How To Make Caffe Americano At Home

How To Make Caffe Americano At Home Better Than Starbucks

Last updated on October 27th, 2023 at 14:53

This article is a detailed tutorial how to make caffe Americano at home.  Some people love going out for a coffee, while, well, real, semi-obsessed coffee freaks like me prefer to make coffee at home due to having more control and the ability to make a better cuppa.

If you fall into that latter group, then this article is for you. Not only will you learn how to make Caffe Americano At Home that absolutely rocks, you will learn all you need to know about this popular classic, Cuppa Joe.

Keep reading for an excellent tutorial.

How To Make Caffe Americano At Home – Getting started

Caffe Americano is undoubtedly one of the most well known, popular cups of coffee that is available worldwide and literally known often by the same name or local variation or literal translation of the name in English.

But what exactly is this world-famous espresso based drink?

What Is An Americano?

An Americano, a classic coffee, is a common abbreviation for quite possibly the world’s most popular black coffee drinks, Caffe Americano, a literal translation of American Coffee originating in North America and exported to Europe with an interesting tale of history.

As the story goes, and history tells us, American soldiers stationed in Italy during the Second World War found the Italian favorite Espresso to be rather strong and too much of a caffeine kick.

Missing home and missing their drip coffee, the now famous Caffe Americano was born.

It is simply a shot of espresso with hot water added. The exact water ratio, or if a double espresso shot is required, varies with each drinker. A triple espresso shot is not uncommon either.

Some people like a single shot with 2 parts water, others an equal 1:1 ratio with others a double shot with a single dash of water added. The number of shots of espresso depends on the drinker.

An Americano is the preferred coffee for those that prefer a black coffee or a coffee without milk.

What Is An Americano
A well Made Caffe Americano

Read: No crema on espresso

Is An Americano Just Water And Espresso?

An Americano is a good quality espresso with hot water added. It is, specifically speaking, a diluted, watered-down espresso drink.

The exact amount of water to espresso mix can vary from 2/3rd water to half water to 1/3rd water, particularly when a double shot is topped up with a single shot of water.

The dilution of the strong flavorsome espresso with hot water takes a Caffe Americano much closer to a traditional drip coffee.

Yes, for all intents and purposes, an American is just hot water and espresso.

Is Americano And Espresso The Same Thing?

Absolutely not.

I would not at all refer to a Caffe Americano or simply an Americano as a watered-down espresso either. Sure, they both come from an espresso machine and contain a shot or two of that famed strong Italian coffee shot, but the taste and flavor are distinctively different.

The taste of An Americano is also different from a traditional American Style Drip Coffee. Done right, and you can have some of that rich beautiful crema on top.

Is Americano And Espresso The Same Thing
An Espresso, Just One Part Of A Caffe Americano

Read: Best cappuccino flavors

How To Make Iced Americano At Home With Instant Coffee

An Iced Americano coffee drink with or without an espresso machine is super easy to make and there are a number of brewing methods that you can use ranging from French Press to the Cold Brew Coffee technique, but by far the best and closest to what you will experience in Starbucks or any other coffee shop is the homemade espresso brewing method.

Let’s detail making an Iced Americano coffee drink with instant coffee.

While, like myself, you may not be a fan of black coffee this is one I do enjoy in the baking heat of South East Asia or my summer escapes to Barcelona, Spain.

There is something about that ice-cool freshness and caffeine kick. There is an amazing Vietnamese variation I’ll talk about in a moment.


  • A cup or two of sparkling water*.
  • 1/3 of a cup of water that is at room temperature.
  • 1 Tablespoon of premium instant coffee, the best you can get your hands on.
  • Sweetener and coffee creamer as per personal requirements and taste.
  • 5-6 ice cubes.


Mix in 1/3 of a cup of water at room temperature with 1 tablespoon of premium instant coffee. Mix well, until all the coffee is fully dissolved.

Add in 5 or 6 ice cubes to a cocktail shaker and add in the 1/3 cup of mixed coffee. Agitate slowly and gently shake for a minute or two. The use of the cocktail shaker is simply to instantly cool and refresh the coffee.

Now pour into a cup, mug or glass for drinking, adding sweetener and cream as required, mix well and top up with the sparkling water.

Drink and Enjoy.

*The Vietnamese recipe is fantastic and quite brilliant, replacing all water content with tonic water, resulting in a unique and brilliant tasty tang to your Iced Caffe Americano.

You can adjust variations of this with other brewing methods by replacing the Instant coffee with espresso coffee grounds and using a French Press.

Using A French Press To Make A Caffe Americano

Use a method similar to the above with a few variations to the recipe and method. Replace the instant coffee with espresso grounds. Place a tablespoon or two of coffee grounds, being careful to keep an eye on the 18:1 water to coffee ratio.

18 grams of water per 1 gram of coffee. 20 grams of coffee is a sufficient amount for an 8-ounce cup of coffee.

With this technique, we are going to use hot water, initially boiling water. Let your boiling water sit and cool down for a minute or two. Place 20g of espresso grounds evenly at the bottom of your French Press.

Slowly, evenly wet the grounds slightly and let them bloom, allowing the CO2 gas from the coffee to escape and bubble for 30 seconds before adding the hot water in a slow, even and circular manner.

Press down slowly and firmly on the pump of your French press until about halfway down the cylinder and then raise and push down again 2 or 3 times as required. Upon your final pump, push down the cylinder to the bottom and pour into the cocktail shaker.

Add 5-6 ice cubes and shake for a minute. This additional step is to cool down your Iced Coffee drink. Add sweetener and creamer as per your personal preference. Top up with sparkling water for an added zest.

Using A French Press To Make A Caffe Americano
A French Press Can Make A Good Caffe Americano

What Is The Difference Between Regular Coffee And Americano?

If you are sitting in a coffee shop looking at the two coffee drinks, they both will look incredibly similar. The difference between a café Americano and a regular brewed coffee is the ingredients used.

A regular 8 ounce drip coffee is simply made with ground coffee and hot water that is slowly drip brewed, often painstakingly slow.

An Americano is made with a couple of espresso shots, and topped up with hot water and maintains some bold espresso taste. The ratio of water to espresso will vary with each coffee drinker.

I personally like to serve an ounce of espresso, a double or triple cup of espresso with a serving of hot water for the client to self pour as required by their own personal taste and choice. This way they can adjust the amount based on their own liking.

Can You Add Milk To An Americano?


I have served plenty of my customers who have requested an Americano with a dash of milk. Initially, it did sound and looked weird to me as it was adding milk to an espresso with water.

If you get the mix wrong, you will end up with a milky watery espresso – not to my liking, but each to their own.

If you are serving this, serve it in three separate containers with a double or triple espresso shot (as requested by client) and two separate jugs for pouring the hot water and a dash of milk.

There is no need for coffee snobbery. When it is served right, you can experience a perfect balance of flavors.

What Is An Americano With Milk Called?

Officially speaking, an Americano served with steamed milk is an Americano Misto and is broadly similar to a latte but with a different flavor profile since the hot water and steamed milk are added at half-and-half ratios. To say, 50% Espresso topped up with 25% hot water and 25% steamed milk.

A latte is made with just steamed milk.

Can You Add Milk To An Americano
A Americano Misto is Worth Trying.

How Do You Make An Americano Without An Espresso Machine?

An Americano is one of the easiest coffee drinks to make, but is slightly trickier without an espresso machine.

The Cold Brew Method

Use finely ground espresso roasted coffee grounds using a good quality coffee grinder. Measure using your digital coffee scales a 2:1 ratio of coffee grounds to water that you wish to make.

To say 90 grams of water uses 45 grams of coffee is the ideal amount for a single cup of Americano.

Boil water. Let the boiled water sit for a minute or two. Put your coffee grounds in a mug or large container (depending on how much you are making).

Put your coffee grounds in the container and pour slowly your hot water over the grounds until they are slightly submerged.

Then as coffee bubbles, also known as blooming. This is simply the release of carbon dioxide from the beans. Now slowly add in the rest of the water and simply place it in the fridge overnight for a minimum of 12 hours.

The next step is to drain the coffee residue, the grounds from the cold brew that you have made. A cheese cloth or a drip filter will get the job done.

Heat approximately a shot or two of espresso in the microwave and then add in some hot water and viola you have a homemade Americano using the cold brew method.

You can, alternatively, make an Americano by using the drip coffee method of using a significantly stronger concentration of coffee to emulate a shot of espresso and then top up with hot water.

Is Americano Stronger Than Coffee?

Generally speaking, a well-made cup of drip coffee will contain more caffeine than a regular Americano. On average and varying depending on beans, quantity and how much grounds and coarse or fine grind used, and how much is poured.

On average, it is said that a drip coffee has 95 mg to 200 mg of caffeine per cup.

An Americano contains around 95 mg to 150 mg of caffeine. There is one caveat that the amount of espresso can be adjusted, single shot, double shot, and it is not uncommon, a triple shot of espresso and, thus, can indeed have more caffeine depending upon how you have your Americano.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Make Caffe Americano At Home

Can I Make Americano Coffee At Home?

Yes, if you have a home espresso machine you can make and enjoy an American coffee at home. If you don’t have one, you can use a moka pot or French press to replicate the flavor, texture and density.

It is a very easy coffee beverage to make.

A caffe Americano is a shot or two of espresso poured over hot water. It can also be made the opposite way by pouring hot water over a single or double espresso shot.

You will need some brewing equipment. If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can opt for the French press technique (above) or by using a Moka pot.

Use finely ground dark roasted coffee beans and fill the coffee area of your moka pot, Create a small mound and don’t tamp.

In the water chamber, add water that is heated to 70C (160F) and heat on your stovetop.

When ready, pour a double shot 2 oz (60 ml) and add hot water and stir well.

How Does Starbucks Make Their Americano?

At Starbucks, the barista pours two espresso shots and then quickly adds hot water to make an Americano. 

What Is The Ratio Of Coffee To Water For Americano?

A caffe Americano has two ratios to comply with; the first ratio is the coffee to water ratio for making the espresso shot which is 1:2. The second ratio is for pouring the beverage which varies from 1:5 to 1:7 depending on what the clients wants or likes.

A good barista will give small jug of hot water for the drinker to pour to suit their own personal gusto.

How Do You Make An Americano Without A Machine?

If you don’t have a home espresso machine or have not yet invested in one you can make one with your moka pot. Simply brew your coffee with your moka pot as you normally would and dilute with hot water. 

Why Add Water First In Americano?

There is a lot of debate in the coffee world regarding pouring the water for your coffee first or last. If you pour the hot water first you help to preserve the crema on top of the drink. If you pour the water last you help to mix the crema and its flavors with the drink. 

What Is The Perfect Ratio For An Americano?

The perfect ratio for making the shot of espresso for your Americano is 1:2 and when pouring the hot water once the espresso is ready is 1:5.

Frappé-ing It All Up – How To Make Caffe Americano At Home

Making An Americano At Home is super easy. In the article I have shown you how To Make Caffe Americano At Home using a number of different techniques and recipes both with equipment and without them, from using an espresso machine to a French Press and a different cold brew technique you can try out.

Be sure to try the Vietnamese variation that I told you about, and the iced Americano.

If any of your questions have not been answered, or you have a question about making a caffé Americano at home or have your own fabulous tips, tricks and techniques for making this beverage at home, join our online coffee community and share your coffee creations, ideas, images and selfies with us all. Find us on Facebook/Meta.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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