Once in a while, I get the urge to try new types of coffee and for the most part, I’m rarely if ever get disappointed with new cups of coffee and for a long time I was really into Caffe Americano, so I wanted to share my experience with you and how to make it at home, even if you don’t own an espresso machine!
What is Americano Coffee (Caffè Americano)?
In short, a Caffe Americano is an espresso drink diluted/infused with hot water. A good ratio to start with when you make an Americano is equal part espresso coffee and equal part hot water (1:1 ratio). The origin of the Americano is a little hazy, numerous sites claim one story over another, so nobody really knows when the original cup of Caffee Americano was made. However, you can easily make an Americano if you already have an espresso machine, but if you don’t own an espresso maker, you can still make an Americano-like coffee drink with common kitchen coffee brewers.
Making an Americano Coffee At Home
[RELATED POST: Pour Over Coffee Maker Roundup]
I’ve never owned an espresso maker and the only time I ever had espresso is when I went to a coffee shop or a friend’s house that owned one. But I liked to have an Americano coffee once or twice a week as a change from my daily pour over coffee routine. I was met with a dilemma of shelling out $500 smackaroos for a decent espresso maker OR, find ways to make something close to espresso and make an Americano. Now there are different ways you can make an ‘Americano-like’ experience especially if you already have some coffee gear and it’s not hard to do. My preferred method of making an American at home is using a French Press. If you’re not familiar with the French Press method, check out this post that I wrote about it, the post gets into the weeds of the French Press method if you fancy it. Ideally, you’d make the Americano with real shots of espresso, but I understand that not everyone has space or cash to drop on an espresso machine for the home. So here are some tips on how to make it at home:
5 Steps on How to Make Caffè Americano at Home
- Measure 2TBs of ground beans, 3 TBs if you really want a strong coffee and 1 cup of water.
- Get French Press coffee maker out and start measuring your beans & water. The water needs to be around 200F and you’ll want to grind beans at FINE, not the usual coarse grind for a traditional French Press.
- Once your water is up to temp, pre-heat the press with hot water, and pour it out. Add your finely ground beans in the press and let it bloom for about 45 seconds.
- Add the rest of your hot water & let the coffee steep in your French Press for a good 4:30, it should be ready to pour. Ensure not to disturb as much of the fine grounds as possible.
- Once your 4:30 timer goes off, pour into a mug and enjoy responsibly.
What are the differences between Pour Over vs Americano
The biggest difference between the two is the preparation and technique. A traditional Caffe Americano is made with espresso shots, then adding hot water to the espresso to create a diluted cup of espresso. Pour over technique uses a filter, generally medium size grind and manually brewed with a kettle by pouring water into the filter to create a crisp, clean & smooth tasting coffee.
If you’re wondering what pour over madness is all about, check out this post I wrote about pour over coffee, it may answer some of the burning questions that keep you awake late at night about coffee. It’s probably the caffeine though. If you’re really new to pour over coffee and would love to get started with this amazing brewing method, check out this post, it’s a complete beginner’s guide.
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
While the technique I listed above may not be an authentic ‘Caffè Americano ‘, it’s as close as you can get without owning an espresso machine. I would also suggest to hit up your local roaster, order an Americano, then go try the technique at home. By trying out a real Caffè Americano made with an espresso machine, you’ll have a good baseline to compare your homemade brew. As always, hopefully, this was a helpful post.
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