How an Americano coffee is made

Americano coffee is very popular all over the world, which is composed of one part espresso and two parts water. An Americano can be served as an espresso (or double espresso) in a 180ml to 250ml cup to which hot water is added in a 2:1 ratio.

History of Americano coffee

Americano coffee is about 80 years old, dating back to the Second World War. When Americano soldiers arrived in Europe, they were confronted with intense and full-bodied coffee (the espresso), unlike the much lighter filtered coffee drunk in the United States.

The American soldiers asked the Italians to water down the espressos they were served to make them slightly weaker. Then the Italians would serve the espressos with hot water in a jug so that they could add water to taste.

Gradually, this drink, consisting of espresso and a certain proportion of hot water, became “an Americano”. From Europe, it spread around the world really fast.

How to make Americano coffee at home (step by step)

Once we have seen the history of Americano coffee, you will realise that making Americano at home is not difficult. You need to prepare an espresso and add hot water over it.

The order in which you pour the coffee and water is important. If you add water to the espresso, you will have an Americano, while if you add water to the espresso, you will have a Long Black.

  • The first thing to do is get a cup between 120ml and 180ml. Remember that we are going to add hot water to the espresso we are going to prepare.
  • Next, prepare an espresso (or double espresso) in the cup. For this, you need an espresso maker, either a traditional espresso maker or an alternative espresso maker, like a coffee pod machine or a superautomatic one.
  • Once the espresso is poured into the cup, add hot water in a 2:1 ratio. If you have brewed 30ml of espresso, add 60ml of hot water; if you have brewed 60ml, add 120ml of hot water.

Note: The ratio of coffee to water can vary in taste; those who like their coffee stronger can add less water, and those who prefer it weaker should add more water.

With these steps, your Americano coffee is ready. All you have to do is enjoy it without additives or with sugar.

Americano coffee and its ratio
Americano coffee and its ratio

How to prepare Americano coffee with a coffee pod machine

Whether you have a Nespresso, Keurig or Dolce Gusto coffee pod machine, Americano is prepared in the same way regardless of the coffee machine you use. The only thing your coffee machine has to comply with is the ability to prepare an espresso coffee.

  • Place a large cup under the spout of the capsule coffee machine. If you use a single espresso capsule, choose a cup of about 100ml – 120ml, but if you use two espresso capsules, choose a cup of 180ml or more.
  • Choose the espresso capsule you like best and prepare an espresso with it. Remember that in coffee machines like the Nespresso, you can use an espresso capsule and press the lungo button, but this is a mistake.
  • Remove the capsule and close the empty capsule holder again. Without moving the cup, press the lungo button (or press the espresso button twice) to fill the cup with hot water.

Note: As we said before, the proportions between water and coffee depend on each person’s taste.

Do Americano coffee pods exist?

Surprisingly yes. We have already repeated many times in this article that an Americano is prepared by adding water to an espresso. However, some brands, such as Tassimo or Dolce Gusto, sell Americano capsules.

⚠️ A coffee pod through which water passes up to a certain volume is not preparing an Americano, but a Lungo. By definition (and tradition), an Americano coffee is an espresso to which hot water is added.

Differences between an Americano and a Lungo

The Americano and the Lungo have nothing in common; maybe both preparations are coffee drinks, but nothing more.

The Americano is composed of an espresso (single or double) and hot water added afterwards. While the lungo is a coffee prepared with the same grams of ground coffee as the espresso, but twice as much water is passed through them.

The ratio for espresso is 2:1, meaning that for 20 grams of ground coffee, 40 grams of the beverage are extracted. In lungo coffee, the ratio is 4:1, so for 20 grams of ground coffee, 80 grams of the beverage are extracted.

As you can see, lungo can be compared to espresso but never to Americano. Whoever compares them is because the sizes of the final coffee may be similar, but they are nothing alike in terms of preparation or taste.

Video about how to prepare an Americano with an espresso machine

To conclude this article on Americano coffee, nothing better than a video where a professional barista teaches us how to prepare this delicious beverage with an espresso machine.