What is an Americano Coffee: History, Variations, and Popularity?

The Americano is an exceptional espresso-based drink that you’ll find on the menus of coffee shops around the world. 

While the drink was invented by Americans, it has gained popularity throughout the world. According to a poll, people in the UK have included Americano as one of the top ten espresso-based drinks. 

Therefore, there is no doubt that the Americano is a drink that most people in the UK will drink throughout their day. Though the Americano might have the same look and texture as black coffee, they are two different drinks that offer a unique experience. 

So, what is Americano coffee? How is it different from other espresso-based drinks? And what are the variations of the delicious drink that you can try? We’ll discuss all those things in this article. 

What is an Americano Coffee: History and Brief Overview

If you think that Americano is just a fancy word for black coffee, then you might not have a better understanding of the differences between these two drinks. 

The Americano was first discovered during World War II. While there are other stories as well regarding the origin of Americano—many believe that the story about the discovery of caffè Americano during World War II is accurate and more credible. 

When American soldiers were stationed in Italy for the war, coffee was an integral part of their diet. However, the traditional Italian espresso wasn’t the thing that gave them the same feeling as the coffee back at home since it was too small and too strong. 

Therefore, the soldiers decided to make the Italian espresso more palatable and less bitter. They came up with a solution to this problem which was to add hot water to the espresso shot. 

This way, not only will it dilute the strong flavour of the espresso, but also increase the quantity. Hence, the Italians referred to this new drink as “caffè Americano.”

With time, the drink become popular with more and more coffee shops adding it to their menu. People in the UK and Europe enjoyed drinking the hot Americano to stay warm in the harsh winters.

The Popularity of Americano in the UK

As mentioned earlier, the Americano is one of the best types of espresso-based drinks that many people in the UK enjoy having at their homes or the nearest coffee shop. 

Stats show many people prefer to drink Americano and try out its different variations in the UK. Since there is a high demand and consumption of coffee throughout the nation, many coffee shops offer a wide range of coffee drinks to their customers. 

Different Variations of the Americano

The Americano has been consumed in the same fashion for decades. However, today you can find different variations of this drink that offer you a unique taste. There are a plethora of types of Americano that you can try out. Let’s go over them in more detail.

Iced Americano

Is the hot weather bothering you? If yes, then the Iced Americano is the best way to refresh yourself on a hot and humid afternoon during the summer season. 

You can easily make this drink without too much of a hassle. All you need to do is add cold water to the espresso instead of the hot one and then top it with some ice cubes. 

White Americano 

Another popular variation that you can find is the White Americano. The process is the same as making a traditional Americano with a splash of milk. 

Using the milk will help reduce the bitterness of this espresso-based drink. You can add any one of the following milk according to your preference: 

  • 2% fat milk (read our Americano with milk recipe HERE)
  • Almond milk
  • Non-fat milk
  • Oat milk 
  • Soy milk
  • Whole milk

You might also like to read: what is the difference between black coffee and Americano

Different Flavours of Americano 

If you have a sweet tooth, then you can try adding some sweeteners of different flavours to your Americano. This way, you can enjoy this amazing drink just the way you want. 

Most people prefer to add caramel or hazelnut for their Americano. However, it is up to you to use your imagination and try out something new for your Americano.

Americano vs. Drip Coffee: Differences You Need to Know 

While the texture and the colour of the Americano and the drip coffee are quite similar, there are a few things that set them apart. 

These differences will give you a better idea about how the Americano is different from the drip coffee. Below are some aspects that are different between Americano and Drip coffee. 


The taste of the Americano is relatively strong, which is why you add water to dilute it. Yet, you would notice the taste of your Americano would be dark and earthy, whereas the drip coffee is not bitter. You’ll feel a subtle taste of honey and citrus when drinking drip coffee. 


Most people are conscious of their calorie and caffeine intake. The caffeine level in both drinks would depend on the brewing process, the number of coffee beans, etc. Those who want to increase the caffeine in the Americano can make two shots of espresso. 

Making Process

There are various ways to make a hot cup of black coffee, such as the Moka pot, the cold brew method, the pour-over method, etc. 

On the other hand, the process to make an Americano is to pass hot water through the ground coffee, which will result in an espresso shot. You can add hot water to it to make an Americano.   

Wrapping Up 

Now that you know what an Americano is, you can start making one at your home. The best thing about this espresso-based drink is that it doesn’t require a lot of equipment or ingredients. You can easily make one at your home using an espresso machine

Simply add the coffee pods into the machine to brew a single or a double shot of espresso. Then, add some hot water to it, and you’ll have your hot cup of Americano in no time. 

Try out this delicious drink to keep yourself warm and cosy in the winter season!  


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