffee’. The creation or first mentions of caffé americano traces back to World War II. Troops stationed in Italy survived on rationed food but there was plenty of coffee to go around. However, the American troops hated the strong coffee made by the Italians. To them, it was too dark and had an intense flavor. The Americans were used to light, drip-brewed coffee with added milk.

Italians were accustomed to drinking cappuccino and espresso, which was quite frankly stronger than the Americans were used to. To add on that, it was served in smaller portions.  To accommodate the American troops, Italian coffee shops started serving them the expresso shots in full size coffee cups then fill it up with hot water. From there, the Americans could add milk or sugar to their taste. 

How is Caffè Americano made?

Making an Americano is more complicated than just pouring hot water into an expresso. To get a good café Americano, you have to start with a well-brewed espresso.

The Espresso

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Get good beans – Let’s not get into which coffee beans have the best flavors because that is up to you. So, to get started, get coffee beans that you like. 

Measure the beans – while it is recommended to make an expresso with 2 shots (1/4 cup) of beans, you can definitely make yours with one if you want your coffee a little bit lighter. For strong coffee, 2 or three shots of beans will do. 

Fine grind- the type of grinder you use will determine the type of expresso you get, which also influences how your americano will come out.  The beans need to be grinded finely or you may not get the best results. 

Tamping – 

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thankfully, tamping coffee grind is now easier as some coffee machines do the work for you. If your espresso machine does not tamper automatically, you can do it the old school way.

Make the espresso – Once tamped, put the portafilter into the machine and brew your shots of espresso.

The Caffe Americano 

Before you make your cup of americano, you need to measure the right amount of water and get it to the right temperature. The ratio of water to espresso is not standard, you will need to create one depending on your personal taste. Typically, most people mix 2 parts of water to one part of espresso. 

When it comes to the temperature of the water, different people have different opinions. Some people believe that water heated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit makes the perfect americano while others believe that water heated to 185 degrees Fahrenheit will make the bet americano. However, if you want iced coffee, you can use cold water to make your caffe americano. 

Make your hot cup of caffe americano

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The caffé americano is made by mixing your hot water and espresso. It seems like a simple process but the challenge here is, which one goes into the other?

The traditional way to make caffé americano is by pouring the espresso over the hot cup of water. Doing it the other way creates a ‘long black’ coffee. 

Caffé Americano vs Drip coffee – what are the differences

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Some people might argue that café American is similar to a cup of black coffee but they are two completely different drinks. The two have different texture, taste and aroma.  Caffé americano is brewed using an espresso shot while drip coffee is made through filtration. Naturally, americano has a deep, intense coffee flavor with an earthy, nutty flavor while drip coffee has subtle, light flavor and sweet floral notes.  An americano also has more caffein than drip coffee. It is typically made with 2 shots which contain 80mg of caffein while drip coffee often has 10 mg of caffein.