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In this article, we are going to talk about a very common question about coffee: the differences between Americano and drip coffee.
There are actually a lot of similarities between the two of them, yet they are vastly different.
Here are the differences between an Americano and a Drip Coffee:
The unique taste of each drink and the intricacy of the brewing process is not just a mundane daily ritual, but a joyous, rich experience you will enjoy learning about just as much as doing it.
You will learn to savor the rich, dark taste of an espresso, with its crema as a beautiful garnish. The light and floral flavors of a drip will keep you on your toes and ready to handle anything that comes your way.
We will also talk about the equipment you need to get started at home.Read on as we explore what it means to enjoy and appreciate the Americano Coffee and the Drip Coffee.
Americano coffee is a coffee beverage that you get when you dilute an espresso with hot water.
In this manner, you end up with strength like traditionally brewed coffee, but a totally different flavor.
The strength can vary with the number of espresso shots and the amount of water added. It is a drink of Italian origin, with the term caffé Americano meaning “American coffee.”
It is a belief that the term comes from American GIs during World War II, who would dilute the espresso given to them to recreate the coffee they were accustomed to.
Drip coffee is prepared by pouring water over onto ground coffee beans and allowing it to brew.
You may have heard this called by the names drip brewed coffee, filtered coffee, or ground coffee.
This method of making coffee can be traced back to 1908, as that is when the Melitta Benz Company invented paper filters.
They are still used today, and you might even have them right in your home or office. Drip brew machines came to replace percolators in the 1970s, as percolators are known to over - extract coffee and make it bitter.
While this brew method is popular around the world, it is especially appreciated in Japan, being a central part of coffee culture.
The way in which you grind your beans will affect the flavor of your brew, so it is important to follow the right methods, so you get maximum taste and enjoyment.
It is recommended you invest in a burr grinder, as it grinds up the coffee in a finer way.
This results in a better taste from consistently sized granules. You can find a variety of burr grinders at all price points, and it will be worth it.
You may be curious about why grind size matters. It all comes down to flavor.
Three things play into how your coffee will taste:
CONTACT TIME, EXTRACTION RATE, FLOW RATE.
Contact time is how long the water will come into contact with your coffee.
For a higher extraction, you need less contact time.
Espresso does not require a lot of contact time, and because it has a fine grind, it runs the risk of being over-extracted which can make the taste bitter.
In a finer grind, the flow rate of water is reduced, which means a higher contact time.
If your grounds are too coarse, or contact time is too short, the coffee can come out weak.
To make an Americano, you will need an espresso machine. There exist several types of espresso machines.
There are lots of excellent machines available in the market for home coffee lovers.
Some of these are quite fancy, you might say, and include things like a conical burr grinder, big bean hopper, a steaming wand to froth your milk, and a frothing pitcher.
The machines and equipment included come at all price points, depending on how intricate of a machine you purchase.
You can even look forward to some features like precision dosing for perfect taste, and digital temperature control for a consistent extraction. Some even feature cleaning kits, which will preserve the taste of your drink.
If you would prefer a stovetop espresso maker, you will not run short on options.
You can purchase these espresso makers in multiple cup sizes, making it great for those of us with families that come over or friends that like to linger.
To make a Drip Coffee, you will need a quality drip coffee maker.
No matter which one you choose, you must have the right grind consistency.
After you pick up the drip coffee maker of your choice, make sure to get a nice burr grinder.
It should be noted that some machines come with a grinder already, so be sure to check before buying an extra item.
You can choose machines that turn on automatically according to a timer, so that way your coffee can be ready to go upon waking up.
You can choose from a variety of brew sizes, some pots will hold 12 cups of coffee, for instance.
And some even feature brew strength control, and brew pause, meaning you can pour a cup for yourself and then resume brewing the rest as you go.
Let’s see how the Americano and the drip compare when it comes to caffeine.
Caffeine enters the brew by way of the hot water acting as a solvent.
Other factors include saturation - all grinds have to be saturated for all available caffeine to be extracted.
Water temp can affect the brew too, most suggest 95-105 degrees is optimal.
And as previously discussed, the grind size plays a role too.
Smaller grinds mean caffeine is extracted faster.
In reviewing the Americano, you may have noticed there is a thin white layer of foam on top of the liquid.
You probably wondered just what is that? In short, it is the mark of a great brew.
It is called the crema, and this comes from the oils forced out of the coffee beans during the brewing process.
These oils are important in the sense that they are packed with flavors that make what you’re drinking great.
As the coffee is brewed, fat and oils are emulsified, suspended in tiny air bubbles.
After coffee undergoes the roasting process, it lets out C02 for around 24 - 72 hours afterward.
Coffee that was freshly roasted and then used for brewing will also emit C02 as part of the extraction process.
The presence of crema meant that the bean’s natural fat and oil content was higher, and that it was roasted recently enough that C02 was still being unleashed from the bean.
Naturally, espresso lovers took a great interest in the appearance of crema, because not only did it mean quality, but also freshness.
Yet crema actually tastes quite sour as a result of the C02. Crema may look nice, but it is certainly not everything.
Shots with no crema can be pulled due to roasting methods at the plantation, and some espresso makers aerate coffee during extraction so that it looks like crema is present, but the sour flavor is not.
The fine folks at Seattle Coffee Gear advise you to look at the following factors when thinking about crema.
What Affects the CREMA
Source: Seattle Coffee Gear
All in all, we hope that this article has presented you with the ability to make an informed decision about which coffee is best suited for your individual taste.
It is also dependent upon the time of day, and your mood-some days will call for the dark, rich taste of the Americano, perhaps with an extra shot of espresso.
Other days you will want the light and floral taste of the drip.
Preparing these drinks at home is as simple as finding a machine that fits your budget.
No matter how you spin it, the complexity of these drinks’ flavors and the care that goes into their preparation, from bean to grind to pour, make them an experience, not just a morning ritual.
Which do you prefer? Leave a comment below and tell us.