The debate: Is the Cafe' Americano best when espresso is added last or when pulled directly into the cup? Opinions?

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It HAS to be added afterwards...into water that isn't TOO hot (I like 190ish, and will add a little cold water to the bottom of the cup before adding water from the Fetco tower).

The worst thing is pulling a shot and then blasting boiling water to the shot from the espresso machine.

Do a side-by-side comparison both ways and you'll easily taste the difference.
I need to definitely pour the shots onto the hot water. You can pull them directly on top of your prepped cup with water in it, but never put the water over your shots. I usually pull one shot into my prepped cup and the other in the shot glass to make sure everything looks right and is on time. that also eliminates another step in having to pour the other shot over the water. it's not much time saved but when you have a line out the door, any spare second helps! and when you are pouring the shots over your hot water, tilt the cup and pour it slower so your crema stays intact and covers the top of the drink. no one wants to see a blacked out americano! I also think the water, if possible, should never come from your machine. better from a coffee brewer or hot water tower. if it seems too hot, add a couple of ice cubes or cool water beforeyou pull your shots.
See also same past discussion BGA Open Forum
Presentation is important hence the crema on top. Having said that if you pour water along the side of the cup it is possible to have th espresso in the cup first and keep the crema intact. As the water cools the flavours really start to show...
The great debate, I would say that we pull shots and gently lay them atop 180 degree water. So the crema is visible and floating for the customer. I have a few customers who order the beverage as a start to finish lungo shot of espresso. It's time I tried the difference to determine which I prefer. To add to it the shots pulled start to finish in the cup on free pour until the beverage cup is full show a lot of the over-extraction signs we are steered away from serving...
Espresso last!

And please don't skimp... 2 shots for 8oz, 2 or 3 for 12z, 3 or 4 for 16z, 4 or 5(?!?) for 20z...

Brady said:
Espresso last!

And please don't skimp... 2 shots for 8oz, 2 or 3 for 12z, 3 or 4 for 16z, 4 or 5(?!?) for 20z...
So funny...I would say the exact opposite. I don't like the way it tastes when added last, and definitely not directly into the water. We pull our shots directly into the cup, then using a second cup, fill it with hot water and carefully pour the water down the side of the first cup, being careful to "slide" the water down the side and under the espresso. This has the effect of preserving the crema, while still mixing the two elements together. Never use the water from the espresso machine, use the hot water dispenser from your drip brewer. Also, let the hot water cool to about 190 first. (Wait about 10 seconds from dispensing).

Out of curiosity, how do you prefer to make it?
J. Valenta (JavaJ, foo') said:
Out of curiosity, how do you prefer to make it?

Similar to other methods mentioned here.
Pull hot water from the drip brewer spout into cup before pulling shots.
Pull standard normal 2oz doubles into shotglasses (unless it is an 8oz here mug, then right on the water). Our machine is an old lowrider Astoria and no togo cups fit under the spouts :(.
Swirl, then add the shots gently to the top of the now-cooler (180ish) water in the cup. I lose quite a bit of crema, but not all.

Why not use the water from the dispenser on the espresso machine?
Many have stated 180 degree water what is the temp coming out of the water tap an the espresso machine? Where are you getting your 180 degree water from?
Can one shot be puled directly into the cup already containing the water portion (like Rebecca stated) and then top with the second shot (like many of you have stated)? Thus allowing some mixing and still providing the creama from the second shot?
No wasted second shot because they both need to be in there... some creama, some mixing???
If you are pulling the water first and letting it cool, there isn't a temperature reason not too. It'll be right at boiling when it comes out though - 210ish at the tap?, vs drip brew water reservoir temp - 200ish. YMMV, so check it yo-self.

Another consideration is taste. If you don't pull out much water from the tap during the day, the water in the espresso machine boiler can get kinda funky. Compare that with water in the drip reservoir that sees changeover in gallons over the course of a day. Taste the two side by side - both hot plain, in americano (with same water temp), and cooled to room temp.

Pulling directly in, dumping on, or topping with water looks to me to mix equally well... make one in a clear cup and watch what happens.
I had a deja-vu moment. Isn't this being discussed on another thread, as well. I remember posting about it, but didn't see my post. Certainly I am not getting THAT old, that I would be losing my mind! ;-)

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