Caffè Americano

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Caffè Americano
Hokitika Cheese and Deli, Hokitika (3526706594).jpg
A Caffè Americano from Hokitika, New Zealand
Alternative namesLong Black
Region or stateUnited States
Main ingredientssteaming water and espresso

Caffè Americano (also known as Americano or American; Italian pronunciation: [kafˈfɛ ameriˈkaːno]; Spanish: café americano, literally American coffee) is a type of coffee drink prepared by diluting an espresso with hot water, giving it a similar strength to, but different flavor from, traditionally brewed coffee. Its strength varies with the number of shots of espresso and amount of water added. The name is also spelled with varying capitalization and use of diacritics: e.g., café americano.

In Italy, caffè americano may mean either espresso with hot water or long-filtered coffee, but the latter is more precisely called caffè all'americana ("café in the American style").[1]


"Americano" means "American" in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.[2] It entered the English language from Italian in the 1970s.[3][4][5][6] "Caffè Americano" specifically is Italian for "American coffee".[7] There is a popular but unconfirmed belief that the name has its origins in World War II when American G.I.s in Italy diluted espresso with hot water to approximate the coffee to which they were accustomed.[8]

In his 1928 novel Ashenden: Or the British Agent, Somerset Maugham's protagonist orders and drinks something called an americano in Naples during World War I, but there is not enough information to indicate whether it is the same drink.[9]

And in Maugham's 1929 short story "The Wash Tub", taking place in Positano, near Naples, "americano" appears when the narrator asks "what there was for dinner and drank an americano, which is by no means a bad substitute for a cocktail".[citation needed]


The drink consists of a single or double shot of espresso brewed with added water. Typically in the UK (and in Italy) between 1 and 16 imperial fluid ounces or 28 and 455 ml of hot water is added to the double espresso.[10]

Long Black is an Australasian term for a drink similar to the Americano (in contrast to Short Black for espresso), with an emphasis being placed on the order of preparation, adding water to the cup first before pouring the espresso on top.[11]

In the western U.S., Italiano sometimes refers to a short Americano with equal amounts of espresso and water.[12]

The hot water can be drawn directly from the same espresso machine that is used to brew the espresso, or from a separate water heater or kettle. Using the same heater makes a second one unnecessary, and the water can be drawn directly into the glass, either before (for a Long Black) or after (for an Americano) the espresso. Some espresso machines have a separate hot water spout for this purpose, while on others, the steam wand dispenses it. Using a separate water heater is more practical in a commercial setting, as it frees the machine for other baristas, avoids disrupting the brew water's temperature, and reduces wear on specialized equipment.

Caffè Americano is brewed coffee in the Philippines.


Most commonly, an Americano is used when one orders a brew-coffee sized drink from an espresso bar.

Americanos—particularly short, long-black-style Americanos—are also used within artisanal espresso preparation for beans that produce strong espresso. This is particularly used for single origin espresso, where many find that undiluted espresso shots can prove overpowering; and with lighter coffees and roasts not generally associated with espresso, such as beans of Ethiopian or Sumatran origins. For this preparation, generally a ratio of 1:1 espresso to water is used, to prevent excess dilution, with the espresso pulled directly into a cup with existing water to minimize disruption to the crema.


The iced americano is made by combining espresso with cold water instead of hot water. A lungo is made by extracting an espresso shot for longer giving more volume, but also extracting some bitter flavours. A caffè crema is also made by extracting an espresso shot significantly longer than a lungo. A red eye is made with drip coffee instead of hot water, and may be called a shot in the dark.


In 2016, the Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev humorously proposed for the coffee style to be 'renamed' to Russiano following deterioration of relations with the United States. The proposal, though humorous, had its implementation in one of Moscow's cafés.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Caffè americano e caffè all'americana. Qual è la differenza?". Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  2. ^ "Americano". OED. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  3. ^ "Americano". Oxford Dictionary of English. 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  4. ^ "Americano". Collins English Dictionary. 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  5. ^ "Americano". Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  6. ^ "Americano". Lexico. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  7. ^ Allerton, David J. (2010). I Only Have a Kitchen Because It Came with the House. The Foodies Handbook. p. 26. ISBN 9781446130018. Retrieved October 19, 2014. An espresso coffee diluted with hot water and containing no milk. An Italian term literally meaning ‘American coffee’
  8. ^ Coyle, Cleo (2009). Holiday Grind - a coffeehouse mystery. Berkley Publishing Group. p. 228. ISBN 9781101151143. Retrieved November 2, 2016. caffe Americano, Americano—The Italian answer to American-style drip coffee. An espresso diluted with hot water. It has a similar strength to drip coffee but a different flavor. The drink’s origin dates back to World War II when American GIs stationed in Italy added hot water to their espressos to create a drink closer to the type of coffee they were used to back home.
  9. ^ Maugham, W. Somerset (1928). "6. The Greek". Ashenden: Or the British Agent. Then he took a fly drawn by a small and scraggy pony and rattled back over the stones to the Galleria, where he sat in the cool and drank an americano and looked at the people who loitered there...
  10. ^ "Menu: Starbucks Coffee Company".
  11. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2015-02-24.
  12. ^ Espresso: Questions and Answers – Italiano drink order Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine, 2005, Portland, OR; Regional: United States West – espresso profeta in westwood? Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine, Los Angeles, CA, 2009
  13. ^ "'Russiano' coffee joke sparks online humour". November 17, 2016 – via

External links[edit]