There are many different types of espresso-based drinks that you can get and figuring out the differences between them can be difficult.
This post will show you the differences between Americano and flat white, how they are made, how they taste, drinks that are similar to them and things people ask about them.
So, what is the difference between Americano and flat white? Americano is where hot water is added to espresso. Flat white is an espresso with steamed milk added to it. Americano tastes similar to regular coffee but is sweeter. Flat white is creamy with a coffee like taste.
There are actually a number of things that will impact the way that they both taste and there are a number of drinks that are similar to them that you might like.
Differences between Americano and flat white
Below, I will mention the differences between Americano and flat white, how they are made, how they taste, drinks that are similar to them and questions people ask about them.
Americano is where hot water is added to a double shot of espresso. It has a similar taste to black coffee but it tends to be slightly sweeter.
Espresso is the mixture that results from pushing hot pressurized water through finely ground coffee. It is dense with a strong and rich taste that is also often slightly bitter.
Espresso will also have a “Crema” on top which is a foamy substance that is very bitter some people like it while others prefer to remove it with a spoon.
By adding hot water to the espresso and not the other way around it causes the Crema to get dissolved into the water. This helps to reduce the bitterness of the espresso.
How Americano is made
Americano is made by adding hot water to espresso normally with a ratio of 4 to 1.
There are three main ways to make espresso which are to either use a traditional espresso machine, a pod machine or to use a stovetop espresso machine.
To make espresso with a traditional machine you need to get the coffee beans, grind them, put them into a portafilter, then put the portafilter into the machine and to turn the machine on.
The video below shows how to make espresso using a traditional machine.
The advantages of using a traditional machine to make espresso are that it will give you the highest quality espresso and you have full control over how the espresso gets made.
However, they can have a steep learning curve, be costly and they require the most amount of maintenance and cleaning.
The espresso machine that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon.
To make espresso using a pod machine you just need to put a pod into the machine and to press a button.
You don’t get as much control over the way that the espresso tastes with pod machines. However, there are many different pod flavors that you can choose from and pod machines require less maintenance and are quick and easy to use.
The pod-style machine that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon.
To make espresso using a stovetop espresso maker you need to put ground coffee into the pot and then put water in it and heat it up.
The video below shows how to make espresso using a stovetop espresso maker.
Stovetop espresso makers are the cheapest option. However, the espresso that they will give you won’t be of the same quality and it requires work on your part in preparing the espresso and in cleaning the machine.
The stovetop espresso maker that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon.
What impacts the taste of Americano
There are a number of things that will impact the way the Americano tastes.
If a lot of water is added to the espresso then it will reduce the bitterness of the espresso but it could also cause it to taste too weak. If a small amount of water is added to the espresso then it might not be enough to reduce its strength.
The way that the espresso is made will also impact the taste of the Americano.
If the espresso is made using beans that have a dark roast then it will normally cause the espresso to have a more bitter taste. While, if beans with a light roast are used then it will usually make it taste more sour.
If the beans are sourced from a single origin then it will often give the espresso a more intense taste but it can often cause it to taste sour. On the other hand, beans sourced from multiple origins will normally give the espresso a more balanced taste.
If the coffee beans are ground too fine then it will mean that it will be difficult for the water to pass through it in the machine. This can cause too much of the coffee to mix with the water and to give it a bitter taste. You want the coffee to be ground finely but not too fine.
Similar drinks to Americano
There are a number of drinks that are similar to Americano such as:
- Long black
Long black is where espresso is added to hot water. By adding the espresso to the hot water it preserves the Crema which gives the long black a more bitter taste when compared to Americano.
Lungo is where espresso is made using more water than usual. Lungo will have a stronger and slightly more bitter taste than Americano but less so compared to regular espresso.
- Black coffee
Black coffee is brewed coffee that has not had anything added to it. Black coffee tastes similar to Americano but Americano tends to be sweeter.
Questions people ask about Americano
Can Americano be decaf? Yes, Americano can be decaf. This doesn’t mean that it won’t have any caffeine it means that the amount of caffeine will be lower than normal.
Can Americano be served with ice? Yes.
Does Americano have milk? No, Americano is made by adding water to espresso. If milk is added it would make it more similar to a latte or cappuccino.
A flat white is a double espresso with steamed milk added to it. Flat white has a creamy and coffee like taste.
Any type of milk can be used. If whole milk is used then it will give the flat white a creamier taste. While semi-skimmed milk will give it a less creamy and more coffee like taste.
There are a number of things that will impact the way that the flat white tastes.
If a lot of steamed milk is added then it will give it a creamier taste. While, if more espresso is used then it will give it a stronger taste of coffee.
The way that the espresso is made, as discussed in the section above, will also impact the taste of the flat white.
There are a number of drinks that are similar to flat white such as:
Latte is where a lot of steamed milk and a small amount of milk foam is added to espresso. It has a very creamy taste with a weaker coffee taste. It is different to flat white in that flat white does not have milk foam.
Cappuccino is where an equal amount of steamed milk and milk foam is added to espresso. It has a creamy and coffee like taste. It is different to flat white in that flat white does not have milk foam added to it.
Breve is where half and half milk and whipped cream are added to espresso. It gives the espresso a very creamy taste due to the fat in the whipped cream.
Questions people ask about flat white
Is flat white stronger than latte? Flat white tends to be stronger than latte since it doesn’t have milk foam and less steamed milk tends to be used.
Is flat white sweet? It has a slightly sweet taste that is also creamy with a coffee like taste.
Is flat white decaf? It can be decaf.