HomeRoast Digest


Topic: the truth about americanos (10 msgs / 285 lines)
1) From: Prabhakar Ragde
Tried my first americano this morning. My first thought was that it
wasn't going to replace double ristretti for me -- but the point is to
be able to serve something to people who don't care for such
intensity, or aren't used to it. So I have some questions which I hope
someone on the list will volunteer answers for.
1. I steamed the water to boiling, in the small cup in which the final
   product was to reside. It seemed a lot noisier; is it always like
   that? Pulled the shot right into that cup. I was surprised at the
   crema on top but in retrospect it makes sense. It tasted too hot --
   probably drip coffee is much cooler by the time it gets into a
   cup. Should I alter the method, either by steaming in a separate
   pitcher, or by not steaming until the water boils? Should the crema
   be mixed in (as would happen naturally if I dump a shot into the
   heated water)? Can an americano sit for a while and cool down? Does
   anyone put cream/milk and/or sugar in?
2. Having made a lot of single-varietal espressi as part of my
   education, I feel that blends are more or less necessary. It also
   appears, with my equipment (Elektra lever machine) that too-light
   roasts taste sour and grassy. Drip coffee is more forgiving. Am I
   right in thinking that americanos would be somewhere in between?
   Does one roast or blend differently for them?
Many thanks. --PR

2) From: Dan Bollinger
<Snip>
Yes. Water does not foam. The foam in milk acts as a sort of shock absorber,
muting the screech.  When I make a latter I'll inject a little air to start
just so steaming the milk isn't so loud.  I heat my Americano water in a
kettle.  I would use the water want on my Millenium, but it is too hot and
tastes funny.  Metallic. :(
<Snip>
Many coffees develop as they cool. Often, a luke-warm Americano is very
tasty and even sweet.
<Snip>
I used to put cream in my coffee, but now that I'm using specialty beans and
homeroasting I don't have to.
<Snip>
Not really.  I prefer Americanos made from single origin Specialty Coffee.
Dan

3) From: fletcher sandbeck
On 6/9/03 at 9:11 AM by danbollinger (Dan Bollinger):
<Snip>
Or, you can make an iced americano.  Use good quality ice since any freezer flavors will become part of the drink.  It seems to work well to fill a cup with small ice cubes then pour the hot espresso shot over the ice.  Fill out the cup with cool water.
[fletcher]

4) From: Angelo
At  6/9/2003 09:17 AM, you wrote:
I use water from a kettle which I add to the double ristretto shot after it 
has been pulled into my cappa cup.
The reason I do the shot first is so that I get the exact(same) amount of 
brew each time...
I mark the proper amount by hanging a bent metal strip over the lip of the 
cup. When the coffee comes up to the bottom of the strip, I know I have 
exactly 1 1/2 ounces...I would love to have a cup with measurements on the 
inside. :-) Another advantage is that I can sip the ristretto straight (for 
feedback) before diluting it....
I, too, find that water from the wand/boiler sometimes has a metallic taste...
Ciao,
Angelo
<Snip>

5) From: miKe mcKoffee

6) From: Ed Needham
I usually heat the water separately on the stove for an americano.  I think
the taste of the water would probably be better that way.  Don't use boiler
water either...yuck.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed
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7) From: HeatGunRoast
Some time ago I was treated to a bourbon tasting (cupping?) session in Kentucky.  There I learned about the advantages of "loosening" or "freeing" some bourbon flavors by adding anywhere from a dash to an equal amoount of water to the bourbon. Below, I've cut and pasted some language from a bourbon site.  Some interesting parallels to coffee both in language and effects.  In some cases, I've first "discovered" variatal flavors in the Americano version that I missed in the straight espresso.  Once having learned that flavor, I recognize it better in future straight espressos.  Regarding Americanos, my preference is 2:1  water/coffee for a six ounce cup. I prefer no milk with the Americano, though I've always lightened brewed coffees.  Finally, when it comes to aftertaste--that 20 minute plus coffee essence that remains after the last sip, the Americano just doesn't hack it.  The last coffee of the morning has to be a ristretto.http://www.straightbourbon.com/tasting/tasting0002.htmlEach was tasted straight and then cut with water. There is no guide except your own taste as to how much to cut. As a starting point, you might want to try equal parts Bourbon and water, although for many that will be too weak
It should be drunk cut with water, which exposes sweet and woody flavors through the long finish.
When cut with water, it softens a bit, with nut and spice flavors, but still has a sharp, slightly harsh finish.
There are malt flavors backed with overripe fruit that finishes clean and dry. Very smooth when cut. Cut with water.
caramel notes, but the wood dominates this spirit. Even cut, it doesn't lose much of its intensity but it is a bit easier on the palate.
Ed Needham  wrote:I usually heat the water separately on the stove for an americano. I think
the taste of the water would probably be better that way. Don't use boiler
water either...yuck.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed
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8) From: Prabhakar Ragde
Thanks, all, for americano tips. I have no way of getting boiler water
out of my Elektra except through the grouphead, but even if I could, I
wouldn't use it for such a drink. The stove is right there, I could
use that if I don't want to deafen anyone with steaming water. So is
the microwave, but I won't use that, either. What a snob I am!
--PR, who is sure his HWP roasts light too fast

9) From: Ed Needham
You live near Kentucky?  Where?
I hang out at a brew pub that hosts a homebrew club and a microbrewery.  They
have many exotic brews on hand and are always getting new ones in.  Many of
the people who hang out there are true beer connoisseurs, and talk about beer
in terms I recognize from coffee cupping.  They are always surprised that I
(a non-brewer) can identify flavors and smells fairly consistently.  I think
that once you have a set of flavors and smells catalogued in your head, it
applies to coffee, beer, wine, bourbon, etc.  Developing that library of
descriptors is a lifetime endeavor though, and I'm always (OK, sometimes)
taking mental notes as I taste, smell and sip.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed
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10) From: HeatGunRoast
Nope, not from KY, just travlin' through and stumbled into some drink.  Nice to know that there are others who are comfortable with the vocabulary of the senses and don't feel obliged to put down the words as hostile acts of effete waiters.   Language is one of my favorite senses----right up there with taste, smell, sound, etc.    I'm also always taking mental notes of what I taste, though my mental filing system, like my desk top, is something of a mess. 
 
Ed Needham  wrote:
You live near Kentucky? Where?
I hang out at a brew pub that hosts a homebrew club and a microbrewery. They
have many exotic brews on hand and are always getting new ones in. Many of
the people who hang out there are true beer connoisseurs, and talk about beer
in terms I recognize from coffee cupping. They are always surprised that I
(a non-brewer) can identify flavors and smells fairly consistently. I think
that once you have a set of flavors and smells catalogued in your head, it
applies to coffee, beer, wine, bourbon, etc. Developing that library of
descriptors is a lifetime endeavor though, and I'm always (OK, sometimes)
taking mental notes as I taste, smell and sip.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed
****************************************
**********************************************


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