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September 7, 2022  |  Food & Drink

How to make Americano coffee: What you need to brew the perfect cup

Enjoy an Italian classic in the American way

Coffee has been a staple drink for centuries, enjoyed in various strengths throughout the Middle East, China and North Africa before making its way around the globe. New variations quickly developed as each nation experimented with brews, strengths and preparation methods.

The coffee industry in the U.S is worth around $48 billion, and more people need their cup of Joe before starting their day. But while lattes, flat whites and cappuccinos are occasionally enjoyed, the humble Americano is an essential ingredient to any breakfast.

The Americano basics

Origin of the name

An Americano coffee is better known outside of the U.S as a Caffe Americano. It has roots in Italian, literally translating to “American coffee.” It is thought that it entered the English language around the ‘70s.

While the etymology is unknown, there have been several suggestions over the decades. The most popular, while unconfirmed, explanation stems from WWII Italy. Apparently, U.S soldiers diluted the strong espresso coffee with water, leading locals to call it “American coffee,” a much weaker form of the Italian classic.

Regular coffee versus Caffe Americano

Some drinkers assume that an Americano is just regular coffee without milk, but there is a difference between the two brews. Regular coffee, or filtered coffee, is made by infusing coffee beans with hot water through a filtration system or dissolvable granules. You can add sugar and milk to taste.

However, an Americano is an espresso shot diluted with hot water. Depending on how it is brewed, espresso has an average caffeine content of 103 milligrams, while regular brewed coffee typically has 96 milligrams of caffeine. You can add milk or sugar, but it’s frowned upon in some areas. 

Variations

There are several variations to the Americano from WWII. As it started to become popular in the U.S, others put their own spin on the imported beverage. Perfect for summer, an iced Americano is exactly the same, but instead of hot water, the espresso is mixed with cold water and crushed ice.

A lungo has more volume for a longer drink but tends to be somewhat bitter, while a caffe crema is even longer and contains hot milk. It is closer to a regular coffee and is the old name for a cappuccino, while made in the same way as an Americano.

In some parts of the U.S, an Italiano is made from a single or double shot Americano but equal parts espresso and hot water.

What you need to buy for Americano coffee

De'Longhi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

To brew the perfect cup of coffee, this espresso machine is an excellent choice. It produces 15 bars of pressure and has a second drip tray to accommodate larger cups. The water tank can hold 37 ounces, and the machine reduces start-up preparation by having a self-priming feature. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Stone & Mill Double Walled Glass Coffee Mug

These double-walled elegant coffee mugs are made from borosilicate glass that ensures your drink stays hot without burning your hands. Each cup can hold 8.5 ounces, and the glass is scratch resistant. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Bodum Bistro Coffee Mug, 10 Ounce

There is no better way to drink coffee than in double-walled glass mugs. It is made from heat-resistant borosilicate glass and has perfect insulating properties to keep your coffee hot. The mugs are dishwasher-safe and shatterproof. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Dolce Gusto Starbucks Coffee Veranda Blend Americano

Having a machine that can make espressos are great. Still, you’ll also need the most important ingredient. These Starbucks coffee pods are compatible with Nescafe’s Dulce Gusto machines, and the Veranda Americano blend has a mellow flavor with some softness. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio 2

To go with your coffee pods, the Dulce Gusto machine makes espressos in a few seconds. This automatic capsule coffee machine makes one cup of coffee at a time and has an easy-to-use interface. It produces 15 bar pressure for optimal extraction and flavor. It includes a used capsule bin. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Illy Classico Whole Bean Coffee

If freshly ground coffee is more to your taste, you can’t go wrong with Illy’s Classico. The pack of six 8.8-ounce bags contains whole beans for the perfect espresso. It’s a medium roast with delicate notes of caramel, orange and blossom.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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