How to Order an Americano

A regular cup of joe may not do the trick in the morning; it could be stale or burnt and end up tasting bitter. Perhaps you need a drink not too bold and filled with flavors, like an Americano. Therefore, you’d need to know how to order an Americano.

How to Order an Americano

An Americano is brewed by adding hot water to a single espresso or double if you want it stronger. If you’re going to order an Americano at Starbucks, you should understand Americano cup sizes.

An image of iced americano

Short (8 Ounces)

At 8 ounces, the short is the smallest size for a drink. It’s rarely displayed on the menu so few people know about this cup size. An Americano in this size comes with a single shot of espresso which is about 0.25 ounces of ground coffee and less caffeine compared to a double.

Tall (12 Ounces)

On the Starbucks menu, Tall, with 12 ounces, is considered small. If you’re ordering a Tall Americano, you can expect double shots of espressos diluted with water. This order typically tastes stronger because a double espresso uses 0.49 ounces which means there’s more caffeine in it.

Grande (16 Ounces)

Grande translates to large, however, in Starbucks it means medium. A Grande Americano contains three espresso shots and takes more time to make. This is because, for a shot of espresso, a barista uses ground coffee for one brew and extracts the coffee just once. For double or triple shots of espressos, the process is repeated twice and thrice respectively.

Venti (20 Ounces)

At 20 ounces, Venti is regarded as the Starbucks large. It’s the second largest on their menu. A Venti Americano contains 4 shots of espressos.

Regardless of these cup sizes, you can personalize your Americano to have more or fewer espresso shots based on your preference. You can also adjust the taste by simply adding water. It’s still an Americano irrespective of the amount of water used to tone down the taste.

Variants of Americano You Can Order

There are multiple types of Americano you can order based on your preference. You could choose to tone it down with water or decide to include sweeteners that would alter the taste of your drink. These additions are what constitute variations in Americano.

Americano With Half-and-Half

Adding water to shots of espressos to make an Americano may help cut out the bitter taste of coffee, however, it may still be considered bitter for some. An Americano with half-and-half, also known as a Breve, is a perfect way to cut out the bitterness and another way to order an Americano.

For this order, ask the barista for a Short Americano double shot with half and half and specifically request for the half and half to be streamed in. This keeps your Americano steaming up and produces a latte-esque flavor.

A close-up image of Americano coffee

Americano Misto

If you prefer the constituents of your Americano perfectly leveled, you can order an Americano Misto. An Americano Misto is created by combining equal shots of espresso and equal parts of water with steamed milk. For example, if you order 3 ounces of espressos and 3 ounces of water, you have successfully created an Americano Misto.

It’s one of the many ways to reduce the strong taste of an Americano. With the steam milk, you don’t have to order a cappuccino or a latte. Also, you don’t have to worry about how to make an Americano Misto. You can make this delicious coffee with espresso coffee, hot water, and steamed milk.

Iced Americano

An Iced Americano is simply a version of an Americano with ice. The ice makes it a watered-down espresso which is somewhat similar to a brewed coffee. It’s made by combining espresso, ice, and cold water. 

You can easily make an Iced Americano by adding shots of espressos to chilled water. However, in Starbucks, Iced Americanos are made by adding chilled water to espresso shots. The taste is unaltered and always the same regardless of the process. You can order it in tall, grande, or venti.

You should note that an iced Americano is different from an iced coffee. The difference reflects in taste and is apparent in the brewing method too. An Iced Americano is made with an espresso while Iced Coffee is made with hot brewed coffee. The former often has crema because it’s made with espresso.

Why You Should Order an Americano

You should order an Americano for its distinct smooth texture and mouthfeel. Also, it’s a less caffeinated and bitter drink compared to espresso and drip coffee because it contains less coffee. Its unique mouthfeel texture relies on the coffee beans, roast intensity, and the grind.

The beauty of an Americano is in its flexibility; it’s strong without being bitter, plus you can easily adjust its strength by adding more water. There’s no set amount of water needed to be added to make a coffee an Americano and if you’re unsure about the amount of water, simply ask a barista.

Since an Americano uses the same brewing process as espresso, you’d expect the same concentrated coffee taste. In contrast, it tastes like a richer coffee with an exciting flavor. If you love bold coffee, you should definitely try this out. Additionally, it has an excellent flavor profile similar to traditional coffee with a milk kick.

How to Make an Americano at Home

Making an Americano at home is incredibly easy and it requires a prep time of 2 minutes at most. Some of the ingredients you need include:

  • 16 to 20 grams of espresso grounds
  • 10 ounces of hot water
  • An espresso glass
An image on how to order an Americano

It’s important to note that this recipe yields only one serving. Here are the instructions for making an Americano:

  1. Grind the espresso grounds and extract 2 shots into the espresso glass
  2. Pour the hot water into a cup or mug. Remember to leave some room for the espresso
  3. Pour the espresso into the cup of hot water
  4. Enjoy!

You should add the hot water to your cup before adding espresso shots so the crema can sit beautifully on top of your drink.

Differences Between Americano and Other Coffee Choices

An Americano may appear identical to several coffee choices including drip coffee, brewed coffee, and when milk is added to an Americano, a latte. Most specifically, an Americano is often mistaken for a regular black coffee or a long black. Here are the major differences:

Americano vs Black Coffee

An Americano and a Black Coffee may look the same, however, there are major differences between them. First off, an Americano is made with an espresso machine while a regular black coffee is produced in a coffee/drip machine. The former is typically heavier and has a rich and unfiltered mouthfeel.

Adding milk to a regular black coffee creates Cafe Au Lait while adding milk in an Americano produces Americano Misto. However, you won’t see crema in black coffee like you would in an Americano.

Americano vs Long Black

An Americano and a Long Black are both similar and there are no vivid differences between the two. An Americano is called a Long Black in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of the United Kingdom. Alternatively, a Long Black is called an Americano in the US and parts of Europe.

The minor difference between the two is in their process. Coffee traditionalists say that an Americano is hot water over espresso in a mug while a Long Black is espresso shots over hot water. Regardless, the outcome and the taste are the same. 


You can order an Americano in different sizes (short to venti), with no milk or no steamed milk (American Misto), and with ice (Iced Americano). You can also adjust the strong taste by toning it down with water. It can be enjoyed based on your preference and however you like it.