An Americano is a style of coffee prepared by adding hot water to espresso, giving a similar strength but different flavor from regular drip coffee. The strength of an Americano varies with the number of shots of espresso and the amount of water added. The name derives its origins from WW2 when American GI’s in Europe would pour hot water into espresso to approximate the coffee to which they were accustomed.
An variation using the same ingredients is encountered with the Long Black. The Long Black is the same as an Americano but prepared in the opposite order. An Americano is created specifically by adding the water to an already extracted espresso. This process eliminates the foam. The Long Black is an espresso shot pulled over hot water thus preserving the foam (or crema).
The Americano is not a bad way to get introduced to espresso, if you’re not already an espresso fan. Since there is no milk, the flavor of the bean is truly preserved. You can have the barista vary the ratio of espresso shots to water until you have the perfect drink to suit your tastes.