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American Coffee: How Do Americans Drink Coffee?

woman drinking coffee

Coffee is a cultural phenomenon in many countries, but it is especially prevalent in U.S. society. Millions of Americans drink coffee every day and at any time they want, often sported in to-go cups from local chains or washable travel mugs. Regardless of when or where it’s made, the most important part of American-style coffee is how it’s brewed. Read on to see what American coffee is (and isn’t), and how to make it yourself at home, without traveling overseas to taste it:

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What Kind of Coffee Do Americans Drink?

Type of Coffee Beans

Most Americans drink coffee made with Arabica beans, usually a medium roast for hot coffee and a darker roast for iced coffee. Arabica beans are the most popular type of coffee bean, with the Robusta coffee bean coming in second. Compared to Robusta beans, Arabica beans have a sweeter and more delicate flavor profile.

Mr. Coffee 12-cup drip machine

Brewing Method

Drip-brewed coffee requires a filter and pour hot water dripping over the ground coffee beans, whether using a drip coffee maker or coffee pod brewer. Drip-brew is the most popular style of brewing in America, surpassing pour-over and French press as the main brewing method. The drip-brew method works really well with medium roast coffee, so it’s not surprising to see that drip coffee makers are in homes across America.

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How Do Americans Take their Coffee?

While some Americans prefer it black or cream only, many take their coffee with cream and sugar. Flavor swirls like caramel and mocha are very popular with American coffee, especially at big coffee chains that have multiple flavor options. Many big coffee chains also have limited edition flavors, especially during the holiday season.

Starbucks iced coffee

American Coffee vs. Americano

The Americano is a classic espresso drink that has some connection to American coffee, but it goes beyond the brewer. During World War II, U.S. soldiers in Italy diluted the strong espresso with hot water to mimic the drip-brewed coffee from home. The Americano still requires espresso and hot water, whereas American coffee calls for medium-roast drip coffee.

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How to Make American-Style Drip Coffee

Mr. Coffee pouring

Ingredients
  • Medium-roast coffee
  • Filtered Water
  • Cream/Non-dairy Creamer (optional)
  • Sugar (Optional)
Equipment
  • Drip brewer
  • Drip basket filter
Guided Steps
  • Place a filter in the drip filter basket. Check which kind of filter you need with your machine.
  • Put coffee beans in the filter with ½-1 tbsp per one cup of water. Ex: around 3-4 tbsp of coffee for 4-6 cups.
  • Fill the water reservoir with filtered water. Water with a lot of minerals will eventually cause a buildup in the machine.
  • Choose your brew strength if that’s an option. The ‘strong’ brew will take longer, but the coffee is darker.
  • Press the brewing button and wait until it’s done.
  • Once it’s done brewing, add cream or sugar to your liking.

How to Make American-Style Iced Coffee

iced mocha coffee with straw

Guided Steps
  • Use the same steps as above for brewing, except you’ll be adding 2 tablespoons of coffee per one cup. This is to make it stronger, so the ice doesn’t dilute to coffee too much.
  • Once it’s done brewing, immediately take it off the coffee maker’s hot plate. Let it sit out and cool completely.
  • After cooling, pour it into a glass with ice. Add any cream or sugar and enjoy. Place the rest of the coffee in a container in the fridge and use it within 5-7 days.

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Featured Image: Ketut Subiyanto, Pexels

Jaimie Wisniowski

Jaimie is a freelance writer fueled by coffee, whether it’s hot, iced, or made from a local coffee shop. She enjoys writing all things coffee, especially if it means trying the latest coffee shop trends (hello cold foam!). After spending years writing poems, college essays, and short stories, it only a matter of time to turn writing into a career. Writing about coffee simply combined two of her favorite things! When she’s not drinking coffee by the minute and writing at her laptop, Jaimie spends time hiking, exercising, and living an active life. She also loves to snuggle up with a good book and her dog, Margo. If you catch her without a cup of coffee, she’s probably on her way to the coffee maker now.

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