An americano is quite simply just hot water and espresso. It’ll either be served 1/2 and 1/2 or 1/3 espresso to 2/3 water, depending on the coffee shop in question or how you’ve chosen to brew it. There is dispute about whether the espresso or the water should be added first, but in the case of the americano, espresso should always be added first as the crema mixes in and creates a more mellow, even taste. But some people may add it depending on their personal preference. Whilst most other espresso-based coffee drinks include milk, such as the cappuccino or latte, the americano stands out amongst them.
The americano originated during World War II. Interestingly, American soldiers stationed in Italy didn’t care for the very strong espresso that was favoured in the country, therefore they tried to recreate their beloved drip coffee from back home by adding water to the espresso shot. The result? The americano that we know and love today. Did you know that the americano also used to be iced? The process was the same, but cold water was used instead and ice cubes were added for good measure.
Essentially, drip coffee is coffee that is made by filling a special coffee maker with ground coffee and pouring hot water into it, allowing the water to drip through to the pot. With an americano, water is poured over the espresso but the process is much quicker and there is no 'dripping' involved.
This debate has caused many arguments over the years, with some claiming that there’s absolutely no difference. However, the long black that’s widely appreciated in New Zealand and Australia possesses a much stronger flavour than the americano. Remember the debate about adding the water or espresso first? The long black is why it makes a difference. When the espresso shot is added to the water it results in less dilution for the espresso, creating a strong coffee with a layer of crema on top.
So now you know what an americano coffee is. Why not find out all about what an espresso is, next.