What Is Lungo Coffee

What Is Lungo Coffee: Get To Know Your Espresso

Lungo Coffee is a coffee that has been ground with a long, slow roasting process. This smooth, complex flavour is heavily enjoyed in the Italian espresso market. Aside from being a great cup of coffee, there is so much to learn.

Let’s dig in.

History Of The Lungo

Let’s explore the history of lungo coffee before you get ready to make coffee at home. Café allongé is the French phrase for coffee, whereas “lungo” is an Italian term. Speciality coffee shops in the US are unlikely to use these terminologies. However, depending on the barista, you might get a shot longer than usual and not follow the standard 1:2 ratio.

Lungo coffee is one of the oldest coffees in the world. It was first brewed in central Italy in the 16th century. The coffee beans were roasted over a woodfired stove and then steeped in a jar or pot, which gave it its unique flavour. The beans were typically ground into small pieces and put into different vessels to drink, such as pots or jugs.

How To Prepare Lungo Coffee

Now that we know its history, let’s learn how to prepare lungo coffee!

  • When brewing lungo coffee, always use fresh water and beans. Do not over-extract or use pre-packaged beans. 
  • Be sure to grind your beans because they will have a different flavour and caffeine content than those bought in stores.
  • Grind the beans into fine particles using a burr grinder or an electric hand grinder. Roast the beans at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven before they are done so they do not turn into rockhard boulders.

Most coffee shops use a blend of Arabica and Robusta. Some coffee drinkers advise using a slightly coarser grind to lower the extraction rate and lessen bitterness because the pull is longer for a lungo. Grind the espresso directly into the portafilter at a target weight of 7 to 10 grams, the same as a typical espresso shot.

What Does Lungo Coffee Taste Like?

Lungo coffees have a stronger, more bitter flavour than an espresso shot but are less concentrated because of the prolonged extraction procedure. This longer brewing period also results in a thinner cream, the frothy foam coverings the shot’s surface.

What Are Some Common Ways To Enjoy Lungos?

While adding a lungo shot to coffee beverages such as a flat white, latte, macchiato, or cappuccino is technically possible, the additional water will change the drink’s consistency and reduce its creamy texture. Instead, add flavour to mild roasts or use a lungo for a caffeine boost.

To make a long black or Americano, espresso is diluted with water. The amount of caffeine increases when an espresso shot is substituted with a lungo shot. Lungo shots add a strong, high note to the more subdued roasted tones of drip coffee in this “shot in the dark” style beverage.

There are many ways to enjoy lungos. Some people enjoy the taste while others the tactile experience. There is no correct or incorrect way to enjoy lungos – everyone has their own preferences. It is important to find what makes you happy and stick with it!

Caffeine Content Of Lungo Coffee

Original and Professional espressos and lungos contain 40 to 130 mg of caffeine per cup, while Vertuo coffees contain 60 to 200 mg. A coffee’s strength has nothing to do with how much caffeine it contains.

Comparing Lungo To Other Coffees

Now that we’re familiar with lungo coffee, let’s compare them to the common coffee variants!

Lungo vs Americano

Lungo coffee is made with roasted beans from the Latin American region of South America. This coffee is often blended with other beans to create a unique flavour profile. On the other hand, Americano coffee is prepared from ground beans roasted in the United States. This coffee often contains more bitter flavours and has a moreish taste.

The method of preparation distinguishes between Lungo and Americano. You can create a lungo by using twice as much water to prepare an espresso. In contrast, you make an Americano by extracting a shot of espresso and then blending it with hot water. An Americano typically has a serving size of 168–224 ml, whereas a lungo has an 84–112 ml serving size.

Lungo vs Espresso

Espresso coffee is made with a more complex blend of beans than lungo coffee. They both have a strong flavour, but espresso coffee is typically served hot and with a more bitter taste. Lungo coffee is brewed with an all-ground blend of beans, giving it a smooth, creamy flavour.

The quantity of water used and the flavour this creates distinguish a lungo from an espresso. The same amount of ground coffee is used in a lungo shot, but there is more water and a longer extraction period.

As a result, the coffee becomes less concentrated and has more pronounced flavours like almonds and caramel. The natural bitterness of coffee is also enhanced by lungo coffee.

Water is in contact with coffee grounds for an extended period, so the Lungo has a higher caffeine content. The doppio, which is formed of two espresso shots, and a long shot espresso, or Lungo, are sometimes confused with one another.

Lungo vs Ristretto

A ristretto shot is made with a smaller amount of roasted coffee beans and has a sweeter flavour. Lungo coffee is made with more roasted coffee beans and has a more robust flavour. Both coffees are meant for brewing in large, high-quality cafés or restaurants.

The Lungo and ristretto shots differ from each other in terms of flavour and volume. A lungo uses twice as much water as an espresso, but a ristretto uses half as much. A lungo is a less intense coffee with bitter flavour characteristics resembling nuts and caramel. The Lungo has more caffeine than a ristretto, another distinction between the two drinks.


Lungo coffee first gained popularity in Italy, where it is often served with croissants or pastries. It is also popular in Spain and France. 

Overall, lungo coffee is lower in caffeine than other varieties and has a more delicate flavour. 

Was this article helpful? Let us know in the comment.


Does a lungo coffee have more caffeine than an espresso?

The longer an espresso shot is pulled, the more caffeine it contains. This is because you’re extracting the coffee grinds more thoroughly. Lungos have the edge over ordinary espressos in terms of caffeine content.

How much water do you need to make a lungo?

The most typical lungo recipe calls for 18 grams of coffee and 36 grams of water, or a ratio of around 1:2. A lungo normally contains a ratio of between 1:3 and 1:4 coffee to water. However, this may differ from barista to barista or according to the preferences of home brewers.

Can you add milk to a lungo coffee?

Of course! Many people enjoy the taste of milk in their coffee. For some, it provides a nice space change and helps complete a workday. Others may not be able to tolerate dairy products altogether. Adding milk to a lungo coffee can provide a different and interesting flavour for those who enjoy such drinks.

Pearl Lemon Team
Pearl Lemon Team