What is the Difference between Espresso and Lungo?

The Lungo is a rather unknown way of a brewed Espresso. Have a look at the sections below to find out the things you might have wanted to know about a Lungo but never dared to ask.

Well, maybe you would have dared to ask if you would even have known that a Lungo existed.

In any case, have a look at the answers to commonly asked questions regarding the Lungo!

Showing a picture of Espresso shots being pulled in order to represent the Difference between Espresso and Lungo

What is the Difference between Espresso and Lungo? 

Well – both are brewed by forcing hot water with high pressure through coffee beans that are finely ground. In short, the difference is that for the same amount of coffee grounds you extract around twice the amount of coffee.

Both are very similar and are brewed the same way. They even use the same beans! The only difference is the amount of water that is used.

A shot of Espresso is around 1 oz of brewed coffee and takes around 25 to 35 seconds to pull. A Lungo takes around 45 seconds and ends up being around double the amount of brewed coffee. If you pull your shot of Espresso faster and with less water, then you’re looking at a Ristretto!

What is a Lungo in Coffee?

Lungo in Italian means ‘long’. It perfectly describes the preparation of an Espresso shot with about twice the amount of water. The double amount of hot water is forced through the powdery ground coffee under pressure. 

You end up with a larger serving of Espresso. Instead of 1 oz you get around 2 ounces of coffee. That is similar in size to a Doppio (double Espresso shot) except that you only use coffee grounds for a single shot of Espresso!

Image showing Espresso/Lungo shots to represent what Lungo is in coffee

Is Lungo the same as Americano?

No, it’s not. Lungo and Americano are quite different. The Americano is a regular shot of Espresso that is ‘stretched’ with hot water to make it less strong.

The Lungo is a long espresso shot where more water is forced through the Espresso grounds. The difference is in taste and that the Lungo does taste stronger.

Is Lungo Espresso or Coffee?

The Lungo is a Espresso shot that is brewed with the Espresso machine longer (around 45 seconds to even a minute) and with more water. While all Espresso is also Coffee, it’s not a drip coffee or otherwise prepared coffee.

Espresso usually has a strong coffee taste. The Lungo has a bit milder aroma and tastes smoother compared to a regular Espresso shot.

Why is it called Lungo?

Lungo is the Italian word for ‘long’. And that describes the Lungo Espresso very well. It’s a long Espresso shot that brews longer and with more water.

To pull a shot of Espresso usually takes around 25 seconds and results in around 1 oz of prepared coffee. The Lungo brews for around 45 seconds and you get around 2 oz of Espresso. In short ‘long’ describes it perfectly!

Do you add milk to Lungo?

That depends on whether you like milk in your Lungo or not. Technically, a Lungo is simply a long Espresso shot.

If you prefer to drink your regular Espresso with milk or cream then you might prefer the same for your Lungo. You can also just add a spoonful of milk foam on top making your Lungo a long version of an Espresso Macchiato.

Or, add dairy or non-dairy milk with or without sugar until the Lungo tastes the way you like it!

Pulling a shot of Lungo and figuring out whether you add milk to it or not

Is Lungo the same as Latte? 

Lungo and Latte are not the same at all. Both coffee drinks start by using Espresso as a base. The Latte typically has one or two shots of Espresso that is then complemented by a large amount of steamed milk.

The Lungo is simply a shot of Espresso that is pulled for a longer time and with more water. By definition, there’s no steamed milk added to a Lungo.

Having said that, nobody will call the coffee police if you were to pull one or two Lungo shots and use that as the basis of your Latte! If you prefer a smoother coffee flavor then you might want to give this a try!

Final Thoughts

There you have it. All the answers to questions you might have had on the differences between an Espresso and Lungo. Or, maybe some answers you had on the Lungo itself.

Showing a picture of Espresso shots being pulled in order to represent the Difference between Lungo and Espresso
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