Caffé Americano coffee is long-filtered coffee or an espresso mixed with hot water. It is one of the easiest drinks to make because it only requires steamed water and espresso.
Understanding the Caffé Americano
Some say that the Americano’s origins can be traced back to World War II; however, this theory is unconfirmed. Many believe it was formed by American soldiers stationed in Italy, who supposedly hated how the local espresso tasted. Hence, they decided to dilute it with hot water to make it less bitter, familiar, and palatable. This drink was then branded as caffé Americano.
However, some still hold the notion that the coffee might have its roots set back in the 1920s, when famous author Somerset Maugham wrote about characters drinking an “Americano.”
How Is an Americano Prepared?
Choosing the Right Beans
The best kinds of beans used in the most popular coffee flavors are Arabica beans. They are cleaner, sweeter, softer, and have the right balance of acidity; however, some people opt for a stronger product made from the Arabica bean and Robusta bean combination because Robusta beans have a higher caffeine content.
Equipment and Technique
Using the right espresso machine, having the right temperature, choosing the best beans, and using the right amount of water (used in the extraction of the brew) all play a huge role when it comes to creating barista-quality espresso:
-The Water–one needs to use clean water to make coffee, though bottled water is preferred for a cleaner flavor. Most coffee experts aim for water that has reached up to 185°F, but others believe that water heated up to 200°F makes a better Americano.
-What Goes First, the Water or the Espresso? The answer to this question has two layers. For some, an Americano can be prepared by pouring hot water over the espresso to preserve the crema and espresso’s body. On the other hand, some think that pouring the espresso over hot water might scald the espresso if the water’s too hot.
The original Americano was made of water being added over the espresso.
-Making the Americano–To make a proper Americano, one should mix about six ounces of hot water with one or two shots of espresso. Pour the steaming water on top of the espresso to dilute the espresso. This method gives the coffee strength similar to the traditionally brewed brand but with a different flavor. The potency of the Americano coffee varies, which is usually based on the number of shots used in the espresso and the amount of water added.
For a more robust coffee, one can add the espresso as it offers a more assertive and rich flavor, unlike a less potent lungo. To prepare a lungo, one should run twice as much water through the ground beans so that the end product is weaker and bitter.
Lastly, to make a great Americano, one needs excellent espresso beans that are well roasted, blended, and brewed, as these make the real difference in the taste of the coffee.
Variations of the Americano
Double Shot Americano
For an extra kick, you can use a double shot of espresso; depending on your tastes, you can also double the amount of water, or leave it the same for a deeper and stronger flavor.
The iced americano is an espresso made from cold water instead of hot water. Traditionally, the iced americano is prepared by pouring cold water over ice and then following it up with some espresso shots, causing the coffee to chill.
Making a lungo involves extracting an espresso shot for an extended period, allowing more water to filter through the beans and providing some bitter flavors. It is more often diluted and bitter than an espresso.
A caffé crema is made by extracting an espresso shot for a significantly longer time than the ordinary lungo.
For many people, coffee is the fuel that drives them. However, an americano is not just a “regular coffee” with a fancy name; instead, it is a preferred choice of beverage for many people every morning. Regardless of its origin, it is still a very popular morning ritual. Interested in learning more about varieties of coffee, or wondering what a mochaccino is? We’ve got you covered–check out PageOne Coffee’s latest articles!