Simple and Basic: The Café Americano

Café Americano is a type of coffee that involves the adding of hot water to espresso which gives of the same level of strength as a drip coffee but with different flavors.

Simple and Basic: The Café Americano

The strength of Americano however differs according to the number of espresso shots and amount of water added. The name of the coffee has varying forms: Caffé Americano, Americano and American Coffee.

The etymology of the coffee name comes from the French word for coffee which is caffé and the Italian term for American which is Americano.

For most coffee shops, the Café Americano is a term used to describe the combination of hot water and espresso in any order. But for conservative coffee drinkers, Americano is adding water to espresso which means that espresso is at the bottom portion while the water is on the top portion.

The name of this coffee traces its history during the World War II. The American G.I.s in Europe had this practice of pouring hot water into strong coffee to get the right strength of coffee they were used to.

The basic ingredients needed for Café Americano are one shot of espresso coffee, boiling water, steamed milk and a raw sugar cube.

The procedure is as follows: Prepare a shot of espresso coffee using a home espresso machine. Then, Pour it into a cup measuring around six ounces.

Next, add boiling water into the cup. Continue to do so, until the coffee reaches the top. Finally, finish the beverage off with accentuating the serving style with steamed milk on the side along with a sugar cube.

This coffee type may be of a single or double-shot espresso mixed with different amounts of hot water ranging from thirty to 470 milliliters or between one and sixteen fluid ounces.

If you want a Café Americano with a twist, better change some of the ingredients and the alternative outcome could be the Long Black. It is actually the opposite of the Americano.

It is made by adding a double espresso to a sitting cup of equally proportioned hot water which still has the cream intact. This will give the coffee a more bodied flavor.

About Mike Quinn

Mike Quinn spent 20 years in the US Army and traveled extensively all over the world. As part of his military service, Mike sampled coffee and tea from all virtually every geographic region, from the beans from the plantation of an El Salvadorian Army Colonel to "Chi" in Iraq to Turkish Coffee in the Turkish Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. He spent nearly a decade in the Republic of Korea where he was exposed to all forms of traditional teas. Mike formerly owned and operated Cup And Brew, an online espresso and coffee equipment retail operation.

2 thoughts on “Simple and Basic: The Café Americano”

  1. I never realized there could be such subtlety (or any really) involved in a drink like this. I always it was simply a “just add water” type of situation. I wasn’t aware of the long history of the drink either and just assumed it was a newer trend that came from a European attempt to replicate what Americans generally drink.

    I usually go for drip-brewed at home or espresso if I’m out, but I think I’ll try the long black next time. Sounds like an interesting twist that’s different from my usual.

  2. I’m going to give the cafe americano with a twist a try, however, I can’t imagine pouring shots into milk and water will taste very different from pouring water and milk into shots. Nonetheless, whenever coffee is described as “full bodied,” I’m am a sucker for tasting it, so I will try the americano with a twist.


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