With the arrival of the 21st century, there has been a significant growth in the coffee industry. Nowadays, coffee shops are ubiquitous. Wherever you turn your head, I can guarantee that you will see at least one coffee shop.
Some find those coffee shops too complicated; there are drinks with strange names on the menu, unfamiliar drinks and desserts everywhere.
However, if you want to explore the strange world of coffee and taste different things, you can start with old, reliable Americano coffee.
What Is an Americano?
It may sound fancy, but the truth is actually just the opposite. Americano is one of the simplest coffees, it’s just a shot of espresso topped with ice-cold or hot water. Americano coffee has similar strength to traditionally brewed coffee, but their flavors are not the same. It’s caffeine ratio depends on how much espresso shot you added.
Americano’s name literally means American. In fact, according to the legend the name has its origins in WW2. Americans stationed in Italy realized that espressos in Italy were much stronger than what they drink in the US and because they tend to drink espressos which had much milder flavor, the Italian baristas diluted the shot of espresso with water.
This resulted in with a similar taste to what soldiers expected and Italians named the drink after them. Thus, one of the greatest drinks in the world was born.
Speaking of names, did you know that Americano is referred to differently in some countries? This difference comes from how you prepare it; by adding water to espresso or pouring espresso into the water first.
In the U.S and some other European countries it is called Americano, and you make it by pulling the shot of espresso first. In Australia, however, it is called Long Black, and you start with hot water and then pour espresso over it. It is still a controversial topic among coffee experts, some call this alternative way Long Black and some call both Americano.
To sum up, I suggest you to use the term Americano when you’re in a coffee shop, it is more commonly used.
How Does It Taste Like?
You know what espresso tastes like, right? Of course it has varieties as a result of different coffee beans, but generally an espresso is dark and strong with a hint of bitterness. That’s exactly how Americano tastes like, but it has a milder flavor.
You can change Americano’s taste by using different beans or changing the espresso/water ratio by adding less or more water. Some say the standard Americano should consist of one-part espresso and two parts water, whereas, others claim that they should be equal.
It is up to you, try both and try to find which is better for your own taste!
What is the Difference Between Americano and Drip Coffee?
While Americano is brewed using a shot of espresso, drip coffee brewed using filtration. In addition, brewing time is also a distinctive factor. Water should be in contact with the coffee grounds for 4-5 minutes for making drip coffee, on the other hand while making an espresso, the recommended time is 30 seconds.
Americano has an unique peanutty and earthy flavor with deep, strong coffee notes. However, drip coffee has a lighter and subtle flavor and you can tell it is sweeter than Americano.
Americano requires a fine, almost powdery grind. When making a drip coffee, you have to use a medium-coarse grind.
Americano has crema which basically gives espresso its luxurious flavor. On the other hand, drip coffee doesn’t have any crema because of its brewing method.
How to Make Americano at Home
Making an Americano is one of the easiest things in the world! Really, all you need is a shot of espresso and some water. Now let’s learn how to do it!
- First, you have to have an americano mug.
- Pull a 3oz espresso shot into another glass. If you want your coffee stronger, you can pull more than 3oz.
- Into the americano mug, pour 3oz of hot water. You can use an espresso wand, kettle, or just heat up the water in a microwave. (PS: If you want to make an iced americano coffee, you have to use cold water instead of hot water at this step. And of course, don’t forget to add ice cubes!)
- After you add your water, now you can pour the espresso shot into the mug. Personally, I prefer making Americano with this order because I’ve been making it like this way since I’ve learnt, so it is just an old habit. It tastes more or less the same if you make it the other way, it is totally up to you, experiment and try to find what’s best for you!
- Congratulations, it is done! Now you can start your day with the delicious Americano you’ve just made, your day just got better.
Extra tip: I highly recommend you to serve your Americano with brownies. Their combination tastes like heavens!
Congratulations, if you’ve read the entire article, you have more than enough knowledge about the Americano coffee. You don’t have to order the same old filter coffee every morning anymore.
Next time you go to a coffee shop, just order an Americano and see which method they are using, you can even chat about this with baristas. They love when they see a knowledgable customer!
A proud coffee aficionado who is determined to share his passion and knowledge about coffee with others. Writing and sci-fi are sine qua non of my life. It is not a good day for me if I haven’t had my coffee in the morning.
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