When making a Caffe Americano, does it matter whether you put the hot water or espresso in first? This is not a complicated drink to make, but I've seen it prepared both ways.

If it does matter, why does the order affect the taste of the coffee?

2 Answers 2


Yes. Adding water to Espresso is considered an Americano. Doing it the other way around is called a Long Black.

According to that article and below sources, the Long Black preserves the crema, whereas the Americano preparation should not. The manner in which the pour is done can contribute more to preserving or destroying the crema than the order. An Americano should have no crema and the crema should be preserved in a Long Black. It is the preservation or destruction of the crema that will affect the taste (and thus the pour) more than the order.

  • 3
    Annihilating the crema changes the amount of tannins in the drink therefore changing the body and mouth-feel of the beverage. That is why it tastes different. Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 0:20
  • Thanks! That makes perfect sense. I am still betting that the pour matters more than the order and that the crema could be preserved either method. But, I am also hoping some experienced barista sounds off about it. Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 0:23
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    I am an experienced barista, and it is about the pour. You can certainly preserve the crema in an americano by pouring the water in very slowly and down the side of the mug/cup. However, this technically isn't a true americano nor is it a true long black. It is a hybrid. To make a good long black, the espresso should be brewed or poured very gently onto the side of the mug, best preserving the crema. An americano should technically have no crema. Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 0:27
  • Perfect! I'll edit the answer as such, thanks! Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 17:38
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    @PatrickSebastien I did not know the pour is an important part of the Long Black-- time to adjust my morning pour! it may be worth editing Chris in AK's answer to add this info in.
    – stevvve
    Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 16:16

An Americano, which is known as a Caffe Americano or a Cafe Americano is a type of coffee created by adding hot water to espresso. It translates as American coffee because it was the way Italian baristas would approximate the taste of drip coffee for American soldiers stationed in Italy during the first and second World War.

Steps while making this Americano

  1. Grind enough espresso beans for 1 1/2 tbsp.

  2. Make sure your espresso machine has enough water to create steam for the coffee.

  3. Begin heating a pot of water on a stove or in an electric kettle, if your espresso machine does not have an attachment that lets you pour hot water.

  4. Place the espresso grounds in the port filter and evenly pack the grounds down with an attachment on the espresso machine or the bottom of a spoon.

  5. Secure the Porte filter to the espresso machine by placing it flush with the machine and twisting to the right.

  6. Press the on switch on the machine and allow the water to heat up if there is a separate switch to turn the machine on and start making coffee.

  7. Place a small espresso shot cup underneath the porte filter.

  8. Press or turn the on switch.

  9. Pour the espresso into a coffee mug.

10.Pour in between 1 and 8 oz.

11.Turn off the espresso machine and enjoy your coffee.

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