Monthly Archives: March 2008

Americano – Rebirth


I’ve never like “kopi O”, and I used to say I don’t like Americano too.

As to re-tell the story, I really like milky drinks. Therefore, cappuccinos and lattes are my so-called staple diet. And these milky drinks are only really good with full cream milk.

Unfortunately, with my middle-kingdom kept expanding, I need to cut down milk intake among other things like fatty food, chocolates, nasi lemak , sugar and etc.

So, the healthiest coffee drink would be “kopi O”, brew coffee from french press or Aeropress and Americano. But they tend to be bitter and I need to add sugar and creamer. That defeats the whole idea of cutting fat and sugar.

And with my wife a little lactose-intolerant, I need to find way to make good coffee that is so good you can drink it on its own (like Gardenia bread in the AD, but I hate roti kosong).

Then suddenly the break through came. As you guys know, I have been emphasizing fresh roasted coffee. Well, my Highlander Supreme Blend of 100% arabica coffee is as fresh as they can get in Malaysia. But I am still unable to produce a nice cup of Americano.

That is until I change the grinder settings. In fact it was an accident. I was actually trying to improve my espresso experience. I normally grind to a certain fineness and give it a hard tamp. Extraction is around 28 seconds. Should be good, but somehow still lacking the complexity in the cup.

So, I change the grinder setting to one step finer but this time i use a softer tamp.

Dang, dang, dang, dang…. all the nuances of flavour came out. The fruitiness, slight acidity, good body and decent after taste. I did it. Lovely espresso. Wait a sec.. how about an americano. Immediately make one… wow… tasted great without milk and sugar.

Is this a fluke??? Quickly make a fresh cup for my wife. Ha… and she confirms it.

Americano that has a fruity and flowery taste of rose.

What did I learn here? Good americano like any other coffee style, you need four important ingredients.

1. Good quality, fresh roasted coffee
2. Good quality grinder
3. Espresso machine (Not toys like delonghi and krup)
4. Barista skills

Nuff said.