Battle of the Black: Americano Vs Long Black?

When it comes to coffee, there are many different types and varieties. Two of the most popular types are the Americano and the Long Black. While they may look similar and be brewed in a similar way, these two drinks have distinct differences that make them stand out from each other. In this article, we will compare the Americano vs Long Black to help you decide which is best. We will look at their origins, brewing processes, flavor profiles, and more. So read more about these two popular coffee drinks and how they differ.

What is An Americano?

What is Americano

An Americano is a coffee beverage made by adding hot water to a shot of espresso. The result is a rich, bold, and flavorful coffee that is perfect for those who want a strong coffee but don’t enjoy the bitterness associated with espresso.

It is believed that the Americano originated during World War II when American soldiers stationed in Italy found espresso too strong for their taste. To make it more palatable, they started adding hot water, thus creating the Americano.

You will need an espresso machine, freshly ground coffee, and hot water to prepare an Americano. Begin by pulling a shot of espresso into a cup. Next, add hot water to the espresso, leaving enough room for cream or sugar, if desired. The ratio of espresso to water is typically 1:2, but this can be adjusted based on personal preference.

One thing to keep in mind when preparing an Americano is the importance of using freshly brewed espresso. Stale or bitter espresso will ruin the flavor of the Americano, so make sure you use freshly ground coffee and clean your espresso machine regularly.

What is A Long Black?

What is A Long Black?

A Long Black is a coffee drink made by pouring a double shot of espresso into hot water. It’s similar to an Americano, but the order of adding the ingredients is reversed. With a Long Black, the espresso is poured into the hot water, and there’s no milk added to dilute the taste of the espresso.

Another reason why Long Black is popular is its simplicity. It doesn’t have any fancy flavors or syrups added to it. It’s just a straightforward coffee drink that lets the quality of the espresso shine through. For those who appreciate the taste of coffee and want to savor it without any distractions, Long Black is the perfect choice.

But it’s worth noting that making a good Long Black requires some skill. The espresso shot must be extracted just right, and the hot water must be at the right temperature. If either of these things is off, the Long Black won’t taste as good as it should. That’s why going to a reputable coffee shop or learning to make it properly at home is essential.

Americano And Long Black: What’re The Similarities?

Americano And Long Black: What're The Similarities

Americano and Long Black are popular variations of black coffee made with freshly brewed espresso and hot water. Despite their differences in brewing techniques, they share several similarities.

Both drinks offer a rich, bold coffee flavor that black coffee enthusiasts enjoy. They are also served hot and typically consumed in the morning or as a daily caffeine boost. Furthermore, the amount of caffeine in both drinks depends on the espresso used, making them an excellent option for those needing a quick pick-me-up.

While the brewing technique may differ, Americano and Long Black share many similarities, making them great options for black coffee lovers.

What Is The Difference Between Americano Vs Long Black?

What Is The Difference Between Americano Vs Long Black

Understanding the difference between Americano and Long Black for first-time coffee shop patrons can be daunting. Though these drinks may look similar and include hot water and espresso, the ratios and order of pouring differ significantly.

Americano comes from the Italian word “Café Americano, “meaning American coffee, and is made by pouring the espresso first, followed by hot water, creating two layers with a small amount of cream swirling in between. In contrast, the Long Black is made by pouring hot water into the cup and adding espresso, creating two separate layers.

The Long Black will have a flavor profile and taste similar to the Americano, but the former is slightly stronger due to the espresso sitting on top. The Americano is likened to regular coffee brewed very strongly without the sweetness that espresso naturally has.

Specialty cafes often calibrate their espressos to produce a drink with a unique taste.

Caffeine Content

Americano generally contains less caffeine than Long Black. This is because an Americano’s water-to-espresso ratio is higher than in a Long Black. The water in an Americano dilutes the espresso more than in a Long Black, resulting in a drink with a milder flavor and lower caffeine content. On the other hand, a Long Black has a stronger espresso flavor and higher caffeine content because the espresso is poured over the hot water, allowing it to retain more of its robust flavor.


Both drinks are made with hot water and espresso, but the ratios and order of pouring are different. An Americano is made by pouring hot water over a single or double shot of espresso, while a Long Black is made by first adding hot water to a cup and then adding the espresso shot on top. The difference in the pouring order creates two layers in an Americano, while a Long Black has two separate layers, with the frothy espresso staying mostly on top.

While the two drinks may have a similar flavor profile, a Long Black will be stronger because of the layering of the espresso shot on top and the lack of the mixing of the layers compared to an Americano.


The Americano is made by pouring hot water over espresso, resulting in a diluted coffee that tastes comparably like regular black coffee with the robust notes of espresso. On the other hand, the Long Black is made by pouring espresso over hot water, keeping the crema on top of the drink to create more concentrated coffee. The flavor of the Long Black is slightly more robust than the Americano and is perfect for those who prefer stronger coffee. Depending on the coffee bar and the coffee-to-water ratio used, both drinks contain 68 mg of caffeine.

Ratio Of Coffee To Water

An Americano is made by pouring hot water into a cup with espresso. Typically, a 1:2 ratio of espresso to hot water is used, but some coffee shops may vary this ratio. This makes the Americano taste similar to traditional black coffee but with a sweeter, more laidback taste.

On the other hand, a Long Black is made by pouring an espresso shot on top of hot water. The espresso’s crema is kept intact, which creates a more concentrated flavor for the first few sips and a less robust taste as you approach the bottom of the cup. Like the Americano, a Long Black uses a 1:2 ratio of coffee to water.

Temperature Of The Water

In an Americano, hot water is poured over the espresso shot, whereas in a Long Black, the espresso shot is poured over hot water. This slight variation in the order of mixing can make a difference in the water temperature.

With an Americano, the water is typically hotter as it comes into contact with the espresso shot first. This can lead to a hotter and steamier drink, whereas a Long Black has slightly cooler water because the espresso is poured over the top.

The water temperature can impact the drink’s overall taste and experience, making it essential for coffee lovers to know the difference between Americano and Long Black.

Long Black vs Americano: Which is Better?

Long Black has a richer, stronger taste due to the espresso shot sitting on top. Americano has a more diluted taste due to the water added after the espresso. Overall, the preference for Long Black vs Americano comes down to personal taste and the desired strength of the coffee drink. Both are excellent options for coffee lovers and can be found in specialty coffee shops worldwide.

Read more:

How Is An Americano Made?

American is a simple yet delicious beverage easy to make at home with just a few key ingredients.

To start, you will need 2 shots of espresso. You can make the espresso using an espresso machine, manual espresso maker, French press, or Moka Pot. If you are not sure how to make espresso, don’t worry! Plenty of tutorials online can guide you through the process step by step.

Once you have your espresso ready, it’s time to add hot water. I recommend heating the water using your espresso machine or in a teapot to about 190 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that the water is hot enough to bring out the full flavor of the espresso without scorching it.

Pour the hot water into the espresso, and you’re done! It’s that easy. Of course, you can adjust the amount of water and espresso to your liking. Some prefer a stronger Americano with less water, while others like it more diluted with extra hot water.

How Is A Long Black Made?

First things first, you’ll need to gather your ingredients. The two main components of a long black are roasted coffee beans and hot water. Choosing high-quality coffee beans that are freshly roasted for the best flavor is important. You can either grind the beans yourself or purchase pre-ground coffee.

Once you have your coffee ready, it’s time to fire up your espresso machine. Grind the coffee beans and fill your machine’s portafilter to the brim. Make sure to tamp the grounds down evenly to ensure a consistent extraction.

Next, fill a cappuccino cup about three-quarters of the way with hot water directly from the espresso machine. The water should be hot but not boiling. You want it to be around 200°F (93°C) for optimal flavor extraction.

Now it’s time to pull a double shot of espresso directly into the cup of hot water. The espresso should be extracted slowly and evenly, giving the drink a rich and robust flavor. The crema on top of the shot should be thick and velvety.

And that’s it! Your long black is now ready to serve. The drink should have a deep brown color with a thick layer of crema on top. The flavor should be strong, with a slight bitterness and a smooth finish.

What Role Does Espresso Play In Americano And Long Black Coffee?

What Role Does Espresso Play In Americano And Long Black Coffee

Espresso plays a crucial role in making Americano and Long Black coffee. Espresso gives the coffee its characteristic strong taste. Additionally, the espresso shot’s crema layer on top gives Long Black coffee its creamy texture, differentiating it from an Americano.

While the amount of espresso used may vary between the two drinks, it is still the key component that defines their taste. Therefore, espresso plays a crucial role in making Americano and Long Black coffee.

Can Decaf Espresso Be Used To Make Americano/Long Black Coffee?

Decaf espresso can certainly be used to make Americano or Long Black coffee. Decaf coffee beans are specifically roasted and processed to produce espresso with very low caffeine levels. When making an Americano or Long Black with decaf espresso, the same process is followed as regular espresso. A shot of decaf espresso is pulled, and then hot water is added to create a strong and flavorful drink.

The taste and texture of the decaf Americano or Long Black will be similar to its caffeinated counterpart but with minimal caffeine content. This makes it an ideal choice for people who want to enjoy the rich taste of espresso without the jitters or negative effects of caffeine. It is important to note that the quality of the decaf espresso and water used will greatly affect the taste and overall experience of the drink.

What Types Of Milk Are Typically Used In Americanos And Long Blacks?

What Types Of Milk Are Typically Used In Americanos And Long Blacks

Many people prefer to add milk to their Americano to cut down on bitterness; the preferred type is usually steamed milk. Some may use cream or half-and-half for a richer and creamier taste.

On the other hand, Long Blacks are traditionally made without any milk, but the most commonly used type is whole milk for those who prefer to add some. However, it is important to note that adding milk to a Long Black may affect the unique flavors and characteristics that make it different from other coffee drinks.

Ultimately, the type of milk used in these coffee drinks comes down to personal preference and taste.

How Does The Roast Level Of Coffee Beans Affect The Taste Of Americano And Long Black?

The roast level of coffee beans plays a significant role in the taste of Americano and Long Black. When coffee beans are roasted for a shorter time, resulting in a lighter roast, the beans still contain oils inside and have a high acidity level.

Therefore, the Americano or Long Black made with lightly roasted coffee may taste more toasted and grainy. On the other hand, a darker roast of coffee beans will decrease the acidity level and develop a stronger, more bitter flavor profile. As a result, an Americano or Long Black made with a dark roast of coffee will have a richer taste and more complex flavor notes.

It is essential to consider the roast level of coffee beans when choosing the type of coffee to incorporate into these popular coffee drinks.

How Does The Brewing Method (Espresso Machine, French Press, Filter, Etc.) Affect The Taste Of Americano And Long Black?

The brewing method can heavily influence the taste of Americano and Long Black coffee drinks.

An espresso machine, for example, produces a thicker and creamier result due to the high pressure and short brewing time. A French Press, on the other hand, creates a fuller-bodied coffee with pronounced fruit flavors as it allows more of the coffee bean’s oils to be extracted.

A filter brewing method, such as drip coffee, tends to produce a cleaner and lighter taste profile. When making a Long Black, the order in which the water and espresso are added affects the taste. If the water is added to the espresso, it results in a stronger, more bitter taste. If the espresso is added to the water, it produces a mellower, more balanced flavor.

Ultimately, the brewing method used significantly impacts the final taste of these popular coffee drinks, offering a range of options for coffee lovers to explore and choose from.

What are the Benefits of Drinking a Long Black or an Americano?

What are the Benefits of Drinking a Long Black or an Americano

The consumption of coffee has been linked to various health benefits, including improved brain function and a reduced risk of certain diseases. Drinking a Long Black or an Americano, both types of black coffee can offer several benefits for individuals.

Black coffee is low in calories and contains small amounts of several vitamins and minerals along with plant compounds like caffeine and chlorogenic acid. These compounds have been associated with fighting inflammation, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and even reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, coffee has been shown to help with weight loss and depression and even protect the liver from certain diseases.

Therefore, individuals who drink Long Blacks or Americanos may enjoy these benefits while enjoying a delicious and energizing beverage.

FAQs About Americano Vs Long Black

How Does The Quality Of Coffee Beans Affect The Taste Of Americano/Long Black Coffee?

The quality of coffee beans significantly impacts the taste of Americano and Long Black coffee. The type and origin of the beans used will affect the flavor and aroma of the final product.

Freshly roasted beans from high-quality farms will produce a more distinct and complex taste. On the other hand, low-quality beans or beans that are roasted too long will result in a bitter or burnt taste. Additionally, the beans’ freshness also plays a role in the taste of the coffee. Stale beans can produce a flat and dull taste, while freshly ground beans produce a more vibrant and flavorful cup of coffee.

How Is Latte Different From Americano And Long Black Coffee?

Latte, Americano, and Long Black Coffee are all espresso-based beverages, but they have distinct differences.

An Americano is made by adding hot water to a shot of espresso, resulting in a bold and intense flavor. On the other hand, a latte is made by steaming milk and adding it to a shot of espresso. The milk in a latte provides a creamy and mellow taste that complements the espresso. A Long Black, like an Americano, is made by adding hot water to a shot of espresso, but the water is added first, and the espresso is then poured over, creating a more pronounced flavor.

Long Black also has a higher caffeine content than a latte due to the larger espresso used. Additionally, the texture and mouthfeel differ between the three drinks, with Americanos and Long Blacks having a thinner consistency compared to the velvety texture of a latte.


In conclusion, the Americano Vs Long Black coffee debate is a matter of personal preference. Both coffee drinks are delicious and offer a unique taste experience. So, the next time you’re at a coffee shop, try them and see which one you prefer.


Leave a Comment