Long Black VS Americano – What are the differences?



Americano was a creation by American solders and geared toward American taste. Then from Down Under, in New Zealand and Australia, Long Black Coffee should be the equivalent. These two famous drinks have the same components: espresso and water. But how it is made, served, and the flavor profile can be different on some levels. This post will show you all the differences between Long Black Coffee and Americano.

What is long black coffee?

Long black coffee is a common espresso-based beverage in Australia and New Zealand. It is made from pouring two shots of espresso over hot water. People mostly enjoy long black coffee served hot, especially during the chilly winter months, but it can be served cold as well.

In the past, Australian mainly drinks tea. People believe that long black coffee is a creation by Italian who moved to the country. It has a bold flavor but lighter than an espresso. The drinks are well-received by Australian and also become a typical drink in a neighboring country, New Zealand.

We should not confuse long black coffee with a long espresso. A long espresso is made with more hot water than a regular espresso, sometimes double the amount. That results in a coffee that has a less sweet, less intense, but more bitter taste. Most of the bitterness comes from the extended extraction period, where bitterness-causing components have a chance to dissolve into the coffee.

What is Americano?

Americano is a short form of caffè Americano which mean American Coffee. It is invented by American Soldiers in Italy during World War II to replicate the familiar taste of their coffee back home in America. It is made by adding hot water over to a cup of espresso coffee.

The strength of Americano depend on the number of espresso shot used as well as amount of hot water added.

Today Americano is available widely most of coffee chains around the world as well as local coffee shop with espresso machine.

Long Black VS Americano

Americano and long black coffee both have two main components: espresso and water. It can be quite hard to distinguish them. But we can break down their differences based on the way it is made, the taste and caffeine content.

The way it is made

Americano is generally made by pouring hot water over one or more shots of espresso. Long black coffee, on the other hand, is made the opposite way by pouring one of more shots of espresso over hot water. Most barista uses two shots of espresso – double ristretto for long black coffee. A bit more care is needed when making it not to destroy the coffee crema layer.

The number of espresso shots and hot water varies from place to place. But it is common to see they use more hot water in an Americano compared with a cup of long black. The more water use, the more diluted the coffee will be.

The critical component in both Americano and long black is the espresso. There are various ways to make a shot, from a traditional espresso machine, stove-top espresso maker, or modern espresso machine. The quality of the coffee beans or ground coffee will affect the taste of the espresso. Therefore, it affects the taste of Americano and a long black since espresso is its main element.

The taste of Long Black vs Americano

Long black coffee retains the coffee crema, floating on top of each cup that so many people enjoy. It tends to have a stronger flavor and slightly sweeter taste compared with an Americano.

It is crucial to remember the order of making a long black coffee: hot water first, then espresso. That way you would not lose the beautiful crema on top, or end up with a cup of Americano when what you want is long black coffee.

The taste of coffee depends on the coffee beans, the roasting levels and brewing method. For coffee like Americano and long black, the ratio of espresso versus water will also alter the taste.

Caffeine content

Caffeine content in Long Black vs Americano is also one of the most popular questions among coffee drinkers. And here is your answer.

As both coffee are made with espresso shot and hot water. Thus the difference in caffeine content is based on number of espresso shot. As for that, it changes from brand to brand. Some coffee shops have their small 6-8oz cup of Americano made with 1 shot of espresso while the same size cup of Long Black made with 2 shots. Other coffee shop might treat these 2 coffee drinks equally by using the same number of shots for the same size.

Furthermore, the type of coffee beans use might also contribute to the differences in the caffeine content between long black and Americano.  However since they are both black coffee thus they are usually brewed with the same coffee beans.

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