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Topic: Americanos (25 msgs / 474 lines)
1) From: Fookoo Network
 
Are there any roasted beans that are inappropriate for Americanos?  An 
Americano is just a shot of espresso and hot water plus whatever else one 
would want to throw into the cup.   As I await my HWP replacement, it seems 
that an Americano might be a more than decent substitute for coffee brewed 
with a French Press.  Comments?  Thanks.
                                                           Carl
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2) From: Thom Underwood
A great question.  Since receiving my Solis at Christmas I have not dripped
or pressed... I just can't get past the crisp taste of coffee run through an
espresso machine.  And I love making just one cup from grind to finish most
often making the shot into an Americano (though I am starting to get hooked
on straight espresso).
I often use an espresso blend such as Monkey blend and sometimes throw
together a blend such as a South Pacific with just a hair of Harrar (or
anything that grabs my fancy in that moment) to add top end and don't worry
about the crema issue.  I get all sorts of flavors that I have yet to learn
how to describe.
However, I am sorry to say I'm not the pure scientific type and don't record
or necessarily even remember what I mix or do from one cup to the next.  I
am scientific enough in my work and would rather relax and play with coffee.
After all with Tom's coffee advice on beans and equipment how bad can it
get?  And if a cup does get bad - at those prices just throw the thing away
and make another!
Regards - Thom

3) From: Z
I always like the Esmeralda stopped just at the verge or slightly into
(and I mean slightly) 2nd crack. I don't think it has alot of
complexity, but it does exhibit a "brightness" that most decaf don't -
and another taste I can't describe, but one I sort of nostalgically
associate with good coffee. I suspect this is difficult with a popper
without slowing it down some???
Mark
Paul Jolly wrote:
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4) From: Paul Jolly
Thom,
I'm glad to hear that someone else out there has
his (or her) fill of being scientific at work.  I
really can't be bothered by such things as
keeping meticulous notes (like Dick Heggs does,
although I find myself quite interested in
reading what he's done).  I roast by ear and
nose.  And that might be the problem I'm having
right now, so i'll ask y'all's help with this
one:
I've got a pound of the Mexican Esmerelda decaf
and i cannot find a good roast for it.  I tried
it at City, Full City, Viennese, and Dark Side of
the Moon.  None were distinguished in any way: 
little body, little complexity, and ephemeral
aftertaste.  I'm roasting on a PII.  Roast times
average 5 minutes.  Any suggestions?
Cheers,
Paul
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5) From: Ken Mary
Paul,
You may want to get a little more scientific about your roasting. 8^)
Try a longer roast by reducing the volume of beans. This will lower the
temperature, which is better for decaf. IMO second crack should begin at the
8 minute mark. Reread my post of Jan 16.
I have not tried the Esmeralda, so I cannot be more specific.
--
Ken Mary - Aromaroast, Popper - whirlyblade - decanter
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6) From: Thom Underwood
Paul,
Because I use a Hearthware Gourmet I also would add sight to your sound and
smell.  And a I too love to read the conversation from the meticulous ones
here on this chat as I continue to learn a great deal.  I just don't have
the patience for recording the details.
So thank all you detail folks for sharing with the rest of us that embrace
chaos.
I have been thinking about the Americano issue and am inclined to believe
that a good Americano blend would differ from an espresso blend even though
both are being run through an espresso machine.  Now that theory is worth
exploring!  Guess I'll get to work.
Regards - Thom

7) From: John - wandering Texas
Reading Tom & Jim it occurred to me that a pretty good number of folks drink
Americanos (Named in contempt for something an American would do) and I
guess I've missed it somewhere.  I have always viewed an Americano as a
watered down Espresso.   I just pulled a shot and tried adding hot water to
it and it wasn't good.  So what am I missing.
John - Old, but not too old to learn
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8) From: Jim McClellan
Yes John, it is a watered down espresso favored by some contemptuous
Americans such as I. The key is not getting too much water. I personally
like roughly equal parts espresso and hot water, less water is OK, more
water is not. The end result is somewhere in between espresso and vac
coffee. Most espresso stands add way too much water, which I don't care for.
Perhaps I like espresso this way because I came to espresso via coffee, not
weaned as a baby on the straight stuff;) Then again, I don't drink my
whiskey straight either :-)
Jim M
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drink
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9) From: Thom Underwood
I like Espressos as well but an Americano for me is a good cup of coffee (as
compared to a drip or vacuum - both of which I will produce from time to
time) that will last into the morning.
When making an Americano I put the hot water in the cup first and then place
the cup directly under the spigot (is that the group) so the espresso is
going directly into the water in the cup I drink from.  Don't know if this
alters the taste but it sure leaves a nice crema on top (you should have
seen the St. Helena crema... it was red and thick!).
Anyway, some coffee lends itself better to the Americano style than others.
I don't care for the Kenya and I struggle with Costa Ricans.  But North
Africans, Pacific's, Guatemalan/Nicaragua (yum), Brazilians (of course) all
do very well.  And a good blend is especially effective.
Regards - Thom

10) From: Gary Zimmerman
 
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Personal taste, I guess.  I had an "Americano" once - I think it was the 
first time I tried a Starbucks, and I thought ALL of their brewed 
(non-espresso) coffee was made that way.
I hated it.  To me it tasted, as you say, like a watered down 
espresso.  Bad for an espresso, bad for a plain old cuppa - neither fish 
nor fowl... but definitely foul to my taste.  It was years before I'd try 
another Starbucks, when someone told me that they did offer "regular" 
brewed coffee.  Wasn't great, but wasn't as bad as that one experience with 
an Americano.
Considering that some folks on this list seem to like Americanos, I think 
I'll give it another try.  I might have based my whole opinion on one bad 
employee who didn't do it properly.
-- garyZ
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11) From: Spencer W. Thomas
I make Americanos when I want a cuppa joe, and I don't want the "burnt" coffee in
the pot (this is at work).  When it's fresh, the pot is good (we buy Peet's, at
least), but nobody else seems to be bothered by the overcooked, burnt aroma &
flavor that develop so quickly.  Sigh.
=Spencer
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12) From: Gary Zimmerman
 
<Snip>
When they brew a fresh pot, take some out for yourself to drink later, and 
store it off the burner.  When you're ready for a cup, use the microwave to 
reheat.  It's not the best quality coffee, but it beats anything that's 
been cooking on the burner for hours by lightyears!
-- garyZ
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13) From: John C.
 
<Snip>
I have always viewed an Americano as a
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I have always thought that a proper americano tastes like a very very well 
done french press cup.  I've had success using single shots in small tasse 
cups (3 oz), or either single or double shot in a standard U.S. coffee mug 
(12 oz?).  I prefer the smaller.  Nice and rich.
If your espresso was poor then your americano will be poor.  Perhaps that 
shot was not up to snuff?  Also, I like only 2 or 3 oz of water best.homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

14) From: John - wandering Texas
This is the reason I carried fresh ground coffee, and kept a French Press in
the computer center. The bank supplied coffee - but nobody would make a
fresh pot after about 11Am.

15) From: French Lewis
Hi,
I've been enjoying homeroasted espresso for the past 2
years (the past year+ with my La Pavoni), and I've
never had an americano before.    Last night I decided
to see what all the fuss is about.    I make a decent
espresso, occaisionally a 'god-shot', sometimes pure
swill...but that is part of the joy of a lever
machine.
Well, my first americano was a 4 day post roast
(FC++/light vienna) Donkey Blend.    Holy Smokes!
these things are pretty good.    All of the Donkey
flavors, but not quite so strong, really quite tasty.
I pulled another tonight and I'm equally impressed.  
And they are interesting to watch when being pulled.  
I pull a shot of water into one of the Bodum espresso
glasses (from SM), then I pull the shot of espresso.  
cheers,
french
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16) From: Cameron Forde
Hi French, (or is that salut?)
I've been enjoying americanos a lot lately and I think that the method
you described of pulling the shot into the cup which already has water
in it makes a better cup than pulling the shot then adding water.  I
was wondering if others had found the same thing.  Is this well known?
Cameron
On 10/16/06, French Lewis  wrote:
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17) From: miKe mcKoffee
Yes it's been discussed before, don't recall if here or other coffee forum.
Been making Americanos with about every SO conceivable (and blends) going on
5 years I don't really find a difference. I do pull the shot into the
pre-heated cup, then when adding hot water pour it in down the side of the
cup so it mostly slips under the crema.
Next time I make Debi and I both an Americano of the same bean I'll make one
each way and compare again, it's been a couple years.
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
<Snip>

18) From: Eddie Dove
What is it that you like so much about the Americanos?  Do you like them
from only certain origins? blends? or all that you've tried?
Eddie
On 10/16/06, Cameron Forde  wrote:
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19) From: Cameron Forde
I'm probably not the best one to answer this as I tend to only use the
Monkey blend to make espresso and americanos, while I use the SO
(mostly Aftican) beans for french press.  It is only recently that
I've started making americanos regularly -- it is just so easy and a
great way to start the day.  Once I've learned how to run my espresso
machine a little better I'm sure I'll start working SO americanos into
my routine (trying to stay with one temperature at the moment while I
get my espresso routine down).
Cameron
On 10/16/06, Eddie Dove  wrote:
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20) From: The Scarlet Wombat
If I want regular strength coffee instead of espresso or cafe crema, I make 
an Americano.  The espresso extraction process gets more flavor from the 
coffee than any other form of extraction/brewing.  Every bean I have turned 
into an Americano has tasted better prepared that way than by vacuum, press 
or drip.
I fact, I no longer have any way to make coffee but my Isomac espresso 
machine, and am perfectly delighted with that turn of events.
Dan

21) From: Eddie Dove
Great information ... thank you.
Eddie
On 10/17/06, The Scarlet Wombat  wrote:
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22) From: Heat + Beans --all the rest is commentary
I like Americanos that are made with fruitier espresso blends because these
give a really different flavor emphasis than the straight espresso.  IMO,
darker, more caramel or chocolate or roasty flavors are better preserved as
straight shots whereas Americanos with these roasts more resemble a generic
"good cup of coffee."
Martin
On 10/17/06, Eddie Dove  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Martin
Heat + Beans
    all the rest is commentary

23) From: Jon Rosen
I hate to ask such a simple question, but what's the formula for an  
Americano? a 2 1/2 oz shot of espresso with 2 1/2 oz of hot water?
Thanks,
Jon
On Oct 16, 2006, at 7:46 PM, French Lewis wrote:
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24) From: miKe mcKoffee
Double shot (yes 2 to 3oz) with hot water to taste. I usually make 'em about
9oz total. But it also depends on the strength of the double shot of course.
Mine are with LM doube basket which yields consistent ~18gr builds versus
14gr.
miKe
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25) From: French Lewis
Using my La Pavoni (small shot size) I do a 1:1 ratio
of espresso and hot water, which yields about a
standard double...
--- miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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