A lot of people call themselves coffee enthusiasts. These people really know their stuff when it comes to coffee in general. It's no surprise that they don't have a hard time talking to the baristas at your local coffee shop.
But not everyone is as dedicated to coffee as those people. Some are just casual enjoyers of the beverage. Oftentimes, they only order the most basic frappe or iced coffee from a shop without even knowing what's in it.
One thing is for sure, though. Every single coffee shop has the words Americano coffee on its menu boards. After all, it's one of the most basic yet popular types of coffee. But what exactly is an Americano coffee? Keep reading for a complete breakdown of this beverage.
The History of Americano Coffee
The beginning of the Americano coffee trend started way back during World War II. American soldiers were deployed in many different countries, including Italy. Italians love extremely strong espresso. The same couldn't be said for the American soldiers stationed there, though. They were more accustomed to mild drip coffee.
So, what did the Americans do when all they had was strong Italian espresso? They just added more water to the espresso in an attempt to replicate drip coffee. And thus the Americano coffee was born.
The background of this popular drink doesn't sound too exciting. And espresso with water? Doesn't sound so special. But why do people love this type of coffee so much? Well, everyone can agree that it is super simple to make, and it doesn't require a lot of elaborate methods or ingredients.
How to make an Americano Coffee
Americano coffee is very simple. All you need to make a cup is espresso and water. But you don't just blindly add water into the espresso. You might end up with really bland or strong coffee.
The rule of thumb here is for every one or two shots of espresso, you need to add 2/3 of water. But if you ask baristas in different coffee shops, you'll notice that they add a little bit more water. This is because some of their American customers still find it a bit too bitter for their taste. This is also the reason why cappuccinos, lattes, and even frappes have gained so much popularity over the years.
Among the beverages with espresso as its main ingredient, Americano coffee stands out mainly because it doesn't have any milk or cream in it. Although you always have the option to add cream or milk into your cup of Americano coffee. When ordering an Americano, you can also ask the barista to add a bit of milk or any other dairy-alternative product like soy milk.
To accommodate people who enjoy their coffee cold, an Americano coffee can also come in the form of iced coffee. It still has the same ingredients: water and espresso. The only difference is cold water is added along with a couple of ice cubes.
The Debate about Americano Coffee
In any kind of community, there will always be disagreements or debates. The coffee community is not an exception to this. As silly as it sounds, Americano coffee fans are debating on which of the two ingredients should be poured into the cup first.
You'd be surprised to know that there are a lot of people backing both sides of the debate. But if you take time and count the votes, there are more people who think that the espresso should be poured first. Now you're probably thinking, "Does it even matter?". It actually does! This is because it affects an important factor: crema.
What exactly is cream in coffee?
If you own an espresso machine, turn it on and make yourself a cup. Do you notice the brown foam that forms on top of the drink? That's the crema. Generally speaking, the crema does not really affect the flavor of the espresso that much. But some people disagree on this.
But the real question is, why and how does it form? Well, carbon dioxide and oils mix together while the machine prepares your espresso shot. This forms the tan foam or crema on top. People prefer pouring in the water last because this dissolves the crema and helps mellow that flavor of the coffee down.
What in the world is a long black coffee?
You've probably heard a customer order this drink in your local coffee shop. Americans typically don't order this type of coffee despite it being quite similar to the Americano.
A long black is a bolder and stronger type of coffee that is popular in Australia and New Zealand. Unlike the Americano, the long black requires less water. The process of making a long black is very specific. You have to pour the espresso on top of the water to maintain its full flavor.
Can I brew an Americano coffee at home?
Let's face it; espresso machines are quite pricey. Luckily, you can easily make an Americano in the comfort of your own home using manual brewing methods. A French Press, Aeropress, or Moka Pot should be enough to brew your own Americano coffee.
If you're the type of person who doesn't enjoy creamy or sweet coffee, the Americano is the perfect cup of coffee for you. It's very simple and easy to do, and there is no shortage of it in coffee shops around the world. It's also very easy to brew your own cup at home since it only needs two ingredients.
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