Simply put, an Americano is a shot of espresso with water, hot or cold your choice. This is traditionally served hot. How it got its name seems to be connected to the US. When American soldiers were in Italy during the second world war, they would order coffee and when they received espresso, it was too strong and would dilute it with water. This "dirty water" (any diluted espresso according to Italians) became the Americano as we know it.
The key to making an Americano is the amount of water added to your drink and how you put it together. About 3 to 4 oz of water is added per shot.
For an iced Americano, use ice-cold water with ice before you pull and pour the shot. Using a whisk or handheld frother will slightly cool down and smooth out the espresso, yet is not necessary. If you like your shot to maintain its strong character, then pour it directly into the cup.
Some will consider a long black (popular in Australia and New Zealand) the same as an Americano and others believe they are different. We will cover that at another time.
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