You Can't Drink an Americana

I drink a fair amount of coffee and spend a lot of time in coffee shops. It's where I hold a lot of meetings and do a much of my writing. My go-to drink is the "Americano." It is simply espresso and hot water. I like it plain (no creme or sugar). The problem is I frequently hear people, and even a barista recently, call it an Americana. But Americana does not equal a coffee drink. I know, I know. Who cares, right? Obviously I do. And the truth is I'm looking out for you. I would rather someone tell me I'm doing or saying something incorrectly, so I can get it right. Which brings me to today's post. So, here's the deal. "Americana" can refer to cultural artifacts "related to the history, geography, folklore and cultural heritage of the United States." It can refer to a genre of music that "honors and is derived from the traditions of American roots music." Americana can mean a lot of things. It's a name for an armlock used in grappling/mma, that old quiz show from the 40's, a 1983 David Carradine movie, and more, but it does not refer to a coffee drink. The coffee drink is called an Americano, or Caffè Americano.

The origin of the drink is somewhat debated, but the most commonly told origin story is that soldiers in Europe during WWII added water to espresso to have something closer to the American drip coffee they were used to. That, or some guy in Seattle invented it. The first one is more fun to tell.

If you like coffee, and I mean coffee, not a Hot Apple Pie a la mode Winter Fusion Latte, and haven't tried an Americano yet, give it a shot.