Jun 19, 2012

Americano #1

I'm the type of girl that has no problem gulping down plain old black coffee. So I've gotten a lot of astonished looks from people who contested that I was weird for not having any sugar or cream in my coffee. I blame my mother, the one that actually got me in on this whole coffee business, since she's a big black coffee drinker herself. My first encounter with black coffee was at 16, and I wish I had a really cool story of how I became obsessed with coffee but I really don't. I woke up one day and realized I had become accustomed to love black coffee. It became a necessity. Companion. Something to make a big ol' blog about.

But after a few years of drinking coffee and espresso drinks, I started to notice the differences between a plain cup of black coffee and a cup of cafe americano (shots of espresso diluted with water) - and starting a few years back, I became a total americano junkie. What's the difference? Well, I like to think Americano to be more flavorful. It's also got a more sophisticated taste (which's pretty ironic for me to say, since I carry little or no sophistication in my demeanor) and is stronger than coffee. According to this blog, espresso is made with blending of different coffee beans to extract the flavors whereas filtered coffee is better made with a single origin coffee.

Well anyway, americano is my go-to drink anywhere I go. I rarely drink anything else. So if you're a Starbucks frappuccino drinker looking for other great frappuccino places, maybe I won't be the best person to seek advice from. I shamefully spend $2.11 every morning at Starbucks (yes, with my personalized gold card of course. Who wouldn't want to miss out on the every 15th drink is free deal?!) for a cup of americano. It literally lightens up my day. That might be a bit problematic. But all exaggerations and jokes aside, I love my americanos.

Americano at Houndstooth, Austin TX - photograph by AM

Someone told me the story behind Americanos once. Apparently when Americans first visited Italy and tried the pure espresso, the drink was way too strong for them. So they asked the Italians to mix more water to dilute the coffee. Hence, the name Americano. Not too sure if that's completely true but sounds very likely. 

Americano at Ost Cafe, New York, NY | Photograph by AM
I had the best Cafe Americano of my life when I was in New York City this past March. I walked into Ost Cafe, which was a block or two away from my cousin's East Village apartment where I was staying at, and they really showed me what a good Americano is. Very rich and surprisingly creamy, the coffee was so smooth. I think I really did enjoy every single drop of it.  

At a dessert place in Vancouver, BC, Canada in December 2011 | photograph by AM

Americanos are also a perfect complement to sweet desserts like the ones above. I was in Vancouver for a week or so past winter, where I visited my childhood best friend and some other people, and this city definitely had some crazy dessert cafes. Maybe I'll talk about them more later on. But maybe this is the real reason why I love americanos; it gives me a really nice incentive to eat chocolate and cakes and cookies and etc...I can go on forever. 

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