How to Make an Americano Coffee with an Espresso Machine?

Coffee culture continues to boom, whether that's visiting your local coffee shop or investing in the equipment to make your favourite brew at home. If you have the gear at home you will know that there are many different types of coffees you can make with an espresso machine, but have you ever made the perfect Americano coffee with an espresso machine? Discover the brewing process, the origins and uncover RISE coffee box's favourite tips for achieving the perfect Americano!

The Story Behind Americano Coffee

Apparently the roots of this iconic beverage trace back to World War II, when American soldiers stationed in Europe sought a milder alternative to the strong espresso served in Italian cafes. To replicate the flavour profile of their beloved drip coffee back home, soldiers began diluting espresso shots with hot water—a practice that eventually gave birth to the Americano.

According to a survey carried out by the British Coffee Association in 2022, the second favourite coffee in the UK is the Americano, and 28% of people who took the survey, suggesting it is their go-to. We love an Americano in the RISE household, not too strong, but stronger than a filter - it is the perfect drink before we start our working day.

What Sets An Americano Apart From The Rest?

At its core, an Americano coffee is a simple yet sophisticated brew that marries the boldness of espresso with the smoothness of hot water. Unlike other coffee variations that rely on milk or foam for added texture, Americano helps the coffee itself to shine in its purest form, with the rich flavours of the espresso taking centre stage.

Does Americano coffee have milk?

One of the distinguishing features of Americano coffee is its absence of milk. Unlike lattes or cappuccinos, which incorporate steamed milk or milk foam, Americano is made by diluting espresso with hot water, resulting in a smooth and robust brew without the addition of dairy. However, depending on preference some people will choose to add a dash of milk. If you’re in America, they add all sorts of extra syrups and flavours to this drink - not something we recommend for the specialty coffee we put in our RISE boxes. 

Brewing the Perfect Americano

Now, let's delve into the art of brewing Americano coffee using an espresso machine. Follow these simple steps to achieve the perfect Americano:

Step 1: Preparing Your Equipment

Ensure your espresso machine is clean and properly calibrated. Select a high-quality espresso blend suited for Americano brewing, preferably medium to dark roast for a robust flavour profile, with classic chocolate and nutty notes. We often put a “blend” in your RISE box that suits exactly this method - so look out for our brew tips in the monthly brew guide inside the box.

Step 2: Pulling the Espresso Shot

Grind your coffee beans to a fine consistency and dose the portafilter with the appropriate amount of grounds, or if you’re using a bean to cup machine, just pour in the beans to the hopper. Once ground, tamp the coffee evenly to ensure uniform extraction. Extract a double shot of espresso into a preheated cup or mug.

Step 3: Adding Hot Water

Once the espresso shot is extracted, it's time to add hot water to create the Americano. For a classic Americano, use equal parts espresso and hot water. Adjust the water volume according to your preference for strength and flavour intensity. If you want to be a coffee aficionado, we recommend using filtered water for the best flavour, but totally understand that not everyone can get filtered water at home! 

Step 4: Enjoying Your Brew

Give your Americano a gentle stir to blend the espresso and hot water evenly. Take a moment to inhale the rich aroma before taking your first sip. Savour the balance of flavours, with the boldness of espresso softened by the addition of hot water.

Enhancing Your Americano Experience

To take your Americano brewing game to the next level, consider the following extra expert tips:

  • Experiment with different espresso blends to discover your preferred flavour profile. Check out our range of coffee roasters that we work with, you may find something new!
  • Adjust the water-to-espresso ratio to customise the strength and intensity of your Americano.
  • Preheat your cup or mug to ensure optimal temperature retention.
  • Serve your Americano with a slice of lemon or a twist of orange peel for a citrusy twist.

We hope you love this simple guide to brewing and mastering the perfect Americano, and welcome any comments or questions you have! 

For further support using your at-home coffee equipment take a look at our useful brewing at-home guide. 

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