An Americano is a popular American coffee that is made by adding water to espresso. In other words, it is a special diluted espresso. If you never enjoyed one of these before, it may sound quite unusual to you. Nevertheless, it is a popular drink that tastes sweeter and richer than your standard coffee.
Of course, to make the perfect Americano, you need to know the right americano ratio of espresso to water. To ensure you can make the perfect cup of Americano, be sure to read through our informative overview below.
What’s the proper Americano ratio?
While you could add a shot of espresso and then add some water, many people find that their Americano tastes better by adding espresso to water when it’s fresh out of the espresso machine.
But how much water should you add to your cup for the perfect Americano? The answer to this question may surprise you!
Interestingly, there is no right or wrong answer. Baristas tend to make up their own shot of espresso to water ratio, so the results you get for your coffee can be different depending on your favored barista.
However, a good place to start is 1 part espresso to 2 parts water.
How do you make an Americano?
Here’s what you’ll need for a great Americano:
- An espresso machine
- Coffee beans
- A coffee grinder
- Hot water
- A scale to measure
- A small cup to pull the espresso shot
- A larger cup for the Americano
Step 1: measure and grind
Measure out between 14-15 grams of coffee beans and grind them using the espresso setting on your grinder. If you are using a manual grinder, tighten the set screw so that the two burrs are almost touching one another. This will enable you to get a fine, almost powder-like grind necessary for espresso.
To make a double shot, grind double the amount of coffee beans.
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Step 2: Pull the shot
Fill the coffee grounds into the portafilter and tamp them down evenly. Apply downward pressure with a bit of force to pack the grounds and make them as level as possibe.
Pull a single or double shot depending on what you are making.
Step 3: Heat water
Use a kettle to heat up some water. You don’t want to use boiling water here, so your target temperature is between 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit or 75 degrees C.
This way, the coffee will almost be ready to drink right away.
If you have a temperature controlled kettle, you can heat direct to the desired temperature. Otherwise, let the water come to a boil and let it rest for about 2 minutes with the lid open to let it cool.
Step 4: Pour and enjoy!
Interestingly enough, you pour an espresso into water to make an Americano. Normally you’d think it would be the other way around.
Fill your mug with 4 ounces of water. This will keep up with the 1:2 ratio we spoke about earlier, as one shot of espresso is 1.5 to 2 ounces.
Pour the espresso shot you pulled into the water and give it a light swirl to mix it up.
Step 5: Enjoy!
Your Americano is ready. Enjoy!
How much milk is in a Americano?
Americanos are usually enjoyed black. Hot water and espresso are usually the only two ingredients required for a delicious americano.
That being said, it does not stop you from personalising your americano with a double shot, sugar, or even a little dash of milk. While coffee experts may like to argue that you will no longer have a “true” Americano, the taste you get in return is may be worth upsetting those coffee experts.
When you want to make an americano “technically correct”, you should not pour anything other than a single or double shot of espresso into the hot water. Nevertheless, coffee is all about having your own preferences and you can make your own americano coffee recipe, no matter what the standards are perceived to be.
Don’t let others stop you from enjoying a good cup of americano that meets your personal preferences perfectly.
If you decide to pour some milk in your americano, be sure to use the hot water and the espresso first. Remember, you only need a very small quantity of milk in most cases, so a dash of milk is more than enough. We also recommend not adding your milk hot, especially if you only use a dash.
Of course, you can still fine-tune the quantity of milk to get your perfect americano. Some people prefer more milk in their coffee, so you could pour in two coffee shots to get those more intense tasting coffees.
To ensure your cup does not overflow, you may have to adjust the amount of water and espresso.
Making a drink like Americano can be a little challenging, especially when it comes down to the ratio of ingredients. But, like with all coffee making skills, it takes a little time to figure out how you like your americano, and this can take a little trial and error.
Pro tip: Use the right kind of coffee beans
The way you make your espresso can have an influence on the strength of your Americano. However, you will have to purchase the coffee beans, grind them and then pour through hot water to get the espresso you want.
So, where lies the difference? Quite simply, it lies in the coffee beans you buy for your espresso and even the hot water you use. We will elaborate on each of these elements right now.
As you know, the quality of coffee beans can have a dire impact on your espresso. When you don’t know much about espresso coffee beans, here is what you are looking for. While you do not need the finest and most expensive beans out there, buying coffee beans of good quality will certainly have an impact on the taste of your espresso.
In addition to the type of coffee beans, you also need to consider three vital components of making the perfect espresso: grind size, pressure and temperature.
Remember, the perfect espresso needs a pressure of at least 9 to 15 bars and a very fine grind.
The hot water you use can have an influence on the taste of your espresso too. If the water in your area tends to have a chemical taste, then it could influence the taste of your espresso too. To avoid this, you may want to consider an additional filtration process for the water to remove any unwanted chemicals that could overpower your entire americano.
What You Need To Remember For The Perfect Americano
Based on what we have mentioned earlier, it is clear that there is more to this drink than just some water and an espresso shot. True lovers of americanos appreciate the fine touches that additional ingredients such as honey, cinnamon and milk can bring, even though it is not technically classified as an “Americano”.
We also recommend a good espresso maker for this drink. As we mentioned earlier, the grind, pressure, and temperature are extremely important to make this drink memorable. We also mentioned about the importance of clean-tasting water, as residual chemical tastes can make this drink taste of.
In conclusion, there are many ways to make a perfect Americano drink. Being one of the recipes that is most open to interpretation, there are many ways to get your Americano made.
There is no real right or wrong, that is the beauty of a simple recipe that only requires water and espresso. There is room for experimentation, so don’t feel like you have to stick to the standard water and espresso recipe to get one excellent Americano made!
Frequently asked questions
Is Americano stronger than coffee?
Americano is slightly sweeter than the average coffee; this is because it is an espresso diluted with hot water. Since Americano is the same amount of coffee as an espresso shot, Americanos will have less caffeine than a cup of drip coffee
How many ounces is an Americano?
If you use a 1:2 ratio, a typical Americano will be 6 ounces. With a double shot, you’re looking at 10 ounces.