What is an Americano?
The Americano is an Italian coffee drink composed of one shot of espresso and hot water.
History of the Americano
The Americano was introduced first to American soldiers during WWII. When oversees, soldiers were not accustomed to European styles of coffee production which was primarily espresso. Finding plain espresso too bitter and unlike their drip coffee from the US, they would add water to dilute the espresso and make it more like their coffee from home. This combination of coffee and espresso gained popularity around Europe and made its way back to America.
How it is made
First, an espresso shot is made by quickly forcing water through finely ground coffee. The espresso is then diluted with hot water, usually with a ratio of 1:2 coffee to water. Because this is an espresso-based drink, there is a layer of foam called “crema” that settles on the top of the drink. Americano is sometimes confused with black drip coffee and tastes relatively similar, as was the soldier’s intent when creating this drink. They are, however, very very different as drip coffee is made much slower by allowing hot water to filter through ground coffee with gravity being its only force.
How much Caffeine is in an Americano?
Compared to a regular cup of black coffee, Americano has less caffeine. One shot of espresso (30 ml) has about 50 mg of caffeine, whereas a cup of brewed coffee (237 ml) has about 100-165 mg of caffeine according to Mayo Clinic. Water does not contain caffeine so the Americano totals 50 mg of caffeine.