It’s one of the most straightforward coffee drinks to make and it’s one of the most popular too, but the actual method of serving the perfect Americano is the subject of some debate. That’s pretty much because there’s one of two ways you can do it.
The drink itself is a quite a simple affair: it’s created using a shot of espresso and hot water, and traditionally the split between the two is equal (1:1). But you can always mix things up – two shots of espresso to make it stronger or more water to make it lighter.
That’s all well and good, but how should you make the perfect Americano? Well, like this…
Making The Perfect Americano
1. First Comes First
The bone of contention between baristas the world over is what part should come first in the perfect Americano. Do you pull the espresso shot over the hot water or do you do the opposite?
Well, we’re going with the latter – not least because the former (espresso over hot water) is called a Long Dark and regarded as a different type of coffee altogether in that it tends to preserve the crema on top of the mix.
And you can argue, too, that you should always make the espresso in the cup it’ll be served in. That’s because pouring it from one cup to another can leave behind some of the crema – and, in turn, some of the flavour.
2. The Espresso
So, that means we’ll be preparing our espresso base first. And that means referring to our first “how to” guide – making the perfect espresso. If you’re already well into the swing of things with your espresso-making skills, you’ll have this down to a T.
Just follow the same steps as you would normally, but this time using a larger cup – around 180ml/6oz in capacity. You can always heat the cup with water before the espresso is prepared too, but make sure it’s dry before you pull the coffee through.
3. The Water
With your espresso prepared, the next phase is to get the hot water – if you haven’t already, that is. We’d advise filtering the water to make sure the quality is as high as it can possibly be.
Pour the water slowly into your espresso shot, adding as much as either your cup or taste demands. The crema from the espresso might sit on top of the water to begin, but will infuse with the water to leave a finish that can be as strong as drip coffee.
The appeal of an Americano is that it’s fast to prepare, easy to drink and convenient. And as you may have guessed by the options open to you, it’s a versatile coffee – one that can be customised and tweaked to suit your customers, moods and tastes!
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