Nowadays, a trip to a coffee house can be an overwhelming experience. There are so many different beverages on the menu, and trying to determine what you’d like to drink can leave you feeling pretty dizzy. Of course, to decide what you’d like to order, you need to know what’s what.
Two of the most common beverages you’ll find on a café menu include Long Black coffee and Americano coffee. While they might seem like just a standard cup – and on the surface, there are some similarities – there are also some distinct differences between the two.
So, what exactly is Americano coffee, and what is long black coffee? Where do they come from? How do you make them? What are the differences between these two types of coffee? Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more.
What is Americano Coffee?
Café Americano, or American coffee, was developed by American soldiers who were based in Italy during World War II. The soldiers wanted to replicate the taste of the coffee they longed for back at home in America. To do so, they added hot water to a cup of espresso coffee to dilute the strong flavor, and hence, café Americano was born, and the beverage’s popularity grew.
Today, Americano, the process of making café Americano is very much the same as when those soldiers first created it. It’s simply espresso mixed with hot water. The strength of the beverage can vary and depends on how many shots of espresso you use.
You can order café Americano at small cafes and corporate coffee chains worldwide, and of course, you can make it in your own home. To make it yourself, all you need is an espresso machine and some hot water. Just brew the amount of espresso that you’d like, pour it into a mug, and then fill the rest of your mug with hot water.
What is Long Black Coffee?
Long black coffee originated in the land down under – Australia and New Zealand. It’s similar to café Americano, as the foundation is espresso, which is then diluted with water, which mellows out the espresso’s robust flavor, which allows you to better experience the refinements of the beverage. The water can either be hot or cold, depending on your preference. The beverage is then topped off with a layer of crema, which gives the long black coffee the creamy, frothy, smooth, and unique taste that it is famous for. It’s this foamy layer of crema that differentiates long black coffee from café Americana.
Making a cup of long black coffee is pretty simple. All you need to do is make a shot or two of espresso and pour it into a mug, then pour hot (a temperature of about 195 degrees is ideal) or cool water over the top of your coffee. In order to make long black coffee correctly, adding the water first and the espresso second is essential because if you reverse the steps, the crema from the espresso will be ruined, and you’ll have a cup of café Americano instead. When you’re pouring the espresso, make sure it’s as close to the surface as possible, which will help to reduce agitation.
The Difference Between Cafe Americano and Long Black Coffee
As you can see from the information provided above, café Americano and long black coffee are comprised of the same two key ingredients: espresso and water. If they are made of the same ingredients, then what’s the difference between the two beverages? It’s how the ingredients are combined.
With café Americano, the espresso is poured first, and then it’s topped with hot water, and with long black coffee, the water is added first, and then it’s topped with the espresso. Another difference is that the café Americano is made with hot water. In contrast, you can make the long black coffee with either hot or cold water (however, using water that’s the same temperature as the espresso is recommended for the best flavor experience).
The Taste Difference Between Café Americano and Long Black Coffee
Believe it or not, while Café Americano and long black coffee are made of the same ingredients, the flavor of the two beverages does differ. Americano has a mellower flavor, a more bitter taste, as the water added over the top of the espresso helps to dilute its strong taste. On the other hand, long black coffee has a stronger, bolder taste, and it’s a bit sweeter. That’s because the espresso is floated on top of the water, which allows the beverage to retain the crema.
Overall, the taste of the two beverages really depends on the type of coffee beans that are used, the roasting level, and the method of brewing. The ratio of water compare to espresso will also affect the taste.
Which is Stronger?
As mentioned, long black coffee tends to have a stronger flavor, as the espresso is floated on top of the water. Café Americano has a more subtle taste, as the water is added on top of the espresso, which dilutes the flavor and reduces the strength.
Regarding the strength of the caffeine content, both beverages are essentially the same. That is as long as both are made with the same amount of espresso. It should also be noted that the brand of espresso that is used will also impact the caffeine content.
Americano or Long Black: Which Tastes Better?
So, which one tastes better? There is no definitive answer to that question. Both coffee drinks are flavorful, but the one that will taste the best to you really depends on your unique taste preferences. Additionally, how much espresso and water you use in the beverages will impact the flavor.
With that said, long black can be equated to milder espresso, so if you like a bold flavor, it might taste better to you. If you prefer a milder taste, then Americano may be your preferred choice.
You can also check out the comparison of Americano and Latte beverages to understand what makes those two espresso drinks different.