Why is an Americano coffee called that?

Prepare Cafe Americano | Cafe Americano recipe | The perfect Cafe Americano

If history is to be believed, Cafe Americano (also spelled Caffè Americano) owes its name to American soldiers who were stationed in Italy during World War II. The espresso was supposedly too intense for them. That's why they just diluted the drink with hot water. This was the hour of birth for Cafe Americano.

This is what awaits you in this article:

Table of Contents

What is a Cafe Americano?

With this drink, an espresso is diluted with hot water. This reduces the intensity of the espresso, but does not lose its characteristic taste. The water you use to prepare a Cafe Americano shouldn't boil and should be around 90 ° C. The result is similar in strength to a filter coffee and in taste to an espresso.

There is no fixed mixing ratio between hot water and espresso for the preparation of a Cafe Americano. It's a matter of taste. The following measure gives you an initial orientation during preparation: There are three parts hot water for one part espresso. For example, there are around 90 ml of hot water for every 30 ml of espresso - depending on your taste. We advise you to use around 50 to 60 ml of hot water at the beginning and then slowly work your way towards the right mixing ratio. If the taste is too intense for you, increase the amount of water as needed.

Step by step to the perfect Cafe Americano

Step 1

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Step 4

Prepare Cafe Americano

There are two ways to prepare the Cafe Americano.

1. The water is first filled into the cup. Then a single shot or a double espresso is poured on top. With this preparation variant, the crema floats on top. It looks nice too. We use this method to prepare our Cafe Americano at home.

2. Alternatively, the espresso is poured into the cup first. Then the hot water is added to the espresso. The crema is somewhat destroyed when the water is poured in and mixes with the actual espresso. This makes the Cafe Americano taste a little bitter. The reason for this is that tiny bits of ground coffee, which are contained in the crema of the espresso, make the drink more bitter. The remaining crema can now be removed with a spoon. If you remove the crema on the Cafe Americano, the taste will be softer.

We recommend that you prepare a Cafe Americano with an espresso machine with a portafilter. Because we are of the opinion that a portafilter machine delivers better espresso quality than a fully automatic coffee machine or a capsule machine. Portafilter machines that you can use to prepare a decent espresso can be found for between € 400 and € 600. Here you can find our purchase recommendation for single-circuit machines.

Cafe Americano recipe

Cafe Americano recipe (120 ml)
From Finn
January 24, 2018

A Cafe Americano is an espresso that is diluted with hot water. Here you can find our recipe for Cafe Americano for 1 cup (120 ml).
Nutritional information (120 ml):
2 calories
0.1 grams of fat

- 30 ml espresso
- 90 ml hot water (90 ° C)

Instructions for the preparation of 120 ml Cafe Americano:
Step 1: Preheat the cup on the espresso machine
Step 2: Pour 90 ml of hot water into the cup
Step 3: Brew 30 ml espresso directly into the cup filled with water
Step 4: Optionally skim off the floating crema with a spoon
Step 5: drink

The espresso in Cafe Americano

When preparing the espresso, you should pay attention to the magical 4 M’s so that you can make the espresso. Here is a brief overview of what is behind the 4 M’s.

  • Miscela = coffee blend (espresso bean)
  • Macinacaffè = espresso grinder
  • Macchina = espresso machine
  • Mano = hand (of the barista)
  • These four points should be paid attention to if you want to prepare a really good espresso.

    Miscela = coffee blend (espresso bean)
    The bean quality is the basis for a really good espresso. Attention should be paid to the roasting date (the roasting should not be too far in the past), roasting method, country of origin and type of bean.

    Macinacaffè = espresso grinder
    The grinder and the grinding degree setting are crucial for a successful espresso.

    Macchina = espresso machine
    We recommend that you always use a portafilter machine. This way you can also achieve the right taste experience of a good Cafe Americano at home.

    Mano = hand (of the barista)
    Last but not least, your instinct is required. You should carry out all work steps in peace and not in a hectic pace. Pay attention to the water temperature, tamp the espresso, etc.

    A Cafe Americano is not a Cafe Lungo - we explain the difference

    A Cafe Americano and a Cafe Lungo have one thing in common. Both are milder in taste than a single shot and yet the two coffee specialties are fundamentally different. With a Cafe Americano, hot water is either poured into the cup or directly into the espresso directly before or after the brewing process. This dilutes the espresso and reduces the intensity. Nevertheless, the characteristic taste is not lost.

    Basically, the preparation of a lungo is the same as for an espresso. But there is one crucial difference: The brewing time for the Lungo is longer than that of the espresso, which means that more liquid is extracted accordingly. Compared to an espresso, a lungo tastes milder.

    Iced Cafe Americano - a drink for warm days

    If the longing for something caffeinated and ice-cold is great, an Iced Cafe Americano will definitely taste good. To do this, the brewed espresso is poured directly onto ice cubes. Instead of using hot water, it is diluted with cold water. This is how you can cool off nicely.

    You can find more coffee specialties and their preparation here:

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  • About the author:

    Finn’s website: barista-passione.de