Thinking about ordering an Americano on your next coffee run? We'll tell you everything you need to know about the flavor, how it's different from regular coffee and how to make it on your own espresso machine.
Let's get started...
What Does an Americano Taste Like?
First things first: let's talk about what an Americano is. Basically, it's a beverage made with hot water and a shot or two of espresso. Iced Americanos are cold water, ice and espresso.
These coffee drinks taste essentially like the espresso they're made with. If the espresso is the lemony varietal, that's what your Americano will taste like. Espresso flavors range from earthy and robust to citrusy and sour.
It's more mild than espresso since it's watered down and even a bit more mild than regular coffee.
How Is an Americano Different from Regular Coffee?
Regular coffee can be brewed a number of ways, but in general, the method involves pouring hot water through ground coffee. An Americano basically takes a concentrated shot of coffee (the espresso) and adds it to hot water.
A good Americano will also be made with the espresso shot floated on top of the hot water. You can tell if your order was made this way if you receive a cup with a velvety brown cream (crema) on top that remains intact. However, the crema will quickly dissipate as it sits.
What Is the Difference Between a Latte and an Americano?
There are huge differences between lattes and Americanos even though there's just one simple ingredient change: the steamed milk.
Lattes are prepared by adding frothed milk to a shot of espresso. They're also built "backwards" from the Americano's point of view. Instead of having the espresso floated on top, it's placed in the cup first and then the milk is poured in.
How Do You Drink Americano?
You can drink an Americano exactly like you'd drink coffee. Some people prefer Americanos to drip coffee for the clean, bright flavors of the espresso blends.
Add a little sugar and vegan milk or creamer to your Americano to make it silky, creamy and sweet. This will also reduce some of the bitterness that occurs in all coffees.
How to Make an Americano
If you have an espresso maker at home, you can brew yourself a delicious Americano. These videos will teach you how it's done in both hot and iced form.
This video will show you how a good, strong Americano is made. You'll see that nice layer of crema on top to be on the lookout for.
Here's how an iced Americano is made. You don't need to keep your ice in a milk pitcher as shown in this video—straight from the ice cube tray is fine.
Americanos are similar to regular coffee, but they're made with hot water and espresso rather than hot water filtered through ground coffee beans. Add vegan milk and sugar if you like your coffee that way—even ask for a flavor shot at the cafe if you fancy it.