What Is An Americano Coffee

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Do you get annoyed when someone takes five minutes to order a coffee? Do they need to use a half-dozen or more adjectives? For example, a half-caf, quad-shot, skinny vanilla caramel no-foam latte. Coffee has come a long way from when cowboys boiled coarse grinds over an open fire.

Humans first discovered the power of the coffee plant in Ethiopia centuries ago. Since then, we’ve devised many ways to prepare the fruit and bean.

Today, there are many ways to prepare a cup of coffee. Americans historically prefer drip coffee prepared with a filter. That began to change when the first Starbucks opened in Seattle in 1971. Since then, Americans have slowly learned to appreciate the taste of espresso and other specialty coffees.

These days, you can find a place that makes espresso drinks on almost every corner. Many of the drinks they serve are closer to dessert than coffee. But some people still prefer a simple, honest drink that tastes like coffee. If you’re one of those, read about one of the most straightforward espresso drinks: the humble Americano.

Read on to find out what is an Americano and how to make an Americano.

How the Americano Came to Be

Espresso is the main ingredient in Americano coffee. Espresso is a strong, dark coffee drink that dates back to the early 1900s. Italian Luigi Bezzera first developed the technology.

Bezzera was frustrated by how long it took to make coffee. He began testing ways to make the process quicker. He discovered that steam pressure made the process faster. It also produced a more prosperous, better-tasting brew.

The espresso machine quickly caught on. It soon became the preferred method in Italy and other European countries.

Yet, back in the US, we still made coffee the old-fashioned way. We poured hot water over ground coffee beans. This produces a much milder taste than espresso. But surprisingly, a serving of drip coffee contains more caffeine than a serving of espresso.

Coffee consumption spiked in America during the 1940s. U.S. soldiers sought their caffeine fix in Italian cafes during World War II. However, they did not care for the much more robust flavor of espresso. To please the Americans, baristas diluted the shot of espresso with hot water.

This produced a drink much closer to what the service members expected the coffee to taste like. Italians dubbed this new drink the Americano.

What is an Americano?

What is Americano coffee? The Americano is simply a watered-down shot or two of espresso. You can make it with hot water or enjoy it iced.

Some countries refer to the Americano by different names. In other places, the drink’s reputation depends on whether you pour the espresso into the water or add water to the espresso. It might even vary based on the water-to-espresso ratio.

When you find yourself in line at a coffee shop, what phrase should you use?

Caffè Americano

In the U.S. and parts of Europe, you should call a mixture of espresso beans and water a Caffè Americano. Different coffee shops have their preferred ratio of water to espresso. However, some places will assign another name to the drink based on that ratio.

Italiano and Little Buddy

You can tell the barista your preference if you want your drink with a specific water-to-espresso ratio. But, with some baristas, you can use the term Italiano or Little Buddy to order a drink with equal parts espresso and water.

Long Black

In Australia, any form of espresso diluted with water is called a Long Black. But for some people, Long Black refers to a specific method of making the water and espresso drink.

Generally, in the U.S., you make an Americano coffee by pulling the shot of espresso first. Then, you add the hot water to it. An alternative method is to start with hot water and pour the espresso. Some consider both ways an Americano. But for others, this other method makes a Long Black.

An Americano’s Taste

An Americano tastes like the espresso used but with a milder flavor. Some people can detect subtle differences in espresso depending on the source of the coffee bean. Espresso flavors range from light and citrusy to robust and earthy.

You can also change the overall taste by varying how much water you add. The ratio of espresso to water is by no means standard.

When asked what an Americano coffee is, purists may claim that a standard Americano consists of one part espresso to two parts water. If you invite others, they will insist that the drink should be equal parts water and espresso. When you order an Americano at a coffee shop, you may get as much as 15 parts water per shot of espresso.

What’s the Difference Between an Americano, an Espresso and Drip Coffee ?

An espresso is simply the result of hot water forced through finely ground coffee beans. Once you have the shot of espresso, you can make a whole host of different drinks.

When you add water to the shot, you get an Americano. You can also make a latte by adding steamed milk or a mocha by adding steamed milk and chocolate.

Difference Between an Amerciano and Drip Coffee

An Americano is not the same cup of black coffee. The two drinks have entirely different tastes, textures, and aromas. It is the espresso that makes this difference.

Brew Time

The time it takes to brew your coffee beverage depends on the method. The water should contact the coffee grounds for five minutes for drip coffee. With espresso, the contact time should be between 20 and 30 seconds. After all, the whole reason Bezzera invented the espresso machine was to speed up the time it took to make coffee.

An experienced barista will throw out a shot that took too long or too short to draw. If it takes too long, you end up with a bitter shot. A shot that is pulled too quickly will taste flat.

The Grind

How finely you grind the coffee bean depends on what method you use for brewing. For espresso, you must have a fine, almost powdery grind. For drip coffee, you use a medium to coarse grind.

The Process

The primary difference between an Americano and drip coffee is the method you use to brew the coffee.

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