Americano vs Lungo

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A coffee machine brewing an Americano on a marble counter.
Table of Contents
A coffee machine brewing an Americano on a marble counter.

Navigating the world of coffee can be a complex task, with terms like ‘Americano’ and ‘Lungo’ often leaving us scratching our heads. Did you know that both these drinks are variations of espresso-style beverages? This blog post aims to solve your coffee conundrums by delving into the differences and similarities of these two popular choices.

Ready to become a coffee connoisseur? Let’s dive in!

Americano vs Lungo

The difference between Americano and Lungo rests on their preparation and flavor concentration. An Americano is made by diluting a shot (or shots) of espresso with hot water, creating a beverage that has a consistency similar to drip coffee but retains the flavor profile of espresso. This dilution results in a milder taste compared to a straight espresso shot.

Conversely, a Lungo is an espresso pulled using more water than a regular shot, extending the extraction time. This process yields a larger volume of coffee with a slightly diluted flavor, but it’s not as diluted as an Americano.

In choosing between Americano and Lungo, consider your flavor intensity preference. For a more diluted espresso experience, opt for an Americano; if you desire a milder espresso without too much dilution, Lungo is the way to go.

Key Takeaways

  • An Americano is made by adding hot water to an espresso shot, while a Lungo is brewed with more water and for a longer time than regular espresso.
  • Americanos have a milder and balanced flavor profile, while Lungos are stronger and more intense in taste.
  • The caffeine content in Americanos is typically lower than that of Lungos due to the dilution with hot water.


An Americano is a coffee drink made by diluting espresso with hot water, while a Lungo is an espresso shot that has been brewed for an extended period of time.

Americano Definition

An Americano is a type of coffee. You make it by adding hot water to an espresso shot. The usual mix is four parts water to one part espresso. This drink looks like black coffee but tastes a bit different because of the espresso base.

Some people love Americanos more than regular black coffee for this reason. Also, the top layer or “crema” on an Americano is thick and dark in color.

Lungo Definition

Lungo is a term from Italy. It means “long”. This word refers to how we make the coffee. We use more water and run it through the coffee grounds for a longer time than we do for a regular espresso.

That’s why its name is lungo, or long.

This way of making coffee gives us more volume than a standard espresso shot. The foam layer on top of lungo is thin and light in color. People like lungo because it isn’t as bitter as normal espresso but still has strong flavors.

Historical Origins

The Americano originated during World War II when American soldiers stationed in Italy diluted their strong Italian espresso with water to make it taste more like the coffee they were accustomed to back home.

The lungo has its roots in Italy as well, where it was developed as a way to extract more flavor and aroma from coffee by extending the brewing time.

Americano Origins

The “Caff√® Americano” name comes from World War II. American soldiers in Italy wanted their espresso less strong. They told the baristas to add hot water to dilute it. This is how the Americano coffee came into being.

Then, this drink started getting popular in more places. It became a top pick not just in Italian cafes but also ones far away as in Turkey and America! So even though this special way of making coffee started in Italy, many people all around the world today love it!

Lungo Origins

Lungo originated in Italy and was brought to the rest of the world by soldiers. The word “lungo” means “long” in Italian, referring to the time it takes to pull an espresso shot. It has a milder flavor compared to Americano because of its longer extraction time.

Lungo coffee has a lighter colored and thinner layer of foam than Americano. Despite being less well-known than Americano, lungos are becoming popular among coffee enthusiasts for their unique flavor profile.

Brewing Process

The brewing process for an Americano and a Lungo differs in terms of water and coffee ratio, extraction time, and pressure and temperature.

Water and Coffee Ratio

The water and coffee ratio is an important aspect of brewing both Americano and Lungo. For Americano, the ratio is typically 1 part espresso to 1.5 parts hot water. This ensures that the flavor of the espresso stands up well when combined with larger amounts of milk for drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.

For Lungo, the ratio is much higher at 1 part espresso to 4 parts hot water. This results in a milder flavor compared to Americano, as more water is used during extraction.

So if you prefer a bolder taste, go for Americano with its stronger coffee-to-water ratio. But if you enjoy a mellower flavor profile, then Lungo might be your choice with its higher amount of added hot water.

Extraction Time

The extraction time is an important factor in determining the flavor and strength of a coffee. A regular espresso takes about 25 to 30 seconds to extract, while a Lungo can take up to a minute.

This longer extraction time for Lungo results in a milder flavor compared to a regular espresso. However, it also leads to a more bitter taste because the coffee grounds are exposed to hot water for a longer period.

So, if you prefer a stronger and bolder flavor, go for the regular espresso with its shorter extraction time. But if you enjoy milder flavors with less bitterness, try the Lungo with its longer extraction time.

Pressure and Temperature

The brewing process for both Americano and Lungo requires high pressure and temperature. When making these coffee drinks, the water is shot at a high pressure to extract the flavors and aromas from the coffee beans effectively.

This intense pressure helps in creating a rich, bold taste that espresso lovers enjoy. The temperature of the water used also plays a crucial role in extracting the desired flavors.

By carefully controlling these factors, baristas can create delicious Americanos and Lungos with unique flavor profiles that cater to different preferences.

Flavor and Aroma Differences

Americanos generally have a more mild and balanced flavor profile, with a slightly bitter taste and subtle aroma.


Americano is a type of coffee that starts with an espresso shot. It is made by adding hot water to the espresso, which dilutes the strong flavor but still keeps the essence of the espresso.

The result is a balanced and smooth taste. Americano is similar to black coffee, but it has its unique characteristics. It is often enjoyed on its own or as a base for other drinks like lattes or cappuccinos.

So, if you prefer a milder yet flavorful coffee experience, Americano might be the right choice for you.


Lungo is a type of coffee that starts with an espresso shot, but more water is added during the brewing process. This results in a milder and less intense flavor compared to a regular espresso shot.

Lungo has a distinct crema on top, which gives it a bitter taste. It tends to have a stronger and more intense flavor compared to Americano. So if you prefer your coffee with a bold kick, lungo might be the right choice for you!

Caffeine Content

The Americano typically has less caffeine content than a Lungo due to the dilution with hot water.

Americano Caffeine Content

Americano has a moderate amount of caffeine. This coffee drink contains two shots of espresso, which means it has more caffeine than regular black coffee. However, the caffeine content in an Americano can vary depending on the size and strength of the espresso shots used.

On average, a regular-sized Americano typically contains around 80-100mg of caffeine per serving. So if you’re looking for a little pick-me-up without going overboard, an Americano can be a good choice.

Lungo Caffeine Content

Lungo has the same amount of caffeine as a regular espresso, making it a good choice for those who want a caffeine boost. It contains around 50-100 mg of caffeine per ounce, with a typical Lungo containing 94 mg of caffeine per 2 fl oz cup.

While Lungo is not as strong as an espresso, it does have a more bitter taste. So if you’re looking for that extra kick of energy without compromising on flavor, Lungo might be the right coffee choice for you.

Uses in Popular Drinks

Americanos are often used as the base for popular drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, while lungos are enjoyed on their own as a bold and flavorful espresso shot.

Americano in Popular Drinks

Many popular drinks include Americano as an ingredient. Here are some examples:

  • Cafe Misto: A combination of brewed coffee and steamed milk with a shot of espresso.
  • Long Black: A drink similar to Americano, but the espresso is poured over hot water instead of adding water to the espresso.
  • Flat White: An espresso-based drink with steamed milk that has a velvety texture.
  • Cappuccino: A classic Italian drink made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk on top.
  • Latte: A creamy drink made with a shot of espresso and steamed milk, topped with a layer of frothed milk.

Lungo in Popular Drinks

Lungo is a versatile coffee that can be used in a variety of popular drinks. Here are some examples:

  • Lungo Macchiato: A lungo shot topped with a small amount of steamed milk and foam.
  • Long Black: Similar to an Americano, but the hot water is added to the espresso shot, creating a stronger flavor.
  • Mocha Lungo: A combination of lungo, chocolate syrup, and steamed milk, topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle.
  • Iced Lungo: A refreshing iced coffee beverage made by pouring lungo over ice and adding milk or sweetener if desired.
  • Affogato: A scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato drowned in a shot of hot lungo espresso.

Choosing Between Americano and Lungo

When choosing between Americano and Lungo, it’s important to consider your personal preferences and the appropriate occasion for each drink.

Considering personal preferences

When it comes to choosing between Americano and Lungo, personal preference plays a significant role. If you prefer a milder and smoother taste, then Americano is the way to go. On the other hand, if you enjoy a stronger and more robust flavor, then Lungo would be your best choice.

Both options offer distinct flavors that can vary greatly depending on your taste buds and preferences. So take some time to consider what type of flavor profile suits you best before making your decision.

Determine the appropriate occasion

The Americano and Lungo can be enjoyed on various occasions, such as breakfast, afternoon coffee breaks, or after a meal. It ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the experience you’re looking for.

If you prefer a milder flavor with a bit more water added to your espresso shot, then the Lungo may be the better choice for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy a stronger flavor with less water added, then the Americano is the way to go.

Both drinks can provide a satisfying caffeine boost throughout the day.


Deciding between an Americano and a Lungo comes down to personal preference. If you prefer a stronger and more bitter taste, go for the Lungo. But if you want something milder with a bold flavor, the Americano is your best bet.

Consider your taste preferences and the occasion when choosing between these two espresso-based drinks. Happy brewing!


What is the difference between an Americano and a Lungo?

The main difference between these two espresso drinks is how they are made. An Americano is made by adding hot water to one shot of espresso while a Lungo uses more water when brewing with an espresso machine.

How does coffee taste in Americano vs Lungo?

Americano tends to have a milder flavor compared to Lungo because it’s diluted with more hot water. On the other hand, Lungo has an intense taste as it’s brewed longer using more ground coffee.

Can you make both these coffees at home?

Yes! With a good espresso machine, some ground coffee and heated water, you can easily make either type based on your taste preferences at home.

Does the method of making affect the texture or appearance of these two types of coffee drinks?

Yes! The portafilter helps create undissolved thicker crema in lungos due to its long brewing process, while americanos typically have lesser crema density as hot water dilutes it.

Are there any differences in caffeine content between them?

While both are usually made from one shot of traditional espresso; due to combining more ground coffee for longer perfection duration under pressure, lungos might contain slightly higher caffeine content than americanos which are predominantly added with extra boiling liquid.

6.What kind if serving styles do these beverages come along with?

Both americano and lungo could be served either hot or iced depending upon flavour lovers’ inclination towards boldness or mild satisfaction from their finely grounded single origin bean-based delight.

About the Author:
Emily Thompson is an enthusiastic guide in the world of coffee, sharing her expertise in flavors, brewing techniques, and cultural significance. Her journey, fueled by a deep love for coffee, involves educating coffee enthusiasts of all levels to enhance their coffee experiences. Emily's content spans from brewing guides to the cultural importance of coffee, emphasizing ethical sourcing and sustainability.