A Caffè Americano or Americano is a coffee made adding water to espresso. It has different strengths depending on the amount of water added to the espresso and the number of shots of espresso.
A similar but inverse concoction is called a Long Black, it is obtained adding espresso to water.
So what is the difference? They are both water and espresso. Aren’t they the same?
Well, no. If you add espresso to water you keep the crema (the beautiful golden foam on an espresso), but if you do it the other way around, you wipe out the crema. It is a matter of preference, and in the end you get a drink that is closer to an ordinary brew coffee, maintaining a strength similar to your Cup of Joe but with a richer aroma and body.
This style of coffee can be long or short and the amount of water varies.
It is believed that the name comes from the way American GIs during WWII would water down espresso to get something that resembled the coffee they had back at home.
Why drink an Americano?
If you are at an espresso bar and crave something near an ordinary brew, including the size of your drink, this is a good option. And being at home, craving something full of flavor, but not too strong, this is also for you.
How to make it?
You have different options to make this style of coffee.
If you have an espresso machine: make your espresso as usual and then add water from the steam spout to the dilution you desire. If you are making a Long Black get the water in your cup and then draw the espresso on top of the water.
If you have a Neapolitan Coffee Maker make your coffee as always and meanwhile heat some water and then mix them in the order corresponding on your desired drink.
See you next time.