With such an overwhelming list of coffee beverages on the market and even inside coffee shops, most people said just settle for a regular black coffee to avoid the dilemma.
However, that said, this could mean that you’re getting a week, burned coffee, or one that’s been sitting there for a couple of hours.
So if you really want to enjoy a great cup of Java full of flavor but not too bold, then we suggest that you try an Americano. If you’re American, then you probably already know what Americano means.
However, if you are not, there’s no need to worry because, in the following guide, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about Americano.
What is Americano Coffee?
There’s regular coffee, and then there’s Americano.
However, irrespective of how you describe it, ultimately an Americano is coffee made without milk.
However, the difference here is that you first start by making espresso and then use hot water, to water down the espresso until it’s more or less the same consistency as regular coffee.
So ultimately, a small espresso shot transforms into a larger, coffee similar to regular black coffee. So it’s like an espresso shot, but larger and less intense but ultimately contains just as delicious a flavor of coffee as an espresso shot.
So as history would have it, and mentioned by the New York Times, Americano coffee came about when American soldiers who were stationed in Italy during World War II felt that the espresso, an Italian coffee was too bitter.
They consequently wanted to make it taste more like the coffee that they enjoyed back home. So they decided to water it down, and the Americano came about.
When coffee was introduced to the new world during the 17th century, tea was still the drink of choice for settlers. A lesson on study.com indicates that when the revolution began, things changed.
Coffee remained popular in the United States and only became more popular when Charles and John Arbuckle began pre-roasting it and selling it by the pounds to cowboys and ranchers that had moved out west.
An interesting fact is that the US military is one of the main reasons why the Americano became so widely accepted. They were used to drip coffee made back home, and the espresso was way too bitter and not enjoyable. So they watered it down and took this idea back to the United States.
Difference Between Americano and Espresso
Americano coffee is a derivative of espresso. While espresso is straight coffee concentrate and enjoyed straight with a bit of sugar, it also has a strong coffee flavor and is known for its intensity.
A typical shot of espresso is approximately 2 ounces. While some people prefer more espresso and drink a doppio which is a double shot or even a triple shot, others prefer the average 2 ounces.
When it comes to making an espresso shot, there are 3 parts.
The “body” which is the dark bottom, the “heart” which is the light middle, and of course, the light-colored foamy top which is known as the “crema”. Ultimately what gives espresso its distinctive aftertaste is the tasty “crema”.
An Americano is an espresso shot combined with hot water.
Ultimately, you get a less concentrated flavor and can dissipate some of the bitterness found in straight espressos. Americanos also have more liquid content and are better to sip om than espressos.
Typical Americanos may range from 8 ounces up to 20. Since Americanos are larger and less concentrated, they resemble regular or drip coffee. They can also be enjoyed with cream, sugar, or syrup of your choice.
So Americanos and espressos are quite similar, and the only real difference is the hot water added to the Americano.
Ultimately the hot water does change the size and taste of the drink, making it less intense and often smoother. But if you’re looking for an intense and straightforward beverage, then espresso is the one.
If you want a coffee beverage similar to an espresso but can be customized with cream, ice, sugar, and syrup, then definitely try the Americano.
Preparation - How to Make an Americano
To pull a shot of espresso, fill the cup with hot water, and pour the espresso into the water.
Start by filling a mug with steaming water. Around 200 degrees would work best. For every shot of espresso, you’ll need about 3 ounces of water. Make sure you leave a few inches of room for the shots in case of any desired crema or sweetener.
Next. you need to pull shots of espresso. As you pull each shot add it to the cup of water to save the shots from losing its flavor.
Pulling the perfect shot of espresso isn’t as simple as coffee baristas or your local coffee shop makes it look.
Many factors determine how a shot will pull such as the humidity level and temperature, the freshness of the coffee beans, the coarseness or fineness of the grind as well as how soft or hard the tamping is, and of course the seal made with the espresso machine.
However, as a rule of thumb, the fresher the espresso beans, the more flavor they will have and the better the shot will be.
So always grind the beans just before pulling a shot if possible as this would lead to the best crema.
Preparing to pull a shot
Start by heating the portafilter handle before pulling the first shot by pulling a blank shot. So basically what this means is pull a shot without the espresso. Next, grind espresso beans and place espresso into the portafilter, slightly overfilling it.
Loosen the grounds by tapping the portafilter on the left and right sides a few times. Make sure that the espresso is evenly distributed throughout the portafilter. If the grounds are not level, add more to get it level. Once it’s filled, hit the portafilter on each side a few more times to settle the grounds once again.
Then set the portafilter on a level surface and tap the bottom on the surface a few times. The grounds of the espresso should be tightly compacted. Remove any stray grounds around the rim by wiping your finger or a dry cloth around the rim.
Pulling a shot of espresso
Some espresso machines come with a built-in timer. The ideal shot is between 18 and 23 seconds. To make sure you have a great shot of espresso, the color should be golden and if the shot is too bitter, it means that you pulled it too long. If the flavor is weak, it means, you didn’t pull it long enough.
However, the shorter side is still acceptable as the flavor will be sweet and less intense. Lots of people are under the impression that Americano is similar to drip coffee. But this is not entirely true. To prepare espresso you need a few extra minutes as compared to pulling drip coffee. The method of making Americano is also different from regular or drip coffee.
So to wrap things up, all you need to do is fill your mug with boiling water, pull the desired number of espresso shots and pour it into your mug with hot water, then add your desired sweeteners and cream to enjoy.
What type of coffee makers are used?
Since you need to pull shots of espresso to make the perfect cup of Americano, the best machines for making Americano are espresso machines.
So just about any espresso machine which will do, provided it has a hot water dispenser as well. In case it doesn’t, then you will have to settle for boiling water in a conventional electric kettle.
So here are a variety of ways that you can still froth milk even with a bulky espresso machine.
If you’re not sure exactly what type of foam you prefer or which method is going to work best for you, why not try them all and then decide. Foaming milk also has various benefits aside from being used to top off your espressos and other coffee drinks.
You may also use the foam to top off your tea and cocoa drinks. So why not go ahead and give these above-mentioned milk foaming methods a try and see how you like it.