Americano vs. Coffee: Ingredient, Caffeine & Nutrition Differences

Americano vs. Coffee: Ingredient, Caffeine & Nutrition Differences

This article is going to explore the difference between americano and coffee. Are they the same thing? If not, what exactly sets them apart from one another? 

If you have ever stumbled out of bed early in the morning after barely catching any z's the night before, caffeine may be the only thing on your mind. Tired mothers everywhere daily chant the “coffee is how I get through the day” mantra. However, it's not just mothers who enjoy the energizing effects of caffeine on our minds and bodies; according to NCAusa, more than 7 out of 10 Americans drink coffee every week, and more than half of Americans drink it daily. Many of these coffee lovers don't stop at one cup a day; no, statistics show that numerous Americans drink over three cups a day! Therefore, it's safe to say most people aren't coffee novices. Yet, all the different titles can be confusing if you do not drink a specific type regularly or ever.  

What is Coffee?

Before we dive into the main differences between americano and coffee, let's discuss what each one is separate. What is coffee, exactly? 

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Well, this magical energizer actually comes from a tropical coffee plant. The seeds are cultivated, ground, and roasted to make the drink numerous people love. The origin of the coffee plant dates back to the 15th century in Africa.

There is no concrete answer to when and how the discovery of the delicious coffee bean came about, though a legend surrounds its origin! 

This legend states that there was a man who herded goats. His name was Kaldi. So, Kaldi's goats were eating this strange berry, and their behavior was quite baffling. Basically, they weren't acting like goats typically acted. So, with no regard for his own health, this brave goatherder ate those magical berries. The effect was absolutely amazing! He loved the stimulating effects he experienced so much that he shared it with all the people around him, and thus, we now have the coffee we all enjoy so greatly! Now, of course, this is a myth or legend, as I stated before. The actual origin of the coffee bean discovery may never come to light. 

One thing we do know for sure is that coffee is very popular. In fact, it is one of the top three drinks that countless people enjoy worldwide. 

There are Many Different Ways to Make Coffee

Since coffee is very popular, it should come as no surprise that there are many different ways to make it. However, we will just cover the most popular ways in this article. 

  1. Drip Coffee Maker: The drip coffee maker method is by far the most popular method in homes. This is because it is quick and efficient. Not to mention, anyone can essentially learn how to work a coffee maker! 
  2. The French Press: The French Press method forgoes the filter altogether. Hot water is poured over the grounds in the press, and the coffee is brewed from there. Then, after it sits for several minutes, a plunger is used to push the grounds to the bottom of the French Press. Viola, the result is a rich and delicious coffee. 
  3. The Pour-Over Method: This method gives the coffee maker much more control over the coffee's flavor and strength. You will place a filter cone over a carafe or coffee cup to use the pour-over method. The coffee grounds sit inside the filter cone, and hot water is poured over the coffee grounds. You control the amount of water poured, how much, how fast, and how many times. This allows you to better cater your coffee to precisely what you want it to be. 

There are several other ways to brew coffee, but these three are the most popular! 

Coffee Brewing
There are several different ways to brew coffee. One of the more popular ways is to use a French Press. This method will produce a strong and delightfully tasty drink that will wake you right up!

©/ via Getty Images

What is Americano? 

To understand what an Americano is, you must first know what an espresso shot is. An espresso is a very concentrated “shot” or ounce of caffeine. These shots are typically one ounce or two. Espressos have more caffeine than a typical coffee ounce. On average, an espresso shot has between 50-60 mg of caffeine, and a double shot can have up to 160 mg. A cup of drip coffee contains around 8-16 mg of caffeine per ounce. Of course, technically speaking, an espresso shot and a cup of freshly brewed coffee have roughly the same amount of caffeine. No one ever drinks just one or two ounces of plain coffee! 

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An espresso is made by blasting very hot water through coffee grounds that have been finely ground. 

Now, on to what an americano is. An americano is more or less a watered-down espresso shot. It contains one or two shots of espresso and very hot water. That is it. Also, it takes less time to make than a pot of coffee if your espresso shots are already on hand! 

Korean food dishes Iced Americano Coffee
An americano drink consists of one or two ounces of espresso and very hot water. It is quick and simple to make and is delicious!

©Hyeong-Taek Lee/Shutterstock.com

Americano vs. Coffee: Ingredients, Caffeine, and Nutrition Differences 

While americano and coffee look almost equal on the surface, some differences set them apart. These differences are the ingredients, process, and the flavor. 

What are the Ingredient Differences Between the Two? 

The first difference lies in the ingredients that each one uses. You only need two essential ingredients when making either of these caffeinated drinks. With a pot of coffee, you need coffee beans and hot water. You need one or two shots of espresso and hot water with an americano.

While the ingredients are similar, the processes are different. Americano is a faster form of making a coffee drink. One of the most basic ways of making an americano involves pouring very hot water over the espresso. With coffee, the coffee beans have to be saturated with hot water in order to make the drink. Therefore, it takes longer to make black coffee than an americano. 

Does Americano or Coffee Have More Caffeine? 

In an eight-ounce cup of black coffee, there is around 95 mg of caffeine, though this amount can vary depending on several factors, including type of coffee grounds, roast, and more. A cup of americano will have around 95-150 mg of caffeine. This is based on the americano being made with two shots of espresso. Therefore, the answer to this question is it depends. Coffee and americano can have roughly the same amount of caffeine depending on many factors.  

Aerial view of various coffee
Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. In America specifically, statistics show that 7 in 10 Americans drink coffee at least once a week. In addition, the average coffee drinker will consume three or more cups of coffee a day!


What Does Coffee and Americano Taste Like? 

Black coffee has a mild, strong flavor but is not too biting. It is also smooth in texture. Coffee can taste different depending on the coffee grounds used if any flavoring has been added, and even the type of beans. Various notes in different coffee grounds can taste distinct, including spices or even berries. 

Some may describe black coffee as too tart or bitter. With americano drinks, that bitterness is not quite as sharp. However, the flavor is stronger than typical black coffee because it is made with espresso shots. The flavor will have a touch of an earthy flavor and nuttiness to it as well. 

Which One is Healthier? 

Over the years, there have been ongoing debates about the health benefits of coffee. One of the main reasons people love coffee so much is its energizing effects on a person. However, did you know there are more benefits to drinking coffee than just its effect on our energy level? 

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Some studies point to the possibility of coffee helping lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, depression, and certain liver conditions. Other than these possible benefits, coffee contains important nutrients that we need. If we need them, we may as well drink something we enjoy to get them, right? Here are a few nutrients that coffee contains:

  • Folate 
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B1
  • Manganese 
  • Potassium 
  • Vitamin B2

These nutrients are excellent; however, another benefit coffee offers is antioxidants. Our bodies need antioxidants because they fight against free radicals. When the fight against free radicals occurs, you are helping your body fight diseases and aging. 

While all these benefits are great, it is important to remember that caffeine is a stimulant, and any stimulant can become addictive. Too much of a good thing can still be a bad thing. Therefore, while coffee and americano taste great and are excellent at giving us a boost when we need it the most, be sure to pay attention to how much coffee you consume daily. The FDA has stated that anywhere from 400 milligrams and under is generally considered safe for a healthy adult to consume. 

Nutritional comparison chart between americano and coffee

In Conclusion

Although they look similar, a few differences set americano and coffee drinks apart from one another. First, their ingredients differ. Americano is made with one or two shots of espresso and hot water. In contrast, coffee is made with coffee beans and hot water. The processing methods are also different between the two. Both americano and black coffee have an earthy and nutty flavor that is rich and sometimes too intense. However, black coffee isn't as strong as americano drinks. However, when it comes to the amounts of caffeine that each one has, they do not vary significantly from one another.

Regardless of the difference between americano and coffee, one fact remains. Coffee is a very popular drink that gives many people the boost of energy they so greatly need every morning. Whether you enjoy an americano drink that is quick and simple to make or the typical pot of coffee, you cannot go wrong! So, dress your caffeinated drink up any way you prefer, and get ready to crush the day before you! 

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