Americano vs Espresso
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Nowadays, it feels like there’s a new variation of coffee every time you go to the coffee shop. But, the Americano vs Espresso confusion has been going on probably since they both came into the market.

Take it this way, espresso is the purest form of drinkable coffee. But, an Americano uses espresso as a base to become a whole new drink. While they are both forms of plain, black coffee, they can taste extremely different.

Let’s get into americano vs Espresso and find what each of them is and how they differ from one another.

What is Espresso?

difference between espresso and americano

First, you need to know what Espresso means on its own. The perfect espresso can only be made with an espresso machine.

The machine brews a thick, liquidy concentrate from the coffee bean. This is called the “espresso shot“. There is also a thin layer on top called crema which either makes or breaks the shot.

Espresso can then be used as a base for other drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, and even Americano. But, people also like to drink it on its own. They can also choose between a single shot, a double, or even a triple.

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What is Americano?

What is Americano

An Americano is basically espresso diluted with hot water. Usually, it is made with equal parts of both, but people can change the measurements based on their preference.

Hence, an Americano is less strong than the espresso while still being black coffee. You can also add in sugar or any other flavors to balance it out.

What is the difference between espresso and americano?

Now, onto the essence of why you clicked on this article, let’s settle the difference between espresso and americano.

Flavor : Americano vs Espresso

Arguably, the flavor is the most important thing to consider when choosing your drink. And this is the main difference between americano and espresso.

Espresso is best described as being strong. It is essentially the beans being liquefied by passing through pressurized water so it is going to be intense.

An Americano, however, is a weaker version since there is water in it that dilutes out the intensity of the coffee. Also, there are usually add ons with Americano such as syrups or even cream but Espresso is mostly served as is.

The flavor for both is going to depend on the type of beans you choose. Make sure to get fresh beans and choose the roast of your liking.

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You might think that you will need different types of ground coffee since they are both different drinks. But, since they both require an espresso machine, they also require the same ground coffee.

The rule of thumb for an espresso machine is to use a fine grind. It shouldn’t be super fine otherwise, the coffee grounds will end up in your cup. Nor should it be too coarse or else, the grounds wouldn’t be fully extracted. Espresso machines will often come with their requirements listed so you can check for what your machine needs.

Time to Brew

Again, since they both will first be made in the espresso machine, the brewing time would be equal for both.

The time to brew espresso is anywhere between 20 to 40 seconds depending on your machine and how you tamp the coffee. It might be a learning curve to achieve that period of time but with practice, you will be able to do it.

For an Americano, you might want to include the time to heat up water which can take anywhere from 1 minute to 5 minutes depending on what you’re using.

Caffeine Level

Lastly, since both drinks use espresso, the caffeine level would be the same if you compare equal shots of espresso. Water will make Americano less strong but will not decrease the caffeine level.

So, one shot of espresso which is around an ounce has roughly 60gms of caffeine in it. It will be the same in both drinks if you are making them with one shot.

Caffeine levels can vary based on the beans you use, the way they have been roasted, and even the way the espresso has been made.

Which Coffee Should You Choose?

The final question occurs, which one should you pick? The short and honest answer would be, whatever suits your taste.

Taste is extremely subjective and while people who drink espresso consider it to be the best, it is not for everyone. Not everyone can drink such a strong cup and so diluting it may be better for you.

The best course of action would be to try out both and see which one you enjoy more. If you like a quick, strong cup, then espresso would be better for you. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy something a little less intense, then Americano is for you!

Is Americano stronger than Espresso?

As mentioned under the Caffeine subheading, both drinks have the same amount of caffeine if both use the same number of espresso shots. In the case of 1 espresso shot, both will contain around 60gms caffeine.

Why is it called Americano?

It’s an interesting, popular, yet unofficial story. Supposedly, during World War II, American soldiers stationed in Italy found Italian espresso to be quite strong. So, they diluted it down and named it Americano as a way to remember their roots.

I hope now you have got all the details about americano vs espresso.

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