Coffee Q & A: Americanos

I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, I love answering these Coffee Q & As. It’s one of my favorite things about this blog.

So here’s another really great question I got from one of our customers:

What exactly is an Americano? And why is it a thing? 

The good news is! The answers here are pretty straightforward.

So, an Americano is a shot of espresso with hot water.

At Black River Roasters, we only serve our Americanos in 12 oz cups, so as not to over-dilute the espresso.

Now for the second part of the question:

Why do people drink Americanos?

Well, there’s a popular belief that during World War 2, Americans stationed in Europe didn’t really enjoy the coffee they were being served. Typically, Europeans would drink shots of espresso, but the Americans were more accustomed to drip coffee that they could sip and savor. Americans were finding the concentrated taste of the espresso was unpleasant to them because they were used to the more mellow flavors of drip coffee. So they started adding hot water to the espresso to dilute the flavor, and to create a bigger drink that they can savor.

The Europeans began to notice, and if they made this espresso drink diluted with hot water, they began calling it an “Americano” (completely affectionately, I’m sure). And thus, the Americano was born.

Is an Americano that different from Drip Coffee?

Espresso and Drip Coffee have very different flavors. Even if you use the same coffee to make espresso and drip, the taste will be different (read more about that here). Even if you dilute the espresso with hot water, it won’t change the actual taste. It just helps mellow out the espresso a little. If you really want a cup of drip coffee, but an Americano is all that is available, you will likely enjoy it just as much! But I encourage you to try both and see what you think!

So that’s that! Americanos are an “Americanized” version of Italian Espresso! Easy to make and super yummy.

Got any more coffee questions you want answered? Comment below or reach out on Instagram @black_river_roasters, Facebook @BRROASTERS or twitter @BR_ROASTERS.

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