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Thread: How do you make an Americano?

  1. #1
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    How do you make an Americano?

    Do you put the water in the cup first then pull the shot into it or shot first then water? Should the Americano have a crema? I have tried both ways and don't seem to be able to get any decent crema on top no matter which way its made.

  2. #2
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Most cafes add the water and then pour the shot on top, at home I pull the espresso shot and then gently run the water down the side of the cup so that the crema remains on top of the beverage.

  3. #3
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Long black is water first. Americano is espresso first.

    If youre not getting good crema in you long black i would suggest an espresso problem, stsle beans? Coarse grind?
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    Pro tip: don't use boiling water.

    75-80C is ideal.

  5. #5
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    Pro tip: don't use boiling water.

    75-80C is ideal.
    For immediate consumption this is a good range, and in fact some people would prefer it even cooler (as low as 55-60deg for some long black addicts). But there's also nothing wrong with using water just off the boil. If you do so it allows you to linger over the drink a bit longer as well as taste it over a greater range of temps. The downsides are possible scalding of your lips/mouth/tongue and the fact that full flavour of the coffee won't shine through until it cools a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    But there's also nothing wrong with using water just off the boil. If you do so it allows you to linger over the drink a bit longer as well as taste it over a greater range of temps.
    I'd have to say I'd recommend against this.

    Pulling a shot into boiling water will "cook" the shot, killing the flavour and also the crema. Even after it cools down, a burnt shot still lacks flavour.

    My appproach: pull some boiling water into the cup. This will put some heat into the porcelain. Then add a splash of cold water from the tap.

    This will get the temp of the water in the cup down to around 75C.

    Finally pull your shot on top, preferably running the streams down the wall of the cup, so the crema floats on top. This prevents the shot from sinking straight to the bottom.

  7. #7
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    I'd have to say I'd recommend against this.

    Pulling a shot into boiling water will "cook" the shot, killing the flavour and also the crema. Even after it cools down, a burnt shot still lacks flavour.

    My appproach: pull some boiling water into the cup. This will put some heat into the porcelain. Then add a splash of cold water from the tap.

    This will get the temp of the water in the cup down to around 75C.

    Finally pull your shot on top, preferably running the streams down the wall of the cup, so the crema floats on top. This prevents the shot from sinking straight to the bottom.
    Ah yes. That old myth. Explain to me how the coffee ends up 'cooked'?
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Now this is something that's crying out to be settled with some double blind taste tests...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    I'd have to say I'd recommend against this.

    Pulling a shot into boiling water will "cook" the shot, killing the flavour and also the crema. Even after it cools down, a burnt shot still lacks flavour.

    My appproach: pull some boiling water into the cup. This will put some heat into the porcelain. Then add a splash of cold water from the tap.

    This will get the temp of the water in the cup down to around 75C.

    Finally pull your shot on top, preferably running the streams down the wall of the cup, so the crema floats on top. This prevents the shot from sinking straight to the bottom.
    G'day herzog

    Caffè Americano does not actually specify the order of the water and the shot. An Australian "long black" does - water first. You are 100% correct - add "off the boil" water (often at well below boiling point) to the cup and then run the shot down the side of the cup if you want to preserve the crema. A "much wider at the top than bottom" cup helps a lot. So simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Ah yes. That old myth. Explain to me how the coffee ends up 'cooked'?
    G'day LeroyC

    Perhaps herzog saying "cooked" is a poor choice of wording.

    My word would be "ruined", as anyone pulling a shot / making a plunger at anything over 96 Celsius would attest that it is a total fail. There is a reason espresso machines run at around 92 Celsius.

    I suppose the exception is if you can drink that USA ubiquitous "been in a filter on a warmer all day" stuff that often manages to be burnt, bitter, sour and stewed at the same time then it may be hard to notice the difference - not a common problem in Oz thank goodness...



    TampIt

  10. #10
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    The water is going to cool down that fast coming out of the tap and sitting in a cup it's not going to destroy your coffee. I just did a test with my BFC dual boiler. I set the steam boiler to 128 and left it for 10 minutes. Then drew a full cup of hot water into a pre warmed cup, left it for 30 seconds, dumped it out and refilled it. I immediately put my thermapen thermometer in it and it measured 87 degrees, dropping to 80 degrees 30 seconds later.
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  11. #11
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Go to South America, find an American, share a bottle with them, and then...


    Java "Make what?" phile
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    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  12. #12
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    G'day herzog

    Caffè Americano does not actually specify the order of the water and the shot. An Australian "long black" does - water first. You are 100% correct - add "off the boil" water (often at well below boiling point) to the cup and then run the shot down the side of the cup if you want to preserve the crema. A "much wider at the top than bottom" cup helps a lot. So simple.



    G'day LeroyC

    Perhaps herzog saying "cooked" is a poor choice of wording.

    My word would be "ruined", as anyone pulling a shot / making a plunger at anything over 96 Celsius would attest that it is a total fail. There is a reason espresso machines run at around 92 Celsius.

    I suppose the exception is if you can drink that USA ubiquitous "been in a filter on a warmer all day" stuff that often manages to be burnt, bitter, sour and stewed at the same time then it may be hard to notice the difference - not a common problem in Oz thank goodness...



    TampIt
    Yes I used to think that too. Turns out it's not true. There's a growing list of coffee experts around the world that have bothered to investigate these sort of long held assumptions and actually experimented and tested them and found them to not hold true.
    There are still a few basic rules to follow though: don't use water that is actually at a rolling boil. But water actually cools by a few degrees quite quickly after its boiled so within half a minute or so it's fine to use. You're right that if drunk immediately the flavour won't be the greatest, but this is more because there's a lack of flavour rather than bad flavour. Once the drink has cooled to below 80deg (how long this takes will depend on how much water is used and what vessel it's in) it will start to taste great.
    The other one that is never gonna be good is what you mentioned there Tampit - the classic American diner filter coffee that's been sitting on a hot plate for god knows how long in a glass carafe stewing away. You'll be lucky if it's any good in the first place but after 5min of this sort of treatment it'll be positively awful. That's why most good quality batch brewer manufacturers are now using thermal carafes and there's no hot plate.

  13. #13
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    How do you make an Americano?

    Thank you for this thread. I've been remiss in my LB making. I think I'll make one for breakfast tomorrow morning. Usually have a FW/Cap at breakfast and Brazen pour over or aeropress or two at work. Espresso or FW/Piccolos in the afternoon/evening.
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  14. #14
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    After reading the replies on this thread I have changed the way I make mine now, I used to put the water in the cup first then pull the shot, now I pull the shot first and believe the result is much nicer coffee.
    I have a new dual boiler machine and the boiler temp is set at 126 C and the hot water seems to be a fair bit hotter than what I was getting out of the Breville DB

  15. #15
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    Does anybody know how to make the perfect iced americano?

  16. #16
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    double shot onto ice, top up with cold water.
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