How to Make an Americano

how to make an americano, photo of a white coffee mug with coffee on a wooden surface

Making an Americano can sound a little intimidating. Usually, it’s something you hear ordered in American coffee shops but they’re actually pretty easy to make at home, you just need the right tools and a few minutes to learn how to make an Americano! 

Many people like the taste of espresso, but find it can be really strong and bitter. A great alternative that doesn’t sacrifice the deep taste of espresso is by diluting it with water, a.k.a. drinking an Americano. 

What is an Americano

An Americano is basically a watered down espresso shot. It’s one-three espresso shots with twice as much hot water. That’s it. It’s just like a latte, except with water instead of milk. 

A lot of people drink them for a variety of reasons. Such as enjoying the taste. It tastes like espresso but isn’t as strong or bitter-tasting since it’s diluted with water.

Some people don’t want to drink dairy products for a variety of reasons so adding water instead is a great alternative. They’re also a great alternative to regular drip coffee.

The caffeine content is about the same between drip coffee and an Americano, but it can be fun to switch it up if you’re tired of drinking coffee every day. 

How to Make an Americano

Step 1: Measure and Grind 

Measure out your espresso beans and grind them very fine. 

Measure twice the amount of water as your espresso shot. Espresso shots are one fluid ounce. So for every espresso shot you want two fluid ounces of water. 

1 Espresso Shot2 Ounces of Water
2 Espresso Shots4 Ounces of Water
3 Espresso Shots6 Ounces of Water

Step 2: Boil

Boil the water you measured and add it to your mug. 

Step 3: Pull Your Espresso Shots 

Tamp your ground espresso beans and place the portafilter into your espresso maker. Then pull however many espresso shots you are making from the machine.

Step 4: Slowly Add the Espresso

Once you have your espresso and your water ready to go you will want to slowly pour the espresso into your water, and voila, you have an Americano!

Gear you need to make an Americano

Espresso Machine 

You will need an espresso machine to make the espresso that goes in your Americano. Technically you can make espresso without an espresso machine if you don’t have one, such as with a Moka Pot, but if you’re a fan of getting Americanos and other espresso drinks at your local coffee shop and have wanted to make espresso drinks at home, it might be time to invest in an espresso machine! 

Here is one of our favorites:

[lasso ref=”breville-the-barista-express-espresso-machine-bes870xl” id=”168″ link_id=”2249″]

For more info on our favorite espresso machines, check out our article: The 10 Best Automatic Espresso Machines.

Espresso Beans 

Along with an espresso machine, you will want some espresso beans. Espresso beans are different than other coffee beans because they are roasted longer and you will get a more toasted and deep flavor. So make sure you’re using espresso beans for your Americano! 


We recommend grinding your espresso beans so you have a fresher flavor, plus we think it taste better than pre-ground coffee. Make sure you grind your beans fine for your espresso drink. 

Here is one of our favorite grinders: 

[lasso ref=”shardor-electric-coffee-grinder” id=”317″ link_id=”2250″]

Teapot/ Electric Teapot (Optional)

To make an Americano you will need to boil your water. You can do that by putting a teapot on the stove or by using an electric teapot.

Or you can even skip the gadget and put a mug of water in your microwave for a few minutes. However you want to boil your water is totally up to you! 

Brief History of the Americano

The Americano originated in Italy by American soldiers. The soldiers were stationed in Italy during WWII and wanted a coffee that tasted like the black drip coffee they were used to drinking in the United States.

So, they would order an espresso shot with water at the local Italian coffee shops, and thus, the Americano was born. They brought the drink back home with them to the United States and it’s been a popular drink among Americans ever since. 


Do you put milk in an Americano?

No, you will put water in an Americano. Putting milk with espresso would make it a latte which is a different drink. 

How much water is needed to make an Americano?

Twice the amount of espresso. An espresso shot is one fluid ounce so you would use two fluid ounces of water. The ratio is 2:1 water to espresso fluid ounce.

Is an Americano stronger than a latte?

It would be equal. Most Americanos come with 1-2 espresso shots which is the same as a latte. The espresso shots are the same in both a latte and Americano the biggest difference is an Americano is made with water and a latte is made with milk. 

What is a double Americano?

A double Americano is an Americano made with two shots of espresso. 

Why is it called an Americano?

The full name of the drink is a Caffé Americano which is Italian for American coffee. Which was believed to be created in WWII in Italy by American soldiers who wanted coffee that tasted like the coffee they had back home in the United States.