The Americano coffee has grown in popularity over the years partly due to its strength and flavor but also because it’s one of the easier coffee shop drinks to recreate at home, without the need for any fancy coffee machines.
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It’s also a popular coffee option for anyone trying to cut back on calories as it’s usually drunk black and without sugar, so contains minimal calories. However, there are variations available now, including a white Americano.
What is an Americano?
An Americano differs from an ordinary black coffee in that it is made from espresso shots, rather than regular coffee. An Americano is essentially espresso shots added to hot water to make a watered-down version of an espresso. This makes it stronger and tastes different from regular black coffee.
It is thought they came about during the second world war when the American soldiers based in Europe wanted to make their espresso coffee rations last longer and taste more like the coffee they had at home, so they added hot water to it in a large mug.
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By diluting the espresso, it remains a concentrated caffeine fix, but it tastes more like the kind of black coffee you would get from a coffee maker at home or in a coffee shop.
Generally, an Americano uses two shots of espresso coffee, but it can be made stronger with a triple shot, or weaker by using a single shot. Traditionally it is served black, but there is nothing to prevent you from adding sugar, milk, or cream to it if you choose to.
How Do I Make an Americano at Home?
It’s quite simple to make an Americano at home and the benefit is that you can update and adjust the recipe according to your own tastes at home. Here is what you will need to make one in your own kitchen:
- Fresh espresso coffee beans
- A coffee bean grinder
- Kitchen scales
- Ground Espresso coffee (if you don’t want to use beans)
- An espresso machine
- Boiled water
- A cup and a mug
Here is what you need to do to experience the perfect Americano at home. There are a number of options depending on if you want to grind your own beans, or use ground coffee.
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If you are a purist, you will be starting out with your own coffee beans, which you need to measure out and grind as finely as possible, ready to put into your espresso machine. However, there is nothing wrong with buying freshly ground espresso coffee and using that to save time.
You need to add the coffee to your espresso machine, add the water and let it run, as the first phase in the process, to develop the espresso shots required for the Americano. You need to make enough expresso to create a double shot for your Americano.
Once you have your espresso ready, you need to boil the kettle to heat up the water you are going to add to it, to turn it into an Americano. Generally, you add double the water to the size of an espresso shot, but it all depends on how big you want your drink to be, and how strong you like your coffee.
Once you have your water heated, pour it into your mug and then add the espresso shot to it. It’s important to do it this way round to avoid burning the espresso and it will also help to create a creamy foam on top of the drink.
If you want to add milk or any other kind of flavoring to your Americano, you can add it in now to create your own version of this popular drink but that’s how easy it is to make your own Americano at home.
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Can I Make an Iced Version?
An iced Americano is an extremely popular and refreshing drink at coffee shops in the summer months and again, it’s relatively easy to reproduce this in your own home, with just a few key ingredients and instructions. This is what you will need:
- Your double shot of espresso ready-made
- A handful of ice
- Cold water
- A large glass
It is a quite simple process to make an iced Americano. All you need to do is add the ice to your glass and then prepare your espresso shots using your espresso machine. You can then pour the shots into your glass and fill it up with cold water.
What Other Americano Recipes Can I Try?
If you want a milder and sweeter version then you can create your American as before, but then add steamed milk and sugar to it at the end of the process, to make it more to your taste.
If you don’t have an espresso machine at home, you can still create an Americano using a regular coffee maker. You need to have espresso ground coffee and you can then create the shots using a French Press or a stove coffee pot just as easily.
You can also buy ready-made espresso shots or instant espresso powder to make it simple for you to recreate this favorite drink at home. It might also surprise you to learn that an Americano has less caffeine than the same size cup of traditional coffee.
There are a couple of other varieties of Americano available as well, including a white version with added milk. There is also a version called lungo, which involves using twice as much water as you would normally, and there is a long black coffee that is brewed slightly differently.
Whichever version of the Americano you prefer and however you like to adapt it to your own taste, it’s definitely one of the simpler coffee shop drinks to recreate at home, as long as you are able to develop your own espresso shots.
So, when you want a black coffee with a difference, which has more flavor and less caffeine than a regular black coffee, think about trying an Americano instead and you might be pleasantly surprised at the difference.