Long black Vs. Americano: Differences & Everything You Need to Know

Brewing different kinds of coffee are nothing sorter than artwork. There are many different kinds of espressos, lattes, and other variants. So much so that two simple ingredients – espresso and hot water- can make two very different kinds of coffee. So what’s the big deal with this Long Black vs Americano debate?

Americano is a variant of espresso coffee that caters to the flavor of the American population. A long black is its substitution for southern places such as Australia and New Zealand. Even though the two drinks are similar, the way they’re brewed and the profiles they present are considerably different. You can learn about these two drinks through this article.

What is Long black coffee?

If you are in Australia or New Zealand and find yourself ordering an espresso shot, you will most likely be served a Long black. Even though the most popular way of consuming a Long Black is hot, it can also be prepared cold and still have the same taste profile.

The Long black is considered to be an addition to the Australian culture by the migrated Italians. Before Australia became home to many Italian migrants, the most popular hot beverage in the country was tea.

As the coffee trend started to boom in Australia, people started favoring the Long Back as their most liked drink. Along with Australia, the neighboring country New Zealand also caught the heat of this form of espresso-based beverage.

Also Read: Cold Brew vs Iced Americano

Taste Profile

A Long black coffee is characterized by an extremely strong and bold flavor. However, caffeine flavor is much lighter in comparison to pure espresso. Since the only two components that make a Long black are hot water and espresso, they have a huge impact on the way the drink tastes.

An excess of water will result in a weaker-tasting beverage. Similarly, an excess of espresso will make the beverage strong and hence, bitter. Generally, the ratio of water to espresso used to make a Long black is one to four. The one to four ratio means that for every four parts of hot water, you must add one part of espresso.

The taste of the Long black is also influenced by the way an espresso shot is made and added to the hot water. The way a Long black is made is exclusive to the drink. The converse method will result in an Americano. The espresso addition method results in the Long black to be bitter at the top, and the beverage keeps getting weaker as you progress towards the bottom of the cup.

How to Make a Long black?

The most important thing that is necessary to remember while making a Long black is that you have to start with the hot water first. If you remember this, you can progress to making a delicious cup of Long black. Given below are the steps that you have to follow to make a Long black.

  • Prepare for the beverage by heating 4 ouches of water to 195 o F.
  • Pour the freshly heated water into a small cup.
  • Gently pour 1 ounce of espresso into the water. Make sure that you pour from as close to the surface as possible.
  • Serve with a cookie and a side of sugar.
  • Optional – If you want to drink a strong mug of espresso, pour 2 ounces of espresso instead of one.

When to start to see an amber-colored layer of foam over the surface of the coffee, you can be assured that you have made the perfect cup of Long black. This layer is called crema. It is because of crema that a Long black coffee tastes bitter and first and starts to lose its bitterness as your progress to the bottom of the cup.

What is an Americano?

Used as a lingo or a short form of caffè Americano, Americano is the most popular hot beverage in America. As with the Long black, Americano too has its inception roots in Italy. Americano was created by American soldiers during the Second World War in Italy. The flavor of Americano was formed to match the nostalgic American coffee flavors.

As with the Long black, the strength of this beverage is dictated by the amount of espresso that is poured into the hot water. Americano has widely become one of the most popular forms of espresso coffee throughout the world. It is popularly available at all local and international coffee shops.

An Americano is generally expressed by a bold flavor, which is uniform throughout the drink. Most Americano is stronger than black coffee but has the familiar sweet undertones. Americanos are known for their homogenous flavor, which is characterized due to the way the espresso is added to the water.

Similar to the Long black, the taste that you’ll experience is influenced by the water to espresso ratio that is utilized in making the beverage. The standard ratio for an Americano is four to one as well.

How to Make an Americano?

Making an Americano is similar to a Long black. The only difference that is necessary to remember is that while brewing an Americano, the espresso comes before the hot water. Given below are the steps that you must follow to brew a perfect cup of Americano coffee.

  • Pour 2 ounces of espresso into a cup.
  • Heat 8 ounces of water at about 195 o F.
  • Pour the hot water over the espresso in the cup.
  • Serve with a side of cookies and sugar.

The reason why Americano has a uniform flavor and look is that the crema is completely dissolved evenly throughout the drink as the hot water is poured on top of the espresso shot. Most baristas use a drip coffee machine (or espresso machine) to make a hot cup of Americano.

Differences Between Long black and Americano

Even though Americano and Long black are similar variants of caffeine-based beverages, there are some differences between the two. It is not easy to distinguish between the two; however, below are some things that you can consider while differentiating the two beverages.

Preparation Method

The fundamental difference between the two beverages lies in the way espresso is added to the hot water. An Americano is prepared by adding the espresso before the hot water, while the Long black is prepared by pouring the espresso over the hot water.

It is also necessary to note that most baristas tend to make a Long black with two shots of espresso to form better crema. However, Americanos are rarely made of double espresso shots.

Taste Profiles

Since the Long black is characterized by the layer of crema over it, it is generally bitter in the beginning. The flavor starts to weaken as you progress downwards in the cup. A sip of Long black generally has a bitter kick to it. However, if you use coffee beans of the same origin, the taste can also be a little sour. An Americano, on the other hand, is characterized by its slightly sweeter and homogenous taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

Given below are answers to some of the most popularly asked questions about Long black and Americano.

Which is stronger, Americano or Long black?

Since most baristas tend to make Long black with a double shot of espresso, it is the stronger drink of the two. However, if prepared with a single shot of espresso, both beverages are similar in terms of strength.

Is a Long black an Americano?

No, Long black and Americano are two variants of espresso-based beverages. Even though they are very similar, they are two very different tasking drinks.

What is a Long black called in America?

A Long black is called a Long black globally. However, since Americano is the preferred drink (drip coffee) of the nation, some baristas might not be aware of the beverage. Therefore, if you are in America and want to drink a Long black, you can ask the barista to serve you an Americano that is topped with espresso instead of the converse method.

Is an Americano healthier than coffee?

Yes, an Americano is generally healthier than your regular caffeine drink. This is because, unlike coffee, which is generally brewed in advance, an Americano is only prepared when ordered. Additionally, an Americano has only two ingredients – hot water and coffee, which brings the unhealthy mingling of elements to a minimum.

What is a Long black with milk called?

A Long black that s served with a splash of milk is called a Long Macchiato. It is a very strong and intense tasking caffeine flavor that is only relished by hardcore coffee lovers.

Long Black Vs Americano – Summing Up

If you are a coffee lover, you must try both the Long black and the Americano. You will be mesmerized at how easily the drinks are prepared and how a slight change in the recipe can change the entire flavor profile of a beverage.

Even though very similar, Long black and the Americano are two very different drinks in terms of taste and appearance.

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