Here’s How to Make a Perfect Cafe Americano (Hip Team Favorite Coffee Drink!)
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Skip the pricey coffee shop and brew a rich Cafe Americano at home with espresso using these tips.
If you prefer a bold full-bodied coffee experience, consider a Cafe Americano!
A Cafe Americano consisting of brewed espresso and hot water is popular, more elevated caffeinated breakfast drink. It’s a favorite among Hip2Save team members including Collin and turns out to be fairly simple to make your own at home to save money!
“I love my Americanos. I personally enjoy a stronger cup of coffee and an Americano just goes down smooth and not bitter! Each morning I brew the smallest Americano on my Breville as that makes it the strongest.
Although Americanos don’t traditionally have cream added (just hot water), there’s something amazing about adding cream to strong espresso. SO GOOD. I do a nice amount of steamed heavy cream, definitely more than the splash Starbucks gives ya!” – Collin, owner at Hip2Save!
What is the difference between a latte and an Americano?
Essentially the difference is water vs. milk. The Americano is made with espresso, followed by hot water which produces a light layer of non-dairy foam called crema. The traditional latte is made with espresso followed by steamed milk and foam. It has a bit of a velvety creamy texture. We’ve got an easy-to-follow recipe for how to make a latte if you’re interested!
The Americano has a noticeably stronger espresso taste without being bitter. If you love a very bold concentrated espresso drink the Americano may be for you, and a more mellow drink would be the latte. Both coffee drinks are delicious if you ask me!
To make an Americano at home, start by brewing some espresso.
The one must-have ingredient to a good Americano is brewed espresso from espresso beans, which offer a much bolder taste than traditional American coffee. Brewing can be done using a French press, an espresso machine, or by using a Nespresso. Even a Keurig using an espresso k-cup could work too.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, brewed coffee from a coffee maker won’t quite cut it for this drink.
What espresso beans are best?!
Collin recommends these Starbucks Dark Roast Espresso beans. She buys them right from her Starbucks location in-store and swears it tastes better than the grocery store bags! I personally have always enjoyed Cafe Bustelo coffee and espresso. It’s bold without being acid or too bitter.
Another brand to mention is this San Francisco Bay Espresso Roast that our teammate Emily buys at Costco. It comes very highly-rated on Amazon.com and seems like a great option too!
How much water should you add to your espresso?
According to my research, every barista and coffee shop may vary. I have seen as much as a 1:2 ratio of espresso to water, and Starbucks usually does more water. This will be a little bit of testing to get your desired flavor! On my espresso machine, there is a chamber that holds water and you can add in as much hot water as you’d like after brewing the espresso.
I LOVE my new espresso maker, and recommend it if you are new to brewing espresso!
This Coffee Gator espresso machine is honestly so EASY to use and compact in size. It makes delicious espresso and doesn’t take up much counter space! I love that it has a spout that steams milk or adds hot water to espresso drinks. Better yet, it’s priced in the $100 range, so it’s fairly affordable compared to some espresso machines.
Fortunately for the timing of this post, it’s currently on sale!
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You can also stack on the savings as the brand has a promo for 10% off 2 of their qualifying items!
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Want a higher-end espresso machine recommendation? Many Hip2Save teammates have this Breville Barista Express espresso maker and think it’s the BEST EVER, including Collin! It grinds espresso beans, and has all the bells and whistles for making professional coffee drinks at home.
yield: 1 SERVINGS
prep time: 3 MINUTES
cook time: 2 MINUTES
total time: 5 MINUTES
Espresso with hot water as a bold yet smooth hot coffee drink.
- 2 ounces of brewed espresso
- 4-6 oz. of hot water
Brew your espresso however you prefer such as with an espresso machine or Nespresso.
Add 4-6 ounces of hot water and stir. Add any sweetener, heavy cream, or coffee syrup as desired. Enjoy!
Here are other Hip2Save team members that love a good Cafe Americano:
“I’ve started ordering Americanos! I looked at the items on the Starbucks menu, and the Americano only had 15 calories (I add a pump of the Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup as well because I love my coffee with flavor).” – Hip2Save team member Jenna
“Americanos vs traditionally brewed coffee has a bolder and richer taste in my opinion. For anyone who drinks their coffee black, Americanos have a better flavor (again, that could just be my opinion though lol). I’ve had the Starbucks Americanos too and they’re pretty reliably good, and most cafes with an espresso maker should offer Americanos as well.
While they’re not classified as Americanos, the 7.7 oz or larger Nespresso pods pretty much make these (it brews a larger espresso/coffee shot with additional hot water plus a crema on top). I love the Bianco Forte Nespresso Vertuo pods the most!“ – Hip2Save team member Emily
“I love an Americano and drink them plain. The taste is so smooth and it gives me the energy boost I am looking to receive. An Americano also tastes really great when iced!” – Hip2Save team member Kara
Hi! What espresso beans do you use?
Hi Christine! Great question. Collin loves Starbucks beans. She prefers to go in to her nearest location to buy the silver bag, and loves them the most. I try to get Cafe Bustelo and have always enjoyed that brand. Hope those recs help!
Iced americanos for me! Every morning, it’s four shots of espresso poured into my hydro flask (which is pre-filled with ice and water). Top it off with some plain almond milk and 👍👍👍
Oh yum! That sounds delish Tay!
If you pour your water first, then do your shots of espresso it saves the shot better. If you have an espresso maker try putting a packet of “sugar in the raw” in with the espresso and steam together, it’s called a Cuban shot and is very good if you like sugar in your drink. If you a dash of dairy try an espresso macchiato, it’s espresso shots with a small dollop of milk foam, this is my favorite if made correctly. The foam becomes almost infused with the espresso and it’s like your drinking airy espresso.
Oh yum! That sounds heavenly. Thanks for sharing Vanessa!