When you walk into a random coffee bar you often see an Americano in some cases a Lungo on the menu. The Americano is the coffee you get when you order a 'regular' coffee.
Grind your freshly roasted coffee beans , make an espresso with it and add some water and you have an Americano... Right?!? Yes, this is about right, but to make an Americano really tasty you have to pay close attention to the proportions.
In this article I am going to tell you everything about the Americano, where it comes from and how it originated and how to make your own Americano coffee at home.
What is an Americano
An Americano is an espresso-based coffee drink made with espresso and hot water. The Americano is also known as Caffe Americano. You can make an Americano in different ways.
If you're looking for a strong coffee, you can make the Americano with a double espresso shot. By diluting the espresso with hot water, you come closer to a 'regular' filter coffee in terms of taste.
This is what the Americans were looking for in World War II.
How did the Americano originate
There are different theories about this, but the best stories stick best anyway. So I also chose this beautiful history story about the origin of the Americano.
The Caffe Americano was created during World War II. The American soldiers who came to liberate Europe from the clutches of Germany found the espressos in Italy far too strong.
So they came up with the idea of diluting the strong espresso with some water so that the taste of the coffee came closer to the 'drip coffee' they were used to at home.
This coffee specialty also originated in Italy. But not only in Italy do we drink Americanos. We can order this type of coffee anywhere in the world. So if you are looking for a regular coffee in an espresso bar, the Caffe Americano is what you are looking for!
Maybe superfluous, but Americano, means American in Italian ;-).
Read also: The history of coffee beans
What is the recipe for an Americano
To make the Americano perfect, it is always good to stick to a recipe or ratio. In this case the ratio of water and coffee.
In practice, there are several ratios commonly accepted as Americano:
The 50/50. So, for example, with a double espresso shot of +/- 40 ml, you also add 40 ml of hot water. You still have a bit of the espresso effect, but a lot lighter
customized. Every barista makes their Americano differently. This depends on the coffee beans used for the espresso and the flavor profile you are looking for.
3:1 ratio. This gives a much milder coffee. You also have more coffee in your cup right away. So if you like a full cup of coffee and don't want to taste too much 'espresso' then this might be your ideal ratio.
What is the difference between an Americano and a Lungo
Sometimes on the coffee menu you will also find a Lungo instead of an Americano. The Lungo is also seen as an 'ordinary' coffee. The difference is in the way of putting.
A Lungo is actually a longer brewed espresso. So you actually make an espresso and let it run longer, which gives you more volume in your cup than with an espresso.
The difference with the Americano is that the water is added afterwards. This results in a nicer taste and less bitterness.
How to make your own Americano coffee
Making your own Americano doesn't have to be difficult. What you need is an espresso machine, hot water and a cup.
Determine the ratio of espresso and water you want to use and follow these steps:
Brew your espresso. Choose coffee beans that have been roasted for espresso.
Boil the water. You can do this in your kettle or use hot water from the boiler of your espresso machine.
- Mix and done! It's that simple to make your own Americano!
Read also: Making coffee like a real barista