US troops have been drinking coffee for an estimated 150 years.
During World War I the prevalence of mustard gas made it impossible to brew coffee using water by normal methods.
So, soluble coffee became an important part of the substances issued to the army, hence the supply of instant coffee, not to be confused with ground coffee.
What are the origins of the Americano?
The espresso is the base of the Americano. It is made out of ground coffee beans and hot water.
Espressos were created to cater to people’s impatience. In 1906 two Italians developed Angelo Morando’s idea further and shared their invention at World’s Fair in Milan.
It is generally accepted that the Americano was devised to suit the tastes of US soldiers deployed overseas during the Second World War.
It is said that by the time WWII came around the US servicemen were drinking so much coffee that the Army Quartermaster Corps would go so far as to grind, package and ship coffee overseas.
It is also believed that this gave rise to the trend for selling ready ground beans.
Apparently, American soldiers stationed in Italy didn’t care for the very strong espresso that was favoured in the country.
So, they tried to recreate their coffee more to the taste to which they were used by adding water to the espresso shot.
Gradually, this method of preparing coffee became popular in Europe and came to be known as the Americano.
Nowadays, the correct way to make an Americano is to add your espresso to a mug of hot water.