What is Americano? Know all the essential facts on in this article!
Are you someone who gets perplexed whenever they enter a Starbucks and look at the menu? Do the enormous list of caffeine and the different coffee mixtures bemuse you?
Let’s face the facts- Cappuccino, espresso, latte, mocha, americano, affogato– all these might seem like something in Greek to you if you are not a cafe person.
Coffees and coffee shops can be equally mystifying if you don’t know what you want or are still trying to know what your tastebuds desire. If you are used to making coffee at home, then you just need- coffee, milk, and sugar. But that is not the case when it comes to coffee shops like Starbucks or Tim Hortons!
If you are still in the process of introducing yourself to the coffee world, then you might have noticed Americano as something quite popular and in demand. And, don’t be flummoxed by Caffè Americano and black coffee! The two are different.
The best classic coffee drink, the history of the emergence of Americano dates back to the time during World War II. We all know Italians tend to prefer their espressos more than life. They are not even that keen on drinking anything which is not espresso or normal coffee drinks.
But the American soldiers who were stationed in the Italian regions found it extremely hard to live with espresso. They are accustomed to drip coffee but consuming espresso can be hard enough. It is said that they made a concoction which was a diluted espresso.
The New York Times explained the process of the invention of the Americano. The soldiers added hot water to the espresso and hot water diluted it until it got to the desired level. And this is how a star- Americano was born in Italy by American soldiers.
2. What Is an Espresso?
The Italians still aren’t very positive about the idea of an Americano. If you are vacationing in Europe and go to a coffee shop asking for an Americano- chances are they will give you a shot of Espresso instead.
They prefer to refer to the diluted espressos as ‘dirty water‘! Espresso in Italian means ‘quick’. The method requires pouring hot water through finely ground coffee beans at extremely high pressure. The coffee flavor is rich and intense. Crema is one of the most enchanting elements when it comes to being espresso.
3. Why Is It Named So?
In the Italian language, American coffee is known as Caffè Americano. We talked about the story of the American WWII soldiers stationed in Italy, asking for a diluted espresso.
But, if you research more, you will get to know that no one confirms the story. So, we do not know much about its accuracy. Somerset Maugham, a novelist, mentioned the word ‘Americano‘ in his 1928 novel. This novel’s setting was also in Italy, and the date dates back to a period before WWII.
So, did the Americano exist back then too? Experts claim it can also refer to the alcoholic concoction, which goes by the same name. What is an Americano cocktail? It is simply a mixture of Vermouth and Campari.
But we are not quite sure which Americano reference has been made here. The Long Black, which holds a similarity to that of an Americano, was discovered a lot before the other. So, it is a possibility that Americano was here even before WWII.
4.1. Americano vs. Drip Coffee
The drip- brewing method is one of the most iconic coffee brewing methods that never really goes out of style. The auto-drip coffee maker was first invented in 1972 by Mr. Coffee, which revolutionized the world of coffee drinkers.
Before this, many people used percolators to brew coffee. But since its debut, the auto-drip coffee maker became renowned among coffee lovers. It is the best coffee drink.
Though manual pour-overs are now preferred by most, auto-drip machines will always hold a special place in people’s hearts. We said all this to show the dominance of drip coffee in the USA.
4.2. Americano vs. Black Coffee
You might have a slight misconception of thinking that americano is just another regular black coffee. But that is where you are highly erroneous. What is Americano coffee? What is black coffee? How do they even differ? The prime difference is in the brewing methods. You do not have to be a coffee connoisseur to know how they taste different.
Black coffee is often prepared in a drip- coffee machine, but such is not the case with americano coffee. In the case of an americano, hot water is mixed with espresso shot and makeup to six ounces of it.
The aroma is completely different, as you can feel it the moment you sip the coffee. Espresso coffee beans are high-quality coffee beans that have been roasted with care for a longer period.
And, the regular beans that are used to make black coffee do not have such an aroma. The difference in the type of coffee grounds used is also noticeable. Whenever it comes to distinguishing an Americano, there are some factors and some rules that you must abide by. Not only the brewing method but also the coffee types vary from that of a normal one.
4.3. Americano vs. Long Black
The Long Black is another coffee variant that represents some striking similarities with that of an Americano. Americans have a heated debate about their espresso-water ratio when it comes to comparing it with other coffees. But, in the case of a Long Black, the ratio is somewhat similar too. The Long Black is the staple coffee in Australia and New Zealand. But the only difference is that it is less diluted as compared to that of an Americano.
They use the same measurement of espresso, but the amount of hot water put in the coffee is much less. It is also brewed for long, for which it retains the aroma too. The coffee is flavorful and rich.
5. Caffeine Content
Americanos are usually low on caffeine. But if you want, you can opt for a higher amount. The usual caffeine content of an Americano ranges between 60-120 milligrams. An average Americano has a lower caffeine content than a normal brewed or a black coffee. Drip coffee or brewed coffee has a caffeine content of 95 and 200 milligrams.
How Many Espresso Shots in an Americano? Of course, an average American runs on the caffeine kick, so he/she opts for a higher caffeine intake by increasing the number of espresso shots. If you are someone who lives off caffeine, you can surely increase the content by simply adding more espresso shots or double shot.
6. All Americano Preparations
6.1. Authentic Americano
In a coffee mug- preferably take one-two ounces of espresso shots, it is an amazing coffee. If you are an ardent coffee explorer, six ounces of hot water should be ideal for you. Different people have different tastes of coffees, so their preparation may vary too. Here we are providing you with an authentic way. If you are interested in an authentic Americano experience, then the water should always be from the exact espresso machine, which provides the espresso shots.
The elementary recipe is always to pour hot water into the espresso. The number of espresso shots should not be more than 2 ounces. Coffee admirers can prepare their flawless model cup of coffee right this way.
6.2. Iced Americano
Now, we have something for those cold coffee lovers. It is a known fact that Iced Americanos are one of the top-selling coffees of Starbucks or any other well-known coffee shop. Now how can you make this hidden gem right in the comfort of your own home.
The basic principles are similar to those of a piping hot cup of Americano. Just instead of lukewarm water or hot water, be sure to mix the espresso shots with ice-cold water, and you will be good to go.
Of course, most Iced Americano lovers do not prefer the raw taste of the coffee. So, adding some milk and sugar according to your taste will be ideal. But do keep in mind that it depends on your taste buds.
6.3. Milk Americano
Now, as we have mentioned before- Authentic Americano does not have milk. But, a lot of the Gen Z people do have a sweet tooth and tend to ask for milk and sugar in their Americanos. Not only the Gen Z people but people from across the globe also ask for Milk Americanos. They have different taste palates, and that’s why an Americano has been moderated accordingly.
Americano with milk? The answer is quite simple as it just contains some amount of milk in addition to its usual espresso hot water ratio. Milk Americano is also known as ‘White Americano.’
6.4. How Does Starbucks Make Theirs?
Starbucks is probably the biggest coffee chain out there. People often find the servers whizzing cream from different machines, pumping out different syrups, and procuring coffee in various ways. And the end product? We don’t have a single complaint about it either.
But if you start observing closely, you will end up realizing that what they are doing is nothing out of the ordinary. The barista working at a Starbucks just makes the coffee in the same way you will do at home. The only difference is in their presentation ways.
There is no extra addition to flavor or recipe. The techniques are also pretty the same. But there is something which might differ from your regular home hade Americano. And, that is something known as Crema.
7. Frequently Asked Questions
People have a lot of confusion when it comes to the making of an Americano. To get rid of all your queries, we have come up with a few things. Our coffee drinkers frequently ask questions who want to enrich their taste buds with some unique American tastes.
7.1. Is Americano Just Another Black Coffee?
Though it is two espresso shots diluted with hot water, Americano cannot be called just another black coffee variant. It has striking dissimilarities when it comes to taste and aroma. The coffee beans used are also different.
7.2. Can You Brew It at Home?
Most selves made baristas cannot afford a semi-automated espresso machine at home. Certain manual brewing coffee methods are not so authentic but will do for a home-brewed pot of Americano. You can use a French press, Aeropress, or just a Moka Pot instead of buying a machine, and these will work just fine. You cannot expect the ideal straight espresso shots from these alternative methods. But the dilution will be perfect, and it will take a few trials before you can make your perfect cup of coffee.
7.3. Is It Stronger than Drip Coffee?
There is a debate based on the decision made by Mayo Clinic that an Americano has less caffeine compared to a drip coffee. However, the difference is almost negligible if you aren’t a coffee expert.
7.4. What Is Crema?
The frilly layer of froth or cream that resides on top of espresso is lovingly known as crema. People have a lot of opinions and voices when it comes to keeping a crema.
7.5. Is Crema a Necessity?
People seem to voice their opinions a lot in the crema factor. Some think it is a must, while others think it is not a necessity. The crema is just diluted when the hot water of the Americano is poured on top of it. It adds to the mellow taste of the Americano. Hence, a crema is an authentic style when it comes to the preparation of an Americano.
You just learned about the Italian espresso. Do you want to look further into all of the exciting dishes that Italy has to offer? Check out our article on some unique Italian dishes right now!
Thus, we conclude our article on ‘What is americano?‘. I hope you got to know everything that was bugging you about this unique coffee. What are you even waiting for? Go make your perfect cup today!
-Edited by Steffy Michael|4/7/22