Cappuccino vs Lungo

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Two cups of cappuccino on a tray with coffee beans.
Table of Contents
Two cups of cappuccino on a tray with coffee beans.

Are you a coffee lover, confused between the choices of cappuccino and lungo? It’s crucial to understand that both drinks have their origins in Italy but are prepared using different methods.

This article will demystify these two popular coffee varieties, delving into their definitions, origins, brewing process, flavor profiles and caffeine content. Stay tuned to learn everything about cappuccinos and lungos, enabling you to make an informed decision next time at the café!

Cappuccino vs Lungo

The difference between Cappuccino and Lungo stems from their composition and flavor profile. A Cappuccino is a three-part beverage consisting of equal portions of espresso, steamed milk, and foam. This combination offers a rich coffee flavor tempered by the creaminess of milk, with the foam adding a delightful texture on top.

In contrast, a Lungo is an espresso shot extracted with more water, leading to a longer pull and a larger volume. While it provides a milder taste than a standard espresso, it does not contain any milk or foam, preserving the coffee’s core flavor profile.

When deciding between a Cappuccino and a Lungo, consider if you’re in the mood for a creamy, milk-infused drink or a more extended, less intense espresso experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Cappuccino is a coffee drink from Italy made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam.
  • Lungo is an espresso shot that uses more water and has a larger serving size than regular espresso.
  • Cappuccinos have a rich, bold flavor with a slightly sweet taste, while lungos have a milder flavor with hints of bitterness.
  • The caffeine content in cappuccino and lungo is similar, but lungo can provide an extra boost due to its longer extraction time.


Cappuccino is a coffee drink that consists of equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, while Lungo is a type of espresso shot that uses twice as much water and yields a larger serving size.

Cappuccino Definition

A cappuccino is a type of coffee. It has the same parts of espresso, steamed milk and frothed milk. The drink comes from Italy but started with an idea from Austria. Also, ‘cappuccino’ means ‘hood’ in Italian.

This is because the color of the coffee looks like a monk’s robe that was ale-brown colored! Each cup has about 80 calories only.

Lungo Definition

Lungo is a type of coffee drink. The word “lungo” means long in Italian. This kind of coffee gets its name from the longer process used to make it. Lungo uses twice as much water compared to an espresso shot.

In a lungo, you get about double the amount of coffee than what you would get with a normal espresso shot. But, it’s not as strong because more water passes through the coffee grounds.

If you like your coffee mild but want more than an espresso shot, then lungo is right for you. Some people find that lungos have a bitter taste that’s different from espressos.

Historical Origins

Cappuccino originated in Italy in the 17th century, whereas Lungo has its roots in Vienna, Austria during the late 19th century.

Cappuccino Origins

Cappuccino comes from Italy. People first called it “cappuccino” because it was the same color as a monk’s robe. These monks belonged to the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. That’s why they used the word “Capuchin.”.

The cappuccino drink is like an old coffee drink from Vienna, Austria. This old drink was named “Kapuziner”. It showed up in coffee houses in Vienna back in the 1700s. Some folks say that Franciscan friars, named Capuchin Monks, helped make cappuccino famous around this time.

Today, people all over Italy love cappuccinos! They are easy to find and fun to sip on all day long.

Lungo Origins

The origins of lungo can be traced back to Vienna, where it was first introduced. Contrary to popular belief, the term “lungo” does not have anything to do with a monk’s hairstyle.

Instead, it refers to the preparation process of this coffee drink. Lungo shots are made by using the same amount of ground coffee as espresso but introducing more water during extraction.

This extended extraction time gives lungo its distinctive flavor and aroma that many people enjoy today. So, if you’re curious about trying something different from regular espresso or cappuccino, give lungo a try and experience a taste of Viennese coffee history!

Brewing Process

The brewing process for cappuccino and lungo involves different water and coffee ratios, extraction times, and pressure and temperature settings.

Water and Coffee Ratio

The water and coffee ratio is an important factor in brewing a perfect cup of espresso. It determines the strength and flavor of the coffee. For a regular coffee brew, like using a Moka Pot, the ratio is 1 part coffee to 7 parts water, resulting in a strong brew.

However, for specialty espresso shots, the accepted ratio is 1 part coffee to 2 parts water. When it comes to lungo shots, which are longer than regular espresso shots, the best ratio is around 1 part coffee to 3-4 parts water.

Adjusting this ratio can create different flavors and strengths in your cup of joe. So next time you make your own espresso or lungo shot at home, remember to consider the water and coffee ratio for that perfect taste!

Extraction Time

The extraction time is an important factor in determining the taste of your coffee. For an espresso, it typically takes around 25-30 seconds to extract the flavors from the ground coffee.

This shorter extraction time results in a concentrated and strong flavor profile. On the other hand, a lungo requires a longer extraction time of about 60-90 seconds. The extended time allows more water to pass through the coffee grounds, resulting in a milder and less intense flavor compared to an espresso shot.

While both methods use similar processes, the difference in extraction time significantly impacts the taste of your brewed coffee.

Pressure and Temperature

The pressure and temperature are crucial factors in the coffee brewing process. When making espresso, it’s important to choose the right brewing temperature to bring out the best flavors.

The Nespresso Lattissima Pro, for example, offers a rapid heat-up time and 19 BARs of pressure to ensure optimal brewing conditions. As for lungo, the average extraction temperatures increase compared to ristretto or normale shots.

So, whether you’re making a cappuccino or a lungo, consider these factors – pressure and temperature – to brew a delicious cup of coffee with just the right taste and aroma.

Flavor and Aroma Differences

The flavor and aroma of a cappuccino are rich, bold, and slightly sweet, with the coffee flavor being more dominant. On the other hand, a lungo has a milder taste with subtle hints of bitterness and a more pronounced aroma due to its longer extraction time.


Cappuccino is a popular coffee drink that has a smooth and full-bodied flavor. It is made by combining espresso with steamed milk, resulting in a deliciously creamy beverage. One of the unique features of cappuccinos is the distinct layers it has – the bottom layer consists of rich espresso, while the top layer is frothy milk foam.

This creates a visually appealing drink with a velvety texture. Cappuccinos are also known for their deep and rich aroma, which adds to the overall sensory experience of enjoying this delightful beverage.


A lungo is a longer shot of espresso that has a serving size of 3.7 oz. It is made by brewing the coffee for a longer period, allowing more water to pass through the coffee grounds.

Lungos have less caffeine compared to regular espressos. They use a lighter roast bean, resulting in a milder flavor with notes of nuts and caramel, along with some bitterness. The taste of a lungo is more subdued compared to espressos or ristrettos, making it perfect for those who prefer a less strong coffee flavor.

Caffeine Content

Cappuccino has a lower caffeine content compared to Lungo.

Cappuccino Caffeine Content

A cappuccino is a coffee drink that contains about 75 mg of caffeine. This is the same amount of caffeine found in a lungo, which is another type of coffee. So, if you’re looking for a caffeinated pick-me-up, both cappuccinos and lungos will give you the same amount of energy.

Lungo Caffeine Content

Lungo coffee has a higher caffeine content compared to a regular espresso shot. This means that when you drink a lungo, you’ll get more of a caffeine kick. Some sources even suggest that a lungo might have more caffeine than a cappuccino.

The amount of caffeine in a lungo can vary depending on factors like how much coffee is used and the way it’s brewed. Because the extraction time for a lungo is longer, more caffeine gets extracted from the coffee grounds.

So if you’re looking for an extra boost of energy, choosing a lungo could be the way to go!

Uses in Popular Drinks

Cappuccino is commonly used in popular drinks like latte, flat white, and cortado, while lungo is often used in long black or americano.

Cappuccino in Popular Drinks

Cappuccino is a popular choice in coffee shops and cafes around the world. It is loved for its creamy texture, velvety foam, and rich flavor. Cappuccinos can be found on the menus of many different types of coffee drinks, such as lattes and macchiatos.

They are often enjoyed in the morning alongside a pastry or biscuit as part of an Italian breakfast tradition. With its equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk, cappuccino offers a balanced and satisfying drink that appeals to many coffee lovers worldwide.

Lungo in Popular Drinks

Lungo coffee is a versatile option that can be used in various popular drinks. Due to its larger size and mellow flavor, it is often preferred over regular espresso. One popular drink that uses lungo is the long black, which combines one or two shots of lungo with hot water.

This creates a bold and flavorful black coffee without the bitterness of regular espresso. Lungo can also be used in milk-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, providing a rich and robust base for the steamed milk and foam.

Its intense flavor adds depth to these creamy beverages, making them even more satisfying.

Choosing Between Cappuccino and Lungo

Consider your personal preferences and the specific occasion to determine whether you should go for a cappuccino or lungo.

Considering personal preferences

Choosing between a cappuccino and lungo is ultimately a matter of personal preference. Some people may prefer the milder flavor and longer finish of a lungo, while others enjoy the strong and intense taste of an espresso-based drink like a cappuccino.

Consumer choices when it comes to coffee can vary greatly based on individual preferences and habits. Ultimately, it all comes down to the specific flavors you enjoy and the strength and intensity of coffee that you desire.

Determine the appropriate occasion

To determine the appropriate occasion for choosing between Cappuccino and Lungo, you need to consider a few factors. If you’re looking for a strong and intense caffeine boost in the morning, Lungo is your go-to option because it has more caffeine content than Espresso.

On the other hand, if you prefer a milder and smoother taste with less concentrated flavors, Cappuccino might be perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up or when you want to enjoy a creamy coffee experience.

Ultimately, it depends on your personal preference and what kind of coffee experience you desire at any given time.


Cappuccino and lungo are two different coffee beverages with distinct characteristics. Cappuccino offers a creamy texture and equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam.

Lungo, on the other hand, is made with an extended extraction process using an espresso machine. The choice between these two drinks depends on personal taste preferences and desired coffee experience.


What is the main difference between espresso and lungo?

The main difference between espresso and lungo comes down to the amount of water used. Lungo uses about double the amount of water, so it takes longer to pull and produces about twice as much coffee.

How are coffee beans used in a cappuccino different from those in a lungo?

Both cappuccino and lungo use similar espresso coffee beans. The key change lies in how baristas adjust the pull time for each shot; an espresso or ristretto shot is pulled quickly while a Lungo may take up to a minute.

Can you tell me more about what ‘Crema’ is?

In both cappuccinos and lattes macchiatos, crema refers to the layer of foam that forms on top when high pressure pushes hot water through finely ground coffee.

Is there any particular drink similar to Espresso and Lungo?

A latte macchiato or cortado also uses espresso as base but adds steamed milk and milk foam which dilutes its flavor somewhat compared with shots of pure doppio or long-pulled 30ml servings like Lungos do.

Is drip coffee similar to an Espresso or Lungo?

No, unlike these drinks prepared using an Espresso Machine, drip coffee involves pouring hot water over coarser grounds without applying extra pressure so it tastes less intense.

Do Cappucinos have another name?

Sometimes folks refer cappucino as “double espresso”. Because standard recipes start off using two ounces (or Doppio) worth shot pulled from your choice machine then they add equal parts heated dairy plus froth onto this strong base thus creating iconic taste profile relative beverage carries around world today!

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.