Milk-based espresso drinks such as Latte and Cappuccino are all the rage but if you really want to taste the flavour of your coffee then drinking it black and choosing the best coffee machine for Americano will deliver a taste better than a coffee shop.
The beauty of Americano is that you don’t need to worry about milk or steaming milk so you can immediately eliminate any coffee maker or coffee machine that has a milk frother.
If you are not interested in milk-based drinks at all then you can save money by choosing an espresso machine that doesn’t come with milk steaming capability.
In fact, it is perfectly possible to make good Americano without even bothering with a coffee machine that you have to plug into the wall.
Traditionally Americano is made by adding water to a double espresso and you can do that without having to invest a lot of money by using a stovetop coffee maker.
If you are just starting out with Americano and are looking to move away from freeze-dried instant coffee granules then we would recommend not spending much to start with and practice with a low-cost stovetop Moka pot and if you find that you are enjoying it then you can consider upgrading to a pump espresso machine.
Another option to consider is a pod or capsule coffee machine that will deliver your coffee without any fuss with the press of just one button.
On the other hand, if you are a long time Americano drinker and you want to recreate a coffee shop experience in your own home then there are a few home espresso machines that really stand out and offer tremendous value for money.
Before we go through the best coffee machines for Americano lets take a look at the different options you have for making a good cup of Americano at home.
Pod coffee machines for Americano
This is the easiest way to improve the taste of black coffee compared to drinking instant coffee.
With instant coffee, the coffee has been brewed months before and frozen before being broken down into granules and added to the jars you find on the supermarket shelf.
Instant coffee is made from low-quality beans and is not fresh so the flavour is not great.
With coffee pods the coffee beans are freshly ground and then vacuum sealed inside the pod to retain the freshness.
If you want to try out a decent Americano using a pod machine then stick to one of the big 3 brands that dominate the market. There is a reason that Nespresso, Dolce Gusto and Tassimo are the most popular pod coffee machine manufacturers.
The machines are good value for money and the pods that they take are readily available.
Pod coffee machines come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and many different price levels according to the features on each machine and how good they are producing a good cup of coffee.
If you only want Americano then check the machine doesn’t have a milk frother on it otherwise you’ll be spending money on something you don’t need.
The other thing to be aware of is the cost of the pods themselves. Often you will find the coffee machine itself very cheap but then the cost of the pods can add up and become expensive over time.
However, with Dolce Gusto and Nespresso you don’t need to buy the original pods that they offer and there are plenty of alternatives to consider that cost far less.
So if you pair a cheap pod machine with some cheap pods then you are on to a winner.
Here are some articles that explain more:
Espresso coffee machines for Americano
Stand-alone espresso machines always come with a milk frother as it is assumed that someone that is making coffee will want to heat up the milk to add to espresso to make favourites such as Cappuccino, Latte or Flat white.
These types of machines will produce some of the best Americano’s though as they will push water through freshly ground coffee at high pressure to create a double espresso.
With these machines you’ll need to add ground coffee to the portafilter before inserting it into your espresso machine for it to work its magic and produce a double espresso ready for you to add water to create an Americano.
Coffee tastes best when the beans are freshly ground just before you make your coffee so you can either buy pre-ground coffee to add straight to the portafilter or grind the coffee yourself freshly from beans.
Grinding your own coffee will produce the best flavour and is easier and cheaper than you think.
Here is some more information about grinding your own coffee beans:
And if you can’t be bothered with that then this article suggests some really good pre-ground coffee:
You can spend £50 on an espresso machine or you can spend over £1000 but it’s all about finding one that can produce great coffee and that doesn’t mean buying the most expensive one.
We have suggested a couple below that are great value for money and produce great coffee.
Bean to cup coffee machines for Americano
If you want coffee produced with freshly ground coffee beans and you don’t want to do any of the work yourself then a bean to cup coffee machine will do all of the work for you without any of the hassle of a more manual espresso machine.
Just put the beans in the top and press one button. The machine will grind the beans, make the coffee and add the water for a perfect Americano every time.
Bean to cup coffee machines are a bit of an indulgence and do cost a bit more than the average pod machine or manual espresso machine but they really are a hassle-free way to fabulous coffee.
A detailed article on this type of coffee machine can be found here:
Stovetop coffee machines for Americano
This is an underrated and low-cost way to make espresso without having to buy an expensive coffee machine.
You add some water to the bottom, the coffee sits in the middle and when you put it on the stove the water is forced up through the ground coffee and into the jug on top for a delicious Americano.
These are the best coffee machines for Americano:
This really is the perfect coffee machine for Americano if you don’t want to mess about with grinding your own coffee or you don’t want to spend extra money on a milk frother that you don’t need for Americano style coffee.
The Essenza is the cheapest machine that Nespresso offer but it takes the same pods as the most expensive one and it has the same 15bar pump as the most expensive Nespresso machine.
Open the lid, pop in the pod and press go. In less than a minute your Americano is delivered. This coffee machine represents excellent value for money for black coffee drinkers.
You can also use replacement pods that are a lot cheaper than the Nespresso original ones and it’s super thin so will fit into almost any space.
Another Nespresso machine that doesn’t have a milk frother so ideal for all black coffee drinks including Americano.
This one is different in that it takes Nespresso’s Vertuo pods that have a bardcode on them so the machine can read the type of pod you are inserting and it automatically delivers the perfect coffee without you doing a thing.
Stylish and unbelievably easy to use this is the ultimate in hassle-free coffee.
There are a few types of machine that take the Vertuo pods, this Vertuo plus and a Vertuo “Next” which is cheaper than the “Plus” but is slightly more manual. We cover them both in the full review.
If you don’t want to spend much money but you want to try out a coffee machine that makes decent Americano then this low-cost machine from Tassimo will fit the bill.
The machine reads the barcode on the pod so you don’t even need to work out how much coffee should be delivered, the machine just knows. Put the pod in and press one button for pain-free coffee.
This has been a best seller for Delonghi for a number of years and is different from the pod machines in that you need to make a contribution to the coffee making process.
If you don’t want to get involved with adding ground coffee to the machine then this may not be for you but the few minutes you spend preparing your coffee with this machine can make a big difference to the quality.
If you want to grind fresh coffee beans yourself then you’ll need to add a separate grinder because this doesn’t come with one but you can use pre-ground coffee or it also takes ESE coffee pods which are pretty similar to pods that go in pod machines but they come in bag form.
Add your coffee to the portafilter and insert it into the machine and then press the button on the top of the machine which you can program to deliver the exact amount of coffee to suit your taste.
There is also a milk frother for milk-based drinks for anyone in your home that likes Lattes or Cappuccinos.
A little more manual than the EC685BK but it does normally come in a bit cheaper and is a good place to start if you are looking for your first coffee machine but don’t want to make a big investment.
It’s best to avoid anything cheaper than this for a pump espresso machine as it will likely deliver poor quality coffee and Delonghi is a brand you know you can trust as the market leader.
Simply turn the dial to the right to start coffee delivery and back to the middle again to stop. Nice and easy and it allows you to prepare your coffee the same as they do in the high street coffee shops.
If you want it all – ease of use and freshly ground coffee then this bean to cup coffee machine provides one-touch fresh Americano.
The beans go in the top and you set the strength of coffee and the amount of coffee you want using the two dials on the front and then press start.
The machine will automatically rind your beans and force the water through the ground coffee at high pressure to produce your drink of choice.
This is an entry-level bean to cup machine but it still delivers good quality coffee and is very easy to use which is why it has been a best seller for many years.
This is where you really start to get true cafe-quality coffee with a machine that has many of the things you would find on a coffee machine in Costa or Starbucks.
The coffee is delivered at exactly 93 degrees Celcius every time and there is a pressure gage to help you deliver your espresso in 28 seconds for the perfect extraction and then there is a separate hot water pipe that you can use to top up the espresso for an Americano that will be better than you have tasted from a coffee shop.
Not cheap but produces outstanding coffee.
If you are not up for spending a hundred or two and you want good Americano but only want to invest a small amount of money then this best selling Moka pot of all time from Bialetti is a worthy contender.
Millions of these have been sold over the decades because they are simple to use, produce good coffee and don’t cost much.
Add the water to the bottom then the coffee and within a few minutes the coffee will appear in the jug at the top.
This does exactly the same thing as the Original but has been remodelled for a more modern feel. A great alternative to the Moka pot from Bialetti for more contemporary surroundings.
What’s the best way to make an Americano
Once you have chosen the machine you will be making your Americano with, making it correctly makes a big difference to the overall flavour.
As a general rule an Americano is made up of a double espresso and an equal amount of water to espresso.
A double espresso should contain about 40ml of coffee so adding 40ml of water will create an Americano that dilutes the intensity of the espresso but still provides a deep strong coffee flavour.
It’s nice to have a 50/50 split of espresso and water first thing in the morning to kick start your day but sometimes it’s nice to have a slightly milder Americano that lasts a bit longer.
Try adding 60ml of water to your double espresso for a less heavy coffee that is perfect post-lunch to set you up for the afternoon.
This article goes into a lot of detail on what an Americano is and how to get the best out of it: