There are a number of different types of espresso drinks that you can get and some of them are very similar in the way that they taste and look.
This post will show you the difference between Americano and long black which are two of them.
So, what is the difference between Americano and long black? Long Black is made by adding espresso to hot water. Americano is made by adding hot water to espresso. Long black has a slightly sweeter taste since it preserves the Crema.
Both of the drinks will usually have a similar taste and the way that they taste can vary greatly depending on how they are made.
Differences Between Americano and Long Black
Below, I will explain the differences between Americano and long black, how they are made, what impacts the way that they taste, similar drinks to them and related questions people ask about them.
Long Black is where espresso is added to hot water with a 1 to 4 ratio. This gives long black a similar taste to regular coffee. However, adding the espresso to the hot water and not the other way around allows for the Crema of the espresso to be preserved giving the long black a slightly more bitter taste.
Espresso is the mixture that results from pushing hot and pressurized water through finely ground coffee. It has a very rich taste that can be slightly bitter. Espresso will usually have a “Crema” on top which is a foamy substance that is very bitter. Some people like the Crema while others prefer to remove it with a spoon.
To make long black it is first necessary to make espresso. There are three main ways to make espresso which are to either use a traditional espresso machine, a pod machine or to use a stove top espresso maker.
To make espresso with a traditional espresso machine it is necessary to get the coffee beans, grind them, push them into a small container called a portafilter, put the portafilter into the machine and then to turn it on.
Traditional espresso machines require the most amount of work in terms of preparing the espresso and in cleaning the machine. They can also have a steep learning curve.
However, they will give you the highest quality espresso (after some trial and error) and they allow you to have the largest amount of control over the taste of the espresso.
The traditional espresso machine that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon. It allows you to make regular coffee as well so it is more likely that you will be able to get full use out of it.
Below, is a video on how to make espresso using an espresso machine.
To make espresso using a pod machine it is only necessary for you to put water and the pod, containing the flavor you like, into the machine and then to turn the machine on.
Pod machines give you the least amount of control over the way that the espresso tastes.
However, they will normally have a wide variety of flavors that you can choose from so it is likely that you’ll be able to find at least one flavor that you like. They also require less effort on your part in making the espresso and in cleaning the machine.
The pod machine that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon mainly because it allows you to make 5 different types of espresso drinks automatically including regular coffee.
To make espresso using a stovetop espresso machine you put water into the pot and then you put ground coffee in a container above it and then heat the pot up.
The video below shows you how to make espresso using a stovetop espresso maker.
Espresso makers are a good option for if you are on a budget and they can be good to trial with to see if you would get full use out of an actual espresso machine.
However, the espresso that they make won’t be of as high of a quality as with the other two and you don’t get a lot of control over the way that the espresso tastes.
The stovetop espresso maker that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon.
What impacts the taste of long black
There are a number of different factors that will impact the taste of long black.
The amount of espresso and water used are one of the main ones. If a lot of water is used and not a lot of espresso then it will give long black a weaker taste. The opposite is true for when a small amount of water is used and a lot of espresso.
In addition, the way that the espresso is made will have an impact on the taste of long black.
If the coffee beans are sourced from a single origin then it will often give the espresso a richer taste but it can also cause it to taste sour. On the other hand, if a blend is used it will normally give the espresso a more balanced taste.
If the coffee beans are Arabica beans then it will normally give the espresso a more sour taste and Robusta beans will make it taste more bitter.
If the beans have a dark roast then it will normally increase the bitterness of the espresso and a light roast will make it sourer.
If the coffee is ground to be too fine then it will mean that more of it will mix with the water giving it a richer taste that is often bitter. If the coffee is ground too coarsely then it will mean that the water will pass through the coffee too quickly giving it a more watery taste.
There are a number of drinks, in addition to the Americano, that are similar to long black such as:
This is where the espresso is made with more water than usual. This gives the espresso a less rich but also less bitter taste. Lungo is sweeter than long black since it will still have a higher proportion of espresso to water.
- Black coffee
Black coffee is brewed coffee that hasn’t had anything added to it. Black coffee has a similar taste to long black but it doesn’t have the Crema, from the espresso, so it is less bitter.
Questions that people ask about long black
Is long black strong? Long black is quite strong. If you want something less strong consider black coffee or long black.
Is long black decaf? Long black is made using espresso which contains coffee so it is not decaf. However, there are decaf variations that you can buy.
Is long black bitter? By adding the espresso to the hot water it preserves the Crema from the espresso. This gives the long black a slightly bitter taste.
Americano is where hot water is added to espresso. It has a sweet taste and tastes similar to black coffee but is slightly stronger. Adding hot water to the espresso causes the Crema, on the espresso, to get dissolved into the water. This reduces the bitterness of the Americano.
There are a number of factors that will impact the way that Americano tastes. The many of those factors are the same factors that impact the way that the espresso tastes as discussed above.
If a lot of water is added to the espresso then it will dilute it more and cause it to taste more watery. If a small amount of water is added then it will give it a stronger taste. Generally, americano has a 4 to 1 ratio of water to espresso.
Questions people also ask about Americano
How many shots of espresso in a Americano? Two shots are normally used.
What is an Americano coffee with milk? It would be more of a latte.