Home » BLOG » Americano: Origins and How to Make a Simple and Standard Americano

Americano: Origins and How to Make a Simple and Standard Americano

Upon being served an Americano, one might easily mistake it for a commonplace black coffee. However, this particular brew is swiftly gaining favor with coffee fans who prefer their drink robust and unadulterated by steamed milk or foam trappings. Please continue reading to discover the distinct qualities of an Americano and how it stands apart from other coffee beverages.

What is American coffee?

What Is American Coffee

The Americano is elegantly simplistic, composed of only hot water and espresso. The proportions typically range from a balanced 1/2 and 1/2 to a diluted 1/3 espresso to 2/3 water, varying by the establishment or personal brewing choice.

A debate persists regarding the sequence of adding the components; however, for an Americano, it is recommended to pour the espresso first.

This method allows the crema to blend smoothly, yielding a more harmonious and rounded flavor profile. Despite this, individual taste preferences may dictate the order of combination.

In contrast to other popular espresso drinks that incorporate milk, like cappuccinos or lattes, the Americano is distinct in its exclusion of dairy, showcasing the purity of its espresso origins.

Origin of American coffee

Origin Of American Coffee

The term “Americano” signifies “American” in Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. Several sources suggest this term was adopted into English from Italian during the 1970s.

In Italian, “caffè americano” directly translates to “American coffee.” Commonly, there is a notion that the term originated during World War II when American soldiers stationed in Italy would dilute their espresso with hot water to mimic the coffee they were used to back home.

Contrary to this belief, the Oxford English Dictionary traces the term back to Central American Spanish as “café americano,” which was used pejoratively for weak coffee around the mid-1950s.

The earliest recorded use of the term in English was in a 1964 edition of the Jamaican newspaper, the Sunday Gleaner.

Interestingly, the Italian phrase “caffè americano” may have been incorporated into the language after its English or Spanish iterations, likely borrowed from either.

Ingredients of an Americano

Ingredients Of An Americano

To prepare an Americano, one must combine one shot (approximately 25 – 30ml) of espresso with 90 – 470ml of hot water.

Thus, the components of an Americano consist of espresso and hot water, which significantly reduces the bitterness of the Americano coffee.

This type of coffee is also often confused with Long Black, which is made by mixing espresso and hot water at a 1:1 ratio.

Americano Coffee Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size16 fl oz (474g)
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat0.2g
– Saturated Fat0.1g
– Trans Fat0g
– Polyunsaturated Fat0.1g
– Monounsaturated Fat0g
Total Carbohydrates1.7g
– Dietary Fiber0g
– Sugars0g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. Two thousand calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Differences between Americano coffee and Drip coffee, Long Black

CriteriaAmericanoDrip CoffeeLong Black
Brewing MethodEspresso diluted with hot waterGround coffee steeped in hot water and then filteredEspresso poured over hot water
TasteRich and bold but lighter than espressoSmooth and balanced, can be more nuanced depending on the beans and roastSimilar to Americano but often stronger and bolder
StrengthGenerally weaker than espresso but stronger than drip coffeeIt can vary, but typically lighter than espresso-based drinksTypically stronger than Americano due to less water
Caffeine ContentTypically made with one or two shots of espresso diluted with water. A single shot of espresso usually has about 63-75 mg of caffeine. So an Americano can have anywhere from 63-150 mg of caffeine depending on the number of shots.A standard 8 oz (240 ml) cup of drip coffee has approximately 95-165 mg of caffeine.Like an Americano, a Long Black is made with one or two shots of espresso added to hot water. This results in a strong coffee with a caffeine content similar to an Americano, around 63-150 mg of caffeine.
Serving SizeTypically served in 8-12 oz sizesRanges from 8 oz to multiple cups in a carafeTypically served in 6-8 oz sizes
Preparation TimeQuick to prepare; requires an espresso machineLonger brewing time can be made with various tools like automatic drippers or manual methods like pour-overQuick to prepare; requires an espresso machine
OriginPopular in America, hence the name. Inspired by Italian espresso.Originated in the US with the invention of the automatic drip brewerOriginated in New Zealand and Australia
TextureSmooth with light crema, depending on how the espresso is madeNo crema, generally a cleaner mouthfeel due to the filtering processA thin layer of crema may be present due to the espresso on top
CustomizationCan adjust strength by adding more espresso shots or waterCan adjust the strength and flavor by changing the coffee-to-water ratio, grind size, brewing time, temperature, etc.Strength is adjusted by the ratio of espresso to water, which is less customizable than Americano.

How do you make American coffee?

How Do You Make American Coffee

Crafting an Americano coffee is relatively easy. Consider the method suggested below by Farm to Palms for a sophisticated approach:

Preparation of Ingredients and Tools

  • Coffee beans: 7 – 10g (purchase a coffee grinder if using whole beans; pre-ground coffee eliminates this need)
  •  Tools: Espresso machine, coffee grinder (if using pre-ground coffee, omit this), cup, white sugar, etc.

Steps for Making an Americano Coffee

  1. Grind the coffee beans to a medium-fine consistency using a coffee grinder. If using pre-ground coffee, measure out approximately 7g.
  2.  Place the ground coffee into the portafilter, then use a tamper to press the grounds evenly with moderate pressure.
  3.  Attach the portafilter (containing the tamped coffee) to the espresso machine. Then, initiate the coffee brewing process by pressing the appropriate button.
  4.  Position the cup beneath the portafilter’s spout to catch the espresso as it is dispensed.
  5.  Add about 30 – 70ml of boiling water to the cup of espresso according to taste preference. Stir with a spoon to blend, and your sophisticated Americano coffee is ready to enjoy!

Various forms, variations, and new versions of Americano

Variations Of Americano Coffee

Similar to many other coffee types, the Americano has also seen a variety of new variations and versions that cater to drinkers’ preferences, such as:

Variations of Americano Coffee

  • Iced Americano: This type of coffee combines espresso with cold water.
  •  Lungo Americano: This coffee is extracted from espresso for a longer time (more than 30 seconds), usually resulting in a more assertive bitterness compared to the original espresso.
  •  Crema Americano: This coffee is extracted from espresso longer than the Lungo Americano.
  •  Red Eye Coffee: This coffee is made from espresso but uses cold water for brewing, resulting in a relatively long dripping time.

Variations of Americano

Depending on preferences and serving styles, the Americano can be modified in various ways, such as:

  • Served as either an iced or hot Americano.
  •  It can be added with non-sweetened milk and cream. The ratio might be three parts espresso, one part non-sweet milk, and a half-part cream.
  •  A three-layer Americano: the first is espresso, the second is egg yolk whipped with a bit of honey, and the third is egg white beaten with sugar.

New versions of Americano

You may encounter new versions of the Americano adapted to the tastes of residents in areas where this drink is famous, such as:

British-style Americano

The British are fond of the creamy taste of milk, so the Americano is tweaked with unsweetened fresh milk and cream.

Egg Americano

The Americano has been creatively combined with eggs to enhance its richness and nutritional content. Precisely, it is layered into three tiers, as recently shared by Farm to Palms. For this reason, the Egg Americano’s flavor is unique and ideally suited for breakfast.

How to serve Americano

How To Serve Americano

With its versatile variations tailored to individual preferences, you can savor an Americano as a hot beverage or an iced coffee. It allows for leisurely enjoyment—sip on it while working, studying, or engaging in conversation without the rush to finish it, as you might feel with an espresso shot.


Thus, you’ve now acquired additional information about what an Americano is, including its origins and how to brew it adequately.

I wish you delightful times with friends over cups of Americano, characterized by its gently bitter taste that is just right.

Also, consider visiting our Farm to Palms supermarket to purchase high-quality coffee beans imported from world-renowned coffee-producing countries.

Leave a Comment