You can always trust American culinary and beverage experts to take a pre-existing preparation and give it a more convenient twist.
A regular cup of black coffee poured from the pot tastes good for a friendly chat. But it often lacks the punch required when you need to get a head-start on your day or burn the midnight oil.
This is where Americano coffee steps in.
What Is an Americano?
Also known as Caffe Americano or Caf Americano or Long Black, depending on which part of the world you are in, it is basically a type of zero-milk, black coffee.
It is made by mixing hot water to Espresso shots and diluting the coffee, resulting in a strong but better-tasting dose of caffeine.
The strength of an Americano depends on the ratio between Espresso and hot water. Some people prefer having single shot Americanos, where others go double.
A Brief History of the Americano Coffee
As is evident from the moniker, Americano coffee has something to do with Americans. But the origin of the drink is not necessarily on US soil.
It is believed that the Americano derivative of Espresso was born in Italy back in the early 40s. Coffee was the fuel for US army men stationed in Italy during the Second World War.
However, Italys favorite Espresso shots were too small and too bitter for the American soldiers.
To solve the problem, the men started to mix hot water to the Espressos to make them bigger and less bitter. After the war, bars and clubs of Italy kept the drink on their menu, keeping in mind the American immigrants and tourists.
They named the drink Caffe Americano, literally translating to American Coffee. It is still largely available not only in Italy but in adjacent European countries like Spain and Greece as well.
What Is The Difference Between Americano And Filter Coffee?
The fundamental difference between Americano and Filter Coffee is in the process of making.
Espresso, which is the key ingredient in making Americano, is made by forcing high-pressure water through fine coffee grounds.
The resulting liquid is rich, concentrated, dark black in color, and has a light foam top, which is called the ‘crema.’ When an Americano is made pouring water over Espresso, the ‘crema’ remains at the top.
Filter coffee, on the other hand, is prepared by pouring hot water over coffee grounds. The resulting brew is allowed to drip through a filter below.
It is the method that is used in regular drip coffee makers for homes as well.
Because of the difference in making, there is a difference in taste, flavor, and punch as well.
Shape and Size Cup for an Americano?
Different types of coffees are served in different volumes traditionally. Therefore, the cups and cup sizes differ as well.
Americano is served mostly in a quantity of 8 oz. or 227 ml. and a large cup is used for serving the beverage.
Now how much a brewery or a coffee shop actually serves you is completely up to their discretion.
Is Americano Considered Black Coffee?
Yes, Americano is traditionally a black coffee, in the sense that it is dark black in color. However, it is not the same as the regular drip black coffee available in cafes.
However, the classic Americano can be given a twist by mixing cold creamer or, alternatively, heated half-and-half to the concoction. This is ideal for those who cannot take the bitterness of the classic Americano.
What Are the Best Coffee Beans for Americano?
Dark or medium-dark roast coffee beans, ideally from Ethiopia or Sumatra, are perfect for making Americano.
How Many Mg of Caffeine in an Americano?
According to Mayo Clinic, a single shot of Espresso has around 47-75 milligrams of caffeine.
Most Americano preparations use two shots of Espresso. That means a serving of 12-16 oz of Americano has between 94 and 150 milligrams and caffeine.
A cup of 6-8 oz. should ideally have around 77 milligrams, while a bigger cup of 20-24 oz. should have around 230 milligrams.
How Many Calories in an Americano?
A cup of 8 oz. Americano coffee has approximately 4.5-5 calories. Almost all of it comes from the coffee itself since water is calorie-less.
As per Nutritionix, the calorie comes from the 14.5 mg of sodium, 7 mg of calcium, and 57 mg of potassium present in an average coffee bean.
There is no fat or sugar content in classic Americano unless you decide to mix them.
Americano Coffee Variations
One of the obvious variations of the classic Americano is the mile-added version. Other than that, Iced Americano is a very popular drink, which is made by combining cold water with Espresso instead of hot water.
Lungo is an Italian version of the regular Americano developed in recent years, which is made with a bigger Espresso shot than usual. As a result, there is more volume and less bitterness.
Caffe Crema is an even bigger serve of Americano, usually served in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
How To Make An Americano?
Preparing an Americano coffee at home is a fairly simple affair. There are several Espresso machines available in the market suitable for homes.
Prepare your Espresso shots in the machine. In case you are using AeroPress or microfilter machines for the Espresso, make sure to grind your coffee beans down to the finest. It would result in dark and strong shots.
You can draw the shots first once prepared and then add the hot water to it. For every average shot of Espresso, you would need around 3 oz. of water to dilute it down perfectly.
Alternatively, you can also add the Espresso on top of the water. That way, the drink maintains the lovely layer of crema on top that Espressos are known for. It also packs a punch with a nutty and earthy flavor.