The Americano vs. Long Black debate is something I’ve found myself in plenty of times.
It can be confusing to decide which is the best option for your coffee drinking habit, so I decided to put together this article so you can easily see all the differences between these two great coffee choices!
I’ll compare the two drinks side-by-side to get a better idea of just how similar they are, let you know what sets them apart, and then help you decide which one is ultimately right for you.
Americano vs. Long Black, what’s the difference?
The Americano and Long black use the same ingredients, but the process for making these coffees changes the flavors.
Both drinks are made with espresso coffee and hot water, but there are some differences in the flavor profile.
The Long Black has similar flavor notes to Americano but is slightly more robust. While the Americano usually tastes more like regular black coffee.
What is the difference in taste?
The Americano and Long Black differ in taste because of how the water is added to your cup.
With the Americano, the water is poured straight into the cup with the espresso coffee inside.
The hot water will instantly mix with the espresso coffee, along with the crema on top.
It creates a flavor that is comparable to coffee brewed with a pour over brewer like the Chemex.
On the other hand, the crema is kept intact with the Long Black, which makes the coffee flavor more concentrated for the first few slurps and less robust when you’ve almost finished the drink.
You can compare the flavor with French press coffee, which has a stronger flavor because of the brewing technique.
Read along to find a more in-depth explanation of both espresso-based drinks:
What is an Americano?
An Americano is made by pulling a shot of espresso into a small cup and adding off-the-boil water to it. This creates a diluted version of espresso coffee, which has a very different taste from regular coffee.
Usually, a 1:2 ratio of espresso to hot water is used. This means that one shot of espresso is diluted with double the amount of hot water.
This coffee to water ratio can change depending on the coffee bar you go to. Sometimes equal parts of espresso and water are used, creating a stronger version.
An Americano tastes similar to regular black coffee but with the robust notes that espresso has to offer.
It has a sweeter and laidback taste to it from the added hot water, creating an easy-going drink.
Americanos are my go-to cup of coffee to make in the morning because I like to enjoy the flavor of coffee longer instead of drinking espresso, which is finished in two slurps.
Brewing tip: If you want to learn how to make an Americano at home, you can check out this easy recipe.
What is a Long Black?
A Long Black also uses hot water and espresso coffee, but it’s made by pouring off-the-boil water into a small cup and topping this with an espresso shot straight from the espresso machine.
Because of the way it’s poured, the espresso lays on top of the hot water, and the espresso’s crema is kept intact.
The crema of espresso has a robust flavor, and this is where the best feature of the Long Black comes in.
If you prefer drinking strong coffee, just like I do, then you’ll love the Long Black.
It creates a stronger coffee because you’ll first drink the espresso, and when drinking further, you’ll get to the more diluted part of the drink.
A Long Black uses the same 1:2 ratio of espresso to hot water as an Americano.
Recipe tip: If you want to learn how to make a Long Black at home, you can check out the full recipe here.
How much caffeine is in these coffees?
You might be wondering about the caffeine content in these drinks. Because both drinks use one espresso shot, they have 68 mg of caffeine. (source)
Depending on the coffee bar you go to, and how they prepare the Americano and Long Black, the amount of caffeine can change if they add an additional espresso shot.
If you want a stronger coffee, you can also ask for one more espresso shot in your drink.
Americano vs. Long Black, which is right for you?
Because these drinks use the same ingredients and are made in (almost) the same way, you might be wondering which is the better of the two.
If you haven’t yet decided which suits your flavor best, have a look below for my recommendation:
- If you prefer a less-robust espresso-based drink that tastes great, the Americano is perfect for you.
- Go with a Long Black if you prefer the taste of espresso coffee, but want to enjoy it for longer.
It’s tough to choose between these drinks, but it’s all up to the flavor profile you like in your coffee.
To get the best result, you should experiment – order both drinks, leave out milk or cream to get a stronger taste of coffee bean flavor without any creamy sweetness distracting from the palate!
This way, you can see if one drink suits your taste better than another. You may even find that they have different flavors, which you enjoy equally as much!
I hope that you’ve learned some new things about the two popular coffee drinks.
I’ve talked about the differences between an Americano and Long Black. Both espresso-based coffees are great to enjoy in the morning, but which do you prefer?
This article has given you all of the details on these two drinks so that your decision is easy! If either one sounds like something you’d love to drink first thing each day, leave a comment below with which coffee you’re leaning towards.
If you like these comparison articles, I recommend looking below, as I’ve listed a few more articles on the difference between two coffees.
Are you a fan of espresso-based coffees? 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!