If you’re like me, you’ll probably have your first Americano coffee at a cafe. Here’s how to make an Americano at home. You’ll learn 3 methods, plus recipes for 3 tasty variations on the classic Americano.
An Americano is a watered-down espresso. Americanos can be made from home with an espresso machine, a Moka pot, or a Nespresso. The exact ratio of espresso to water depends on the person’s preferences. Americano varieties include a white, red-eye, and iced Americano.
Want to skip the line at Starbucks? Make your morning Americano at home in just five simple steps.
Keep reading to learn the different methods for making an Americano at home below!
What is an Americano?
Americano coffee is made with two shots of espresso and hot water. The ratio of 1/3 espresso to 2/3 water is commonly used.
American soldiers stationed in Italy have been credited with the creation of the Americano coffee. To replicate the drip coffee from back home, the American soldiers diluted their Italian espressos with hot water.
Today, you can primarily find this drink around the world. It combines the rich flavor of espresso with the comfort of drip coffee.
The secret to a good Americano is using the right proportions. If you like Americanos from one coffee shop but not from another, chances are they are using different ratios of espresso and water.
As you learn how to make Americanos in your own home, you will need to practice making them with the perfect proportions.
Below, we will tell you how to craft an Americano in your kitchen.
Keep in mind that the ratio we provide may not be your preferred mix. Feel free to tweak the portion sizes until it meets your tastes.
Learn more about Americanos – origins and how they compare with other popular coffee drinks.
How to Make an Americano with an Espresso Machine
The traditional method for making Americanos is with an espresso machine. Using an espresso machine will be the easiest and best method for making Americanos.
The only other equipment you might need is a grinder, and a scale.
Once you have your tools gathered, collect your ingredients. All you need to make an Americano is some dark espresso beans and hot water! Optional ingredients include creamers and sweeteners.
- Start by measuring out a double shot of espresso beans for grinding (about 18 to 21 grams).
- Grind the beans extremely fine.
- Put the beans into the portafilter and tamp them down.
- Place the portafilter into the espresso machine and make the espresso.
- While brewing your espresso, heat three or four ounces of water to about 165°F with the espresso machine, a kettle, or even in the microwave.
- Pour this water into your drinking glass.
Your espresso machine will come with a portafilter and tamper. And if you grind your beans where you buy them, you can get a correct espresso grind for your machine.
You can avoid needing to purchase a scale, if you measure by volume. This might attract some criticism by coffee snobs but it is a great way to get started.
You should have two parts water for every one part espresso. After the espresso finishes, slowly pour it over the hot water.
Generally, you’ll want to pour the espresso over the hot water – and not the other way around.
The final step is to simply enjoy your drink! You have just successfully made an Americano in your kitchen!
You should also be careful never to stir your Americano while drinking it. Stirring an Americano will mix the water and the crema, changing the drink’s flavor.
Don’t have an espresso machine? If you don’t own an espresso machine, you might consider the Breville Cafe Roma. We’ve been using this for a while and it makes great espresso. It is entry level for price, but makes a great espresso shot.
How to Make an Americano with a Moka Pot
If you do not have an Espresso Machine, use a Moka pot to make a delicious Americano.
- Start by grinding a double shot of espresso beans. Remember, this amounts to about 18 to 21 grams.
- Fill the bottom chamber of your Moka Pot with water (only up to the fill line).
- Place the espresso grounds into the basket. Flatten the top of the beans, but do not tamp them down.
- After filling the Moka pot, place it on the stove at medium heat. Let it brew for three minutes or so. At this point, the espresso should percolate into the top chamber.
- While your espresso is brewing, heat three or four ounces of water to about 165°F.
- Pour this into your drinking glass. Once the espresso is ready, slowly pour it over the hot water.
That is all it takes to enjoy a delicious homemade espresso with a Moka pot!
How to Make an Americano with Nespresso
To make an Americano with your Nespresso machine, there are just two steps.
- Brew 1 capsule of Arpeggio Intenso. (0.845 fl oz / 25 ml) into a recipe glass.
- Add hot water. (4.2 fl. oz. / 125)
This recipe will make a single shot Americano. To brew a double shot, double the recipe. You’ll need two capsules of dark roast. Nespresso recommends Arpeggio Intenso capsules.
Other machines used to make an Americano include Aeropress and a French Press. However, the type of machine you use may affect the flavor quality. Find the perfect Americano by testing each of the different methods on your own!
How to Make Americano Variations: 3 Options
Traditional Americanos are made solely with hot water and espresso.
However, in a world of mixed drinks, even the Americano does not go untouched. Several Americano variations have emerged.
The first variation, a White Americano, is simply an Americano with milk added to it. As you know, timing and proportions are essential when making an Americano. So how much milk should you use, and when should you add it?
After making your Americano, add a small splash of milk. This milk can be warm or cold. You now have a white Americano, also known as white coffee.
Red Eye Americano
The second variation is known as a Red Eye Americano. This drink contains both drip coffee and espresso, the perfect mixture to clear the reddest of eyes.
Start by brewing three or four ounces of drip coffee. While this brews, prep your double shot of espresso.
Pour the drip coffee into your drinking glass and top with the double shot of espresso.
The third and final Americano variation we will be discussing is called an Iced Americano.
Start by making your double shot of espresso. While the espresso brews, pour three or four ounces of cold water into your drinking cup.
Once the espresso finishes brewing, pour it over the cold water and add two ice cubes. Some choose to swirl the drink; however, you should not stir traditional Americanos.
Voila! Just like that, you have become a barista in your own kitchen.
Now you can skip the line at the coffee shop each morning and enjoy your Americano as home, no matter which variation you prefer.
More reading: Americano vs Drip Coffee: 3 Key Differences
Have a question or tip for making Americano coffee at home? Let me know in the comments!
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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