We all know the experience of standing in a coffee shop, staring at the menu, unsure of what to order. Americanos and lattes are two delicious espresso-based coffee beverages, but they’re different.
An americano is a strong black coffee, whereas a latte is much milkier. Both are delicious and your choice between them just comes down to preference.
We’ll be looking at the similarities and differences, as well as some common variations of each.
So what is an americano coffee? An americano is a coffee beverage made with one part espresso and two parts hot water. You can use either a single or a double shot of espresso and top it off with water.
This creates a strong beverage, where the harshness of the espresso is diluted by the hot water. An americano is milder than an espresso, but still has the prominent taste of espresso.
An americano lets you enjoy your drink for longer than a traditional espresso because of its larger size. This means that it takes longer to cool down and for you to drink.
It’s also less bitter than an espresso, thanks to the hot water diluting the strong taste. You still get the intense taste of the espresso, however, unlike drip coffee.
The difference between an americano and a drip coffee is that an americano has an espresso base, whereas drip coffee is a more diluted coffee that’s brewed over a longer time.
The history of the americano coffee is that it was created by American soldiers in Italy who wanted to make espresso taste more like the drip coffee they were used to.
In fact, the full name, “caffè Americano,” translates to “American coffee” in Italian.
Luckily, this delicious drink is easy to make at home, as long as you have a good americano recipe.
One important part of an americano is that you start with the espresso and then add the hot water.
The difference between an americano and a long black is the order in which you add the ingredients. A long black consists of two parts hot water with an espresso on top.
You can change up the ratio if you want to. Some people do three parts of water for a lighter coffee taste.
An americano is traditionally served black, so if you want an americano coffee with milk, what you actually want is called a “white americano.”
Normally, americanos are hot, but you can also make an iced americano coffee by adding ice and cold water instead of hot water.
A latte is an espresso-based coffee made with one part espresso and two parts steamed milk.
Unlike an americano, a latte contains no added hot water and is made with just espresso and milk.
This beverage has a milder and sweeter taste than an americano. The heat brings out the natural sugars in the milk, creating a delicious sweet treat.
The latte is a shortening of the original name caffè e latte, which means “coffee with milk” in Italian.
If you go to Italy and just ask for a ‘latte,’ you might end up with a glass of milk, so make sure you know the full name.
The most traditional Italian version is made with hot milk rather than steamed milk, but you will find it with steamed milk in most places around the world.
A similar drink is the French cafè au lait. Both translate to “coffee with milk.” These drinks can be considered mostly interchangeable
Lattes are similar to cappuccinos, but there are a few key differences. A cappuccino is made with one part espresso, one part steamed milk and one part foamed milk, whereas a latte is just espresso and steamed milk.
The cafè mocha is actually a variation of the latte, flavored with either cocoa powder and sugar or with chocolate syrup.
It’s common to have a flavored latte, as the milk creates a milder taste that’s a good base for flavorings.
One way to do this is with coffee syrups, but another way is to use flavored beans, like the Lifeboost Gingerbread Latte beans.
This results in a delicious flavored beverage while still providing you with the highest quality coffee beans. Opting for flavored beans also cuts down on the calories in your drink, unlike loading up on sugary syrups.
You can also enjoy your latte iced by adding cold milk and ice cubes instead of hot steamed milk.
Choosing The Right Beans
With an espresso-based drink, the flavor of the beans is prominent. This means that choosing the right beans is super important.
When selecting beans, you want to go for a dark roast to get a rich and robust flavor, like the Lifeboost Dark Roast.
Espresso refers to the way you brew the coffee, not the beans you use. To make espresso, you need an espresso machine that uses high heat and pressure to extract very concentrated coffee that is a great base for many delicious drinks.
Both Americanos and lattes can be made as decaf drinks, using Lifeboost Organic Decaf Coffee.
Which Is Best For You?
So now you understand the difference between an americano and a latte. Both contain the same amount of caffeine (around 68 mg), so the choice mostly comes down to taste.
If you want the bold, strong taste of espresso, an americano is a good choice. It’s slightly milder than an espresso and allows you to savor the drink rather than having to drink it fast.
On the other hand, a latte is perfect if you’re looking for a creamy, milky drink. It has a much milder taste than either an espresso or an americano and offers a smoother taste.
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