Blonde Espresso vs Lungo

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Two cups of Lungo coffee in front of a fire.
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Two cups of Lungo coffee in front of a fire.

You love your espresso, but have you ever wondered about the difference between blonde espresso and lungo? These two popular coffee beverages bring unique flavor profiles and caffeine content.

This article will clear up any confusion by diving into the origins, brewing process, flavors and uses of these two drinks in your favorite cafes. Get ready to become an even bigger coffee connoisseur as we explore the world of blonde espresso versus lungo!

Blonde Espresso vs Lungo

The difference between Blonde and Lungo revolves around the roast level and extraction process. A Blonde refers to a lighter roast of coffee beans, resulting in a sweeter, milder, and less acidic flavor profile. It highlights the natural flavors of the coffee bean, providing a more approachable and nuanced taste experience compared to darker roasts.

Conversely, a Lungo, or “long shot”, pertains to the extraction method. It’s an espresso shot where more water is used, extending the extraction time and producing a larger volume of coffee with a diluted flavor. The intention is to capture different nuances of the coffee that might be overshadowed in a standard espresso.

When choosing between Blonde and Lungo, consider whether you’re seeking a specific roast profile or a different extraction technique for your coffee experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Blonde espresso is a lightly roasted coffee bean that offers a lighter and milder flavor compared to regular espresso.
  • Lungo is an Italian term for “long” and refers to an espresso shot brewed with more water, resulting in a larger volume of coffee with a slightly different taste profile than regular espresso.
  • Blonde espresso typically has a higher caffeine content than lungo.
  • Blonde espresso is commonly used in lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos for a lighter flavor, while lungo can be enjoyed on its own as a long black coffee or used in Americanos for a stronger taste.


Blonde Espresso Definition: Blonde espresso refers to a type of coffee bean that is lightly roasted, resulting in a lighter and milder flavor compared to regular espresso.

Lungo Definition: Lungo, on the other hand, is an Italian term for “long,” and it refers to an espresso shot that has been brewed using more water and therefore has a larger volume than a traditional shot of espresso.

Blonde Espresso Definition

Blonde espresso comes from light-roast coffee beans. The word “blonde” talks about the light gold color of the roast. It’s not as dark or heavy as other espressos. This kind of coffee has less bitterness and more sweetness.

Because it is a gentle, light roast, many people like to use it in their espresso recipes.

Lungo Definition

Lungo is a type of coffee drink. It looks like regular espresso but it’s not the same. The word “lungo” means “long” in Italian. This tells us about how it gets made. Lungo uses the same amount of ground coffee as an espresso shot, but with more water.

Making lungos takes longer than making espressos because they use more water. They also taste less strong than espressos because of all that extra water. People say a lungo is kind of like a milder, diluted espresso with higher caffeine content.

Historical Origins

Blonde Espresso Origins: Blonde espresso has its origins in the specialty coffee movement, with a focus on highlighting the unique flavors of lighter roasted coffee beans.

Lungo Origins: Lungo, on the other hand, has been a traditional European method of making espresso for many years. It involves using more water and allowing for a longer extraction time to create a larger volume of coffee.

Blonde Espresso Origins

Blonde espresso comes from the Coffee Belt. This is in Latin America or Africa. The color of this drink is lighter than others. The taste, too, is light and easy on the tongue.

People roast the coffee beans used in blonde espresso to a light level. Or sometimes they use medium-light level roasts. This gives off caramel notes and acidic flavors when you drink it.

Sweetness marks its taste instead of strong coffee flavor that comes with long-roasted drinks.

Lungo Origins

The lungo drink has its origins in Italy, although the specific details about its creation are not well-known. The term “lungo” means “long” in Italian, which refers to the longer extraction time for this type of coffee.

Brewing Process

The brewing process for blonde espresso and lungo involves a specific water and coffee ratio, extraction time, as well as pressure and temperature.

Water and Coffee Ratio

The water and coffee ratio is an important factor in determining the strength and flavor of your espresso. In traditional espresso, the ratio is 1:2, which means for every gram of coffee, you use two grams of water.

This results in a balanced and strong brew. However, if you prefer a more concentrated shot, you can try making a ristretto with a higher coffee-to-water ratio. On the other hand, if you want a milder taste, like in lungo shots, you would double the amount of water to create a less intense and diluted brew.

So adjusting the water and coffee ratio allows you to customize your espresso experience according to your personal preference.

Extraction Time

The extraction time is an important factor in brewing both blonde espresso and lungo. For a perfect shot of espresso, the extraction time should be around 20 to 25 seconds. This ensures that the water has enough contact with the coffee grounds to extract all the flavors and aromas effectively.

A lungo requires a longer extraction time, typically lasting from 45 to 60 seconds. This extended brewing process allows more water to pass through the coffee grounds, resulting in a larger volume of coffee with a slightly different taste profile compared to regular espresso.

Remember, timing is crucial when it comes to extracting the best flavors from your favorite brews!

Pressure and Temperature

The brewing process of both blonde espresso and lungo involves the use of high pressure and specific temperatures. Blonde espresso requires a brewing temperature between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring that the coffee is extracted properly.

The pressure used for brewing espresso is usually regulated to be around 8.5 to 9.5 bar, which helps in extracting flavors and oils from the coffee grounds efficiently.

These factors are vital in creating a balanced and flavorful cup of blonde espresso or lungo, making sure that each sip is enjoyable and satisfying without compromising on taste or quality.

Flavor and Aroma Differences

Blonde Espresso has a milder flavor with notes of citrus and caramel, while Lungo is more intense with a bitter taste and hints of chocolate.

Blonde Espresso

Blonde espresso is a type of coffee that has a lighter flavor compared to regular espresso. It is made using a blend of beans from different areas, creating a unique taste and aroma.

Blonde espresso has a mild, citrusy flavor profile with subtle sweetness. It is more acidic and has a higher caffeine content than regular espresso. This type of coffee works well in milk-based drinks because its milder flavor and sweeter taste complement the richness of the milk.

So if you prefer a lighter, sweeter coffee experience, blonde espresso might be perfect for you!


A lungo is a type of coffee that is brewed by running more water through the coffee grounds. This results in a longer extraction time, leading to a milder and less intense taste compared to espresso.

The longer brewing process also brings out more bitterness in the coffee and highlights its fruity notes. When you make a lungo, it has a thinner and lighter crema compared to espresso, with a color that is lighter and more translucent.

Lungo pods are available for Nespresso machines, allowing you to easily brew this type of coffee at home. It’s important to note that lungo and espresso differ in terms of caffeine content, with espresso typically containing more caffeine due to its concentrated nature.

Caffeine Content

Blonde Espresso typically has a higher caffeine content compared to Lungo.

Blonde Espresso Caffeine Content

Blonde espresso has a higher caffeine content compared to regular espresso. It contains approximately 85 mg of caffeine, while regular espresso has around 64 mg. This means that a shot of blonde espresso at Starbucks has about 10 mg more caffeine than a regular espresso shot.

If you’re looking for an extra boost in your morning coffee, opting for blonde espresso might be the way to go. However, it’s important to note that the specific caffeine content can vary depending on factors such as brewing methods and serving sizes.

So if you’re sensitive to caffeine or prefer a milder flavor, regular espresso might be a better choice for you.

Lungo Caffeine Content

Lungo coffee is known for having a lower caffeine content compared to regular espresso. In a cup of lungo, there are typically about 90-130mg of caffeine. This means that lungo coffees often have more caffeine per serving compared to regular espresso shots.

On the other hand, ristretto espresso shots contain an average of 40-50mg of caffeine. It’s important to note that the caffeine levels in blonde espressos are virtually the same as darker espressos, so if you’re looking for a stronger kick, lungo might be the better choice for you.

Uses in Popular Drinks

Blonde espresso is commonly used in popular drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos to provide a lighter and milder flavor compared to regular espresso. On the other hand, lungo is often enjoyed on its own as a long black coffee or used in Americanos for those who prefer a stronger and more intense taste.

Blonde Espresso in Popular Drinks

Blonde espresso is a versatile coffee option that can be used in various popular drinks. Here are some examples:

  • Cappuccino: A blend of blonde espresso, steamed milk, and foam.
  • Americano: Blonde espresso combined with hot water for a milder taste.
  • Blonde Macchiato: Blonde espresso topped with a dollop of milk foam.
  • Blonde Latte: Blonde espresso mixed with steamed milk for a creamy and smooth texture.
  • Blonde Mocha: A combination of blonde espresso, chocolate syrup, steamed milk, and whipped cream.
  • Iced Blonde Espresso: Chilled blonde espresso served over ice for a refreshing drink.

Lungo in Popular Drinks

Lungo, a coffee beverage made with twice the amount of water as an espresso shot, is used in various popular drinks. Here are some examples:

  • Americano: A classic combination of espresso and hot water, the lungo version creates a milder and more diluted flavor compared to regular espresso.
  • Café Crema: This drink originated from Switzerland and is made by combining lungo with whipped cream. It has a smooth and creamy texture.
  • Long Black: Similar to an Americano, the long black is made by pouring a double shot of lungo over hot water. It retains the crema on top and provides a strong flavor.
  • Red Eye: A red eye consists of adding a shot of lungo to a cup of drip coffee. It gives an extra caffeine boost to your morning routine.
  • Black Tie: A Thai iced drink that combines lungo with sweetened condensed milk and spices, resulting in a rich and creamy taste.

Choosing Between Blonde Espresso and Lungo

Consider your personal preferences and the occasion when deciding between blonde espresso and lungo.

Considering personal preferences

When it comes to choosing between blonde espresso and lungo, personal preferences play a crucial role. Some people may prefer the milder and less acidic taste of blonde espresso, while others may enjoy the rich and bitter flavor of regular espresso.

It ultimately depends on your own taste buds and what kind of coffee experience you desire. If you enjoy a stronger flavor, regular espresso might be the way to go. On the other hand, if you prefer a smoother and lighter taste, blonde espresso could be more appealing to you.

Take some time to explore different types of coffee and experiment with both options to find out which one suits your palate best.

Determine the appropriate occasion

To determine the appropriate occasion for choosing between blonde espresso and lungo, you should consider your personal preferences and the specific flavors you enjoy. Blonde espresso is best suited for those who prefer a lighter and sweeter taste in their coffee, while regular espresso is preferred by those who enjoy stronger and bolder flavors.

Lungo is a good choice for those who prefer a milder and less intense coffee flavor. It’s also important to think about the desired caffeine content when making your decision.

By experimenting with both blonde espresso and lungo, you can find the best option for different occasions and discover which one suits your personal taste preferences the most.


Blonde espresso and lungo have distinct differences in terms of flavor, caffeine content, and preparation. Blonde espresso offers a lighter and sweeter taste compared to regular espresso, making it a favorite among coffee lovers who prefer milder flavors.

Lungo provides a less concentrated coffee flavor due to its higher water-to-coffee ratio. Ultimately, the choice between blonde espresso and lungo depends on personal preferences and desired flavor profiles.

So go ahead, explore the world of coffee and find your perfect cup!


What is blonde espresso?

Blonde espresso is a type of roast whole bean coffee that Starbucks uses for its drinks. It has a lighter taste than dark roast coffee.

How does blonde espresso differ from lungo?

Blonde espresso and Lungo are different types of espresso drinks. Blonde espresso may have less amount of coffee, but it’s not stronger than traditional Espresso shots, while Lungo comes from more finely ground beans and brewed longer.

Can I make a cup of blonde espresso at home?

You can! To make a blonde, find the right coffee beans like Starbucks’ Blond Roast or other origin beans labeled as “blonde.” Then, grind the coffee until it’s finely ground using your own Espresso makers.

Does drinking Blonde Espresso offer different experience?

Yes, drinking Blonde Espresso provides an entirely new way to explore the world of Coffee with its distinct flavor compared to classic or Dark roasted coffees

What differences between blond and regular exist in terms of preparation?

While both use finely-ground Coffee Beans; Blond Espresso differs in roasting method since blondes are roasted for shorter periods which results in their lighter hue opposed to dark roasts.

Do all Coffee Shops serve Blond Espresso?

No, not all places serve it – some might only have Dark Roast available although you could request they use Blonde instead if they do carry it.

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.