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When you’re presented with an americano, you’ll be forgiven for thinking it’s just your standard, run of the mill black coffee. The brew is becoming a favourite amongst coffee connoisseurs looking for a bold, strong cup that’s not bothered by all the frills of steamed milk or froth. Keep reading to find out what is an americano and how it differs from other coffee types

What is an americano?

An americano is just 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 an argument 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. Traditionally, there will be no milk, but some people may add it depending on their personal preference.

Americano origins

The americano finds its origins in 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.

Differences between an americano and a long black

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 is an americano. Why not find out all about what an espresso is, next.

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