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How many shots should an Americano have?


In the United Kingdom, where tea has historically been the hot beverage of choice, coffee culture is undoubtedly on the rise. One coffee drink that has found its way into the hearts of many Brits is the Americano. So, how many shots should an Americano have? The quick answer is that a standard Americano usually contains two espresso shots. However, the perfect ratio can be subjective and depends on your personal taste preferences. In this article, we will dive deeper into understanding the nuances of creating the perfect Americano.


What is an Americano?

The Americano, sometimes known as a “Caffè Americano,” is a coffee drink that originated during World War II. American soldiers stationed in Italy found the local espresso too strong for their liking. To dilute the espresso, they added hot water, effectively creating the Americano.

What is the perfect Americano ratio?

While the definition of a “perfect” Americano can differ from person to person, there are some general guidelines that can be followed:

  • Espresso: 2 shots (approximately 60ml)
  • Hot Water: 120-150ml

These measurements create a 1:2 or 1:2.5 ratio of espresso to hot water, which is often cited as the ideal balance. However, it’s essential to understand that the “perfect ratio” is subject to personal preferences. Some individuals prefer a stronger coffee taste and opt for less water, while others may favour a milder flavour and increase the water content.

“The perfect Americano is not a fixed formula; it is an experience tailored to individual tastes.”

Variables That Affect the Ratio

Various factors can influence the ratio of your Americano, some of which include:

  1. Bean Type: Different types of coffee beans yield different flavours. This impacts the overall taste and strength of your Americano.
  2. Grind Size: The grind size of your coffee can affect extraction, subsequently influencing the coffee’s strength.
  3. Water Temperature: The temperature of the hot water you add also plays a crucial role. A range of 85-95°C is often recommended.

Adjusting the Number of Espresso Shots

The traditional Americano recipe calls for two espresso shots, but there’s room for flexibility:

Number of ShotsDescription
1 ShotFor those who prefer a lighter coffee, using just one espresso shot will deliver a milder flavour.
2 Shots (Standard)This is the conventional choice and offers a balanced taste.
3 ShotsFor coffee aficionados who prefer a robust experience, three espresso shots can provide that extra kick.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the art of crafting the perfect Americano is a personalised experience. It’s about finding the ratio that suits your palate. Experiment with the number of espresso shots, type of beans, and even the temperature of the water until you find your perfect match.

“An Americano is more than just espresso and water; it’s a canvas where you can paint your own coffee experience.”