I've heard opinions of coworkers and barista buddies, but I have yet to see what the community at large thinks is the correct way to serve an americano.


Is it better to float the shots on top of the water or pour water over the shots (tilting the cup and pour like one would a beer to preserve the crema)?




Any tips or insights would be appreciated!

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water first...shots on top. both for iced and hot americanos
Jimmy is 100% correct.
Awesome, thanks for the clarification guys! Now, I always like to know the "why" behind the answer, so what is the reason for the floating shots, preserves the crema better? Thanks again.

I float the shot on top because someone on the internet once told me that was the right way to do it :)


Which way do YOU think tastes better, Stephen? How about aroma? Appearance?


Did you taste blind to remove any preconceptions?


There are a couple of great threads here on building americanos that go into great detail. I personally do water first, shots last, making sure to use water that isn't too hot. I also like to make them strong enough - an 8oz double is good, a 6 oz even better.


I'm not convinced that shots first or shots last is really relevant from a taste perspective, however the presentation (especially if you pull the shots right on top) is nicer. It certainly is not part of an "official definition". An americano is simply espresso with enough hot water to make a beverage of around the same strength of drip coffee.


Pulling shots on top does preserve the flecking in the crema, so makes it look nicer. It may also discourage mixing, giving you a more concentrated first sip... but I think that is negligible.

I'm a pretty avid americano drinker. Mostly Iced Americanos with sparkling water instead of regular water.

I used to add shots first, then ice, then water. Tasted fine, but just like Brady mentioned...I learn things through the internet as well...so i taste tested. I then poured iced inside the cup leaving only 10-15% of room, then i pour water in, then shots on top. I do taste a significant taste difference, for the better. However, I drank it with the lid off so i'm not drinking it from the bottom of the cup...i'm not sure if it makes a difference for customers since for iced americanos, I put the lid on and give them straws. I should taste test that actually.


For hot americanos, you get the crema on top that would make the first few sips amazing. Also, it's good presentation. If you were to put the shots in first for a hot americano, then hot water on top....it doesn't look that great. So for me...even if it doesnt make a taste difference whether you add the shots first or last, presentation prevails. 


I've noticed that the Americanos are becoming quite popular. And I've learned it as:

Hot- hot water then shots(preserve crema)

Cold -Cold water, ice, shots and quick stir.

*What do you guys feel is a good balance for % water and espresso? how about a 12 oz. 16 oz and 20 oz Americanos? It seems inconsistent in taste when I order 12oz vs 20 oz.

it should be 2 shots for a 12 oz, 3 shots for a 16oz, 4 shots for a 20oz. Ice should be filled the cup up to 75-80% of the cup...then when you pour water over the ice it melts it a bit...then when you put the shots on top it'dll be good


Water:Espresso, I do 3:1 to 5:1 for a standard americano. Double espresso with enough water to make a 8-12 oz drink. Scale that to use 2 or 3 shots for a 12 oz, 3 or 4 for a 16 oz, 4 or 5?! for a 20oz.


That said, my favorite way to have this drink is as a double in a 5-1/2 tulip. I wouldn't put it on a menu as an americano though. The guys that introduced me to this called it a "long black", and I like that.

Trish said:


*What do you guys feel is a good balance for % water and espresso? how about a 12 oz. 16 oz and 20 oz Americanos? It seems inconsistent in taste when I order 12oz vs 20 oz.

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