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Difference Between Americano and Latte

For a true coffee lover, coffee is more than just a beverage; it’s the aroma, the flavor and the freshness that bring life to their body in the morning. If you’re one of those coffeeholics, you probably know that feeling of standing in a queue first thing in the morning at a coffee shop and waiting to take that first sip. Talking about coffee, you can find these two classic coffee beverages in virtually any coffee shop around the world – Americano and Latte. So, if you love coffee, but cannot tell the one apart from the other, you’ll find this comparison between Americano and Latte quite useful.

Americano

An Americano may sound just like a regular American coffee; but it actually isn’t your regular coffee. Americano is probably the most loved adaptation of the classic espresso to suit all kinds of tastes. The term was originally used for cocktail beverages to which soda was added. It is basically an espresso drink made with hot water and espresso. It was believed that the Americano was an early espresso drink for foreigners. The story goes back to the time of Second World War, when the American troops stationed in Italy would often ask for their espresso to be served with hot water, or diluted down to the point that it tastes much like what they were used to at home. So, this style of coffee being closer to an American-style drip coffee picked got its name ‘Caffè Americano’. The dilution process increases the perceived bitterness though.

Latte

Latte is yet another well-known coffee beverage of the Italian origin and is made with two main ingredients: espresso and steamed milk. Espresso is best understood as the product of a preparation process rather than a coffee drink. The specialty coffee revolution of the past few decades has been driven by espresso-based drinks. Latte is one such adaptation of the classic espresso that is found in almost every coffee shop whatever corner of the world you go. When espresso started to gain attention, most believe it was somewhat bitter and intense. To overcome the bitterness, they added hot milk to make the drink a bit sweeter and less bitter. So, caffé latte was created for the customers who would like to have their coffee experience with less intensity. Typically there is more steamed milk in the latte than the base of espresso.

Difference between Americano and Latte

Preparation

 – Both are well-known, classic espresso-based coffee beverages that you can find in every coffee shop around the world. They both start with the same thing and they have the same key ingredient: the espresso. This is where the similarity ends. So, in Americano, you take that little bit of espresso and add hot water to bring up that bold flavor. In Latte, on the other hand, you substitute hot water for steamed milk and add a little bit of foam on the top.

Taste

 – Americano brings up that strong earthy flavor and it tends to have richer taste than drip coffee. The addition of hot water to the espresso causes the crema from the espresso to be diluted, which in turn, increases the bitterness of the drink slightly. Latte substitutes milk for hot water to make the coffee sweeter and less bitter. In fact, latte is probably the only coffee beverage with most milk in it, which gives it a nice mild flavor; not overpowering like your Americano, and a little bit sweeter.

Americano vs. Latte: Comparison Chart

Summary

The Americano resembles the drip coffee and is somewhat inferior; it’s a real coffee, brewed gringo-style. It is made with espresso and hot water, and diluted down to the point that it tastes much like an American-style drip coffee, which the American soldiers used to have at home. It remains popular with café owners because they would simply serve filter coffee-strength brews without worrying about the additional equipment. Café Latte is another classic coffee drink that is known for its bitter, intense and extraordinary flavor. Unlike the Americano, you add white steamed milk to the espresso instead of hot water to make a latte. It is also traditional to have less foam in the milk. 

Is an Americano with milk a latte?

Some believed an Americano with milk is a latte, but it’s not true. A latte does not have hot water in it; instead, it has steamed milk, which gives the coffee less intense and sweeter than an Americano.

Is an Americano stronger than coffee?

Americano was believed to be created during the Second World War when the American soldiers found the espresso too strong and they would often ask the espresso to be served with hot water to make it taste like the drip coffee they used to have at home.  

Does a latte or Americano have more caffeine?

Americano is a more concentrated espresso, same with the drip coffee. Since, it is not diluted by hot milk and sugar, it has the most caffeine without the sugar rush. It has about as much caffeine as the drip coffee. Latte has relatively less caffeine.

What is a cappuccino vs latte vs Americano?

Americano is a classic American style espresso that is made with espresso and hot water; Latte substitutes hot water for steamed milk and is topped with milk foam; and cappuccino is an espresso topped with heavy foamed milk, and is mostly prepared with an espresso machine.

Is Americano stronger than latte?

Since, you use hot water instead of steamed milk, an Americano brings that strong earthy flavor, a similar coffee experience you have with a drip coffee. An Americano is surely stronger than a latte.

Is Cappuccino stronger than latte?

A cappuccino has much stronger espresso flavor than a latte because of more content of foam and less milk than a latte. Both are of Italian origin and made with espresso and milk, but cappuccino is a bit stronger than a latte.


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References :


[0]Hoffmann, James. The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing - Coffees Explored, Explained and Enjoyed. London, UK: Hachette UK, 2018. Print

[1]Thurston, Robert W., et al. Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, the Beverage, and the Industry. Maryland, United States: Rowman & Littlefield, 2013. Print

[2]Franz, Carl and Lorena Havens. The People's Guide to Mexico. London, UK: Hachette UK, 2012. Print

[3]Bach, David and John David Mann. The Latte Factor: Why You Don't Have to Be Rich to Live Rich. New York, United States: Simon and Schuster, 2019. Print

[4]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Americano_1.jpg

[5]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caffe-Latte-Prague.JPG

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