Culinary Articles » Coffee

Americano (also café americano) is a style of coffee prepared by adding hot water to espresso, giving a similar strength but different flavor than regular coffee. Like espresso, americano tends to be an acquired taste, and many drinkers prefer it black and unsweetened to fully appreciate the differences in taste from regular coffee. Americano also refers to a cocktail containing martini rosso, campari, and soda.

One popular explanation for the name is that it was originally intended as an insult to Americans, who wanted their espresso diluted. If this is the case, many American coffee drinkers are either unaware of or unfazed by the derogatory nature of the name, even in some cases going so far as to misinterpret americano as being a uniquely American way to drink espresso. Regardless of the true origins of the name, it is clear that americano was not popular in the United States until the explosion of chain coffeehouses, such as Starbucks, in the 1990s. Even now, Americano is far from the most popular coffee drink consumed in U.S. coffeehouses.

Insulting or not, it should be noted that there is some truth to the statement that most U.S. coffee drinkers find espresso too strong to drink straight. American coffeehouses typically serve more latte and cappuccino than espresso, and in particular Starbucks has done well in the energy drink market with "Doubleshot", an espresso-flavored drink blended with milk and sweetened.

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