Long Black Vs Americano

Both are made with an espresso and water mix, taste great and overall feel like the same coffee, just with a few small differences. But is this actually the case for Long Black vs Americano? Let’s find out!

Often when you go to a café you hear people ordering long black coffee or Americano. If you are not a coffee expert these two may seem the same. True, they are made of espresso and coffee, but their history, delivery, and even taste are quite different. Today we are going to go through some of them and learn that there is actually a lot of difference between Long black vs americano. And what is a better place to start, than the origins of these two exceptional drinks?

What is an Americano?   

What we call Café Americano or simply Americano is espresso diluted with water in a way that it keeps the strength but you get more coffee with a bit different flavor. This coffee was created by American soldiers, stationed in Italy during WW2. According to this story, the standard Italian espresso shot was too strong, so they began to add hot water to make it more similar to the soldiers had at home. One thing that makes Americano special is that it doesn’t come with milk in it. Even if some people like to put warm or cold milk in this drink – the classical recipe is just an Espresso and water.

What is a Long Black Coffee?

A lot of folks out there mix up long black and Americano. Indeed there are similarities but they are different. A long black coffee is commonly drunk in Australia and New Zealand. But, much like Americano, it has American and Italian roots. You see, Italians usually drink two types of coffee – espresso and cappuccino. So when Americans ordered the coffee in Italy, the Barista served them the regular, small espresso. And seeing how Americans were not used to such strong coffee taste, the baristas decided to please their customers, by adding a double shot of espresso into a cappuccino cup.

There are few variations of the modern version of long black but the most common is to extract an espresso shot over hot water instead of adding the water over the espresso shot. This kind of coffee is less acidic but more strength and flavor. Plus, Long Black has more crema.

Long Black vs Americano Comparison

If you take a closer at the long black vs Americano dilemma, the main difference is basically in how you prepare it. When you’re making Americano you are diluting the coffee by adding hot water, whereas when you prepare long black you pour coffee in the cup with water. Usually, there is less water in the long black than an Americano. Additionally, long black retains the well-known crema of espresso and has less volume therefore more flavor.

Americano Long Black
At the bottomEspresso Hot water
In the middle Hot water Espresso
CremaThinFull, beautiful crema

Making Process 

Now that we’ve talked about the main differences between Americano VS Long Black, let’s take a closer look at the making process of these 2:

For Americano

Make a 3 ounces cup of espresso. If you prefer you can make it stronger and also a double espresso shot. Preheat around  3 ounces of water and pour it into the cup with coffee. Many people prefer Americano black but if you like you can add milk or sugar.

For Long Black

Here as you know the process is reversed. First, you preheat again around 3 ounces of water and pour in the cup you want to drink from. After that make a single or double espresso shot and pour in the cup with water.


When we are talking about long black vs Americano taste there isn’t such a huge difference.  The difference is the crema which is way thicker in long black. Since the coffee is diluted when making Americano the taste resembles more the standard American drip coffee.

Caffeine Content 

Keep in mind that the ingredients in these are completely the same. What it means is that the caffeine content depends on the number of espresso shots you use.

How to Make Americano at Home 

Okay, so making an Americano at home doesn’t seem so hard now, is it? No, but there are things that you need to know to make it exactly as the one barista makes. 

The most important thing is to make a good espresso shot of course! Keep in mind though that even if it won’t be as perfect at first – you get better with practice. 

So all you need is:

  • Espresso machine – this can be an automatic machine or something like an Italian coffee maker
  • Hot water 
  • Coffee mug 
  • Coffee ground or beans 
  • Grinder if you are using the beans
  • Scale to measure the beans

There are not many ingredients you need – just espresso and water.  The amount of water should be equivalent to the amount of espresso  – for example for 3 ounces of espresso you will put 3 ounces of water. 

Now many people are wondering about the temperature of the water. In general, we can say it is important that the water doesn’t boil – on average it is recommended that the temperature is between 91 and 96 degrees Celsius / 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit

As for espresso shots, you need to measure 20-25 milliliters (a bit less than an ounce). It takes 7 grams of ground coffee for one-shot (about 4 teaspoons).

How to Make Long Black at Home 

Since both Long Black vs Americano are pretty similar to make them you’ll need the same equipment. Of course, it must be clean, so nothing will tamper with the taste of the java. 

What is crucial when you are making long black is the water temperature. In most coffee shops and bars, the water that comes from machines is too hot – about 95 degrees. This kind of heat will almost certainly make the coffee lose sweetness. Therefore, we recommend that you heat the water to around 75 degrees Celsius/167 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Crema is another important feature of long black coffee. A lot of people think crema looks delicious, but in reality, it makes the taste quite bitter. The best effect is received when you stir it and mix it with the rest of the espresso and water. This way you will get a well-balanced cup of coffee.

More Coffee Options to Try 

Now that we’ve established the differences between black long vs Americano, it’s important to note that there are many other types of espresso beverages you can try:

  • Lungo is a type of drink pretty similar to long black and Americano. The main difference is that when you are making lungo you are adding more water to the point that there is twice the regular amount. The taste is similar to espresso but less bitter. 
  • Flat White is very similar to the café latte. It’s pretty much the same as long black, except with milk in it. The main thing that steps Flat White apart from latte is just that it is smaller and comes with less foam. 
  • Ristretto is very popular in Italy drink. It is just one shot of espresso, but a lot more concentrated. 


And that’s pretty much all the difference between Black long VS Americano. As you can see both of these are very unique drinks- even if they do require the same technique and ingredients. Their biggest difference is of course the taste, crema, and history. It doesn’t take much to make either of these drinks. All you need is proper equipment, some skill, and experience and you could make the coffee that will make even a barista envious. 

So hopefully you liked our little overview of the Long Black vs Americano, and feel free to share with us which is your favorite and why!

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