What is an Americano coffee?

You might find Americano coffee in lots of coffee shops. You can also make it at home at any time of the day. What’s an americano coffee? Is It just regular American coffee?

What is coffee Americano? 

Americano means “simple” in Italian but was never really used to describe a coffee except maybe a simple roast. In fact, in Italian coffee is “caffè” (as is espresso) and Americano is always used in the context of espresso. If you ask your friend or barista for a “Americano” they might give you a cup of espresso and ask if you want a little milk added.

What is an Americano coffee?
What is an americano coffee? Besides being a very delicious coffee, it brings an incredible experience

Americano doesn’t have quite the history as espresso. As a matter of fact it is actually less established then a lot of other coffees and it’s time to put it there.

"Americano" is not a brand, company, or type of coffee, it's a style.  You should be able to find this espresso at Starbucks in the US.  It is an espresso with three shots or more of espresso, poured with milk into an Italian-style cup (coffee milk latte, cappuccino, etc).

How to make an Americano?

As such, "Americano" is not a type of coffee, it's a style.  It refers to a type of process or style of preparation, and the result of that process.  In America, this involves a long grind of coffee, poured into the coffee-maker, and then brewed in the usual espresso style.  The espresso will be very strong, with a strong coffee character, and there will be no crema.  It will be poured into a cup which has been "milked" with a bit of milk (in some cases) and sweetener, and it may be garnished (sometimes).

There will be several types of Italian-style espresso.  The "Americano" is only one of these styles.  If you want an "Americano" style coffee, you need to look for those terms.  Starbucks does not use that style of coffee for anything but their drink.  And if you order at a Starbucks in the US, you get what they are offering.

The history of the Americano

Where did the word originate?  The name derives from the fact that it was first made in America.  The roaster of the Brazilian company that was first to introduce this kind of coffee was an American. You have to know it has had some pretty unusual and amusing results including that in some countries you are not allowed to call the stuff americano when you refer to it as espresso coffee. You may think this is ridiculous.

I am sure you can find as many stories on the internet but for my own research I can only mention this story. The story claims that Americano, like its main competitor Cappuccino, has no exact origin and it is always defined by its ingredients and preparation method (milk added in an espresso cup). If you ask a local coffee expert they will usually say it is either a way to describe the Italian coffees at origin. This is true for some of them and they can also explain the history and the different methods of preparing it. But most of them will quickly say that the “real” americano is the one you receive at home with milk added in the glass so it really is simple.

A lot of local baristas actually will be happy to explain to you that an americano coffee with milk is more often referred to as a cappuccino and that the Americano is basically espresso diluted with milk. Some people find this argument really weird but they all agree it is true.

If we look at Italian coffee it is not too hard to understand where americanos comes from. If we take the latte we have two main options: Caffe Latte (latte macchiato) and Caffe americano (latte amercato). The difference between the latte macchiato and the latte amercato is pretty big and can be described as the difference between an espresso and a espresso with milk: the latte macchiato is served black and with just a little cream, the americano is made with the espresso diluted with milk. 

The americano and the cappuccino are more or less the same, but Cappuccino comes with more milk and is not black. If you take the Americano, put it in the milk to your liking and you have a cup of milk with extra espresso flavor. In Spain and other countries like them the definition is slightly different, they usually serve a “cortado” that is similar to a coffee with milk, but you can add water to it as you like.

What's the difference between Americano and black coffee?

What happens if you try this? Well I just have to say, that I have experienced the taste of a regular coffee and then I have tasted this espresso coffee and it is absolutely amazing. It tastes like a cup of warm milk, especially when you use the espresso coffee from your french press. You can add sugar too if you want and it makes a delicious drink. The coffee beans are ground pretty roughly when you buy them at the store. The beans go into a machine and the machine then grinds it until it gets into this form. When you get the taste of this, that is exactly what it tastes like. Another thing I will say is that I love this taste. 

When I first began drinking this stuff and my friends all around me were drinking regular coffee, I said that what they were drinking was nothing like the espresso coffee. I just had to give them an example and they understood what I was talking about. They got it and now they all love the espresso coffee too.

What is coffee Americano? It's the most exotic type of coffees

So, what is a americano coffee? As the most exotic of coffees, it has very different characteristics than the rest. I want to discuss it by the qualities that define an Americano. It is the type of coffee that requires little post-processing of the coffee before it reaches the customer. And even in its raw state, it does not have to be treated with the care of other more delicate styles, or even with much care. Yet, it does give up some of its qualities in the process.

Americanos are grown in Central America. They are considered special varieties because they have very high caffeine. This is one of the qualities that many of us enjoy in a good cup of coffee. Some of these varieties are called Colombian, and there are other varieties from throughout the coffee growing regions of South America, particularly the Andes.

These coffees are much less refined than Arabica, but less refined than Robusta varieties. Americano is generally one of the more aromatic coffee types, one that tends to yield to the roasting process with more easily, but still yields to careful treatment as an after-processing coffee.

The best Americano coffees are of two styles. One is the very strong coffees, very full bodied, but still not too dry. The second one is much lighter in body and has much more acidity in flavor and taste. Many people consider it the best style. These are coffees from the Yucatan, a small region in Mexico.

Americanos are generally considered in their roasted form. You would find in a supermarket most commonly and in smaller specialty shops in roasted beans. There are also specialty shops that roast their beans to a particular coffee flavor and will tell you how to roast the coffee to make it a cup you want.

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