How Does Starbucks Make an Americano?

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Starbucks, the world-renowned coffee chain, is known for its broad selection of coffee-based beverages. One of its popular offerings is the Americano, a rich and robust coffee drink that combines espresso and hot water. But how does Starbucks make an Americano? Let’s dive in and find out.


Starbucks makes an Americano by first preparing hot water and pouring it into a cup, leaving room for the espresso. They then brew espresso using their signature Espresso Roast and a super-automatic espresso machine. The brewed espresso is slowly poured into the hot water, preserving the crema on top. The result is a rich, robust Americano that can be customized based on personal preference.

The Origin of the Americano

The Americano has a fascinating history that dates back to World War II. American soldiers stationed in Italy found the traditional Italian espresso too strong for their taste. To make the drink more palatable for them, Italian baristas diluted espresso with hot water, creating a drink closer in taste to the drip coffee the soldiers were familiar with. This new drink was called “Caffè Americano,” meaning “American coffee.” The soldiers brought the drink back to the U.S., and it eventually became a popular coffee drink worldwide.

Starbucks’ Americano: The Ingredients

The main ingredients in a Starbucks Americano are espresso and hot water. Starbucks typically uses its signature Espresso Roast for this purpose, providing a rich, deep flavor with a caramelly sweetness.

The Making Process

Here’s the step-by-step process Starbucks uses to make an Americano:

  1. Prepare hot water: Starbucks starts by boiling water and pouring it into a cup, leaving enough room for the espresso.
  2. Brew the espresso: Starbucks uses super-automatic espresso machines, specifically the Mastrena, to brew the espresso. They measure the appropriate amount of coffee beans for the number of shots needed, grind them, and then brew the espresso.
  3. Combine the ingredients: The brewed espresso is then slowly poured into the hot water. Pouring the espresso slowly helps preserve the crema, the light layer of foam on top of the espresso.

While Starbucks uses a non-traditional method of making the espresso first and then adding hot water, it still results in a delicious Americano with the strength and taste consistent with the traditional method.

Quality and Consistency

Starbucks maintains the quality and consistency of their Americano across all branches through a combination of strict quality control processes, comprehensive employee training, and ethical sourcing of coffee beans. Starbucks performs food sanitation reviews, uses test protocols for operational processes, and employs the Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices for coffee sourcing.

Customization Options

Starbucks offers several customization options for the Americano. You can adjust the number of espresso shots, add sweeteners or flavored syrups, add milk or cream, or even make it iced. Remember that adding sweeteners, milk, or flavored syrups will increase the calorie and sugar content of your Americano.

Expert Tips to Enjoy Starbucks Americano

To enjoy a Starbucks Americano to the fullest, you can customize the ratio of espresso to water, adjust the brewing method, experiment with different espresso options, add flavors or toppings, or try an iced version.

Sizes Available

Starbucks offers Americanos in four sizes: short (8 fl oz), tall (12 fl oz), grande (16 fl oz), and venti (20 fl oz). This allows you to choose the size that best suits your preference.

In conclusion, Starbucks’ method of making an Americano combines the traditional approach with their own unique twist. Whether you prefer a hot or iced Americano, with or without additional flavors, Starbucks provides a range of options for you to enjoy this classic coffee drink. Enjoy your next Starbucks Americano knowing the care and expertise that goes into each cup.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Starbucks signature Espresso Roast?

Starbucks’ signature Espresso Roast is a blend of beans from Latin America and Asia/Pacific, darkly roasted to produce a rich and caramelly sweetness.

What is the Mastrena espresso machine that Starbucks uses?

The Mastrena is a Swiss-made, super-automatic espresso machine. It grinds the coffee beans, tamps the ground coffee into a puck, and precisely brews the espresso, all in a single automated process.

What are the C.A.F.E. Practices that Starbucks employs for coffee sourcing?

C.A.F.E. (Coffee and Farmer Equity) Practices are Starbucks’ guidelines for ethical sourcing of coffee. They include aspects like product quality, economic accountability, social responsibility, and environmental leadership.

Can I order a decaf Americano at Starbucks?

Yes, you can order a decaf Americano at Starbucks. They can substitute the regular espresso shots with decaf espresso shots.

What are the calorie and sugar content of a Starbucks Americano?

A standard Starbucks Americano contains 15 calories and 0 grams of sugar. However, these values can increase if you add sweeteners, milk, or flavored syrups.

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