Friday, April 11, 2008

Stupid Americanos!

At our new place we have been experimenting a bit with the well-known drink Americano. None of us in the collective have actually been very fond of this drink previously. But now things are looking different.

What we’ve been doing is taking one of our coffees roasted for French Press or filter - in other words a light roasted coffee (end of first pop). Prepare this as a you would normally prepare an Americano and there you have it. Nice oily body, remarkable aromas and loads of sweetness.

The most interesting about this way of Americano is definitely the aromas which we find extremely intense. More intense than any other brew method we have tried for ¨black¨ coffee. (Filter, French Press, Clover ect. )

We have had the best results with our coffee from Kariaini, Kenya. A very light roasted coffee with lots of fruit in the aromas. We dose it 19 grams for a double ristretto 45 ml. in 20 sec. at a temperature of 94,5 degrees Celsius. Fill it up with 95 degrees hot water until the drink is approximately 145 ml.


Please let us know what you think.


MoBak said...

Hi Casper,

I like to make an americano once in a while. I have normally used my espresso blends, but I roasted your Kariaini a week ago, so tomorrow I'll try to use that.

I normally pour my espresso into the water. That way it leaves a crema layer on top, which I like. You've probably tried that, too? Can you elaborate a little on why your oull the shot and add the water afterwards?

Simon Gate said...

I'm not much of a americano drinker but you can still keep the crema if you pour the water really slow onto the espresso.

I haven't tried to do it the other way, do you extract the espresso into the hot water or do you extract the espresso into a can and the pour it into the hot water?

MoBak said...

Hi Simon,

I extract it directly into the hot water.

Casper Engel said...

If You make a good double ristretto the crema should still be on top even if you pour water in it afterwards.

I think for the quality of the ristretto to be at its best. It is best to pour it directly into the cup you plan to drink it from. Just like you would make a cappuccino.
First coffee them fill it up..

Also try to skim the crema off the Americano. This will make the cup even more clean. Have you ever tasted the crema? -it really does not taste any good!

Simon Gate said...

Tried to extract direct into the water. But i thought the water was to hot. The coffe we use now tastes better if you first pour the water into a can so it looses a few centigrades before you pour it over the coffee. And I don't like when the coffee is to hot either, the best is when its 60-70°C.

I will try to skim the crema next time to taste the difference. Thanks for all the tips, love to experiment.

Emily said...

I'm a big 'Americano' or in Australia we call it a "long black' drinker.

Water first, half fill the cup, and allow the double ristretto to mix and drift into the cup.
True, the crema does not taste the best, but underneath is a great cup of coffee.

kr said...

I drink after mixing crema with a spoon.
I feel a double ristretto 45 ml, the extraction by the extraction temperature of 94.5 degrees very interestingly.
I test it in my GS/3!

Roberto Bergami said...

why don't you guys test it the way we make it in belgium and holland.
lighter roast indeed and coarser grind. (for example on a Mahlkonig K30 you grind it on 5 in stead of 2,5)
you take a double filter and give it a 25 second run for 30 cl. perfect!
light but good crema, full taste and for the coffee's higher in acidity (like the Kenya) you get a well balanced taste.

Klaus Thomsen said...

I've now tested the light roasted coffees in the way you described Robert. This is typically referred to as a 'Café Creme'.

I found that although a lot of the aromas was still there it lacked the body, the sweetness and the complexity that the americanos have.

The reason a lot of people put the water first is because they use the hot water outlet from the espresso machine. In a lot of cases this comes out boiling (you can hear it if it does) and then it's a good idea to put it in the cup first, so it drops the temperature a bit before you brew the espresso.

I'd really recommend not using the water from your espresso machine. Very often it doesn't taste very good due to high mineral content in the steam boiler and the fact that it's been boiling for a very long time. We use a hot water tower for french presses and americanos.

Simon, I'll try to let the water cool even further before adding and see what it does.

Roberto Bergami said...

hi Klaus,

Sorry i didn't show at the Dutch BC ... too busy.

Meanwhile i started experimenting with Americano's, the espresso shots on hot water method.
Because i never had satisfying results in the past i gave up, but now after your comment and recent 'Americano news' from New York i gave it a new chance.
And it worked.
The mean reason i wasn't happy in the past was because i didn't have the right shot quality. Mainly worked with blend containing strong Robusta and less tasty beans.
We have better and fresher Singles for the moment and our House blend is build up around a supreme Yirgacheffe and a great El Salvador (Western part of the country nearby the Santa Anna vulcano).
Shots pulled with a naked filter on top of the hot water give very nice fruitiness - a bit like with cupping - and complexity.

The same i noticed with press pots in the past. It's freshness and bean quality that makes the difference.

Thanks for the advice,
See you at the WBC,

Anonymous said...

I recently got in a discussion with my local barista about how to make an Americano. One of us brews the coffee directly into the water, whereas, the other brews into a glass then pours over the water. Our discussion revolved around why each method was better than the other. I don't want to give our reasons until I hear from a non-biased source.
Thank you for you time.

The Coffee Collective said...

As always with these kind of things, I'd recommend you get a third person to brew two cups of each method and have both of you blind taste it. The end taste is all that matters.
The only valid reason I can think of for pouring the water first is if you are using a hot water spout, where the water is extremely hot. Bu pouring it into the cup first it looses temperature.