Cold Brew Coffee vs Lungo

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A glass of iced coffee on a wooden table.
Table of Contents
A glass of iced coffee on a wooden table.

Choosing the right coffee can be a daunting task, especially when you’re faced with options like cold brew and lungo.

Did you know that cold brew coffee actually has higher caffeine content than lungo? This blog post will guide you through the differences between these two popular coffee drinks, from their unique brewing processes to flavor profiles and caffeine content.

Get ready to make an informed decision next time you’re in line at your favorite coffee shop!

Cold Brew Coffee vs Lungo

Analyzing the characteristics of cold brew coffee and lungo reveals stark differences in brewing methods and flavor profiles. Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, usually 12 to 24 hours.

This process yields a smooth, sweet, and less acidic coffee concentrate, often diluted with water or milk before serving. In contrast, a lungo is a type of espresso made by extracting coffee with more water than usual, giving a milder and larger volume shot.

While cold brew offers a refreshing, low-acidity coffee experience, a lungo delivers the richness of espresso in a slightly diluted form.

Key Takeaways

  • Cold brew coffee is made by steeping ground coffee in cold or room temperature water for 12 to 24 hours, resulting in a smooth and less acidic flavor profile.
  • Lungo is an espresso-based drink that uses twice the amount of hot water compared to a regular espresso shot, resulting in a larger volume and different taste.
  • Cold brew has higher caffeine content than lungo due to its longer steeping process.
  • Cold brew is often used as a base for refreshing iced coffee drinks, while lungo is commonly used to make Americanos.


Cold Brew Coffee is a coffee brewing method where ground coffee beans are steeped in cold or room temperature water for an extended period, usually 12 to 24 hours, resulting in a smooth and less acidic flavor profile.

Lungo, on the other hand, is an espresso-based drink that uses approximately twice the amount of water compared to a regular espresso shot, resulting in a larger volume and different taste.

Cold Brew Coffee Definition

Cold brew coffee is a unique type of drink. It gets made by letting coffee sit in cold or room-temperature water for several hours. Most coffees use heat to pull out the caffeine and flavor, but not cold brew! This process can take from just a few hours up to an overnight wait.

The result is coffee that has less acid and offers a smoother taste than hot-brewed methods.

Lungo Definition

Lungo is a coffee drink from Italy. The word “lungo” means “long.” This makes sense because a lungo has more water than an espresso shot. In fact, it uses twice the amount of hot water.

Making a lungo gives you more coffee to enjoy. But more water also changes the taste of your drink. A lungo has less strong flavor than an espresso shot. It can also be more bitter.

Historical Origins

The origins of Cold Brew Coffee can be traced back to the 17th century when Dutch traders first brewed coffee using cold water, while Lungo has its roots in Italian espresso culture.

Cold Brew Coffee Origins

Cold brew coffee came from Japan in the 1600s. Dutch traders brought this new way of making coffee from Indonesia. It was a hit and started to spread all over the world.

This drink has an exciting past that is tied to the long history of coffee itself. How cold brew changed from being steeped in cold water to drip brewing is not well known. Yet, we do know that more people love it now than ever before!

Lungo Origins

Lungo coffee has its origins in Italy and has become increasingly popular in recent years. The term “lungo” means “long” in Italian, referring to the longer extraction time and larger volume of water used in making this type of coffee.

It is made using an espresso machine, which produces Italian-style coffee with a stronger flavor and aroma. Lungo espresso is known for its rich taste and enjoyable drinking experience.

Brewing Process

To brew cold brew coffee, you need to combine ground coffee and water in a container and let it steep for 12-24 hours at room temperature. In contrast, to make a lungo, hot water is forced through finely-ground coffee under high pressure for an extended period of time.

Water and Coffee Ratio

The water to coffee ratio significantly affects the taste and strength of your brew, whether you’re making cold brew coffee or lungo. Different brewing methods require different ratios. Here are some common methods and their recommended ratios:

Brewing MethodWater to Coffee Ratio
Cold Brew Coffee1:8 to 1:12
Espresso (which includes lungo)1:2
French Press Coffee15:1
Moka Pot1:7
Golden Ratio1 to 2 tablespoons for every 6 ounces of water

For cold brew coffee, a common ratio is 1:8 or 1:9, meaning 50 grams of ground coffee to 450 milliliters of water.

This ratio leads to a brew that’s smooth, rich, and not overly powerful. On the other hand, for lungo, the espresso method uses a 1:2 coffee to water ratio. This leads to a beverage with a stronger, more concentrated flavor.

It’s always recommended to adjust the coffee to water ratio according to personal preference to achieve your ideal taste.

Extraction Time

Cold brew coffee and lungo have different extraction times. Cold brew coffee requires a longer extraction time compared to lungo. The minimum extraction time for cold brew is around 2 hours at a temperature of 20°C, but it can be even longer depending on personal preference.

Lungo coffee has a longer extraction time than espresso due to its higher water volume. This extended brewing process allows for more flavor and aroma to be extracted from the coffee grounds, resulting in a unique taste profile.

So, if you’re looking for a quicker cup of coffee, opt for lungo; but if you’re willing to wait for a bolder and smoother flavor, go with cold brew.

Pressure and Temperature

The pressure and temperature during the brewing process can greatly influence the taste of cold brew coffee and lungo. For cold brew coffee, the brewing temperature is lower than that of hot brewed coffee.

This lower temperature allows for a slower extraction process, resulting in a smooth and less acidic flavor profile. On the other hand, lungo requires higher water pressure to extract flavors from finely ground coffee beans.

The temperature used for lungo is typically similar to hot brewed coffee, resulting in a bold and intense flavor.

So, whether you prefer a mellow and refreshing cup or a strong and robust one, understanding how pressure and temperature affect your coffee can help you choose the brewing method that suits your taste buds best.

Flavor and Aroma Differences

Cold Brew Coffee has a smooth and mellow flavor with subtle notes of chocolate and nuttiness, while Lungo has a stronger and more intense taste with hints of bitterness and acidity.

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee is a type of coffee that is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period, usually around 12 to 24 hours. This slow extraction process allows the flavors and caffeine to be gently extracted from the grounds.

Unlike other brewing methods that use heat, cold brew coffee is not heated during the brewing process. The result is a smooth and mellow cup of coffee with lower acidity compared to hot brewed coffee.

Cold brew coffee has a distinct flavor profile, often described as having mild chocolate notes and a less acidic taste. It’s perfect if you prefer a less bitter and more subtle flavor in your coffee drinks.


A Lungo is a type of coffee drink that is made using espresso shots and hot water. It has a serving size of about 3.7 ounces, which is larger than a regular shot of espresso. The name “lungo” means “long” in Italian, referring to the longer extraction time required to make this drink.

When making a Lungo, you use about 1 ounce of espresso shots and add 6-7 ounces of hot water. This results in a milder flavor compared to an espresso, with notes of nuts, caramel, and some bitterness.

The longer brewing process also brings out fruity flavors in the coffee. A Lungo can be enjoyed on its own or used as the base for other drinks like lattes or americanos.

Caffeine Content

Cold Brew Coffee typically contains a higher caffeine content compared to Lungo due to its longer steeping process.

Cold Brew Coffee Caffeine Content

Cold brew coffee is known for its smooth and rich flavor, but what about its caffeine content? Well, if you’re looking for a strong pick-me-up, cold brew won’t disappoint. On average, a 16-ounce serving of cold brew contains around 200 milligrams of caffeine.

The amount can vary depending on factors like brewing time and the type of beans used. In comparison to hot brewed coffee, cold brew actually has more caffeine if it isn’t diluted too much.

So next time you need an energy boost, consider reaching for a refreshing glass of cold brew coffee.

Lungo Caffeine Content

A lungo is a type of coffee that contains more caffeine than your average espresso shot. In fact, a typical lungo has around 50-100 mg of caffeine per ounce. So, if you have a 2 fl oz cup of lungo coffee, you can expect it to contain approximately 94 mg of caffeine.

If you opt for the gran lungo versions of coffee, the caffeine content can vary from 119mg to 195mg. This means that lungos provide a higher caffeine kick compared to regular espressos because they are pulled for a longer time.

So if you’re looking for an extra boost in the morning, a lungo might be just what you need!

Uses in Popular Drinks

Cold Brew Coffee in Popular Drinks: Cold brew coffee is often used as a base for iced coffee beverages, such as iced lattes or iced mochas. Its smooth and bold flavor pairs well with milk and sweet syrups, creating a refreshing and indulgent drink.

Lungo in Popular Drinks: Lungo is commonly used to make Americanos, which are made by adding hot water to a shot of espresso. The longer extraction time of the lungo creates a milder taste compared to regular espresso shots, making it perfect for those who prefer a less intense coffee flavor.

Cold Brew Coffee in Popular Drinks

Cold brew coffee is a popular choice for many coffee lovers. Here are some ways it is used in popular drinks:

  • Iced Coffee: Cold brew coffee is often used to make refreshing iced coffee. Its smooth and mellow flavor pairs well with ice and milk.
  • Latte: Cold brew can be combined with steamed milk to create a delicious cold brew latte. This drink offers a unique twist on the classic latte flavor.
  • Macchiato: A macchiato made with cold brew coffee has a rich and bold taste. The sweetness of the cold brew balances out the strong espresso shot.
  • Americano: Cold brew can be used as the base for an iced Americano. It provides a smoother and less acidic alternative to traditional hot brewed coffee.
  • Gran Lungo: For those who enjoy a larger cup of coffee, cold brew can be used to make a gran lungo. This drink combines the rich flavors of cold brew with hot water.
  • Flat White: In some cafes, cold brew is used as the base for a flat white. The creamy texture of milk pairs well with the smoothness of the cold brew.

Lungo in Popular Drinks

The lungo is often used as a base for various popular coffee drinks. Here are some ways the lungo is enjoyed:

  • Lungo Macchiato: A lungo shot with a small amount of steamed milk and foam on top.
  • Lungo Latte: A lungo shot mixed with steamed milk, creating a creamy and smooth drink.
  • Iced Lungo: Chilled lungo served over ice, perfect for hot summer days.
  • Lungo Americano: A lungo shot diluted with hot water, similar to an Americano but with a stronger taste.
  • Gran Lungo: A variation of the lungo that uses even more water, resulting in a bolder and more intense flavor.

Choosing Between Cold Brew Coffee and Lungo

Consider your personal preferences and the occasion to determine whether you should go for cold brew coffee or lungo.

Considering personal preferences

Choosing between cold brew coffee and lungo ultimately comes down to personal preferences. If you enjoy a smooth and less acidic flavor with a subtle sweetness, then cold brew coffee might be the right choice for you.

If you prefer a stronger and more intense espresso taste with a fuller body, then lungo could be your go-to option. It’s important to consider your taste preferences and what type of flavors you enjoy in your coffee before making a decision.

Remember that both options have their own unique characteristics, so it’s all about finding what suits your palate best.

If health benefits are an important factor for you, cold brew coffee is said to contain more polyphenols and has fewer calories compared to some other coffee drinks like lattes.

Determine the appropriate occasion

To determine the appropriate occasion for either cold brew coffee or lungo, consider your personal preferences and the specific characteristics of each type of coffee. If you enjoy a smooth and mellow flavor with lower acidity, then cold brew coffee is a good choice.

It’s also great if you prefer a strong and highly caffeinated drink. On the other hand, if you prefer a medium-sized black coffee without any milk or cream added, lungo is more suitable.

So, whether it’s a hot summer day or you’re looking for a classic black coffee experience, choose the one that best fits your taste and needs.


When deciding between cold brew coffee and lungo, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Cold brew offers a smooth and less acidic flavor with a higher caffeine content, while lungo provides a nutty and slightly bitter taste.

Consider the occasion and desired caffeine buzz when making your choice. Whether you’re in the mood for boldness or something milder, both options have their unique qualities to satisfy any coffee lover.


What is the main difference between Cold Brew Coffee and Lungo?

Cold Brew Coffee and Lungo differ in taste, volume, brewing method, amount of caffeine, and even temperature.

How do you brew these different types of coffee?

Cold Brew is made by steeping ground beans in cold water for a long time using a coffee brewer or pot while Lungo means ‘long’ in Italian- it’s an espresso topped up with hot water.

Does Cold Brew have more caffeine than Lungo?

No! Even though both use an ounce of coffee each in making; Due to its large amount of water used during brewing, lungo may contain less caffeine compared to the concentrated cold brew.

Can I make Cold Brew Coffee or Lungo at home?

Yes! You can use various home utensils like a pour-over coffee maker, aeropress or a nespresso machine along with properly roasted coffee beans that are ground suitably for your chosen drink style.

Is there a big flavor difference between the two methods?

Definitely -A traditional Espresso may give out bitter taste but when enhanced into lungo it gives slightly milder flavor whereas cold brewed concentrate carries rich & smooth essence without much harshness due to lack of heat exposure

Which one should I choose: Cold Brew or Lungo?

It depends on what you want to drink! If you love strong concentration go for classic espresso-based drinks like lungos especially if serving hot appeals but if unsweetened & chilled feel seems appealing then try out some starbucks-style trendy iced coffees using user-friendly pods from brands such as Nespresso Vertuo.

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.