The Only Type Of Coffee Roast For Truly Vibrant Americanos

When your recipe is super simple, it's important to get the components of it right, and perhaps no beverage is simpler than an Americano. It's espresso and water, a mere two ingredients. While this drink can be elevated by pro tips like adding hot water to your coffee cup before you add the espresso, preserving the delicate crema, it's still just diluted espresso. If you're planning to DIY your Americano, there's one critical decision you must make and that's what coffee to choose for your espresso, the backbone of the drink. 

Fortunately, there's really only one option for a proper Americano. Only the deepest, darkest roast will do for real-deal espresso. Lighter roasted coffee beans won't deliver the depth of flavor you need for a beverage that's destined to be watered down. The bitterness inherent in espresso relies on finely ground, dark roasted beans, with all the flavor and oils extracted by hot water under pressure.

Why you shouldn't use a light roast for Americanos

Lighter roasted coffee beans can make exceptional cups of coffee, full of delicate flavors and bright hints of fruit, but espresso relies on the deep, dark flavors and oils produced by beans roasted to a darker hue. Espresso is more viscous than regular black coffee because of the oils brought out by the darker roast, which makes the Americano a satisfying cup of coffee, rather than a watery disappointment.

If you were to add water to a brew made of a lighter roasted coffee, the results wouldn't be as rich simply because the beans lack the oils developed by longer roasting times. Light roasts work well if you're brewing them with a French press or with a pour-over method because they require longer brewing times that are able to squeeze out as much flavor from the beans as possible. Technically, espresso can still be made from any roast of coffee, but it's the darkest roasts that deliver the flavor we've come to expect from an Americano.