Ultimate Americano Coffee Recipe Guide

Ultimate Americano Coffee Recipe Guide

Americans are focused in the day and stay active in the night. Yes! You know 150 million Americans drink coffee daily and 50% of them mellow out Americano. Until two years ago I frequented Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Blue Bottle Coffe, and much more with my friends and business partners. We’d sit tucked away in a corner… Yeah! savoring Americanos, and other coffee variations, while brewing our ideas with every sip.


One day, as the concentrated espresso flavor of an Americano danced on my taste buds, an idea sparked in my mind. Why should these delightful tastes be confined to restaurants? Why not enjoy them at home? I pondered over it. From where to start? Quintessential Americano! Yes, I dive into research. I thought psychologically Why do so many Americans adore it? I wanted to beat the restaurant experience, seeking bold, robust, and profound flavors. 


Walking in your shoes, I conducted experiments and unearthed the ultimate Americano coffee recipe. With this recipe, you can craft and customize Americano more delicious, deep, and tasteful at home than all the restaurants you have ever visited. But before I share this recipe with you, let me take you through my journey of mastering the art of Americano-making at home.

What is Americano?

Let me break it down for you: An Americano is the perfect harmony of hot water and espresso. Hot water is forced to the ground of coffee beans to make expresso. Next, we blend hot water and expresso in the required ratio to brew a sublime taste of americano. Yes! That’s it. Does this concoction seem simple? Not at all. It’s not as simple as it looks. 


Americano is renowned for its rich, and bold coffee texture. Multiple factors affect its taste e.g. water to expresso ratio, beans quality, water quality, grinding, and method of expresso making. While crafting americano you have to manage them to extract the exquisite flavour carefully.

😕Curious to know? How to Make Iced Americano

History of Americano

The origin of the Americano is a fascinating tale, steeped in history and innovation. Picture this: American soldiers were stationed in Italy during World War II, where espresso reigned supreme. But here’s the twist – these soldiers, used to milder drip coffee, weren’t exactly fans of the intense Italian espresso flavor. 


So, what did they do? They got inventive! They diluted the espresso with hot water, creating a smoother, more approachable brew. And just like that, the “Cafe Americano” was born! It became a go-to pick-me-up, offering a quick energy boost for soldiers and locals alike, all while nodding to its American roots.

Who Should Drink Americano?

I would say everyone should drink it. You know it is not everyone’s cup of tea due to its rich and deep taste. I often drink it whenever I am under intense pressure of work or need to carry on my momentum. It works as an energy booster and refreshes you. It’s the top pick if you prefer a strong, tasty brew without extra sweetness or creaminess like in other drinks.

🤔Have you thought about what almond milk Starbucks uses?


How to Make an Americano Coffee?

Making perfect Americano is all about experience. I know you are a novice and have yet to learn. As I told you earlier, you need to mix hot water with expresso to prepare it. But you need to learn and experience various steps to make a perfect Americano. Let me confide with you the complete process. 

Use the Good Quality Beans

The first and foremost step is to choose the quality beans. As I observed in my trials and experiments, coffee bean quality plays a major role. If you compromise it, you can’t surpass Starbucks, Tim Horton, and other establishments. I tried various coffee beans e.g. dark roast beans, medium roast beans, and coffee blends. 

Being a barista you must know which coffee beans you are going to use and what type of flavor you will extract. In my experience, dark roast coffee is bitter and acidic. But it is all about the extraction method how you brew it and dilute it with hot water. If you want to experience the heartfelt texture of coffee flavor choose dark roast beans.

If you love a mild taste and and looking for a light taste, you should go for medium roast beans. Besides this if you want to enjoy something different use coffee blends. They are a mixture of different coffee beans from different origins and available in different accomplishments e.g. acidic, complex, sweet, light, and bitter. 


Expert Tip: If you want to extract the real, bold, and deep flavor of Americano, you should use dark roasted beans. 

Measure the Beans

As a newcomer, I thought the coffee bean’s measurement didn’t matter. My later experiments proved it matters. If you ignore it it’s nearly impossible to get a similar flavor every time. Just like some of my friends, some people may like “single shot” expresso but the “double shot” is standard. 


Switch on your digital scale and measure coffee beans for a double shot. It’s not a hard and fast rule, you should measure it from 18g to 20g. But mostly I am strict with 18g. You can vary it according to your desired taste and volume of americano coffee. 

Grind the Beans

Here your Barista skill test starts. First of all, you need a grinder that can grind the beans consistently. There are various grinders available in the market but you will find hardly anyone who can perfectly tell you about the RPM settings to grind at specific sizes. After trials and experience, you can guess what sort of coffee ground you will get at what speed.


You need fine grounds to prepare expresso. Fast grinding will result in fine ground. Slow grinding will yield coarse coffee grounds. If you are only an Americano drinker you can buy a medium to little fast grinder. In other cases, you should opt for an adaptable coffee grinder to adjust RPM speed. 


As I observed grinder speed does not affect the americano taste. You tweak RPM speed differently for different coffees. Expresso needs fine coffee grounds but if you grind at very slow RPM, the grounds will be coarse with uneven particle size. That’s not perfect. But if you are going to prepare cold brew, filter coffee, and drip coffee you need slow grinding. 

Slow Grinding Medium Grinding Fast Grinding
Upto 250 RPM  250 to 800 RPM  More than 800 RPM
Coarse grounds Medium to fine grounds Very Fine grounds
Filter coffee, Cold Brew Drip Coffee, Cold Brew, Pour Over, Expresso Turkish Coffee

Your electric grinder will take about 20-30 seconds to grind the coffee beans. It’s not only time but grind size and uniform particles that make ideal coffee grounds. If you want to grind through the manual grinder, make sure there must be at least or more than 110 turns in a minute. It’s still very slow but below this particle size will not be uniform.  

I grind coffee beans at slow to medium RPM speed. At this speed, you will get consistent fine particles to brew the perfect Americano taste. Yes! Very slow speed will take too much time and the coffee ground will be coarse. High speed will result in too much fine ground that creates a very bitter taste. If you like bitterness then it’s perfect. Most fine particles will dissolve in hot water but you notice settled mud at the bottom of your cup. Because fine particles will erupt the portafilter.  

Expert Tip:

My repeated experience proved that slow to medium 250-600 RPM speed will yield even fine particles; best for preparing expresso. Yes! grinder speed impacts the ground quality but you must inspect the quality of the blade and burr to get even size grounds. 

Right Time to Grind the Roasted Coffee

In the early days, I was unaware it affected the taste.  Am not ashamed to say that I was inexperienced. I thought we could buy ready-made grounded coffee beans then why should we take this headache of grinding the roasted beans? I researched and observed there is a hell of a difference between the tastes. 

After roasting the green coffee beans, the external shell becomes brown. CO2 entrapped in the bean. You need to rest it at least 48 hours. I experienced that if you grind freshly roasted beans and prepare americano it will contain CO2 that will make it acidic just like carbonated drinks. You need to wait for at least two days for degassing. Don’t worry once I waited for 14 days to verify the taste difference. 

Once I packed the freshly roasted beans into a jar and freezed them for a week. After that, without defrosting I grinded them and the taste was perfect. Grinding increases the surface area of the beans which invites instant oxidation. Do you know what we can lose here? Yes, Oxidation will evaporate aroma and flavor.


Expert Tip: You can grind the coffee just after roasting but the taste will be undeveloped and half-baked. Wait for more than 48 hours after roasting and grind it just before brewing. When you pour down the water over the espresso you will end with a brown tawny foam of aromatic crema. That’s the result of fresh coffee beans. 


Choose the Expresso Making Machine

You are here to prepare americano and I’ve told you it is prepared by mixing espresso and hot water. But its preparation is a science of common sense and experience. You need the right espresso-making machine to brew double-shot espresso at home. 

I have experienced various machines and the crux is that if you want to concoct desired americano you should have an espresso maker to brew standard double-shoot espresso. If you are cutting the corner, you can use Nanopress, Aeropress, and Nespresso. 

Expert Tip

After experiences and consultation with other barista experts espresso making a machine is recommended but overall it’s not a machine that matters. It’s your espresso-making skills, beans quality, and grinding that matter most.  

Choosing Portafilter

It’s a very crucial step in your barista skills. After choosing a grinder, or espresso maker machine you need to get the right portafilter. You can ask why because it screens out your espresso of your required taste. In the beginning, I started with the pressurized portafilter but later I used single, double, and triple basket portafilter. 

You can use a single basket portafilter for a “single shoot”. It can contain 7g to 14g coffee grounds. For Americano the standard is “double shoot”. It can keep 17g to 21g ground coffee beans. In case you are to prepare a large cup e.g. 16oz you need extra shoots so here you can use both double basket or triple basket portafilter. 


Portafilter Size Capacity
Single Basket 7g to 14g
Double Basket 17g to 21g
Triple Basket More than 21g

Expert Tip

You need to focus on the screen mesh size of the portafilter. With uneven mesh size, you cannot extract the fine taste. 


You got the high-quality roasted beans. Got the right grinder, measured the coffee beans, and ground them. Went on with a double basket portafilter. Now you need to focus on tamping. Here are the steps you need to follow.

  • Put coffee ground into the portafilter
  • Swipe your finger over the edges to remove the particles
  • Set down the portafilter on the tamping pad
  • You can tap the portafilter on the tamping pad to adjust the ground settings before tamping
  • Grip the portafilter liver with a straight wrist.
  • Bend your other arm elbow at a 90° angle and posit the tamper.
  •  Gently press the tamper with the fingers. You will notice the coffee puck.
  • Now press with the Palm of your hand and rotate it 720° to create a hard puck
  • Uplift the tamper gently. If you quickly lift the tamper it will crack the puck
  • Notice you have put pressure equally. If you tamp with an angle, the puck will not be even. Water will pass through with less coffee extraction. 

Tamping Pressure

Seriously, I was very curious at my start about everything related to coffee. With my calculated approach I wanted to know the suitable pressure that I should exert while tamping. I researched and came to know the experienced barista recommended 30lb pressure. 

With experiments, I analyzed that 30lb pressure is a general standard. That means you can go with it. Can we press it on another pressure or not? That was the question. I explored that while tamping at first you can exert 8lb to 10lb pressure. Exert 15lb to 20lb pressure for final tamping. 

You can use a bathroom scale to measure the pressure. But with experience, your muscle memory will help you. If you exert more than 30lb pressure it means you are creating a very hard puck that will resist water flow. Ultimately espresso will be very bitter. 

Expert Tip

The tamper must be flat. A flat tamper will create a hard puck. Curve tamper presses the ground with angles that produce a surface without level.

Make an Espresso for Americano

You have come to the point where you will brew espresso. But here are some prerequisites you need to fulfill and the tips that will help in yielding the required espresso shots:

  • Fill the reservoir of an espresso machine with fresh water that contains minerals.
  • You need to preheat the espresso machine. 
  • Turn on the head to verify whether or not water has dripped out of the machine.
  • Place the portafilter at the group head and screw it tightly.
  • Set the temperature and pressure 
  • Press the shot button to brew a double shot of espresso. It will take 20-30 seconds. 


Ideal Temperature Range 195°F to 205°F
Ideal Pressure Range 7 to 11 Bar


Note: I brewed espresso at different temperature and pressure ranges. But I observed you will extract perfect espresso at 200°F temperature and 9 Bar pressure. You need to heat the water below the boiling point. If you heat the water above this range, it will burn the coffee and diminish the taste.

I observed if everything is going right, a double shot will take 20-30 seconds. But if it is taking more time it means there is a grinding issue. You are using very fine grounds. Or if the short time is very short it means a tamping problem or you using very coarse grounds.

With very fine grounds, the surface area is high, shot will take more time. The coarse ground will allow water to flush away abruptly. Both cases will impact the required taste. 


Expert Tip:

Preheating of the expresso machine takes 15 to 20 minutes. Your always first step is preheating the machine before starting the process. It will lessen the time duration.

Heat the Water

You have understood now that americano is a mixture of espresso and water. You need to heat the water. Yes, you can use the boiler of the machine for water heating. But I don’t recommend it. You know Americano is everything about taste. Bolier can contaminate the water. I always heat it in an electric kettle to avoid any contamination to preserve the original taste of americano.

Pour the Espresso

After 20 to 30 seconds you will be ready to extract double shot espresso. Place your espresso cup beneath the portafilter. I mostly prepare double-shot espresso therefore my cup can contain 2 oz or about 60ml espresso. You can choose a cup according to your shot range. Pour down the espresso into the cup.

Expert Tip:

I love the hot Americano. To get this espresso should remain hot. For this, I preheat the espresso cup.


Prepare Americano

You are going to prepare traditional americano. Pour down the heated water over the espresso cup. Amazing! Your Americano is ready now. 

Expert Tip:

Crema plays a vital role in the taste. After extracting the espresso shot you will notice the foamy crema over the surface. If you want to preserve the crema pour water from the side. It will not dissolve in the water. 

Water to Espresso Ratio

There is no universal law for it. You can tweak the ratio according to your taste. As I experienced and researched 2:1 is the ideal ratio. 18g coffee grounds yield 54g espresso about 2Oz. I mostly consume 8Oz Americano therefore I tweak it to 3:1. 


Ingredients for 8 oz americano Quantity
Coffee or Espresso 18g or 2 shots( 54g or 2 Oz)
Water 6 Oz

☕Is easy to Make Espresso with a French Press

Difference Between Americano and Long Black

Long Black is a type of coffee most consumed in Australia. Most of coffee lovers don’t understand the difference between americano and long black. They take it the same. But in my experience, there is a hell of a difference. Long black is dark and more bitter than americano. In Long Black, you preserve the bitter and foamy taste of mouthful crema by directly pouring the espresso over hot water. But in Americano you pour the water over espresso

Americano Long Black
Light in Taste Dark and Bitter
Pour Hot Water over the Espresso Pour Espresso over the hot Water
Don’t Preserve the Crema ( but you can preserve it by pouring water carefully) You preserve the crema

⚡ If you don’t have coffee machines we know How to Brew Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

Expert Tips for Making Americano

  • Always start with the right cup, preheated. Americanos are small drinks (no more than 150-165ml, or 5oz), so preserving heat is important.
  • The water in an Americano can help to open up important aromatic elements in the espresso.
  • The true way to serve an Americano is by pouring a double espresso over the hot water, rather than the single opted for by many drinkers around the globe.
  • The typical Caffe Americano ratio is 2:1. That’s 2 parts hot water to 1 part espresso. This ratio makes the drink still taste dark and bitter.

😀 Want to know the Best Coffee Beans for Espresso

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Here are answers to common questions about making and enjoying Americano coffee.

Q1. Can I make Americano with instant coffee?

While not traditionally made with instant coffee, it is possible to create a makeshift Americano using instant coffee. Dissolve a desired amount of instant coffee in hot water and adjust the ratio to achieve your preferred taste.

Q2. How can I make a decaffeinated Americano?

To make a decaffeinated Americano, simply substitute regular caffeinated espresso with decaf espresso. Follow the same brewing process and enjoy a flavorful cup of Americano with reduced caffeine content.

Q3. What is the ideal coffee-to-water ratio for Americano?

A commonly used coffee-to-water ratio for Americano is 1:2, meaning one part espresso to two parts hot water. However, adjust the ratio to your preferred taste by adding more or less water to achieve the desired strength and flavor.

Q4. How do I store coffee beans for Americano?

To maintain the freshness and flavor of your coffee beans, store them in an airtight container, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Avoid storing beans in the refrigerator, as it can lead to moisture buildup and compromise the taste.


Our quest to make the best Americano at home has been a journey of learning and dedication. Along the way, we’ve uncovered the secrets of selecting the finest coffee beans, perfecting the art of espresso brewing, and achieving that ideal balance of flavors. As we finish this chapter, let’s not only savor the taste of our homemade Americano but also celebrate the camaraderie and conversations it brings. Here’s to more delightful coffee moments ahead, filled with warmth, joy, and the satisfaction of a perfectly crafted brew!