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What Is an Americano Coffee: Everything You Need to Know About One of the Most Popular Coffee Drinks

Travel anywhere in the world, visit any coffee shop and you’ll surely find the mighty Americano sitting at the top of the menu list. But what makes this particular coffee drink such a beloved beverage? Is it the simple ingredients, the bold aroma or perhaps the strong coffee flavour? With so many things to love about this dark drink, it’s no wonder coffee aficionados can’t keep away from it.


In this article, we are looking at all things Americano, from its origins to the ingredients, preparation methods and how it compares to other coffee drinks out there. Sit back, relax and enjoy the Americano coffee story with us.

What is Americano coffee?

The Americano might look like a freshly-brewed cup of coffee, but it’s actually an espresso drink through and through. An Americano is simply espresso topped with water. It was invented by American soldiers stationed in Italy during the Second World War. As they were trying to dilute the strong, local espressos to recreate the drip coffee they knew and loved, they created the Americano.You can do the same yourself at home. We’ll first take a look at how to make Americano coffee without coffee pods, before showing you the simple process we created with the flavourful .

How to make Americano coffee

Espresso and water are the only two ingredients in the Americano coffee. But it’s not as easy as simply mixing them together. Here is how to create the bold taste of the Americano.

Step 1: Prepare the espresso

It all starts with a shot of espresso. There are many methods to prepare it. You can use anything from the AeroPress to the simple automated espresso machines or manual espresso makers.

Remember that if you prefer a larger Americano coffee for a bigger caffeine kick, you can start with two shots of espresso instead of just one.

Step 2: Add water

Now it’s time to add the hot water. The amount of water you use determines how strong or mild your Americano drink will be. Traditionally, Americano coffee is made using two parts hot water to one part espresso. This will give you a strong espresso drink that beautifully puts on display the signature bitter taste. For a milder version, increase the water portion to a three to one ratio: that is three parts water to one part espresso. This will bring out a much smoother aroma with a taste that will surely remind you of a drip coffee drink.

Step 3: Make it your own

Although the Americano is one of the simplest drinks in the coffee canon, there is a fair bit of variety you can add to the recipe if you wish to do so. The water portions can be changed to suit different taste buds, so don’t be afraid to experiment with quantities. And if you’re in the mood for an Americano on a hot summer day, you will be pleased to know that there is also an iced version you can try. The hot water is replaced by cold water and ice cubes. Check out our tips on how to make iced coffee at home.

You can even go for a milky Americano if you want a milder taste. We won’t judge!

Step 4: Enjoy!

That’s it! You can now enjoy the bold flavour of your homemade Americano coffee.


Looking for an even easier process that guarantees you will get the signature intense aroma of the Americano every time without fail? Here is where our Americano coffee pods come in handy!

How to make Americano coffee with NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto pods

We’ve taken the aroma of the most delicious varieties of Americano coffee drinks and sealed them carefully in our coffee pods. This is how to tap into these awesome flavours, step by step.

Step 1: Choose your Americano flavour

The fruity and floral notes in our classic Americano pods are a favourite among fans of bold flavours. The intensity and aroma are in a perfect balance for a thrilling shot of caffeine in the morning. But if you’re after an even more intense experience, the Americano Intense is made with 100% Arabica coffee and is a deliciously powerful pod!

Step 2: Pop the pod into the machine

Whether you’re using an automated or a manual , the process remains one of the simplest ways to achieve a delightful cup of Americano coffee. Just add the coffee pod and follow the instructions printed on the package of your favourite Americano drink. It’s that simple!

Step 3: Enjoy!

You’re now ready to sit back, relax and take your first sip of homemade Americano coffee.

What is white Americano?

A white Americano is made using espresso coffee, hot water and a splash of milk. The result is a more flavourful Americano than the original recipe, with a hint of sweetness. You can add any type of milk, including vegetarian-friendly options such as Almond, Coconut and Oat alternatives. Check out our NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® Plant-based collection to discover more.

Long Black versus Americano

The Long Black and the Americano use the same ingredients but are prepared differently. The Long Black is made by pouring the espresso over the hot water. The Americano has water added on top of an espresso shot. The difference is that the Long Black boasts a layer of crema and comes with a bolder taste thanks to the espresso sitting on top.

Americano versus Cappuccino

Americano coffee and Cappuccino are both espresso drinks. The key difference is that the Americano is made with only espresso and water, while the Cappuccino has layers of frothed and steamed milk added to the mix. The result is a creamier, milder drink than the Americano which features with a strong, bold taste.

Americano versus black coffee

The difference between the two is that the Americano is an espresso drink while black coffee is a brewed drink. Espresso beans are roasted for longer than the standard coffee beans which means that while the Americano boasts a strong flavour, black coffee is a light-bodied drink with a more acidic tasting profile.

They look the same and the ingredients look deceivingly similar, but there is another difference between the Americano and the regular black coffee. The caffeine content is usually more intense in a cup of black coffee than in the Americano. However, adding extra espresso shots to the Americano will ensure a bigger caffeine kick than the standard black coffee.


Now that you know what makes the Americano special, explore the coffee drinks loved all around the world. We explain how each one is made so you can pick your favourites easier!

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