If you’re familiar with coffee, you’ve likely been in a situation where you’re ordering your morning drink at a coffee shop. But, before the barista can make your drink, you have to choose which kind of coffee you want.

That’s where the Americano vs. coffee battle comes in. Which is better? The right answer depends on the person drinking it, their preferences, and other factors.

Quick Answer: What is the difference between an Americano and coffee?

The main difference between an Americano and regular coffee is that an Americano is made using espresso shots and hot water. In contrast, coffee can be made using various brewing techniques but doesn’t have extra water added.

The two have several similarities, but there are also some major differences.

Americano vs. Coffee: Get to Know All the Differences

Coffee and Americanos are both delicious in their own way, so you should learn more about them and compare them to see which you prefer. Let’s get into it:

Americano vs. coffee, how do they differ?

Before getting in-depth about how these delicious coffees differ, you can have a look at the overview below to see their main differences:

Flavor notesA slightly bitter and robust tasteRobust and full-bodied flavor
Coffee used?Yes, one espresso shotFreshly brewed coffee
Milk?No milk addedNo milk added
Water added?Yes, 2 ounces (60 ml)No water added
Caffeine content68mg of caffeine170 to 220mg of caffeine
Number of caloriesVirtually no caloriesVirtually no calories

As you can see, there are quite a few differences between an Americano and regular coffee.

To make things even more clear, you can see the differences in the image below:

A comparison between an Americano and coffee.

An Americano is made using espresso shots and hot water at a 1:2 ratio. For each shot of espresso, double the amount of hot water is used.

While regular coffee can be made using various brewing techniques, you can only make an Americano with espresso coffee.

To make regular coffee, you can choose to use a pour over technique like brewing with a Chemex or Hario V60.

You could even get a fuller coffee while brewing with a French press.

"Adding the plunger to the French press beaker."

If you want to learn more about brewing coffee at home, you can check out my beginner’s guide to brewing coffee.

The best espresso coffee is made using an espresso machine, which is what most baristas use.

However, you can easily make espresso-like coffee at home using an AeroPress or Moka pot.

These smaller coffee brewers make excellent espresso coffee that comes close in flavor compared to an espresso machine.

Does an Americano have more caffeine than coffee?

An Americano is lower in caffeine compared to regular coffee. While an Americano with two espresso shots has 136 mg of caffeine, brewed coffee ranges between 172 and 223 mg of caffeine.

A single shot of espresso has 68 mg of caffeine. To get a good comparison, I’ve doubled the espresso to get 1 cup (0.24 l) of Americano coffee, which has a total of 136 mg of caffeine.

On the other hand, there’s a big difference in caffeine depending on the technique you use to make regular coffee.

I’ve made a table so you can check what the caffeine content will be while using one of these brewing techniques:

Brewing technique used:Amount of caffeine for 1 cup (0.24 l)
Chemex172 mg
Hario V60185 mg
French press223 mg

As you can see, regular coffee will have more caffeine than an Americano, even while doubling the amount of espresso used to get the same amount of liquid.

If you want to lower your caffeine intake, it’s best to pick an Americano over regular coffee.

You could also ask for decaf coffee instead if you prefer to drink regular coffee. If you want to learn more about decaf coffee, how it tastes, and many more questions, you can check out the article I wrote about it here.

Is an Americano stronger than black coffee?

An Americano tastes stronger than black coffee because it uses a stronger coffee basis. The Americano uses espresso coffee, which has a more robust flavor than black coffee and tastes very different and stronger than black coffee.

While you can change up the flavor of regular coffee using a different brewing technique, espresso coffee usually wins in terms of punchy and full-bodied notes.

I’ve compared the flavor of Americano coffee and regular coffee using the Chemex, Hario V60, and French press.

While the pour over technique has a more balanced but delicious flavor, the French press coffee came a lot closer in taste to the Americano.

What is the difference in taste?

As I’ve discussed above, I came to a few conclusions when comparing these coffees side by side. I’ve listed them below so you can check them out.

  • An Americano is more powerful because it uses richer espresso coffee but is also quite balanced because of the added hot water.
  • Regular black coffee is more easygoing and usually doesn’t have such powerful flavors; this can change between brewing techniques.

If you love to drink strong coffee, especially in the morning, then an Americano is the perfect pick for you.

I love to drink espresso coffee in the morning, but sometimes, I want to sip on the coffee rather than drink it in two gulps.

This is where the Americano is perfect. Adding the hot water to the espresso shots gives you a more balanced and bigger drink that you can sip on for quite a bit.

Americano vs. coffee, which is better for you?

Now that you know all the differences between these two amazing coffees, you know which you like better, so you can order it the next time you’re out and about.

If you’re still unsure about which is better for you, you can have a look below. I’ve listed a few more notes that I think can help you make a better decision:

  • If you prefer a stronger-tasting coffee drink that is lower in caffeine, the Americano is the perfect match for you.
  • If you’d rather drink an easy-going coffee that has a bit more caffeine to get your day started, regular coffee will work wonders for you.
Americano vs. coffee side by side comparison.
Americano on the left, coffee on the right

I like both coffees equally as much, and I don’t have a preference. Sometimes, I’ll go for a nice cup of brewed coffee in the morning, but when I feel like drinking a coffee with a bit more punch, I brew an Americano.

Choosing between these coffees can be hard, so it’s all about what flavors you want in your morning cup of joe.

Related coffee comparison articles

Are you wondering how the Americano and normal hot coffee compare to other coffees?

Great! Check out the articles below for more in-depth coffee comparisons:

And to compare more coffees, visit the coffee comparison hub!


Both an Americano and regular coffee are amazing to drink. But while they look very similar, you now know the difference between the two.

So next time you’re ordering one of these drinks, you know what to ask for.

If you would like to check out some delicious coffee recipes, you can have a look below. I’ve listed some recipes that I think you’ll like.

Which of the two coffees do you prefer? Let me know by leaving a comment down below. If you have any other questions regarding coffee, you can also contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!

Coffee recipes to try

Picture of Jeffrey, Author at Your Dream Coffee

On my coffee blog you will find everything you need in order to start brewing coffee at home. Ranging from the basics; to the newest coffee recipes everybody talks about! You can learn more about me here.


  1. Steve Brammer Reply

    Coffee shops often make a big heated vat of regular coffee as that’s what they serve the most of. Unfortunately this means you’ve no idea how long the coffee in the vat has been standing there. I drink Americano as you’re always guaranteed a freshly ground and brewed coffee.

    • Picture of Jeffrey, Author at Your Dream Coffee

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for sharing your opinion!

      I hope you’ll keep enjoying that freshly made Americano.


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