What Is An Americano? Explore An Amazing Coffee

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What is an Americano? This is a question that many people ask themselves when they are ordering their coffee. It can be difficult to figure out what the difference between an espresso, americano, and latte might be; but this blog post should make it easier for you! Let’s explore what an Americano is and the differences between it and the other drink.

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What Is An Americano?

The Americano is a shot of espresso that has had water added to the mix. But that’s such a coarse way of putting it. The Americano deserves to be respected just like any other coffee out there. One way to make an americano is by taking a regular coffee cup and filling it with one or two shots of espresso, then filling the rest up with hot water. With that simple process, now you have an Americano. But what’s really in that drink? and where did it come from?

The name of Americano literally means “American” in Spanish or Italian. This is directly related to how this coffee came about to be.

According to the New York Times, American soldiers stationed in Italy encountered espresso in World War II; a drink loved by Italians. For them, espresso was unfamiliar. They decided to make a coffee drink that came closer to the type they merely drink at home by adding hot water. And unexpectedly, the random variation of American soldiers brought a new coffee to coffee lovers. That is the short story that explains why Americano came from.

An Americano’s Taste

Although the Caffè Americano is a derivative of espresso, don’t expect it to taste quite like one. Because they’re diluted with water, americanos have a much milder flavor than regular espresso and instead taste more like a richer, bolder cousin of the black coffee.

Along with the flavors, there is usually a layer of foam on top. This layer of foam is known as “crema” that is created from the rapid push of the water through the coffee bean grinds. It adds another dimension of taste to the Americano and makes this coffee a unique beverage that is noticeably different from the regular drip coffee.

A final point of difference is that the Americano tends to be hotter than other drip coffee. When making espresso, the water used is heated up more so that the Americano will also be hotter.

Americano vs Other Black Coffees

You could be drinking any type of coffee and not know what it is—is it a drip coffee, long black, or espresso? That’s confusing. Here are the differences between these types of coffees so you can order intelligently next time!

Americano vs Drip

The Americano is brewed from a shot of espresso while drip coffee is filtered. There are more striking differences; below we’ll list some in the form of a table:

Americano Drip
Flavor Intense, deep coffee notes.
Nutty, earthy flavors – floral and
lighter notes are destroyed by
the high temperature.
Subtle, lighter flavor.
Sweeter, more floral
and delicate flavors are
allowed to develop with time.
Fine grind for espresso
CremaHave a layer of cremaNo crema
Caffeine 0 mg per espresso (average).
It’s common to use 2 shots per 12 oz serving,
so 80 mg per cup on average..
Average of 10 mg per ounce of coffee.
120 mg per average 12 oz serving.

Americano vs Espresso

Made by adding water to espresso, an Americano is the result of a diluted espresso.

Since they’re made with the same amount of espresso, An Americano typically has the same amount of caffeine as an espresso. You might think that the caffeine content of espresso would be higher because it is more concentrated.

Americano vs Long Black

Honestly, there is no difference between Americano and long black. The only thing differentiating americanos from long black is how they are made.

The difference between an americano and a long black is that for an americano, you pour hot water over the espresso shot. For a long black, you pour the espresso shot over the hot water. This slight difference in the two drinks is what makes them seen as different among some coffee enthusiasts.

Americano vs Latte

The difference between a latte and Americano is clear. While both are prepared from a shot of espresso, a latte is a shot of espresso topped with creamy foamed milk. 

Can It Be Home Brew?

The great thing is that the flavor profile of an Americano lends itself to manual brewing methods. Home coffee fans may not be able to invest in a pricey semi-automatic espresso machine, but many of us can afford an Aeropress or other manual brewing device.

The Americano recipe is very simple.

  • Pull a shot of espresso
  • Fill a cup with hot water
  • Pour espresso into hot water


What is an americano with milk called?

An Americano is an espresso topped up with hot water whereas a latte is an espresso topped up with steamed milk with or without a little foam. Adding a little milk to an Americano does not turn it into a latte and they don’t taste the same. A latte, unlike an americano, tends to be smooth and sweet without sugar. But you can add milk (not limited to the amount to add) if you find your Americano bitter.

Is Americano stronger than Drip Coffee?

Drip coffees generally have a higher caffeine content than Americanos, although not by much. Drip coffee has between 95 and 200 milligrams of caffeine, while an Americano (with two shots of espresso) has about 94 to 150 milligrams of caffeine.

Is an Americano a black coffee?

An Americano is not just black coffee. … House brewed or black coffee is usually brewed in a drip coffee machine, while Americano is made using espresso shots with hot water. 

Does an Americano have Crema?

Yes, a true americano will have a layer of crema. The crema is a result of the mixing of oils and carbon dioxide that naturally occurs during the shot pulling process. When the hot water hits the ground coffee beans, it forces out their aromatic oils. These oils come out of the espresso machine before the dark coffee in the form of light brown creamy substance, which rises to the top. 


If you’re looking for a way to give your regular morning coffee routine a sweet little upgrade, but don’t want all the extra milk or sugar, an Americano is a great drink to start experimenting with. The americano is a simple drink that’s easy to make. You can order it at a cafe or brew it at home and either way your taste buds will be satisfied.

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