Were you wondering about the differences between Americano coffee vs Long Black? The americano and the long black are what I would call one of the twinning coffee varieties, just like the Latte and the cappuccino. Despite being very similar, these two are different in one way or another. We’ve finally closed the case and solved the mystery.
Despite its abundance of similarities, the americano and the long black have their fair share of differences. Most of the differences lie in the taste, mainly as a result of their preparation methods.
Let’s take a closer look at the coffee americano vs. the long black debacle.
The “American” Coffee: The Americano
If you go out in a nearby cafe today and look at the confusing, alien-like coffee jargon, you may end up very confused. No need to be shy; I was once like that too. One of the coffee cups that immediately caught my ear was the one with the weird name: the Caffe americano.
Despite its painstakingly odd name, the americano originated from Italy. Not to be confused with the long black, the americano holds a deep history, exemplifying the relationship between Italians and Americans, together with their camaraderie.
In this article, we take a look at the inner roots of the “American” coffee: the americano; and how it slowly but surely conquered the western hemisphere from small quaint cafes in Italy to the bustling cities of the United States and Canada.
Breaking It Down
Despite its fancy name (props to the Italian language and its ability to make everything they have sound fancy), the americano is just espresso diluted in water. Not too exciting. Not even milk is on there (although some people add milk, I prefer calling those milk-infused drinks a cappuccino or a latte).
You will need to know that the americano always (and I can’t stress the always part enough) have espresso first poured into a giant cup, as to which the diluting water follows afterward.
Although not always made with espresso, as some baristas also use the ristretto, a more concentrated espresso, the americano always puts the coffee base first.
The main component between the differences of the americano versus the long black? The order of execution.
Picking It Up
The americano can either be served hot or iced, your choice. Because americano is a straightforward coffee drink, it does not contain many flavors.
If you go and buy yourself a cup of coffee americano, you may find the glass very flat; no milky, creamy, or overpoweringly sweet taste notes.
However, the americano’s simplicity in its “flat” flavor makes it a perfect pair for those who like their coffee as basic as it can be (although nothing is as basic as espresso).
Unlike the espresso and the more significantly concentrated ristretto, the americano comes off as a less bitter version due to the water that dilutes it.
Because coffee americano is such a simple concoction, indeed people would drink it and forget about it, right? Well, some may disagree. Since just two ingredients make coffee americano, people could only really be divided on how it is made.
Some people strongly assert that the water goes first while the espresso goes last and vice versa. However, today, coffee americano’s standards clearly dictate that the espresso goes first before the water to create authentic coffee americano.
As for those who love putting the water into the cup first, well, they got a drink named separately from coffee americano, a drink we’ll discuss afterward.
It’s Smooth: The Long Black
Unlike the Italian origins of the coffee americano, the long black originates far east. It was first made in Australia and New Zealand, made to appeal to, you guessed it, Americans!
Despite sharing the same ingredients with the coffee americano, the long black is a different blend of coffee that is both similar and different.
Made by pouring two shots of espresso mixed with 100 to 120 ml of hot water, the long black is a coffee drink that suits those who like it simple.
Like the coffee americano, it can also be made with ristretto and can also be made cold. Here, we take an even closer look at the coffee americano vs. long black differences.
Why Is It Called the Long Black and Not the Americano? (Americano vs Long Black)
Like the americano, the long black was named so because of the influence of Americans. These drinks are made famous by Americans living in Italy and Australia, and New Zealand, respectively.
It all started with the Americans missing drip coffee from home. So Australian and New Zealander baristas tried to mix hot water with espresso to appease their coffee-loving American customers.
However, unlike coffee americano, the long black prioritizes hot water first before adding the espresso afterward. This order of mixing is the primary reason why coffee americano is different from the long black.
The americano vs. long black debacle starts with the order, and thus the order does matter!
Does the Order Matter?
Many foods and beverages depend on the order of execution to make the food taste good. The same can also be said to the americano and the long black.
Despite its seemingly mundane differences, shifting the execution order makes these cups taste different, albeit similar. The coffee americano is no longer black to the seasoned tongue, and the long black is no coffee americano.
First of all, the long black is a more robust coffee compared to the americano. The reason behind this strength is that the long black has the espresso sitting on top instead of the bottom.
Where the order of execution fully extends its influence is when talking about the coffee crema.
The coffee crema is a thin, tan line that sits on top of the espresso for the unoriented. The crema is not a taste changer, but some people think it is a decisive variable that heavily affects the flavor.
The crema is a visible result of mixing two chemicals: coffee oils and carbon dioxide. The thing is, since the espresso adds the water last, it can cover up the crema on top of the espresso sitting at the bottom of the cup.
On the other hand, since espresso is added last for the long black, the crema remains apparent and intact.
Americano VS Long Black: Similarities and Differences
The americano and the long black are more like twins. They aren’t necessarily the same, but they are also not different enough. So here, we take a sip and enjoy the drip.
The primary variable creating the difference between the coffee americano and the long black lies in the order of execution. While coffee americano relies on putting espresso first before water, the long black puts the water first before the espresso.
Because of this, certain flavors will be elevated, such as the bitterness in the long black. Other visual effects can be seen, too, with the crema less apparent with the americano.
Their place of origin is quite different as well. For example, the coffee americano originates from Italy, while the long black originates from Oceania. These are the real testaments that fuel the americano vs long black debate.
Both appeal to the simple loving, drip-coffee missing Americans. Although many non-Americans love drinking the long black and the coffee americano, at its origins, both were made for American appeal.
Both also taste relatively flat and simple, a flavor many coffee purists believe to be the optimal taste for coffee.
Ask About It! The Questions Most Asked By Curious Minds.
What do you call coffee with both water and espresso mixed at the same time?
Although, as per definition, it is not both the long black nor the americano, coffee made with espresso and hot water poured simultaneously can be considered as coffee americano. The reason is that this type of coffee lacks crema visibility.
Where did the name coffee americano come from?
Like the Australians and New Zealanders, the coffee americano was made to appeal to the Americans living in Italy. That is why it is called coffee americano, or the “American coffee.”
Where did the name long black come from?
Unlike espressos, the long black was diluted with water, which means it required longer cups. Thus concluded the mystery of the long black: the black coffee contained in long containers.