Americano. Is there a correct ratio of water to coffee?


Simply put: Americano is espresso topped up with hot water to increase its volume, which is typically in a 1:5 ratio.

If your customers order a "large espresso" from you, making an Americano is the only way to go.

Coffee from America? Where did the name Americano come from?

Americano is a very popular type of coffee drink, but most people don't know anything about where it comes from. There is a good reason why this popular espresso drink has an "American name". To understand it, we have to go back about 80 years.

The most credible story about the origins and naming of Americana comes from World War II.

Coffee was so important and necessary for soldiers that the average soldier consumed more than 32 kilograms of coffee a year. That meant a lot of grinding, packing and shipping tons of coffee to the European battlefield. Often, however, there still wasn't enough of it.

American soldiers stationed in Italy were looking for their daily dose of caffeine. The traditional local espresso was too intense and bothered them so much that they found ways to make it less bitter and more palatable. They started diluting their espresso with hotwater.

And because of this, the locals gave the drink the famous name "Americano".

It is said that Italians are not too keen on drinking coffee any other way than espresso. That's why they call watered-down espresso "dirty water".

Differences in Americano recipes

Espresso and hot water sounds like a simple recipe. However, in reality, both the quality of the ingredients and the way they are combined determine the proper preparation of Americano coffee. Suddenly we find ourselves in a situation of not knowing which preparation is the right one.

If you want to make a great Americano, you need to start with a great espresso. If we can make a great espresso, we're halfway there.

First the espresso, then the water.

Some coffee drinkers believe that the espresso should come first, then the hot water, which should be poured over it, or the guest can top it up to taste. According to them, this method best preserves the body and foam of the espresso.

Long Black

Others insist that the proper way to prepare Americano coffee is water first and then espresso. They claim that this method produces more foam and prevents scalding of the espresso if the water is too hot.

What is the correct preparation?

It is not clear which of the two preparations is the correct one. I won't get into that argument: Americano is simply great both ways.

The only question that has a clear answer is - how much espresso and how much water should we use to make Americano.

Traditionally, Americano is made with 1-2 espressos (30 ml) and topped up with about 180 ml of water. Of course, there is no law against adding an extra shot of espresso (or two). So if you're feeling up to a stronger dose of caffeine, go for it.

Want even more caffeine? Top off your Americano with a shot of drip coffee. It's called Red Eye.

Czech cafes and Americano

For Czech coffee drinkers, it's more common to order Lungo. Both of these coffees are extended espresso, with the difference being that Lungo is properly prepared with 1:2 ratios.

But in a lot of Czech cafes they make Lungoaccording to the Americano recipe, i.e. with more water. So most customers drink Americano without knowing it.

However, a very common situation in cafes is when a customer comes in and wants a "stronger coffee" with the expectation of getting a classic Czech Turkish. But what if they get an Americano? After all, it is also a bigger strong coffee, isn't it?

Americano Vs. Turk

Turek is the Czech version of coffee prepared by pouring and steaming ground coffee beans in boiling water. Interesting fact is that hasonly the name in common with the coffee prepared in Turkey.

In classic Czech cafes it is a very common drink that older customers in particular like to order.

But how about replacing the Turk with an American? Read the reasons why we shouldn't drink Turk.

Americano has several advantages over Turkish coffee:

  • Americano prepared in a 1:4 ratio of double espresso is strong.
  • You get more coffee.
  • The extended water makes Americano taste good.
  • It is prepared by a barista from quality coffee on a professional coffee machine.
  • Unlike Turk, Americano is not harmful to your health.

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