What is the difference between americano and espresso

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Johny Morrisson

Espresso is a concentrated coffee drink made by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans. While an Americano is just a diluted Espresso made by adding hot water to a shot of espresso, resulting in a milder and more approachable drink.

At the end of the day, it’s a matter of whether you want your espresso straight or mellowed out a bit with some hot water on the side.

Let’s dive in and demystify Americano vs Espresso once and for all!

Americano Vs Espresso

What is Espresso?

Espresso is a unique coffee brewing method that involves passing hot pressurized water over coffee grounds.

Espresso is known for its rich and bold flavor, which comes from high-pressure brewing. This pressure extracts the oils and flavors from the coffee beans, resulting in a dense shot topped with a layer of crema.

Espresso is served in small quantities, usually as a solo shot (1-1.25 oz) or a doppio shot (2-2.25 oz).

You can always dilute the flavor of espresso by adding steamed milk, creamers, syrups, or hot water. Espresso serves as the base for many popular coffee drinks, such as cappuccinos, lattes, and the Americano.

Espresso coffee

“Either you choose your espresso, or you let espresso choose you. A coffee a day keeps the grumpy away.”

What is Americano?

An Americano is a coffee drink prepared by adding hot water over a freshly prepared Espresso shot. The hot water dilutes the concentrated espresso drink and makes the taste of the drink more approachable.

It is similar to a drip coffee, but the difference is that it is made with the espresso shot rather than steeping coffee grounds in hot water.

Americano is the perfect choice for coffee lovers who want to savor the signature taste of espresso without the intense kick.

Americano Coffee

How many shots of espresso are in an Americano?

Americano is most commonly prepared with a Double Espresso shot.

A typical ratio of espresso to hot water in an Americano is 1:3. This means that you would pour 6 ounces of hot water over 2 ounces of double-shot espresso to make an 8-ounce standard coffee drink.

You can add less water to the espresso if you prefer a stronger coffee flavor or add more water to the espresso for a milder taste – it’s your call!

The ratio of water to espresso I prefer when preparing Americano is 1:2. I use a Doppio Espresso shot (2oz) and add about 4 ounces of water to it.

Americano vs Espresso

The difference in Taste of Americano and Espresso

An espresso shot has a very strong coffee taste, with a thick mouthfeel and rich flavor notes like caramel and chocolate. Americanos have a lighter and smoother profile since the water dilutes the espresso.

To me, a straight espresso gives an unadulterated hit of coffee’s essence and natural oils. But an Americano offers a more easy-drinking experience. Both are delicious in their own right!

Espresso is a very strong coffee drink, and many people find it to be too bitter or acidic. That’s why it’s most commonly diluted with milk, creamers, or water. In fact, there are 30 different types of Espresso variations popular around the World.

Which has more caffeine?

Espresso has more caffeine per ounce than Americano as it is a concentrated shot of coffee, whereas Americano is diluted with hot water.

The caffeine content of a single Espresso shot is about 60-72 mg; for a double shot, it’s 120-133 mg. And since Americano is prepared with a double shot it has around 130 mg of caffeine.

When comparing caffeine content per serving, both have the same amount as Americano is nothing but a diluted espresso.


Espresso is a popular coffee preparation method that originated in Italy and is now enjoyed by people all over the world. In Italy, espresso is an integral part of the coffee culture, and it is often served in small, demitasse cups.

Espresso is also popular in other European countries, such as Spain, France, and the Nordic nations.

Americano as the name suggests is a very popular drink in the USA. In fact, the term Americano was invented by American Soldiers during World War 2.

The American Soldiers found the traditional espresso served in Italy to be too strong and intense for their taste. To make the coffee more palatable, they started adding hot water to traditional Italian Espresso shots and that drink became popular as “Americano”

Also Read: Black Coffee vs Americano

Americano vs Lungo Espresso

Many coffee lovers mistake Americano and Lungo Espresso for the same drink. Although they both involve diluting espresso with water, they’re not the same.

An Americano is made by pulling a 1 or 2 ounce shot of espresso and then adding hot water to dilute it in a larger cup.

A Lungo is made by extracting espresso for a longer period of time, using more water to pass through the coffee grounds in the espresso machine, resulting in a larger shot of espresso, typically 3-4 ounces.

This difference in brewing methods results in different flavor profiles. An Americano has a balanced flavor of espresso and water, while a Lungo is lighter and slightly more bitter.

Americano Vs Espresso | So What’s Better

In the Americano vs Espresso face-off, there’s no clear winner because it all comes down to your coffee cravings.

Espresso is your go-to if you desire a quick, intense caffeine kick with rich and syrupy coffee flavors.

And Americano will be better for you if you desire a gentle and approachable coffee experience.

I personally enjoy a larger cup of coffee, so the Americano is always my preference however, I won’t mind a well-prepared Espresso shot any time of the day.

Let me know in the comments if you’re team espresso or team americano!

Also Read Other Espresso Comparisons


What’s The Difference Between Long Black And Americano?

Long Black is another Espresso-based drink just like Americano but with a slight difference.
In Long black, Espresso is poured over hot water in a manner where the crema layer of Espresso is preserved. In contrast, Americano is made by adding hot water to a shot of espresso. The order of adding water has a slight effect on the texture of the drink otherwise, the taste is more or less the same.
Read a guide on the difference between Long black and Americano

Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About. He knows everything there is to know about coffee and loves sharing his passion with others.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.

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