Recently, I have been experimenting with the "Americano," half espresso and half hot water. Many of you have been ordering this beverage and commenting on how great it tastes and how wonderful the crema looks. From where did the name "Americano" come? During WWII, our GIs in Europe were not used to the small cup of coffee that was extremely strong, the espresso. Some may have been given a "ristretto" which is the first couple of seconds of the espresso pour. Remember, espresso bars and specialty coffee roasters were not the norm before the advent of Starbucks. Therefore, the baristas diluted the espresso with hot water to make it more palatable to our men and women in the armed forces. When they came back from the war, they began to ask for an "Americano."
The perfect recipe for an "Americano" is freshly roasted coffee for the espresso, followed by a perfectly pulled double shot of espresso. What temperature should the hot water be and what is the ratio of espresso to hot water desired? Let us know if you have a particular way that you like your "Americano."