The Americano. Those who frequent coffee shops know its magic, but many don’t. I love a good Americano — it’s my go-to drink. It’s not only delicious (particularly for those who love the nutty flavor of espresso), but it also has a pretty fascinating story behind it.
So what is an Americano anyway? In short, it’s espresso diluted with water. The story goes like this: Following World War II, the American soldiers stationed in Italy thought that the Italian coffee — espresso — was too strong. They were also used to drinking filtered coffee, like the typical American cup of joe that we know and love today.
Well, they asked for hot water to be added to their espresso, and the rest is history. It turned the small shot of espresso into a large cup of coffee, which diluted the flavor and gave them a warm, comforting drink similar to what they were used to, and reminding them of home. This drink eventually developed the name “caffe americano,” which directly translates to “American coffee.”
When the soldiers returned home, they brought this recipe with them. It’s still served in coffee shops throughout the United States today as an alternative to filtered coffee. Coffee critics complain that the taste of an Americano is “inferior” since the bitter taste is slightly increased by diluting the espresso. Nevertheless, the drink remains a staple and is quite delightful for those who enjoy the strong, nutty flavor of a good espresso. It’s also a useful alternative when filtered coffee isn’t available or the brewing machine is broken.
As for me, my favorite drink is an Iced Americano. I’ve always had a fondness for drinking iced coffee in all its forms, which probably stems from my weird satisfaction with eating cold foods. Nevertheless, Americanos are delightful both hot and over ice. They’re not as heavy as a Latte (no milk added) and usually have more espresso than a Latte (for that extra kick).