Do You Add Water to Lungo?

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A cup of coffee

Are you puzzled about whether to add water to your lungo or not? Lungo, a unique coffee drink known for its larger volume than an espresso due to the use of more water. In this piece, we’ll delve into key aspects of lungo coffee including what it is, how it differs from other types of coffee shots, and crucially, if you can add water to it.

Keep reading as we demystify these intriguing details about everyone’s favorite morning wake-up call – coffee!

Do You Add Water to Lungo?

No, you do not add water to lungo after brewing. A lungo is created by allowing more water to pass through the coffee grounds during the espresso extraction process itself.

This method results in a longer shot with more volume than a standard espresso. The term “lungo” translates to “long” in Italian, reflecting the extended extraction. The goal is to capture a broader range of flavors from the coffee grounds.

In contrast, an Americano is made by adding hot water to an espresso shot post-extraction. So, while both drinks involve more water than a traditional espresso, the methods of achieving that dilution are distinct.

Key Takeaways

  • Lungo coffee is made with more water than regular espresso, resulting in a larger and less strong drink.
  • Adding hot water to lungo can dilute the intensity and create a milder taste, allowing you to customize your coffee according to your preferences.
  • Adding too much water may make the lungo taste weak and watery, so it’s important to find the right balance for a satisfying cup of coffee.
  • Brewing the perfect lungo involves grinding the beans, measuring out the desired amount of coffee, brewing for about 60 seconds, and serving immediately.

Understanding Lungo Coffee

Lungo coffee is a unique, single-shot espresso drink that requires more water during the brewing process compared to traditional espressos.

What is Lungo Coffee?

Lungo coffee is not like other coffees. You make it with an espresso machine. But it uses more water. The word “lungo” is from Italy and means “long”. So, a lungo coffee takes more time to brew than regular espresso.

It needs about 45 or 50 milliliters of water for the same amount of coffee. This gives it a full taste that is less strong than espresso or ristretto coffee.

Differences Between Ristretto, Espresso, and Lungo

In the world of coffee, ristretto, espresso, and lungo are commonly used terms, yet each of these drinks is prepared in a unique way and results in a distinct taste.

Coffee TypeWater ContentTastePreparation Time
RistrettoLeast amount of waterStrong and concentrated flavorShortest time
EspressoModerate amount of waterRich and robust flavorModerate time
LungoMost amount of water (about 45 or 50 milliliters)Subdued flavor due to larger amount of waterLongest time (up to a full minute)

Each type is brewed using the same amount of coffee, but the difference lies in the water content.

The ristretto uses the least amount of water, resulting in a more concentrated and intense flavor. The espresso uses a moderate amount of water, allowing for a rich and robust flavor. The lungo, on the other hand, uses the most water, giving it a more subdued flavor.

The preparation time also varies. Ristretto takes the shortest time, espresso takes moderate time, while lungo can take up to a full minute due to its higher water content.

Can You Add Water to Lungo Coffee?

Adding water to lungo coffee is an option worth exploring for those who prefer a milder taste and larger volume.

Exploring the Options: Adding Water to Lungo

Adding water to lungo coffee is an option for those who prefer a milder taste. Lungo coffee is made by using more water than espresso, resulting in a larger and less concentrated drink.

Some people find that lungo can be too strong for their liking. By adding hot water to the lungo shot, you can dilute the intensity and create a more balanced flavor profile.

This allows you to customize your lungo to suit your preferences. Keep in mind that once the lungo has been prepared, you cannot add hot water later on, so it’s important to adjust the strength before serving.

Pros and Cons of Adding Water to Lungo

Adding water to a lungo coffee has its pros and cons. One advantage is that it allows you to customize the strength and flavor of your drink.

By adding more water, you can dilute the intensity of the espresso and create a milder taste. On the other hand, adding too much water may make the lungo taste weak and watery. It’s important to find the right balance to ensure a satisfying cup of coffee.

Adding water can also increase the volume of your lungo, making it more similar to an Americano in terms of quantity. However, be aware that once a lungo shot is prepared, you cannot add hot water afterward like you can with an Americano.

So, if you prefer a larger serving size, starting with extra water might be beneficial for your brewing process. Ultimately, whether or not you choose to add water to your lungo depends on personal preference and desired flavor profile.

How to Make a Perfect Lungo

Brewing a perfect Lungo involves following a step-by-step guide to achieve the ideal strength and flavor, along with adjusting the grind size and extraction time.

Step-by-Step Guide to Brewing Lungo Coffee

Brewing lungo coffee is easy! Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make the perfect cup:

  1. Start by grinding your coffee beans to a medium – coarse consistency.
  2. Measure out the desired amount of coffee (usually around 7 grams for a single lungo shot).
  3. Preheat your espresso machine and ensure that it is clean and ready to use.
  4. Place the ground coffee into the portafilter, distributing it evenly and tamping it down gently.
  5. Attach the portafilter to the espresso machine and begin brewing. Let the water run through the coffee for about 60 seconds to extract all the flavors.
  6. While brewing, pay attention to the flow rate – it should be slow and steady for a proper lungo extraction.
  7. Once you have collected around 45 – 50 milliliters of lungo, stop the brewing process.
  8. Serve immediately in a preheated cup to preserve its temperature and flavor.
  9. If desired, you can add milk or other flavorings to your lungo.

Tips for Adjusting the Strength and Flavor of Lungo

  • Use a coarser grind size for a milder lungo flavor.
  • Experiment with different coffee beans to find your preferred taste profile.
  • Increase the brewing time slightly for a stronger lungo.
  • Adjust the water-to-coffee ratio to customize the strength of your lungo shot.
  • Brew at a higher water temperature for a more intense flavor.
  • Consider using a double shot of espresso for a bolder lungo.
  • Add a small amount of milk or cream to enhance the richness of your lungo.
  • Try adding flavored syrups or spices like cinnamon or vanilla for unique flavor variations.
  • Explore different brewing techniques, such as cold brew or pour – over, to achieve distinct flavors in your lungo.

Conclusion: Enjoying Lungo Coffee Your Way

Whether or not you add water to your lungo coffee is entirely up to you. Adding water can mellow out the flavor and make it less intense, while some people prefer the bold taste of a pure lungo shot.

Experiment with different ratios and find out what works best for your taste buds. Remember, there are no rules when it comes to enjoying your cup of lungo coffee!


What is a lungo coffee drink?

A lungo is a unique profile of coffee drink made using the espresso brewing method but with more water. It’s different from other coffee drinks like flat white, latte, cappuccino, and macchiato.

How do you make a lungo?

You make a lungo by using the espresso method on an espresso grinder but add more water during extraction to give it its distinct character.

Does adding extra water change the taste of Lungo?

Yes! Adding more water for a longer time in Lungo brewing changes both the strength and flavor of this black coffee, giving it less intensity than regular Espresso.

Are there any variations in preparing Lungo Coffee?

Yes! There are many variations in preparing Lungos such as changing your grinder settings or varying your extraction times that can help alter its unique taste profile.

How should I serve my Lungo Coffee?

Lungos are typically served just as they are after brewing but you can experiment with different serving suggestions based on personal preferences for Coffee tastes and flavors.

About the Author:
Oliver Bennett, a seasoned barista, focuses on the technical aspects of coffee-making. His journey from local cafes to specialty coffee shops has equipped him with skills in the science of coffee, from grind size to latte art. Oliver's articles and how-to videos delve into brewing techniques and coffee science, fostering a community of home baristas and elevating the home coffee experience.