Coffee is one of the most versatile drinks, and you will find different ways of preparing it in virtually every country, or even café, you visit. If you want to learn how to make Americano coffee then read on, because in this article we will be explaining what it is, and the best way of preparing it.
What is a Café Americano?
Café Americano is the Italian name for an American coffee, and dates from the 1970’s when this particular style of preparation became popular.
It is the type of coffee you will often get at an espresso bar when ordering a larger sized drink, and is a particularly popular way of drinking stronger blends that can be overpowering as a single shot, or blends that don’t work as well in espresso form.
It is made by adding hot water to an espresso, which gives it the same strength as a drip coffee but an altered flavor because of the dilution. The strength and flavor is further varied by changing the quantities of espresso and water that are used.
How is an Americano Made?
The basic idea behind an Americano is that hot water is added to an espresso to dilute the strength and give a softer flavor. With this being said, there is an art to making the perfect Americano, as detailed in the steps below.
You will need coffee beans, a grinder (if the beans are not already ground), and an Espresso machine.
Step 1 – Grind Your Beans
This is the most important step, because the type of coffee you use will ultimately dictate the resulting flavor. For the best Americano you should choose espresso coffee, but you can use any type you have in your house. The beans should be ground very finely, far more so than you would with a normal coffee.
Step 2 – Water
If your Espresso machine allows you to pour hot water separately, then you should ensure that it is topped up, as well as having enough to create steam for your drink. If your machine does not have a hot water pouring option, you will need to boil some in your kettle.
Step 3 – Tamping
Put your ground coffee into the portafilter (the bit that looks like a metal cup and a handle) of your espresso machine, and ensure that it is evenly packed down. Now replace the portafilter back within your espresso machine.
Step 4 – Prepare
Place an espresso pot beneath the nozzle of your espresso machine so it is ready to catch the coffee as it is produced.
Step 5 – Brew Coffee
Switch on your Espresso machine and wait for the coffee to be produced. You will want to fill the cup by about two thirds, and then switch off the machine and wait for the final drips of coffee to come out.
Step 6 – Add Water
Now that you have an espresso shot, you are ready to turn it into your Americano. Pour the coffee from the espresso pot into a mug, and then add hot water to taste. The amount of water you add will completely depend on how you want the final drink to be, but it can be as little or as much as you like. The suggested quantity, though, would be two parts hot water for every one part of coffee you have.
You need an espresso machine to make a proper Americano, because the final drink is very different to what you will produce with a drip-coffee machine. You can, of course, try making a strong shot of coffee with a drip machine, but it won’t quite be the same.
Making coffee like this with an espresso machine is a much slower process than making a diluted coffee with a drip machine. If you are prepared and know the amount of water you will be adding to your espresso, you can do this first and have it drip straight into your mug. This can help to reduce the bitterness of the drink.
Americano’s are traditionally prepared without using milk or sugar to dilute or affect the taste but, of course, feel free to use these if that’s how you like to drink your coffee.
The following video shows how baristas make Americanos:
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The Final Word
Coffee can be prepared in many different ways depending on how you want it to taste and the effect you are looking for. Espresso shots are a great way to get an intense burst of flavor and energy, but aren’t to everyone’s liking. It’s easy to learn how to make Americano Coffee, as it involves first making an espresso and then adding more hot water to dilute it, and the resulting product can be far more palatable while providing the same benefits.