How an Americano coffee is made

Americano is very popular (of course) in North America. We’re used to seeing it in American movies and series, in which the protagonists carry a large mug of coffee down the street and don’t stop drinking it in small sips. It might seem that such an amount of coffee is excessive, but of course, we must not forget that an americano is notably lighter or milder than normal espresso.

The Americano should not be confused with filter coffee (which is actually the original), even though they may look similar. Filter coffee is prepared with a drip coffee maker, and Americano-style coffee is made from espresso. Not surprisingly, americano coffee has its origins in the Second World War, when Italian baristas tried to imitate the taste of traditional filter coffee for U.S. soldiers stationed in the transalpine country.

Some also say that it was the soldiers themselves who poured the water on the coffee that the Italians prepared for him, who was not used to his tastes. The legend is not confirmed, but in any case, the origin of this drink is clear.

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

It’s not hard to know how to make homemade Americano. Basically, it is a normal espresso, over which hot water is served. Note: first, the coffee, then the hot water. Order is important. We’ll take you through the process step by step, so you don’t get lost:

  1. First, we prepare our black coffee (espresso if possible). It doesn’t matter what kind of coffee maker you use, but the coffee has to be an espresso.
  2. When we have it, we serve it in a big cup.
  3. It’s important to keep the proportions. The usual proportion is 50%, so try to fill the cup in half. You can vary this portion slightly if you like your coffee a little waterier or stronger.
  4. Fill the other half of the cup (or whatever proportion you have left) with hot water. Preferably, serve it from a kettle.
  5. You have your American coffee ready. All you have to do is enjoy it or season it as you like (for example, some people prefer Americano coffee without sugar, since the proportion of water already reduces the typical bitterness of pure espresso).
American Coffe 2-1

How to make Americano coffee with Nespresso

This is also true for other capsule coffee machines that can serve hot water (such as Dolce Gusto machines, for example). If you want to make an americano with a Nespresso, follow these steps:

  1. Place a large cup under the spout.
  2. Make your espresso with the capsule or the variety you like. Do not add more or less water than recommended by the manufacturer. It must be a regular espresso.
  3. Then remove the capsule from the capsule holder (if your coffee maker does not have automatic capsule ejection).
  4. Do not move the cup (this is important).
  5. When you no longer have a capsule, turn the coffee machine back on to serve a stream of hot water. You can use the long program (more water) or the short program (less water) depending on whether you prefer your americano with less body.

Difference between Americano and lungo coffee

We have said before that order is fundamental when preparing an Americano coffee. Water should be served over coffee, not the other way around. Why? Because if we do the opposite (prepare the coffee in the same cup where we already have the hot water), the result will be a lungo.

The difference between the two preparations is substantial: in lungo, the espresso is made over hot water and retains all its cream. In an Americano coffee, the hot water breaks up the cream of the espresso. The ingredients are the same, but the result is not. Keep that in mind.

How to make Americano with a coffee machine

How do you make Americano coffee in a coffee shop? The steps are the same as those described above, although of course, the coffee machines in the hotel and catering industry offer a number of facilities that we do not have at home. In this video, we can see it better: