Americano Vs. Drip Coffee (A Comparison)

Last Updated on April 20, 2022 by John Moretti

Drinking a cup of black coffee is the best way to fully experience all of the flavor notes, textures, and interesting characteristics of the coffee in the cup, but not all cups of black coffee are equal. If you make or order an Americano or a regular drip coffee, you’re getting the same thing, right? Well, not really. Let’s compare the two beverages. 

The main difference between the Americano and drip coffee is that the Americano is prepared with espresso, and drip coffee is regular filter coffee. Drip coffee is textured, rich, and full-bodied. The Americano is strong, intense, smooth, and flavorful. Both drinks are typically served black.

A cup of black coffee is a standard daily drink for many people, but not everyone understands the differences between the two standard black coffee drinks. The Americano and a cup of drip coffee are not equal, even though they are both just black coffee. If you know what to taste for, these two drinks are very different.

Image of two coffee makers and one white cup filled with coffee

The Americano: An Icon Of Espresso

The Americano is one of the most popular coffee drinks anywhere. This drink is satisfying, can be enjoyed in many various ways, and is well-known for highlighting the subtleties of the coffee in the cup, but not many coffee drinkers realize that an Americano is not an average black coffee.

This drink is set apart from other types of black coffee because it is prepared with espresso. The definition of an Americano is one or two shots of espresso diluted with some hot water to make the drink larger and to make it taste less intense overall while still allowing the natural varied flavors of the coffee to shine through easily.

Photo of ablack cup filled with black coffee on a wooden tray

There are numerous origin stories of the Americano, and there is no way to tell which is truly the original, but the premise of them all is the same. The Americano was developed to dilute very strong espresso, originally Italian espresso, for those who do not want to drink such a strong, intense drink.

Espresso is very strong and difficult to drink for many but adding some hot water to dilute the coffee makes it much easier to drink, which is why this beverage is so popular.

Diluting espresso shots with hot water to make an Americano does not remove any of the flavors of the coffee; it only softens them, which in many cases makes them much easier to identify when compared to drinking straight espresso.

An americano can be prepared with a single, double, or sometimes a triple shot of espresso, usually depending on the size of the drink. A very large Americano is likely to have up to three shots of espresso, but most have a double shot.

Drip Coffee: A Classic Cup

Drip coffee is one of the most well-experienced types of coffee in the world. This coffee style is everywhere, and it is one of the easiest ways to prepare a cup of coffee.

Many coffee lovers associate drip coffee with a standard, regular, normal cup of coffee. Many would say that there is nothing particularly special about this drink, but the truth is that how special a cup of drip coffee is, is all about how well the coffee is made.

Drip coffee is typically prepared in a coffee maker by placing ground coffee beans into a filter basket, filling the tank of the machine with water, and the machine slowly drips hot water over the ground coffee beans to brew the drink. The liquid then collects in the iconic glass coffee carafe that we are all familiar with.

This coffee is a standard in many homes, coffee shops, workplaces, diners, and restaurants. Making drip coffee is simple and effective while highlighting many of the natural flavors of the coffee.

Drip coffee is essentially pour-over coffee, which is immensely different from espresso. Drip coffee is naturally diluted with water and requires no further dilution as the desired amount of water is used in the brewing process. 

This type of coffee is tasty, warming, rich, textured, and delicious, but it must be made well with high-quality coffee for it to be its best. It is very easy to make a bad cup of drip coffee, so it is important to take the brewing process seriously in order to prepare the perfect cup.

The Americano Vs. Drip Coffee: A Comparison

Comparing these two iconic black coffee drinks is not easy, but there are some distinct differences that make each of them identifiable compared to the other.

There is no way to say which type of coffee is better. It all comes to personal preference, but identifying the difference between these two types of coffee drinks can help you to understand what to look for to help you determine which you prefer.

The most identifiable and enjoyable characteristics of the Americano are the intense espresso flavors of the drink, the strong characteristics that are highlighted by the espresso proves, and the richness of the drink overall.

The fact that the Americano is prepared with espresso means that this drink possesses all of the characteristics of good espresso, only more diluted and easier to taste. The Americano is typically very hot, relatively large, and very strong. This drink is intense, hearty, smooth, rich, and flavorful.

Drip coffee, on the other hand, is usually less intense than a typical Americano because it is not prepared with the intensity of espresso. However, the most enjoyable elements of this drink are the richness, the texture, and the deep, full flavors produced by this brewing method.

This type of coffee is very textured and full-bodied with a significant mouthfeel. The brewing process here accentuates the richness of the coffee and allows the oils from the ground beans to make it into the brew. This makes the coffee taste full and rounded.

Drip coffee is not always very strong, but it is easy to drink, it is well-rounded and full-flavored, and it is the coffee drink of choice for many people in many countries. 


The Americano and drip coffee are among two of the most widely enjoyed coffee drinks out there. These drinks are typically served black, but they can both be modified and added according to the taste of the drinker.

Many assume the Americano and drip coffee are the same things, especially when served black, but the main difference is that the Americano is made with espresso, and drip coffee is normal filter coffee. 

Which coffee is best for you is your own preference, but compare these two drinks side-by-side, and the differences between them will become abundantly clear, along with your preference.