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How to make americano at home

Have you tried a caffè americano yet? Wanna learn how to make americano at home? Here’s how to do it.

A caffè americano (or just americano) is essentially an espresso coffee with hot water. It is perfect for the coffee lover who wishes their small cups of espresso would last longer. The added water does dilute the flavor, but it doesn’t dilute it enough that you lose that characteristic bold taste of an espresso coffee drink.

Best of all? It is simple to make at home, provided you have an espresso machine, of course. If you don’t and are looking for an affordable option, be sure to check out our list of the best Mr. Coffee espresso makers.

Once you have your espresso machine at the ready, read on to learn how to make americano at home in just 5 easy steps.

What is the History of the Americano?

The americano is said to have been made for the first time during the Second World War by the American soldiers who were stationed in Italy. They were accustomed to regular drip coffee, but in Italy, they only had a choice between espresso and cappuccino, which tended to be a little strong for them.

To help fix that problem, the Italian baristas started offering the soldiers hot water along with their espressos. This led to the espresso being served in a larger cup so they could mix in the hot water, leaving enough room for milk and sugar.

What is an Americano?

An americano coffee is a hot beverage prepared with a combination of espresso and hot water. It can be made with a single, double, or even triple espresso shot, but it is most often made with just a double espresso shot. Though a classic americano isn’t usually served with any milk, cream, or sugar, people will commonly add some to help dilute that bold espresso flavor.

How to Make Americano at Home

Step 1: Gather your supplies.

  • Hot water
  • Cup
  • Coffee mug
  • Finely-ground coffee*
  • Espresso machine
  • Tamper

*For best results, use freshly ground coffee. Don’t have a burr grinder? Here is our list of the best coffee grinders for espresso.

Step 2: Pull a shot of espresso.

If your espresso maker takes a while to preheat, turn it on well before making your americano. Determine whether you want to use a single, double, or triple espresso shot, and measure out the correct amount of your finely-ground coffee.

Then, take the portafilter out of the machine, put the grounds in, tamp the beans, and replace the portafilter. Warm your cup by pouring some hot water into it (or, if you have a wand attachment, use that), and then pull a shot of espresso from the portafilter into your warm cup.

Step 3: Heat some water.

You can, of course, technically add as much water as you like to your americano. If you want to go the classic route though, use a 1:2 ratio, where for every 1 ounce of espresso you use 2 ounces of water. If you can, try to get the water up to about 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit, and then pour this hot water into the mug you are going to use for your americano.

Step 4: Mix your water and espresso.

For best results, make sure you slowly add the espresso to your mug. Doing it in the opposite order could cause you to burn the espresso if the water is too hot. Also, doing it this way will prevent the water from breaking apart the espresso shot, allowing you to keep that foamy crema on top.

Step 5: Add in what you like and serve!

Again, the classic americano coffee doesn’t include anything but espresso and water, but you can get creative with your add-ins. You can add sugar, milk, cream, or try something like cinnamon, honey, or vanilla. You can even add some whipped cream on top if you want to make it more of a dessert beverage! After you have personalized your americano, serve immediately.

How to Make an Iced Americano at Home

Want something a little cooler for the summer months? Try an iced americano! The process is largely the same as making an iced one, with just a few key differences.

Step 1: Gather your supplies.

  • Espresso
  • Ice cubes
  • Glass
  • Cold water

Step 2: Pull a shot of espresso.

Refer to step 2 above for specific step-by-step instructions.

Step 3: Pour ice cubes and water into your glass.

Choose a tall glass to account for the ice, espresso, and water. This time, consider using a ratio of 1:1.5, where for every 1 ounce of espresso you use 1.5 ounces of water. It is recommended to use slightly less water to account for the ice, which will eventually melt in your drink. You don’t want to dilute your americano too much!

If you are worried about diluting your drink too much, you could also try freezing some espresso ice cubes. Simply pour some espresso into an ice cube tray, freeze, and then add to your iced americano in place of frozen water. You may want to change up the ratio of espresso to water if you go this route though – you don’t want to end up with a strong coffee you can’t enjoy.

Step 4: Pour espresso into glass. Serve.

Add in any extras here if you like. Then, serve immediately.

Are There Other Types of Americanos?

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

You bet! Though they are not as common, you may have heard of some of the following:

  • White americano. This is very much like a regular americano, except it is not filled to the top with hot water. It leaves some extra room specifically for milk, making for a milder cup of coffee.
  • Lungo. These contain double the amount of water than the classic americano.
  • Long black coffee. Here, the espresso is brewed right into the cup of hot water. This typically gives you more of the foam on top and a little more flavor.


Now that you can craft the perfect americano at home, skip your visit to the coffee shop and start experimenting with different ratios and mix-ins to find the americano recipe you like best!

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