There are many different types of coffee drinks that you can get and making sense of all the different types can be a challenge.
This post will show you the difference between Americano and espresso, how they are made, what impacts the way that they taste and other things to consider.
So, what is the difference between Americano and espresso? Espresso is created by pushing hot pressurized water through finely ground coffee. It is dense, sweet, rich and slightly bitter. Americano is where hot water is added to espresso. It is sweet but less sweet than espresso and less dense.
There are a number of things that will impact the way that an espresso or Americano taste and there are also a number of other similar coffee drinks that you might be interested in.
Difference between Americano and espresso
Below, I will show you how Americano and espresso are made, what impacts their taste, the things to consider when making them and similar drinks that you might like.
Espresso is the mixture that results from pushing hot pressurized water through finely ground coffee. It is dense, rich, sweet and slightly bitter in taste.
It also has what is known as a “Crema” on top that is very bitter. Some people like to have it with their espresso and some people prefer to remove it with a spoon.
Espresso can be had by itself and it can also serve as the base of a number of other different types of drinks that are very popular and will be discussed at the bottom of this section.
There are a number of different ways to make espresso. Three of the more popular ways are to either use a traditional espresso machine, a pod espresso machine or to use a stovetop espresso maker.
Traditional espresso machines
To make espresso with a traditional espresso machine it is necessary for you to get the coffee beans, grind them, press them down into a container called a portafilter, put the portafilter into the machine and then to turn the machine on.
The video below shows you how espresso is made using a traditional espresso machine.
There are a number of advantages to using a traditional espresso machine to make espresso. Since you have full control over all of the factors that go into making the espresso it will mean that you will be able to tailor your espresso exactly to your own taste. This should mean that you will be able to make the best espresso for you using an espresso machine.
However, it does have quite a steep learning curve, in order to replicate a good espresso, it will be necessary for you to keep track of what type of beans, grind and roast you used to make it and the amounts that you used. It’s also often the most expensive option.
The cost can be somewhat offset by getting a dual espresso and coffee maker that will make both espresso and brewed coffee. That way you will be able to save some money by only getting one machine and it will help you to save some space since you will only need one machine.
The dual espresso and coffee machine that I would recommend the most would be the DeLonghi Combi Coffee & Espresso Maker on Amazon.
Pod espresso machines
The next option is to use a pod espresso machine. To make espresso using one of these all you need to do is to put water and a pod containing the coffee into the machine and then to press a button on the machine.
Pod espresso machines are very popular because they are easy to use, are very quick, they will often allow you to make a number of different types of espresso and they don’t require as much maintenance as traditional espresso machines.
The issue with pod style machines is that some people don’t consider the espresso to be true espresso and you have less control over the way that the espresso tastes. However, taste is subjective and there are many different pod flavors that you can choose from so it is unlikely that you won’t find a taste that you like.
The pod machine that I would recommend the most would be the DeLonghi Nespresso Lattissima Automatic Espresso Machine on Amazon.
Stovetop espresso makers
Stovetop espresso makers work by forcing steam to mix with ground coffee, in a pot, and then having the mixture rise up through a filter above it.
To make espresso using one it is just necessary for you to put water into a pot and then to put ground coffee in, on a filter, above it and then to heat the pot up.
You can watch the video below to see how it is done.
The advantage of making espresso using a stovetop machine is that they are much cheaper than the other two options and they can serve as a good trial product to use while contemplating on whether or not you would get full use out of a traditional espresso machine.
However, the espresso that they make will not be to the same standard as with a traditional espresso machine but they still require you to do most of the work in getting the beans and making the espresso.
The stovetop machine that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon.
What impacts the way that it tastes
There are a number of factors that will impact the way that the espresso tastes.
The first factor that will impact the taste is the type of beans that are used. If the beans are sourced from a single origin then it will normally result in the espresso having a slightly more tangy or sour taste. Whereas, if the beans are sourced from multiple different regions then it will normally give the espresso a more balanced taste.
The type of roast that the beans have will also affect the taste. If the beans have a dark roast then it will normally cause the espresso to taste slightly more bitter. Whereas, a light roast will normally cause the espresso to taste
The type of grind used will also impact the taste. If the grind is too fine then it will normally cause the espresso to taste more bitter. This is because it will be more difficult for the water to pass through the grind since there will be smaller gaps for the water to pass through. Whereas, if the grind is more coarse (less fine) then it will normally cause the espresso to taste more sour.
The amount of coffee used will also impact the taste. If a smaller amount of coffee is used then it will normally cause it to taste less bitter due to there being less coffee for the water to mix with but it can cause it to taste more sour. The opposite is true for when a lot of coffee is used.
Different types of espresso drinks
There are a number of different types of espresso drinks that you can get other than Americano that I have talked about in the past here.
However, here are some of the more popular espresso drinks that you can get:
Cortado: Espresso with a small amount of foamed milk on top of it.
Ristretto: Espresso made with half the amount of water.
Caffe latte: A lot of steamed milk and a small amount of milk foam added to espresso.
Long black: Espresso added to hot water (very similar to Americano which is hot water added to espresso).
Breve: Espresso with half and half steamed milk and whipped cream added to it.
Lungo: An espresso made with more water.
Cappuccino: Espresso with steamed milk and milk foam added to it.
An Americano is where hot water is added to espresso so that it is about 4 parts hot water and 1 part espresso.
Americano tastes much less sweet, rich and bitter than espresso and it has a similar taste to coffee. However, it is more sweet than coffee. By adding the hot water to the espresso it causes the Crema from the espresso to be diluted which reduces the bitterness of the drink.
The things that impact the way that an Americano tastes are largely the same as the things that impact the taste of the espresso as mentioned in the section above.
However, in addition to the things that impact the taste of the espresso, the amount of water and espresso that is used will also impact the taste. If a small amount of hot water is added to espresso then it will result in a more sweet tasting Americano. Whereas, if a lot of water is used then it will dilute the espresso a lot more causing the Americano to taste more watery.
Alternatives to Americano
There are a number of other drinks that are similar to Americano.
One of those drinks is the long black. This is where, instead of adding hot water to espresso, the espresso is added to the hot water. This gives the long black a slightly more bitter taste than with Americano. This is because adding the espresso to the hot water preserves the crema.
Another similar espresso drink is