What is a lungo coffee?

Today’s article delves into the world of espresso coffee and specifically focuses on one of its variants: lungo coffee.

Lungo is an Italian word meaning “long.” In the context of coffee, it refers to a shot of espresso that has been made with more water, resulting in a longer, more diluted drink.

This allows for a different flavour profile and a milder taste than a traditional, shorter shot of espresso. Additionally, lungo coffee tends to have a lower caffeine content as well.

What is a lungo coffee? Basic definition

The difference between traditional espresso and Lungo lies in the extraction time and the amount of water used.

The term lungo comes from Italian and means “long”, which is reflected in the extraction time, which is longer than traditional espresso coffee. In addition, approximately twice as much water is used to prepare lungo coffee.

In terms of extraction time, while a normal espresso is extracted for 25-30 seconds, a ristretto takes a maximum of 20 seconds, and a lungo can take up to 50-60 seconds.

Similarly, the difference between a lungo and a ristretto is the opposite: the ristretto is a more concentrated coffee in which the extraction time is much shorter. Therefore, in terms of extraction time:

Ristretto << Normal Espresso << Lungo Coffee

Difference between Lungo and americano

Both are black coffees and are served in a larger cup than an espresso cup, which is why many people confuse them. However, the difference between a lungo and an Americano is very clear.

The Americano is prepared by adding hot water afterwards, i.e. after the espresso has been extracted. On the other hand, the Lungo is extracted over a longer period until the desired amount of coffee is obtained.

Therefore, the extraction of the coffee itself has nothing in common between the two coffees, nor do their taste and aroma.

Related: Difference between ristretto, espresso and lungo pods

How to prepare lungo coffee correctly

To find out how to make a lungo coffee, you must have an espresso machine and pay attention to a couple of time-related questions.

To make a lungo coffee, you should use the same dose of ground coffee as for a normal espresso (this is important because if you use more, then you would be making a doppio or double espresso) but prolong the extraction for about twice as long.

Lungo coffee pods

Of course, we also have lungo coffee in pods in various formats available on the market. We will only review the best-known ones, but a few coffee pod formats do not include lungo in their catalogue.

Lungo coffee for Dolce Gusto

There are plenty of options if we want to try lungo coffee for Dolce Gusto, both in the catalogue of official pods and among the compatible pods. In general, these are single-serve coffee pods that contain a slightly higher dose of coffee than usual (not much) and invite us to brew with a high range of water quantity.

Of the seven brewing bars we can choose from in Dolce Gusto’s automatic coffee machines, we will normally use at least 5 or 6 to prepare a lungo. Espresso is usually set to level 2 to give you an idea.

Lungo coffee for Nespresso

In the case of Nespresso coffee makers, we must remember that they come already configured with two sizes of coffee (in some cases programmable), which are even three sizes in the most modern models. Among these sizes, we can always choose one espresso size and one for lungo.

The machine will use the right amount of water according to our choice, maintaining the water flow for as long as needed. Lungo pods for Nespresso are usually varieties that are already prepared and optimised to obtain the best result with this amount of water.

Lungo coffee for Tassimo

And finally, of course, we can also buy lungo coffee for Tassimo, in this case, from two varieties of L’Or and Marcilla.

You may be interested in Café Manchado: what it is and how it is made.