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Just Ask Episode 4: What is an Americano?

Legend has it that the “Americano” we see on most coffeeshop menus originated during the second World War, when American soldiers stationed in Italy diluted their espresso with water to mimic the milder drip coffee they were used to in the States. The resulting drink was henceforth known as a “Caffe Americano.” Translation: American coffee. Now, years after its birth, the Americano is a staple in almost any cafe you visit.

Let’s first take a look at the Americano’s most important ingredient: espresso. A shot of espresso is a compact, highly concentrated, velvety form of coffee. Boiling water is pressed through finely ground, compacted coffee beans (optimal for a fast infusion). The result is a caffeine-packed, dense, rich and aromatic specialty beverage. Given the startling strength and taste of espresso, it’s no wonder that American soldiers were compelled to add water.

How is the Americano made at How You Brewin? We pour piping hot water into a cup and then add the freshly brewed espresso. The strength of an Americano varies depending on your ratio of espresso to water and whether or not you choose to include dairy additives (half and half, milk, almond milk, oat milk). Classically served black, this drink is a fresh, made to order beverage that imitates your daily brew but bears the dark richness of a bold and flavorful espresso blend. Yum! 

Is your regular order one of our darker roast drip coffees? Next time you stop in, try instead an Americano and see what you think! Check out the video below where HYB co-owner Lori demonstrates the making of an Americano with the help of a seasoned HYB barista.

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