Is Americano Black Coffee?

Americano is one of the most popular coffee drinks in the world. However, there is some confusion about what exactly it is. Is Americano black coffee? What is the difference between Americano and regular black coffee? Read on to understand the distinction between the two.

Is Americano Black Coffee?

No, Americano is not black coffee. While the two types of coffee might look the same physically, they differ in terms of preparation, taste, ingredients, and even caffeine content.

Coffee in a transparent mug placed on coffee table

Americano is made by adding hot water to espresso. This creates a coffee with a weaker flavor and less caffeine than regular espresso. Black coffee, on the other hand, is made by brewing ground coffee beans in hot water. This produces a stronger-tasting coffee with more caffeine.

What Exactly Is Americano Coffee?

An Americano is simply an espresso that has been diluted with hot water. The proportions of water to espresso can be adjusted to taste. However,  a typical Americano has one or two shots of Espresso with 6 ounces of water. This makes it weaker and less flavorful than the original espresso.

The ideal way to make Americano coffee is to pour Espresso first then the hot water. If you pour water first then Espresso, the coffee is referred to as Long Black and might have a slightly different taste than the original Americano.

While Americano is usually taken as it is, you can also add milk. Americano with milk is known as a white Americano or a Misto and may look like a latte. One of the reasons why Americano is confused with black coffee is because the two names are often used interchangeably at Starbucks. However, as you will see below, they can be quite different.

What Is the Difference Between Americano and Black Coffee?

While Americanos and a black cup of Joe might look similar, they have several key differences. The two mostly differ in terms of:

  • Brewing method
  • Taste
  • Caffeine content
  • Ground size
  • Ingredients

Brewing Method

Americano is usually made by adding hot water to espresso. On the other hand, black coffee is brewed by adding ground coffee beans to hot water.


The brewing method affects the taste of the coffee. Americano has a weaker flavor because it is diluted with hot water. Black Joe has a stronger flavor because the grounds are directly extracted in hot water.

Person reading a book with a snack and a coffee

Caffeine Content

Although the standard Americano and black java might have the same amount of coffee, this usually changes based on the amount of water used. So, in most cases, you will find that black coffee has more caffeine than Americano.

Ideally, an Americano has between 94-150 mg of caffeine depending on the espresso to water ratio used. On the other hand, the same cup of black Java might have more than 120mg of caffeine.

Ground Size

Espresso is made using a very fine ground while regular coffee uses a coarser grind. The grind size has an impact on the extraction rate and, therefore, the taste and caffeine content of the coffee.

Americano coffee also uses specifically espresso beans and not regular beans.


The most common ingredients in Americano are espresso and hot water. However, you can also add sugar and milk if you want a mellower flavor. However, for black coffee,  the only ingredients are ground coffee beans and hot or cold water.

Which Is Better Between Americano and Black Coffee?

The answer to this question is subjective as it depends on your preferences. If you want a stronger drink with more caffeine, then a black cup of Joe is the better option.

If you want something weaker and mellower, then Americano is the way to go. You can also add milk or sugar to Americano to adjust the taste to your preference.

Related Questions

Is Americano Sold at Starbucks?

Yes, Americano is sold at Starbucks. You might usually find it under the name Caffe Americano. If you buy white Americano, it will come with about 15 calories. You can also choose the flavor, toppings, and sweeteners you prefer.

Person stirring her own coffee

Is Americano Coffee Healthy?

Americano is just as healthy as regular coffee. If you are sensitive to or don’t want too much caffeine, you can always use more water to dilute it. On the other hand, if you are lactose intolerant, you should avoid white Americano which comes with milk.

Is Americano Good for Weight Loss?

Yes, Americano without milk can help you lose weight. According to experts, this coffee can help you burn calories 11 times faster than regular coffee. However, you should depend solely on it to reduce weight.


Americano and black coffee are two popular types of coffee. While they might look similar, they differ in terms of brewing method, taste, caffeine content, ground size, and ingredients. Americano is usually made by adding hot water to espresso while black Joe is brewed by adding ground coffee beans to hot water.