What is an Americano and Why Are People Ordering It?

A close up of an Americano coffee crink

The Americano is a beloved drink that you can find in just about any coffee shop or cafe, like Mokas Cafe. It tastes like coffee, energizes you like coffee, even smells like coffee; but it’s different from your normal cup of joe. But, what exactly makes the Americano different from other drinks and why are people ordering it?

What is an Americano?

Simply put, it is a drink consisting of a shot of espresso and topped with hot water. It’s a very popular beverage that was started by American soldiers stationed in Italy during WWII. The legend has it that when soldiers encountered espresso in Italy, they watered it down to make the drink more similar to what they drank back home. 

Funny enough, Italians aren’t too keen on the idea of “watering down” their espresso. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people in Italy to call it “dirty water”. 

Does an Americano Contain Crema?

Espresso is made by forcing water at high pressures through finely-ground coffee. It creates a small amount of richly flavored coffee. One of the elements that comes out of this process is crema.

If you’ve ever watched someone brew your coffee, you might have noticed a light brown, creamy substance that oozes out of the espresso machine before your dark coffee pours out. This substance rises to the top of your drink, creating an oily aromatic beverage.

An Americano is simply an espresso that’s been diluted with hot water. The crema will still rise to the top, giving you a delicious coffee drink with all the oily rich notes you love. The crema lives on!

Difference Between Americano, Drip Coffee, and Other Brews

Not even close. Speed is the name of the game when it comes to espresso, and drip coffee is anything but speedy. It doesn’t matter if you use an auto-drip machine or a manual kit, drip coffee always takes time.

A cappuccino is made with a shot of espresso as a base, steamed milk poured on top, and a layer of foam just at the rim. A latte will double the steamed milk and reduce the foam. A macchiato is similar to a cappuccino, but with more espresso and less milk. Notice anything different in these drinks in comparison to an Americano? There is not any hot water being used!

Try Mokas Cafe’s Variety of Drips and Brews

Mokas Cafe was founded in Salina, Kansas over 15 years ago. Since our opening, we strive to create a worthwhile experience for everyone who walks through our doors with friendly customer service and delicious food and brews. We offer everything from Americanos and lattes to specialty drinks and eats to help you fuel your cravings. Visit our locations page to find the nearest cafe to you!