To prepare an Americano, you can't avoid using a portafilter machine. A real espresso is essential for a good Americano. We'll briefly explain how to best prepare it here and in our detailed espresso brew guide.
What you need to make an Americano
- Portafilter machine with tea water supply
- Coffee grinder
- Coffee beans
- Fine scale
- Two coffee cups
Everything there? Then it can go.
What is an Americano?
An Americano is a coffee drink often referred to as an extended espresso. An espresso shot is mixed with hot water. For our preparation method we use a cup with a total volume of 150 ml.
First comes the water
To prepare our Americano, we first add hot water to the cup. For our instructions we use 115 ml of water with 20 ml of espresso. Many portafilter machines have a tea water supply. However, caution is advised here because the water for tea is usually boiling hot. With portafilter machines with two circuits, the water temperature for drawing tea water can usually be controlled. We recommend a temperature between 75-80°C.
Grind coffee and prepare espresso
Now it's time for the espresso, which you take as a single shot until you have 20 ml of espresso in your cup with water. In order to achieve an optimal result, we always use the double sieve for our espresso. We grind 18 g of coffee with the same grind as for a normal espresso and fill it into the portafilter. Don't forget to level and tame! We place the coffee cup with the hot water on a scale under the portafilter and another on the other side under the portafilter. If the scales show 19 g, we stop dispensing and wait until the coffee has completely gone through. The processing time should be between 25 and 30 seconds.
Americano too watery or too strong?
If the Americano is too watery for you, you can use 90 ml of hot water the next time you make it. Or you can opt for a double shot espresso, i.e. 40 ml. In our experience, any coffee fan will be satisfied somewhere between 90 and 115 ml. We always recommend making comparatively large jumps from the initial value for a second preparation. This gives you two reference points and you can then level off. This is usually quicker than relying directly on small jumps in the amount of water.
If your Americano is too strong, you can use more water, or, if you added a double espresso to the hot water, just add a single espresso.
Where does Americano come from?
The term Americano comes from Italian, Spanish and Portuguese and literally means simply American. In the 1970s the expression was adopted from Italian into English. Caffè Americano is the common name for American coffee in Italy. Legend has it that the name dates back to World War II, when American soldiers in Italy diluted espresso with hot water to imitate the filter coffee they were familiar with. However, the term appeared earlier in connection with coffee, which is why its origin has not been conclusively clarified.