How to Make the Perfect Americano at Home
With the smoothness of espresso and the volume of a drip coffee, Caffè Americanos are the perfect drink for espresso lovers who prefer to sip and savor. With just two ingredients – an espresso shot and hot water – making an Americano at home is simple, but the right equipment and temperature are key. Here’s our recipe for making the perfect Caffè Americano at home.
What You'll Need: Americano Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of finely ground espresso beans
- 4 ounces hot water
- Coffee grinder
- Kitchen scale (options for those who prefer to weigh the amount)
- Espresso machine
- Ember Mug²
Directions: How to Make An Americano
- Heat water to 160°F
- 2 espresso shots (2 ounces)
- Fill Ember Mug² with 4 ounces of hot water
- Add espresso to hot water, pouring carefully to preserve crema
- Serve at 136°F
Want to take your coffee knowledge a bit deeper?
What is an Americano?The Beans
Espresso beans are typically roasted longer and darker than beans for other brewing methods, resulting in a deeper, less acidic flavor.The Grind
Americano lovers face a trade-off when crafting any espresso-based drink at home. Grinding your espresso beans immediately before consumption preserves the aromatics and subtle flavors of your beans. However, home grinders are usually not as powerful as commercial coffee shop grinders, making it difficult to achieve the uniform, super-fine grind needed for consistent espresso shots. Purchasing pre-ground espresso will give you the finest, most consistent grind, but at the cost of a fresher, more nuanced flavor.
As long as you have a conical burr grinder, our preference is to grind at home. A few grinders that will do the trick include the Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder or the OXO Brew Conical Burr Grinder.The Espresso Machine
The process of pulling your shot depends on your espresso machine. With fully automatic machines like the Nespresso Vertuo Plus, you simply insert a pod of pre-ground espresso and press a button. Other machines like the De’Lhongi La Specialista or the more affordable Capresso Ultima Pro more closely mimic the commercial espresso machines in coffee shops, requiring a portafilter and tamper.Americano Water Ratio
Most Americanos feature one part espresso (1 ounce) to two parts hot water (2 ounces). However, personal preference is really all that matters. If you prefer a stronger cup, you might enjoy a 1:1 ratio; for more volume and a less intense flavor, try a 1:3 ratio.The Temperature
Most espresso aficionados will tell you that you only have a few minutes to enjoy a shot before the crema dissipates and the espresso cools too much, which negatively impacts the flavor. As a simple espresso-based drink, Americanos are especially vulnerable to temperature fluctuations. Overheat the water, and you risk burning the espresso shot. Let the drink cool off too much, and the taste can become too sour or acidic.
When making Americanos at home, we recommend heating your water to no more than 160℉ and setting your Ember Mug² to 136℉ to maintain the perfect drinking temperature.
For a dairy-free twist on a familiar holiday favorite, check out Ember’s guide to the best vegan dark hot chocolate. Created with almond milk and cacao, this hot chocolate is sure to be a fan favorite.