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Some people use the names Americano and Long Black interchangeably, but there are subtle differences that set these two drinks apart.

Let’s make you the person that knows those differences, it will finally give you something to impress your parents with.

We’ve also tried to answer any other questions you might have related to the caffeinated beverages, so feel free to jump to any section that interests you.

Now, let’s jump in!

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What is an Americano?

Known as an Americano, Caffè Americano and Café Americano, it is basically just the dilution of an Espresso with hot water.

It is prepared starting with a base of Espresso (usually 1 shot) and topped off with hot water.

When prepared correctly it should have a nice crema.

 

Where does the Americano get its name? (The history of the Americano)

No one is 100% sure where the Americano gets its name from, but it is commonly believed that the name was coined during WW2, where American G.I.s stationed in Italy, not being used to the strong taste of Espresso, would dilute their drinks with water, to more closely match the taste of coffee they were used to.

In Italian Caffè Americano literally translates to American coffee.

What does an Americano taste like?

As an Americano is only made from Espresso and water, it basically tastes like a much milder version of the Espresso it is made from.

Obviously Espresso can have different tastes depending on the bean variety, extraction time, etc. so the taste will vary from drink to drink.

It should however, maintain the complexity, balance of bitterness, sweetness and acidity; and bold flavours you’ve come to expect from your Espresso shots.

What is a Long Black?

Commonly found in Australia and New Zealand, a Long Black, like an Americano, is also a dilution of an Espresso with hot water.

A Long Black is traditionally prepared by pouring a base of hot water into the cup, usually 100 – 120 millilitres (3.5 – 4 ounces), followed by a shot (or two) of Espresso or Ristretto.

Like the Americano, when prepared correctly it should have a nice crema.

 
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What does a Long Black taste like?

Very similar to the Americano, it turns out! 

Like the Americano, a Long Black will taste like a milder version of the Espresso or Ristretto used to make it.

Though, due to the smaller amount of water used in the preparation of a Long Black and the order of which it is prepared (water before the coffee shot), the taste and aroma will be a bit stronger than the Americano.

What Is The Difference Between A Caffè Americano And A Long Black? (Long Black vs Americano)

If you’ve read the article up to this point you would’ve seen that the Americano and the Long Black are basically the same drink. The keyword there being basically. There are subtle differences that separate the two, making them more like siblings then identical twins.

The difference between an Americano and a Long Black all comes down to taste and aroma. 

Due to the difference in preparation and the use of less water, a Long Black will taste and smell stronger than an Americano.

Which has more calories, the Long Black or the Americano?

If you are watching your calorie intake and are wondering which has less calories between a Long Black and an Americano, then wonder no more.

Actually you are in luck because they are pretty much the lowest calorie coffee you can drink!

Basically all of the calories are coming from the coffee shot so the two drinks should have about the same amount of calories.

Obviously a double Espresso shot will have more calories than a single shot, and there will even be little fluctuations in calories between a single Espresso shot from one café compared to a single Espresso shot from another, but assuming they are made from the same base coffee shot, they will have the same amount of calories.

For an example of the calories in an Americano, the following calorie information has been taken from Starbucks UK:

Calories in a Starbucks Café Americano

Short: 23 Kcal

Tall: 46 Kcal

Grande: 69 Kcal

Venti: 92 Kcal

For the whole list of Starbucks’ nutritional information click HERE.

Which has more caffeine, the Long Black or the Americano?

Similar to the answer of which drink has more calories, if the two drinks are made from the same base coffee shot then yes, they will have the same caffeine content.

If a Ristretto shot is used in the Long Black instead of an Espresso shot, then the Long Black will have less caffeine i.e. Ristretto shots are weaker in caffeine than Espresso shots (to find out why click HERE!).

Which one should you order?

This is an easy one, if you are tossing up between the two drinks ask yourself this one question:

Do you prefer a stronger coffee taste?

If the answer is yes then choose the Long Black.

If the answer is no then it’s the Americano.

That’s it, thanks for reading!

As always if you have any questions or feel like we have missed anything please send your questions/suggestions to [email protected]