What is the difference between espresso and Americano: which is stronger, preparation features

Today there are several dozen recipes for making coffee. The popularity of coffee is explained by its rather respectable age and the abundance of advertising. And if previously many people in our country preferred instant coffee, today an increasing number of people prefer natural coffee to its instant counterpart.

To make real coffee at home, you need to understand the difference between espresso (Italian for “fast”) and Americano.

What is Americano coffee

The basis of Americano is strong espresso. This is black coffee, served in small portions of 30 ml. Traditional serving includes a glass of cold water, which helps cleanse the taste buds and feel all the notes of the invigorating drink.

A classic Americano is made with thick espresso, to which hot water is added to a volume of 150 ml. With this method of preparation, the taste becomes soft, and the overall strength remains at the same level.

Americano appeared thanks to US military personnel who served in Italy during World War II.

The soldiers did not like the thick, concentrated espresso offered by the Italians. They turned to the barista with a request to dilute the strong liquid. The new product on the cafe menu is called Americano. It turned out that its taste depends on the characteristics of the combination of ingredients and additives (spices, alcohol, crushed ice, cream). Gradually the drink spread throughout the world. It should be distinguished from American coffee. In this case we are talking about a product prepared using a filter system.

Soldier with a mug

Espresso based drinks

Today there are several dozen recipes for making coffee. The popularity of coffee is explained by its rather respectable age and the abundance of advertising. And if previously many people in our country preferred instant coffee, today an increasing number of people prefer natural coffee to its instant counterpart.


It is a coffee drink that is small in volume, strong and made from finely ground beans under high water pressure. Also, espresso should have crema. The ratio of the weight of ground coffee to the weight of the finished drink should be approximately 1:2.


Interesting fact: filter coffee vs Americano! It all started with American soldiers and their love for black filter coffee. The drink, which is prepared in an espresso machine, received the name “Americano” during the 2nd World War during the occupation of Italy by US troops.

American soldiers, missing their homeland and missing black coffee, ordered unusually strong “Espresso” from Italian cafes and diluted it with hot water so that the drink became similar to filter coffee. Then the Italian baristas nicknamed it “Americano” ( which means: American), and wrote down the recipe.


An espresso-based coffee drink with the addition of heated foamed milk. A thick layer of rich, creamy foam combined with sweet, warming milk and the rich taste of well-brewed espresso is an absolute delight.

Flat white

Flat white - a coffee drink prepared by adding steamed milk with a small amount of foam to a double shot of espresso. Flat White was invented in the 1980s and there is still an ongoing debate about where Flat White was invented - in Australia or New Zealand, but undoubtedly somewhere there!

A roaster and barista through experiments to find the balance between the flavors of coffee and milk. The barista eliminated the large amount of foam in the drink, reduced the proportions of milk (110 ml) and increased the amount of coffee (60 ml).


This drink was not invented in Italy. When espresso was tasted around the world, it was bitter, rich, and for many a completely new sensation. Some people didn't like the bitterness and added milk to make the drink smoother. Latte coffee was invented for such consumers.

Typically, more milk is added to a latte to soften the taste than a cappuccino, but less cream. Many people know that if you order a latte in Italy, you can end up in an awkward position, because they will bring you a glass of... regular milk.

A purely Moscow invention. It was invented in 1996–1997 at Coffee Bean, the first coffee shop in Moscow opened according to the American model. When one of the regular guests, Rafael, asked to come up with something for him, three baristas - Gleb Neveikin, Artyom Berestov and Galina Samokhina - prepared coffee with cream and vanilla sugar. The drink began to be called “raf”

Choosing a coffee type for Americano

The drink is made from several types of coffee beans (100% Arabica or Arabica with the addition of no more than 20% Robusta). Roast type: medium or dark. The darker the degree of heat treatment of the beans, the more bitter the liquid will be. Using Vienna roasted beans results in a soft chocolate flavor.

Italian and French roasted beans impart bitter notes.

General recommendations for selecting grain varieties:

  1. To obtain a sour aftertaste, bartenders recommend mixing several varieties of Arabica.
  2. A mixture of Robusta (10%) and Arabica will give a noble bitterness. This composition will increase the strength, and the resulting foam will be dense and persistent.
  3. As the proportion of robusta increases to 20%, bitterness increases. Adding milk helps soften the taste.

Similar but different

Let's find out what kind of coffee it is: espresso, milk and foam. Cappuccino and latte fit the description. These are similar, but different drinks.

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Latte contains 127 kcal, 75% milk or cream. The foam is light, airy, has a soft milky taste, the standard portion is 250-300 ml.

Cappuccino contains 68 kcal, 66% milk or cream. The foam is dense, glossy, coffee flavor predominates, standard serving is 180-200 ml.

The caffeine content is the same – 40-60 mg.

Find out more in the article “How is cappuccino coffee different from latte.”

Let's look at how these drinks differ from the classic version.


A description of the properties and features of its preparation is given in the table:

Types of grains usedArabica with spicy notes of chocolate, sourness, and a hint of prunes. Robusta with bitterness.
Roasting raw materialsMedium, dark.
GrindingThin or medium.
Pressure in the cooking apparatusIn the chamber - from 9 bar. In a working pump - from 15 bar.
Water temperatureFor medium roast beans - 91-93°C. For dark roasted raw materials - 88-91°C. For mixing with coffee - 90-92°C.
Ready coffee temperature75-85°C.
Cooking time25-30 seconds.
Taste nuancesThe taste is delicate, the aroma is pronounced.
FortressPer serving - 50-68 mg of caffeine.
Usage rateFrom 1 to 7 servings per day.

Espresso – harmony with a unique taste

From Italian the name of classic coffee is translated as “expressed”, “squeezed out”, as it is prepared under pressure of 9 bar and has a rich taste. To brew it, baristas grind the grains, compact them tightly into a holder, and run hot water through it.

When the drink is brewed, air bubbles form a thick foamy cap on the surface of the cup, which in color resembles a light nut. Extraction time – 30 seconds. If you cook for less time, the liquid will lose its richness. If you increase the time, you will get a bitter taste.

Read more in the article “Espresso Coffee: What It Really Is.”

Recipe for a classic drink

First you need to brew espresso. For this, a coffee maker is used, the chamber of which maintains a pressure of 9 bar. It is necessary to turn on the machine and grind 1 tbsp. l. grains

For the horn apparatus you should:

  • take 10 g of ground powder (3 tsp), compact it and install the horn in the device;
  • place the heated cup on the grill of the unit under the tap to supply the finished liquid;
  • turn on the device and set the cooking time to 20-30 seconds;
  • wait until the cup is filled with espresso;
  • add 120 ml of water heated to 90-92°C.

To cook in Turk you should:

  1. Pour 2 tsp into the cezve. crushed grains and heat for 2 minutes over low heat.
  2. Add 60 ml hot water and stir.
  3. Bring the mixture until foam forms, but do not boil and remove from heat.
  4. Repeat this procedure 3 times. Each heating time is 30 seconds.
  5. Cover the pot with a lid to allow the sediment to settle.
  6. After 5 minutes, strain, mix with hot water in a ratio of ½, ¼.

The classic recipe is based on water and grains.

Additives help complement the taste sensations:

  • milk - muffles the aroma, reduces the strength;
  • spices - add piquancy;
  • liqueurs - add refreshing, fruity, spicy notes;
  • caramel syrup, honey, sugar, marshmallows - used for sweetening.

Spiced coffee

Americano – for those who don’t like small portions

An Americano is one or two shots of espresso, which baristas dilute with hot water in a standard ratio of 1:3. The maximum amount of liquid is 470 milliliters.

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If Americano is prepared without violations of technology, it will have a less pronounced aroma and aftertaste than espresso.

Espresso coffee seems stronger than American coffee due to the higher concentration of aromatic and flavoring substances. But the proportion of caffeine is the same - 40-60 mg. Therefore, the invigorating effect is the same.

Americano may not have a head of foam. They drink it both hot and cold - the taste does not change.

There are also differences in serving. To serve Americano, baristas use cups of 200-250 milliliters, sometimes up to 450. For a classic drink, demitasse is suitable - cups with a capacity of 30 to 90 milliliters.

The calorie content of an Americano without sugar is 2 kcal. For espresso, the figure reaches 9 kcal.

The topic is discussed in more detail in the article “How Americano coffee differs from espresso.”

Types of Americano and methods of preparing it

The taste of the drink depends on the time spent preparing its base (espresso). The longer the cooking process, the more pronounced the bitterness becomes. There are several stages of grain extraction. During the first 9 seconds, substances that impart sourness are released from the raw material. Over the next 10-20 seconds, the aromatic liquid becomes saturated with chocolate shades. The last 20-30 seconds of cooking introduce notes of bitterness. Guided by this, you can adjust the taste of the finished product.

There are many options for preparing the drink. It is brewed based on the classic recipe or the composition is modified according to the situation.

The varieties include:

  • ice - made on the basis of chilled water;
  • “red eye” is brewed according to a similar procedure (however, liquid from a coffee filter is added to the strong base).

Italian recipe

It is necessary to brew espresso for 20-25 seconds according to the recipe described above, then pour the same volume of water heated to 90°C into the cup. The foam disappears during mixing.

Coffee making process

Swedish version

The difference in the preparation technique is that espresso is added to hot water, and not vice versa. According to experts, the Swedish drink is more delicate.

Double portion

The technology and brewing time in a coffee machine or Turkish coffee machine do not change. To get a double Americano, you need to double the number of beans and the volume of added liquid.

With cream or milk

To prepare, dilute espresso with hot water in a ratio of 1 to 3. Separately, beat 50 ml of warm milk (cream) with a mixer and add the foamy liquid into the coffee.

You should not add fermented milk products (yogurt, kefir).

Adding marshmallows

Add water to the espresso brewed in 25 seconds (temperature 88-92°C, volume 100-150 ml) and add sugar. Place marshmallow pieces on top and serve.

Coffee with marshmallows

With refreshing mint notes

The taste of mint Americano contains piquant, fresh notes. To obtain it, add a few young mint leaves to a product cooked according to a classic, Swedish or Italian recipe. Can be served after 5 minutes.

Sweet and honey

Melt 20 g of honey (buckwheat, linden, chestnut) and pour the nectar into a heated cup, add coffee cooled to 45-55°C. You can use cream or milk foam for decoration. Honey bee product will replace sugar or caramel syrup. It will help strengthen the immune system and prevent the development of viral diseases. Additionally, you can add spices, add lemon, cinnamon.

With hot chocolate

To prepare:

  1. Cool the classic drink, supplemented with sugar and spices if desired.
  2. At the same time, melt 3 cubes of dark chocolate and add a little hot water.
  3. Pour in the chocolate mixture, stir and cool again.
  4. Place the cup in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.


The significant difference is in presentation. Espresso is served with a glass of clean, cool water. You should drink it first to prepare your taste buds for the noble drink. A serving is only a few sips, so you need to drink it right away, hot.

Tradition of drinking coffee

No sweets or pastries are served; this drink is good on its own. People drink it in the morning in coffee shops on the way to work. Moreover, in this case they do not sit at the table, but wait for the ordered cup right at the bar counter. This recipe is also appropriate during business meetings.

Americano is served ready-made or in two cups: one with coffee, the other with hot water. An important difference: you can drink it chilled and even with ice. A large portion is complemented with chocolate, cheese or donuts. This option is often used as “coffee to go”, so it is sold in cardboard or plastic cups with a lid and straw, making it convenient to drink on the go. Suitable for friendly get-togethers.

The difference between Americano and other types of coffee

The drink reveals the flavor nuances of the raw materials used in cooking. It can have a chocolate, caramel, floral or smoky flavor.

The difference between the drink and other types of coffee:

  1. From espresso. Strong coffee has a more bitter taste and is made from medium-ground coffee. There is always foam on its surface. For Americano, you can use medium-ground beans. The presence of foam is optional.
  2. From Lungo. As this coffee brews, the liquid slowly passes through a layer of ground beans, resulting in a rich flavor. The finished lungo is distinguished by its high strength, strong and persistent aroma.
  3. From cappuccino. When making cappuccino, frothed milk is added to espresso. It has a low strength and a soft creamy taste. If you combine milk foam and Americano, the product will be more aromatic and stronger.

Latte – three-layer cocktail

“Latte” is the word for milk in Italian. This cocktail looks airy and attractive thanks to its cap and layered structure.

A latte consists of three layers: a classic base, milk and whipped foam. Prepare it carefully so that the dark layer does not mix with the light one. A dense foam cap should remain on the surface. You can use syrups and sweet liqueurs to diversify the taste experience.

In coffee shops, the cocktail is served in tall glasses or wide bowls. The last option baristas use when drawing on foam.

Latte differs from espresso:

  • presence in milk - 75% of the total volume;
  • delicate milky taste - coffee notes are barely noticeable;
  • calorie content: from 47 to 177 kcal depending on the serving size, with sugar the figure varies from 67 to 197 kcal;
  • large volume: from 120 to 450 milliliters.

Calorie content of Americano and its effect on the body

A cup of espresso or Americano has the same amount of caffeine. However, in a drink diluted with water, its concentration is lower, which makes the taste more harmonious. In the basic version, 100 ml of aromatic liquid contains 9.5 kcal, 0.6 g of protein and fat, and 0.7 g of carbohydrates. It contains sodium, potassium, magnesium, PP vitamins, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Additives increase the caloric content and nutritional value of the drink.

Benefits of coffee

Americano contains a sufficient amount of water, so it does not cause dehydration. Its benefits include antioxidant and tonic properties, and a mild diuretic effect. Regular consumption (1-2 servings per day without additives) speeds up metabolism and promotes weight loss.

People suffering from hypertension and heart disease are recommended to replace it with chicory.

History of coffee creation

According to legend, long ago there lived a shepherd named Kaldim in Ethiopia. One day, while doing his work, he noticed how his goats were eating unknown berries of a wild bush and after that they became energetic and lively until late at night. Then Kaldim decided to try to make a decoction from these unknown berries himself, and the result was not long in coming. The young man noticed how fatigue began to pass, and was replaced by a good mood and cheerfulness.

Then the shepherd shared his discovery with a local monk, who, in turn, having experienced the miraculous properties of coffee, ordered all his charges to drink this decoction of berries. This is how, according to ancient legend, the centuries-old history of coffee began. After the 14th century, the berries became widespread and became popular throughout the world.

What is the difference between espresso and Americano

In 1819, the French scientist Runge, having studied the composition of coffee beans, isolated caffeine from it, which is now widely known. Having revealed all the beneficial properties of this substance, it began to be introduced into medicines and food. Today, caffeine-based drugs can cure many ailments.

How is Americano served?

It is customary to drink coffee in one gulp, so when serving it, use transparent latte glasses and cocktail straws. Serve with a sugar bowl and a candy bowl with marshmallows. The low quality of the prepared drink is indicated by white spots on the foam and an empty taste with a pronounced sour aftertaste. This indicates that the cooking time has been increased.

On the road and at work, it is convenient to drink coffee from a paper cup through a straw (as they offer at McDonald's). It goes well with liqueurs, chocolates, cheeses, donuts, and savory pastries. This is a tonic drink that is prepared in different ways. Light and delicate in taste, it will be an alternative to latte, cappuccino, and other types of coffee.

Cappuccino is a popular coffee dessert

Cappuccino consists of two components: a classic base and milk foam in a ratio of 1:5. Options 1:3 and 1:4 are available. The foam gave the name to the drink - its color resembled the shade of the cassock of the Capuchin monks.

To get dessert, the barista prepares one serving of espresso coffee. At the same time, beat cold, but more often hot milk into foam. A foamy cap of dense consistency is carefully poured into the coffee base.

Interesting! What is the difference between a latte and a latte macchiato

Find out how to make the drink yourself in the article “Cappuccino coffee: what it is and how to make it at home.”

Espresso and cappuccino have different tastes. In cappuccino it is less pronounced due to the milk foam. The coffee aroma is barely perceptible, as the foam holds it back.

This is a high-calorie drink. A standard serving of 150 milliliters without sugar contains 45 kcal, with sugar – 85 kcal. If cream was used instead of milk, the calorie content will jump to 155-195 kcal.

Another difference between cappuccino: its traditional serving is 3-5 times larger than the volume of espresso.

Flavor profile

Americano has the same flavor notes as espresso, but due to dilution with water, the flavor and aroma are less vibrant.

Similar drinks Americano vs Filter coffee

Americano tastes like filter coffee, but is still inferior in quality. Americano remains popular among coffee shop owners because they can serve the same strength as filter coffee without having to buy additional equipment.

coffee filter

Filter coffee - on the menu of coffee shops can be found under the name: “black”. “regular” (“ordinary”), “batch brew” (from the English batch brew - “batch” of coffee brewed at one time).

Americano and filter coffee theoretically have the same concept. In both cases, this is a large portion of hot and not too strong black coffee. And the principle of preparation for drinks is very similar: hot water is poured through ground coffee. But, as always, the devil is in the details.

espresso extraction

An Americano is made using an Espresso machine, which uses high pressure to force hot water through ground coffee.

home filter coffee maker

When filter coffee is made, hot water flows through the ground coffee by gravity, without pressure, only under the influence of gravity. For this reason, the process of preparing filter coffee takes a little longer, but it is worth it.

Unlike Americano, filter coffee is a cleaner and more balanced drink.

Espresso Recipes

Making coffee is a separate art form, with its own subtleties and nuances. But one way or another, all espresso recipes are based on the traditional preparation of this coffee drink. But there is a difference. So what is the difference between espresso and Americano? The difference is that traditionally espresso does not require any additives. But if you really want it, you can add alcohol, add sugar, cream, milk or ice cream.

Americano recipe

Which has more milk: cappuccino or latte?

Cappuccino contains equal parts milk, foam and espresso. A latte contains 2 parts milk, 1 part foam and 1 part espresso. This means there is more milk in the latte . Accordingly, this drink contains less caffeine, since it contains less coffee and more milk than cappuccino.

One of the versions of the origin of cappuccino tells the story of the Capuchin monks, who fell in love with the “devil’s drink” (that’s what religious people called coffee) so much that they could not refuse it. To “cleanse” coffee of negativity, the monks decided to add milk and hand-whipped foam to the drink. In honor of the creators, the drink was named “cappuccino” (similar to “capuchin”).

Where is there more foam in cappuccino or latte, espresso and Americano?

There is a lot of foam in cappuccino . It is thick and dense so much that it can support the weight of 5-6 g.

The foam in the latte is light and airy and there is also quite a lot of it in the cup. It is fluffy and tender, completely different from the foam in a cappuccino. Latte foam is so light that you can make figures, three-dimensional patterns and inscriptions from it. This decor will last for at least 10 minutes, if, of course, the latte is prepared correctly.

Americano, prepared according to the classic recipe, does not have foam. To maintain a dense foam on the surface of the Americano, you should prepare it in Swedish: add espresso to the water.

Foam in latte
Foam in latte

Those who still haven’t been able to make a choice should try all types of coffee. Once you recognize the taste and aroma of “your” coffee drink, you will fall in love with it forever.

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