Espresso vs. Americano. 4 Major Differences Explained.

Espresso Vs Americano

Two of the most popular coffee options – espresso and americano are widely enjoyed and loved by many around the globe. Even for a coffee aficionado like you, it might be confusing to spot the difference between the two drinks.

So, without further ado, let’s explore and learn what sets them apart.

What is espresso? 

Espresso is a strong and concentrated brew, made from roasted coffee beans. It is nothing but a method of coffee preparation served with ‘crema’ (flavourful, aromatic, and reddish-brown froth). The most prized component of the espresso, crema, indicates the all-around quality of the espresso shot. It forms when the air bubbles combine with the coffee’s oil during the preparation process.


Related read: Espresso shot- Is it stronger than a regular cup of coffee?

Several coffee drinks use an espresso base for their preparation. Many consider espresso – the purest form of coffee to be enjoyed. Its origin is from Italy, where the meaning of the word espresso literally means express or fast.

Related Read: Why is Italian coffee famous?

What is Americano? 

Simply put, an americano is just a diluted form of espresso. Hot water is added to a shot of espresso or vice-versa to make this drink. Americano is most preferable with those who enjoy their espresso for a longer time. 1:1 ratio of the water and espresso is used for americano to avoid over dilution and disruption of the crema.

The difference between Espresso and Americano


Made with a wide variety of coffee beans and roast degrees, the taste of espresso is stronger and more concentrated and is preferred by those who like their coffee strong.

Americano, which is just another variation of espresso, is weaker or diluted in taste, preferred by those who want to enjoy their espresso for long. Although it is confused with drip black coffee, americano has slightly more intensity.

Caffeine Content 

Espresso is stronger and concentrated than americano, making it more caffeinated compared to the latter. One ounce of espresso has roughly 47-64 milligrams of caffeine.

Related readIs a shot of espresso good for you?

Although americano is prepared using a single shot of espresso, most café instead add a double shot which makes its caffeine content higher than espresso. Americano made with a single shot espresso has the same caffeine content. However, when it is prepared using double shot, the caffeine content varies between 194-154 milligrams.


Espresso is just served hot without any additions, and although it is the base of many coffee drinks, it doesn’t have variations. However, it can be referred to in different ways depending on the number of espresso shots. One shot of espresso is known as ristretto, two shots of espresso as doppio and three-shots of espresso as triplo.

Americano has three different variations – Americano, Iced Americano, Long Black, and Lungo.

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Iced-Americano is simply a regular americano, but served over ice. Long Black is prepared in the reverse order of regular americano. Espresso base is added to the hot water for Long Black, whereas for the americano, hot water is added to the espresso base.

Though lungo is considered as a variation of americano, it will be fair to call it just another form of espresso. The espresso extraction requires 30 ml of water for 30 seconds, whereas lungo requires more water, giving the drink more volume alongside extracting the bitter flavours.


The espresso is served in a small cup. The americano, on the contrary, cannot be gulped down once like an espresso, so it is served in a usual-size cup or a latte glass or a large clear glass when served over ice. You can even add sugar or cream to your americano.


So, there you have it, all the details you require to differentiate these two delicious drinks.

Espresso is a method of coffee preparation. Americano, on the other hand, is simply put, a diluted form of espresso. Espresso and americano do share some similarities, such as similar caffeine content and calorie count.

Related read: How many calories are there in a cup of coffee?

Want to enjoy a shot of espresso in an Italian way? Check out our Don Carlos store, where we have an array of premium quality Italian coffee products available in many formats to make a flavourful espresso. The collection of Nespresso compatible capsules contains single-origin espresso (from coffee-producing countries), espresso bar capsules (produces a persistent crema and well-balanced body with sweetness and acidity), and others.

 Our roasted coffee beans include Arabica and high-grade Robusta varieties – a perfect balance of flavour, aroma, and acidity – producing a rich and intense espresso with a thick, silky crema. Espresso Casa, our ground coffee, is specifically designed for the connoisseurs who like to prepare a creamy espresso at home.  

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