Only logged in members can reply and interact with the post.
Join Similar Worlds today »

Why do cafes call plain coffee, Americano?

Not just the supposedly-fashionable American chains, but independent cafes too. It's just coffee, and is no more American-o than it is Italian-o.

Nor is "latte" the American way, the Italian beverage despite the Italian word - as it says if you know a little basic etymology, let alone the language!

(My brother-in-law tells of a friend who asked for a "latte" in an café in Italy, and that's what he was served; only to be very surprised to find it had no coffee in it all!)
Anonymartyr · 51-55, M
Usually they name them by the beans used or where they were harvested. They name blended beans usually by the effect created by the blending.
ArishMell · 61-69, M
[@826133,Anonymartyr] I didn't know there is a bean or blend itself called "Americano", so thank-you; but I doubt most outlets necessarily use that particular blend. Still beats me why it has to sound pseudo Italian though!
Anonymartyr · 51-55, M
[@519706,ArishMell] That would be because of the cafe most likely. About 1 third of my home community were ethnic Italians born in Canada with English as their main language yet they invariably name everything in Italian anyway.
ArishMell · 61-69, M
[@826133,Anonymartyr] Ah, I can understand that, and it's a fair point. I hardly applies though to my favourite town-centre café or a British motorway service-station.

As late one night in such a service-station...

Me: "Plain coffee please,"

Young man serving me: "Americano?"

Me: "Why the cod-Italian?"

Him: "We're an Italian firm!" (The Costa chain)

"No you're not. Costa is British and a branch of Whitbreads!" (Costa started as a London cafe named to sound Italian, and later bought by that then-British, brewer-turned-property-speculator.)

I added as I accepted the coffee, "And I wouldn't mind these prices so much if I knew you people were paid a decent wage!"
TheFragile · 41-45, F
Americano is shots of espresso and hot water added it tastes better than a cup of coffee in my opinion if it's good shots of espresso used
ArishMell · 61-69, M
[@326696,StrangeLove] It's still just a cup of coffee, irrespective of the quality of the ingredients.
samueltyler2 · 70-79, M
[@519706,ArishMell] to my taste it is just watered down coffee. My espresso machine actually has 3 settings, the largest cup is called café americano, and it is the same amount of coffee but with more water. I think Europeans think Americans don't like a robust cup of coffee. I always order at least a double espresso, I prefer a full cup of very strong coffee.

Just to be sure, I asked "dr google":

according to Wikipedia:

Caffè Americano (also known as Americano or American; Italian pronunciation: [kafˈfɛ ameriˈkaːno]; Spanish: café americano, literally American coffee) is a type of coffee drink prepared by diluting an espresso with hot water, giving it a similar strength to, but different flavor from, traditionally brewed coffee. The strength of an Americano varies with the number of shots of espresso and the amount of water added. The name is also spelled with varying capitalization and use of diacritics: e.g., café americano.

In Italy, caffè americano could mean either espresso with hot water or filtered coffee (caffè all'americana).

The term "Americano" means "American", and derives from American Spanish, dating to the 1970s,[1] or from Italy.[2] The term "caffè Americano" specifically is Italian for "American coffee".[3] There is a popular, but unconfirmed, belief that the name has its origins in World War II when American G.I.s in Italy would dilute espresso with hot water to approximate the coffee to which they were accustomed.[4][5]

Earlier, in his 1928 novel Ashenden: Or the British Agent, Somerset Maugham has his protagonist order and drink something called an americano in Naples during World War I, but there is not enough information to indicate whether it is the same drink.[6]

Post Comment
22451 people following
Food & Drink
Personal Stories, Advice, and Support
New Post
Associated Groups Category Members