Jake Uys, co-owner of YUM Eat Cafe, loves his coffees. He creates the tasteful coffee creations; preferable slow-brewed and sometimes with a time-consuming manual finishing touch. The beans are on his specification roasted at the Beanery in Hermanus and per coffee-order ground on the spot. Every speciality coffee needs its own ground, exact weight, water temperature, etc. Weekly, every Tuesday, Jake writes his coffee post for this blog. Starting with the history and ending with the perfect ‘Latte’. The first four postings were excerpts from Wikipedia about history, cultivation, processing and brewing.
During the Second World War, American GI’s in Italy sought after the familiar “cup of Joe” they were accustomed to back home.
Local baristas complied, although reluctantly, by adding hot water to espresso, providing the accustomed strength of regular drip coffee.
The Americano tradition lives on in the coffee shops of today, albeit in different forms.
A normal serving of espresso which is lengthened with hot water after it has been brewed to a volume of about 75 – 95 ml/ 3 – 3.5 fl.oz. is called an Espresso Lungo. Its body is like filter coffee, and is usually served in a 150 ml cup/5 fl.oz. cup – a small cappuccino cup.
The better you know your customer, the better chance you have of making him the perfect Americano.
Nowadays we usually do a double espresso that has been brewed to a volume of 95 – 110 ml. Its body is like filter coffee, and is served in a 220 ml cup – a standard cappuccino cup. It is usually served black with hot or cold milk on the side.
You can try some flavoured sugar with your Americano. Various sugars have different tastes depending whether it is refined (white) or unrefined (raw) cane sugar. Unrefined sugar has more taste because of the higher molasses content which varies from low in demarura to higher amounts in the muscavado sugar. But, the choice is purely a matter of taste.
Hope this is sufficient info for making your perfect Americano!