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What’s the difference between Americano and Black Coffee?

This article looks at the difference between Americano and black coffee. How are these coffees made? How do they taste? And which coffee is right for you?

There are so many coffee drinks available today that it can be difficult to tell the difference. 

There are significant differences between coffee drinks – from taste to amount of milk to caffeine content – so it’s important to know what you’re ordering.

Let’s look at the similarities and differences between Americano and black coffee.

What is an Americano?

An Americano is an espresso coffee diluted with hot water.

The caffè Americano is believed to have originated during World War II, when Italian espressos were diluted to suit the palates of American soldiers based in Italy.

How is an Americano made?

The Americano is a straightforward espresso-based drink that uses hot water to dilute the espresso shot. 

To make an Americano, an espresso is pulled into an empty coffee cup using an espresso machine. Next, water is heated to the same temperature as the coffee and added to the shot.

Typically an Americano will have at least a 1:1 ratio between the espresso shot and hot water, and the hot water must always be added last.

Adding the espresso shot after the hot water makes the coffee into a long black, which differs in taste from the Americano as the crema is not removed by pouring hot water on it.

What is a Black Coffee?

Black coffee is a plain coffee served in a coffee cup with nothing else added. 

Brewing the coffee without milk, cream, sugar, or other additional flavors results in a strong, bitter drink.

Black coffee is popular because of the caffeine boost it gives. It is also low in calories.

How is a black coffee made?

There are many ways to make a black coffee, the easiest being instant coffee that can be made in the home using a kettle, mug, and ground coffee beans.

Other methods include the French press, pour-over, cold brew, or drip coffee.

Each of these offers different flavors, but the essential parts of all black coffees are hot water and ground coffee beans.

The Difference Between Americano and Black Coffee

Americano vs Long Black vs Short Black. Image source: TopCoffee
Americano vs Long Black vs Short Black. Image source: TopCoffee

The difference between an Americano and a black coffee is that an Americano consists of one or more diluted espresso shots, whereas black coffee is any coffee without milk or cream.

To make an Americano, an espresso machine forces hot water through finely-ground espresso beans to make the espresso shots, then hot water is added.

This is different from regular house-brewed black coffee, which is typically made using a drip coffee machine.


The Americano is a bold, smooth drink that can be strengthened by reducing the hot water used to dilute it. 

Adding hot water to the espresso shot also dilutes the oil content, stopping the oil coating the tongue and resulting in a more bitter taste.

The flavor of a black coffee will be dependent on the amount of coffee used, how it is brewed, how the coffee beans are ground, and the roast level.

Well-brewed black coffee should have a slightly sweet taste with subtle notes of spices, honey, and citrus. If it has been brewed correctly, there should not be a bitter aftertaste.


The amount of caffeine in an Americano or cup of black coffee depends on factors like the beans used and the brewing process.

The longer the coffee beans are brewed in water, the more caffeine is released. However, this will also result in a more bitter drink.

A cup of black coffee typically contains more caffeine than an Americano. 

Americano drinkers can use a double shot of espresso when making their coffee if they wish to increase their caffeine intake.

Americano vs. Black Coffee

The differences between an Americano and black coffee are relatively subtle, but they do affect the taste. 

Americano coffee is made by forcing water through finely-ground coffee to make an espresso shot, then adding hot water.

Black coffee can be made in various ways and does not include any additional flavors or sweeteners.

While they have some similarities, they taste different, and trying both will help you decide which suits your palate. 

An Americano offers the opportunity to increase the caffeine levels by having a double shot, whereas increasing the caffeine levels in black coffee can be more complex and result in a more bitter taste.

If you are interested in well-brewed coffee in the comfort of your own home, it can be considerably cheaper to buy the equipment needed to make black coffee rather than investing in espresso machines.

“”Americano Vs Long Black – What’s the difference & how to make each version.” by Artisti Coffee Roasters on YouTube.

Final Thoughts

People that enjoy drinking coffee tend to stick with what they know. However, exploring different types of coffee can open up a new world of possibilities and choices!

The caffè Americano and black coffee are similar drinks, so if you like one, the other is certainly worth exploring.

FAQs – Difference between Americano and Black Coffee

What is the main difference between an Americano and a Black Coffee?

The difference between an Americano and a black coffee is that an Americano consists of one or more diluted espresso shots, whereas black coffee is any coffee without milk or cream.

Can you add anything to an Americano?

Many people like to add milk, cream, sweeteners, or even flavored syrups to make their Americano taste sweeter and give it a slightly different flavor.

Can you add anything to a black coffee?

Changing how your coffee tastes is entirely down to you. If you add milk for a creamier taste, you will no longer have a black coffee. It will have become a white coffee instead.

It is possible to add sugar to black coffee to sweeten it. Alternatively, you could use cocoa powder, vanilla extract, or honey for more natural sweetening.

Can you make an Americano stronger?

You can increase an Americano’s strength by adding more espresso shots. Single or double-shot espressos are the most common, though you can add as many as you like. The strength of an Americano can also be altered by the amount of water used to dilute it.

Can you make a black coffee stronger?

You can add more ground coffee when making coffee to increase the strength, but you run the risk of increasing the coffee’s bitterness.

Can you make Americanos and black coffee at home?

Black coffee is much easier to make at home because the equipment needed is more affordable. 

To make your own Americano, you will need to invest in an espresso machine, which can be costly.

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