What is Lungo and how do you make it?


Are you a coffee lover who is always looking for new flavors and experiences? Then you might be curious about the answer to the question: "What is lungo coffee?" In this blog post we will take a closer look at this intriguing coffee variant.

Lungo coffee is not just another type of coffee. It has a unique preparation method known in two different ways. The first is the coarser grind, which gives you much more output in the same processing time as coffee (with a milder taste). The other method is to extend the processing time by keeping the grinding degree the same. This often results in a more bitter drink. A combination of the above methods is also an option!

Both methods result in a coffee drink with a larger volume and a milder taste.

But how do you make a good lungo? And what exactly is the difference with an espresso or a regular cup of coffee? We will answer these questions in the coming chapters. So keep reading to find out everything about lungo coffee!

A Lungo is often seen as a superior option to an Americano. A tip of the veil: as a barista I don't agree with that! In the chapter Lungo vs. I will go into more detail about other coffee drinks. Read on quick.

Lungo vs. Espresso

A big question in the coffee world is: "What is lungo coffee compared to espresso?" Well, let's explore that! Let's start by breaking down the espresso. An espresso is a small, strong cup of coffee brewed in about 25 to 30 seconds using about 18 to 20 grams of coffee. The name 'espresso' comes from the Italian word for 'express' or 'fast', and that's exactly what it is. But, a lungo is a little different.

A lungo, which means 'long' in Italian, is prepared by prolonging the espresso brewing process so that more water runs through the coffee. This results in a larger volume than an espresso, approximately 110 ml instead of the 30 ml of an espresso. But because the brewing process is longer, the taste of a lungo is milder than that of an espresso.

As I briefly mentioned in the introduction, this is one of the two methods to get more volume. The other method is to grind coarser so that you get more coffee in your cup in the same processing time.

So, what exactly is lungo coffee compared to an espresso? We can say that a lungo is an 'extended espresso'. It has a larger volume, a milder taste and is brewed over a longer time. But beware, a lungo is not just an espresso to which you add water, like an Americano. The preparation method of the lungo makes it unique.

So, if you're wondering, "What is lungo coffee and how is it different from espresso?" Then the answer is simple: it is a more voluminous, milder version of espresso, perfect for those who love the rich taste of espresso but want a little less intensity.

Lungo vs. other coffee drinks

Then let's talk about the Americano . What is an Americano compared to a lungo? An Americano is essentially an espresso diluted with hot water. You can say it is a milder version of the perfect espresso. It is flavorful, rich, yet less intense than an espresso. But the real beauty of the Americano lies in how it is made.

When you make an Americano, you start by brewing the most perfect espresso you can possibly make. Then you add hot water to dilute it. This means you can fully concentrate on making the most delicious espresso possible, without worrying about the brew time or how much water to run through the coffee. The result? A milder, but still incredibly tasty cup of coffee, without sacrificing quality.

A lungo, on the other hand, requires you to run more water through the coffee. This means you have to increase the extraction time, which can lead to over-extraction of the coffee, resulting in bitterness. In my opinion, a lungo is always a compromise. You try to get more volume, but you risk losing the pure, perfect taste of the espresso.

So, if you're wondering, "What is lungo coffee and how is it different from an Americano?" then my answer is clear: an Americano is a milder, more perfect version of an espresso. A lungo, on the other hand, is a game of compromise, where you risk losing the ultimate espresso experience in the attempt to gain more volume. My advice? If you like the rich flavor of espresso but want a little less intensity, go for an Americano. You won't be disappointed.

The Lungo is also sometimes compared to a 'normal coffee'. That is of course a bit of a strange term, but a 'normal coffee' is often what we in the Netherlands mean by a Lungo or an Americano. A Café Crème usually means the same thing as a Lungo.

Typesetting techniques

Lungo coffee, which literally means 'long coffee' in Italian, is a unique preparation method within the world of espressos. The process of making a lungo involves using more water than a standard espresso, but how exactly does this happen?

There are mainly two methods that can be performed. The first method involves coarser grinding of the coffee beans. This technique results in a slower extraction of the water by the coffee, giving you more liquid without over-extracting the coffee and creating a bitter taste. The downside is that it is more difficult to find the right grind, as too coarse a grind can lead to a weak and watery coffee.

The second method, extending the brew time, ensures that you run more water through the same amount of coffee. This runs the risk of over-extraction, which can lead to a bitter, unpleasant taste. However, if you do it right, you can get a lungo that is rich and flavorful, without the intensity of an espresso.

A third method, a combination of coarser grinding and extending the processing time, can also be performed. This allows you to balance between both methods to create the perfect lungo. This requires some experimentation and finesse, but the result can be a lungo that combines the flavorful intensity of an espresso with the milder, drinkable quality of a 'normal' cup of coffee.

So, what is lungo coffee? A unique espresso variant that gives you more volume without sacrificing taste, provided you find the right balance in the preparation method.

Lungo and caffeine content

The caffeine content in a cup of lungo can vary, depending mainly on the beans used and the preparation method. Many people ask the question, "what is lungo coffee in terms of caffeine content?" The answer is not so simple, but let's try to decipher it!

In the most basic sense, you could say that a lungo contains more caffeine than an espresso because of the extra water used in its preparation. But this is not always the case. The extra water extends the extraction time, meaning more caffeine is extracted from the beans. However, the caffeine content can also depend on the type of beans you use. For example, Robusta beans generally have a higher caffeine content than Arabica beans.

It's also important to mention that while the caffeine content may be higher in a lungo, it is ultimately diluted by the extra water. This means that the concentration of caffeine per ml can be lower than with an espresso. So if you're looking for a strong caffeine kick, an espresso might be a better choice. But if you want to enjoy the rich flavors of coffee in a larger volume, a lungo is an excellent option.

So, what is lungo coffee in terms of caffeine content? It's a complex question with an equally complex answer! Ultimately, it comes down to the beans you use and the way you prepare your coffee. But one thing is certain, a lungo is a wonderful way to start the day or take an afternoon break!

Flavor dynamics

If you're wondering what lungo coffee is in terms of taste, you're not alone. Lungo coffee has a unique flavor dynamic that sets it apart from other coffee varieties. Due to the long extraction time and extra water, lungo has a more complex, somewhat bitter and less concentrated taste than espresso.

Let's take a closer look at the unique flavor dynamics of lungo coffee. The first sip of lungo can immediately conquer your taste buds with its strong notes. The robust notes are often followed by subtle, sweet undertones that are drawn from the beans during the longer extraction time. This layering of flavors is what makes lungo coffee so special.

Unlike espresso, where the flavors are consistent from start to finish, lungo coffee can change in taste as you drink it. This is because the flavors develop and intensify during extraction. The first sip may be mild or even watery, but as you continue to drink, the coffee becomes stronger and richer.

Lungo, when brewed properly, is a coffee packed with flavor, with a unique flavor dynamic that takes you on a tasteful journey. It is perfect for those who like strong coffee but also want to experience the subtle sweetness and complexity that comes with the longer extraction time. Whether you're a coffee connoisseur or just enjoy a good cup of coffee, a lungo can be an exciting and delicious addition to your daily coffee routine.

Popular Lungo variations

Let's get back to the core question: what is lungo coffee? In essence, lungo coffee is a simple drink, and therefore there are not many variations on it. Most of the variations you'll encounter have to do with the way the coffee is brewed, which we discussed in an earlier chapter. Lungo coffee is defined by the longer extraction time and extra water used compared to an espresso.

What you have to keep in mind is that there is no fixed variant of lungo coffee, but it is always a matter of trying out how to bring out the best flavor. This is where the art of coffee making becomes really important. It is the skill of the barista and the choice of beans that ultimately determine how your cup of lungo will taste.

Lungo coffee is often compared to other popular coffee drinks, such as Americano, regular coffee, and café crème. While these drinks are all unique in their own way, they have a similar base: they are all espresso-based and all have a less concentrated flavor due to the addition of extra water.

However, in the case of a lungo, there is a difference in the way the water is added. The water is pressed through the coffee, which takes longer to extract, resulting in a more complex flavor profile. With the other drinks, the water is added after extraction, resulting in a more diluted version of an espresso.

In short, when it comes to the question of what is lungo coffee? the answer is simple. It is a delicious coffee drink with a unique flavor dynamic that is more than worth discovering.

Tips to master your Lungo ritual

So you're wondering what Lungo coffee is and how to prepare it perfectly? Well, you've come to the right place. The process of creating a great lungo requires attention to detail, patience and of course, the ability to enjoy the moment.

Think of it as a ritual. Start by measuring and weighing your coffee. The exact amount is a matter of taste and may vary depending on the type of coffee you use. For some, a little more or less can make the difference between a good or a great lungo.

Then comes the tasting. Taste is subjective, so what is perfect for one person may be too strong or too weak for another. It is important to notice what you taste and how you experience it. This will help you refine your technique and understand what works for you.

And here comes the twist, although preparing a lungo is an art, it may not be for everyone. If you're looking for consistency and replicability, an Americano may be a better choice. With its simple preparation method and more forgiving nature, it can be the ideal option for those who are still experimenting with their coffee skills.

Remember, it's your coffee and your ritual. Whether you prefer the complexity of a lungo or the simplicity of an Americano, the most important thing is to enjoy it. So sit down, take a sip, and toast to the perfect cup of coffee!


The world of coffee is one of unprecedented depth and diversity, as evident in the exploration of the lungo. Each cup of lungo promises a carefully orchestrated symphony of flavors and aromas, a balance that requires both art and science.

Yet it is important to emphasize that the lungo is just one of many coffee types in this rich and varied world. From the full, strong espresso to the soft, subtle Americano, there is a coffee type for every taste, mood and occasion. Each offers its own unique experience and invites you to experiment and discover.

So the journey to making the perfect cup of coffee is so much more than following a recipe; it is a constant exercise in refinement, adaptation and above all, enjoyment.

No matter your preference, whether you cherish the complexity of a lungo or the simplicity of an Americano, the most important thing is to cherish every sip and enjoy your own coffee ritual. So pour a cup, sit down and raise a glass to the beautiful diversity of coffee!