i made myself an americano* this morning, for i believe the first time in my life. i was just feeling incapable of appreciating the severity of a normal espresso (it was 7am and life has been hard lately), and stovetop espresso tends to make my skin crawl (not in a bad way, necessarily. not like, revolting, but like i’m crazy. bugs inside me. that sort of thing. bad for studying).
it was okay, actually, despite the wealth of scorn which i have heaped upon The Very Idea of It in the past. it is common, this scorn (among snobs? all Continentals?), and i have always taken it to be implicit in the name itself, although perhaps even that perception derives from a chain of association that already implicates ‘American’ with ‘watered down,’ ‘adulterated,’ etc; which i grant is unfair both to America(ns) and water.
i don’t think i would even have given my prejudices a second thought had not a friend of mine who is similarly hardheaded brought it up last summer, along the lines of “hey, i’ve been making myself americanos lately and i really like them. yeah, i know, but i’ve been thinking about it and i’ve decided allongés suck. they make the espresso taste like shit.” since i had also always been suspicious that allongés sucked, and having intelligent pretty ladies with good taste confirm your suspicions tends to be validating (provided those suspicions do not concern your own shortcomings), i think that opened up the conditions of possibility for me eventually liking americanos.
i should say liking an americano. i don’t think that i’ll make a habit of it.
* it turns out that what i “actually” made was a long black, which i am not convinced actually exists, but will admit that as i was making it i was contemplating what effect the order of the pour (water into espresso v. espresso into water) would have. (note: i also like the snide note on diacritics in the wiki americano entry, which in turn reminded me of the story, possibly apocryphal, i heard recently about Oxford refusing to have a sociology department for a long time because they opposed the mixing of Latin and Greek. they have one now though, FOR SHAME.)