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Espresso vs Americano – Difference Explained

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The primary difference between espresso and americano lies in their respective brewing techniques. Trust me, I brewed like a million cups of both drinks!

Espresso is prepared by pushing hot water through finely-ground coffee using high pressure, resulting in a small and robust shot with a notable layer of crema atop.

In contrast, americano is made by using a diluted shot of espresso (aka Lungo) and adding hot water to produce a larger drink that is milder in strength.

But what about the flavour, intensity, texture, and more?

Don’t worry. In the rest of this post, I will walk you through the espresso vs americano differences one by one. But first, we need to cover the basics so let’s dive in!

Espresso vs Americano - Difference Explained

The Espresso: A Closer Look

Espresso is a highly concentrated coffee beverage that is brewed by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans using an espresso machine.

The resulting liquid is thick and velvety with a strong, bold flavour and a layer of crema on top. The crema is a golden-brown foam that forms when carbon dioxide is released from the hot water and reacts with the natural oils in the coffee grounds.

Espresso vs Americano Difference

Espresso is typically served in small, demitasse cups. It is enjoyed as a standalone drink or used as the base for other coffee drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos.

Due to its high caffeine content and bold taste, espresso is often associated with a quick pick-me-up or an indulgent treat. But it’s also known for its health benefits, as studies have shown.

The Americano: A Closer Look

An americano is a type of coffee that is made by adding hot water to a shot of espresso. It’s a popular drink in coffee shops across the United States and has also become increasingly popular around the world.

One of the benefits of an americano is that it can be customized by the amount of water or espresso shots added to alter the strength of the coffee.

Americano vs Espresso Drifference

Additionally, it can be made from different coffee bean types and roast levels, making it a versatile drink that can accommodate various preferences. Prefer it iced, with ice cream maybe? No problem!

Espresso vs Americano: Key Differences

As mentioned in the opening lines, the key difference between espresso and americano is the brewing technique. The espresso is made using an espresso machine. The latter is made by adding hot water to the espresso shot.

However, there are other differences such as in taste, intensity, caffeine content and more. Let’s go over those as well.

A significant distinction between these two coffee beverages is the caffeine content. Usually, one shot of espresso contains more caffeine per ounce than a standard cup of americano.

However, the overall caffeine content of an Americano can vary depending on the amount of hot water added to the espresso shot.

When it comes to taste, espresso is known for its rich, bold, and intense flavour. In contrast, americano offers a milder and smoother flavour profile than espresso due to the added water.

How to Choose: Espresso or Americano?

There are several factors that can influence your decision when it comes to choosing between an espresso and an Americano.

If you’re looking for a quick and strong caffeine fix, then an espresso may be the way to go. Since it is a concentrated shot, espresso typically contains more caffeine per ounce than an Americano.

However, if you prefer milder espresso drinks or want a larger serving size, then an Americano may be a better choice.

Difference Between Espresso and Americano

Another consideration is the overall taste profile of the two drinks.

Espresso has a bold, intense flavour that is often described as slightly bitter or nutty. In contrast, Americano has a much milder taste that is similar to drip coffee. šq

So whether you prefer a fast and strong jolt of caffeine or a milder, more customizable drink, both espresso and Americano have their own unique qualities and benefits.


In conclusion, espresso and Americano are two of the most popular coffee drinks available today, and both offer unique advantages.

An espresso is generally stronger than an Americano. By contrast, an Americano provides a more mellow flavour that many people prefer for its smoothness.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which one is right for you. I hope this comparison between espresso vs americano has helped you to learn more!

While you are here, why not learn more about the difference between espresso and ristretto (an even shorter type of espresso drink),

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Author: Ivan Brozincevic

Ivan fell in love with everything about espresso while he was in college back in 2010, so much so that he decided to quit his education and pursue a career as a barista. Today, Ivan has extensive knowledge about espresso, espresso gear, and everything else related and loves sharing it with others who share his passion.

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