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Americano vs Drip Coffee: 3 Key Differences (Brew, Caffeine, Flavor)

Stop by a coffee shop and you’ll have a decision. Americano vs Coffee? Here are the three main differences between Americano coffee and the traditional brewed, drip coffee from North America.

Americanos are made with espresso shots and water, while brewed coffee is created by infusing coffee beans with hot water. Americano Espresso Drinks have 103 mg of caffeine per cup, while a cup of brewed coffee has 96 mg of caffeine. Americano drinks have a stronger, richer flavor than brewed coffee.

americano vs coffee

For many people, coffee in the morning is an essential step to starting off the day. For some, one cup is simply not enough to function on throughout the day and stay productive. There is one thing most will agree upon: a person’s choice of coffee is personal and almost sacred.

3 Differences: Americano vs Coffee

What are the differences between Americano and Brewed Coffee and how does this affect the end product?

Well don’t worry, we’ll break down all the differences below.

What is an Americano? Americanos are the common name for Café Americanos. This is Spanish for American coffee. Learn more about Americanos.

1. How the Drinks Are Created

The biggest difference between these two drinks are found during the creation process of the drinks. This includes the ingredients used, as well as the brewing itself.

The creation process is the most important part of creating the perfect cup of coffee.

Americano Brew Method

Americanos are made with espresso shots and hot water.

The base for an Americano drink is the espresso. This is created by forcing very hot steam through coffee beans. This method creates a very strong and intense drink known as an espresso shot.

When making an Americano drink, an espresso shot is combined with water to make a weaker, but larger, drink.

Americano coffee is a watered-down espresso shot.

Learn how to make an Americano coffee at home.

americano brew method

Brewed Coffee Brew Method

Brewed coffee is created by infusing coffee beans with hot water for a specific amount of time.

This process of time is longer than the creation of Americano, due to the waiting and brewing process.

Brewed coffee can either be achieved through the drip method, the pour-over method, or by using a French Press.

One of the most common types of brewed coffee is cold-brewed.

One of the great things about brewed coffee is how many different ways there are to create a cup of this delicious drink.

To find recipes to create these different drinks, refer to other articles posted on our website.

2. Caffeine Amount in Each Drink

Another difference between Americano Espresso Drinks and brewed coffee is the amount of caffeine found in each one.

For some, this is the deciding factor between the two drinks.

How Much Caffeine Does Americano Have?

Americano coffee has 128 mg of caffeine.

This is based on 2 espresso shots (of 64 mg each), plus water. This will make a 6 oz cup of coffee (2 oz of expresso, 4 oz of hot water).

Of course, the bean, roast, grind, and type of espresso maker can vary the amount of caffeine in each shot. This number is based on a chart by the Mayo Clinic.

Some Americanos will have more shots of espresso, and will directly affect the caffeine content.

How Much Caffeine Does Brewed Coffee Have?

A cup of brewed coffee has 96mg of caffeine.

This is based on an 8 oz (237 ml) cup of brewed coffee.

While both of these drinks (Americano and brewed coffee) have similar caffeine amounts, it is important to remember that there are many factors. Roast, grind, bean choice, and volume will determine the actual caffeine content.

americano vs drip coffee

According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult person should limit caffeine to 400 mg per day. Of course, everyone has a different sensitivity and reaction to caffeine.

People who are struggling with headaches or anxiety should review their caffeine intake to accommodate and help fix those issues.

Contact your doctor if you are having issues with caffeine intake and the effects it has on your body and mental health. The Mayo Clinic advises women who are trying to become pregnant in the near future or who are currently pregnant to review and possibly reduce their caffeine intake.

No matter what coffee or other sources of caffeine you choose to put in your body, it is important to make sure you are not going over the limit of recommended caffeine in a day.

As previously mentioned, the Mayo Clinic advises adults to limit their caffeine intake to 400mg a day. If a person is only drinking coffee as their source of caffeine, they should not exceed 4 cups a day.

Learn more about the strongest coffee in the world.

3. Taste Between the Two Drinks

Although it may be hard to describe with words, there is a distinct taste difference between these two drinks. For many coffee lovers and enthusiasts, the difference in taste between these two caffeinated drinks is the reason they love one more over the other.

Americano Espresso Drinks have a richer flavor than Brewed Coffee. This is because of how it’s made.

The espresso shot used during the creation process gives the drink an overall richer flavor, as the shot is jam-packed with strong flavors of coffee.

While it is generally true that Americanos will be stronger than brewed coffee, this also greatly depends on the coffee beans used to create the drink.

Everything down to the type of coffee bean, flavors added to the coffee beans, and even the grind of the coffee bean can change the end flavor and richness of the drink. The roast level of the beans will also bring out different flavors in the drinks.

It is important to know some coffee beans are better for making coffee than making espresso. Knowing the difference between these beans and understanding your personal preference will help you find and create the perfect start to each day.

Of course, the flavor of the drink can also be changed with cream, milk, sugar, sweetener, and other additives.

Which is the Best Drink?

A person’s coffee choice in the morning is very personal. Right now, I’m enjoying a blend of Yirgacheffe and Mexican beans – both dark roast.

Many people have a very specific type, brand, flavor, and even amount they must follow to create their morning coffee or drink.

After comparing these two types of drinks, there will be some individuals who continue to prefer their chosen drink, but there may be a few who will switch.

americano vs brewed coffee

Your Turn

What’s your opinion about Americano vs brewed coffee? Let me know your thoughts below!


Here's how we make our coffee:

Here is the gear we use everyday as we make strong, rich coffee at home.

Depending on the day, we make our coffee in one of three methods.

  • Espresso Maker: Breville Cafe Roma. This is a (relatively) inexpensive espresso maker that makes a quality shot. It has a small footprint, taking up little space on our counter. This was a gift from Bryan's parents.
  • Drip Coffee Maker: Ninja Coffee Bar with Stainless Steel Carafe. This unit makes good drip coffee. It also has an insulated carafe, keeping coffee hot without making it gross - like those little burner plates on most coffee makers. Dena's go-to every morning.
  • Stovepot Moka Pot: Bialetti Stovetop Moka (Espresso) Pot. This is Bryan's favorite for first coffee of the day.
  • Coffee Grinder: Cuisinart Coffee Burr Grinder. We've been using this grinder for many years and it still grinds consistently. This was a gift from our daughter.

See all our favorite stuff here: Recommended Gear


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