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A style of coffee prepared by adding hot water to espresso.

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A way to insure that you have a freshly brewed cup of coffee

  • Aug 10, 2010

An americano is a cup of coffee made by adding hot water to one or more shots of espresso. There's no milk or flavoring added, so it tastes somewhat like a cup of normal drip view. It's not exactly the same flavor, but not terribly different. I don't prefer one over the other.

I have friends who think americanos are a waste of money. You get a cup of coffee, about the same strength as brewed. So why pay more? The answer is simple. Freshness.

Coffee starts losing flavor quickly. For canned coffee, that's not really a problem because the quality of the beans and the way they are processed insure that much of the flavor has either already gone or wasn't there to start with. With quality beans that are recently roasted and ground there is a big difference.

There's a simple experiment that you can do to prove this. Brew a cup and keep it warm for a half hour or more. Now brew a fresh cup. Taste test them. If you start with a premium coffee that's reasonably fresh and recently ground, you should notice a significant difference in taste. Enter the americano. Since it is brewed as you watch, you know you are getting a fresh cup. If you are in a high-end coffee place that grinds each cup individually, you will notice a huge difference.

A way to insure that you have a freshly brewed cup of coffee

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November 08, 2010
I agree, it makes an incredible amount of difference (even at the coffee shop) between an Americano and a regular cup of coffee. First, the regular cup of coffee is usually sitting there for a while (though for great beans and quality, it shouldn't be longer than 1 hour....1 1/2 hours max), hence the cheaper price ;p Secondly, if you enjoy the taste of espresso, like you said in your review, it does make a difference how it's made and with what. Great review!
August 11, 2010
I'm not the world's biggest coffee drinker, but I've been beginning to appreciate espresso drinks more lately, and your review just made me appreciate americanos more. I'm going to order one the next time I got to a coffee shop. Thanks for sharing this great review, Michael!
About the reviewer
michael mckee ()
I'm a photographer and writer living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I love - in no particular order: nature, good coffee, smooth jazz, mystery novels and speculative fiction. I hike, bike, play … more
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Caffè Americano, or Americano (Italian: American coffee) is a style of coffee prepared by adding hot water to espresso, giving a similar strength but different flavor from regular drip coffee. The strength of an Americano varies with the number of shots of espresso and the amount of water added.

In the United States, "Americano" is used broadly to mean combining hot water and espresso in either order, but in a narrower definition it refers to adding water to espresso (espresso on the bottom), while adding espresso to water (espresso on the top) is instead referred to as a long black.

The name is also spelled with varying capitalization and use of diacritics: e.g. Café Américano – a hyperforeignism using the French word for coffee and the Italian word for American, plus an additional incorrect accent, café Americano, cafe americano, etc.
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