Doppio vs Lungo

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Two cups of Doppio coffee on a tray.
Table of Contents
Two cups of Doppio coffee on a tray.

Have you ever found yourself at a loss when your barista asks if you’d prefer a doppio or lungo? If so, you’re not alone. These two espresso shots might sound the same but are quite different in taste and preparation.

This guide will dive into everything from their origins to brewing methods, helping you make an informed choice during your next coffee run. Ready to become an espresso connoisseur? Read on!

Doppio vs Lungo

Contrasting a doppio with a lungo brings to light their varied concentrations and brewing techniques. A doppio is essentially a double shot of espresso, providing a concentrated burst of coffee flavor and caffeine.

It’s the go-to choice for those seeking a stronger, more intense espresso experience. On the flip side, a lungo, which translates to “long” in Italian, is an extended espresso shot created by passing more water through the coffee grounds than a regular espresso.

This process yields a larger, milder drink compared to the potent doppio. While the doppio is all about intensity, the lungo offers a more relaxed espresso savoring moment.

Key Takeaways

  • Doppio is a double shot of espresso that has a strong and bold flavor, while lungo is a longer extraction process that produces a milder cup of coffee.
  • The water-to-coffee ratio for doppio is 1:2, while the ratio for lungo is 1:4.
  • Doppio has approximately 128 milligrams of caffeine, making it more energizing than lungo, which has around 80-100 milligrams of caffeine.
  • Doppio is commonly used in drinks like lattes and macchiatos, while lungo is often enjoyed as an Americano or long black.


Doppio is a term used in coffee culture to describe a double shot of espresso, while lungo refers to a longer extraction process that produces a larger, milder cup of coffee.

Doppio Definition

Doppio is an Italian word that means “double.” It stands for a double shot of espresso in the world of coffee. This is like two shots of espresso brewed together. To make it, you use twice the amount of coffee grounds than a normal espresso shot.

An espresso machine or a French press can be used to brew it. Doppio has a strong and bold flavor because it has more ground coffee in it. This drink is known as the standard double shot in many coffee shops all around the world.

Lungo Definition

A lungo is a type of coffee. It means “long” in Italian. It’s like espresso, but it uses more water. Also, you brew it for a longer time than a normal espresso shot. That makes the lungo less strong and punchy than an espresso.

It also has more volume than an espresso shot since more water gets added during the brewing process. So, if you love your coffee to be milder but still full of flavor, try a lungo next time!

Historical Origins

Doppio Origins: The doppio, which means “double” in Italian, originated in Italy and is commonly known as a double shot of espresso.

Lungo Origins: The lungo, which means “long” in Italian, also has its origins in Italy and is a longer extraction of espresso that uses more water than a regular shot.

Doppio Origins

The name Doppio came from Italy. Doppio means “double” in Italian. This word is used for a double shot of espresso in the coffee world. It shows that it has normal strength, unlike ristretto and lungo.

People often use Doppio in barista games to tell how good the espresso is. The bold and rich taste of a doppio makes it loved by many. Its start was simple but it grew big with time as people wanted stronger coffee flavors.

Lungo Origins

Lungo coffee has its origins in Italy, a country famous for its espresso culture and high-quality coffee. The term “lungo” means “long” in Italian, which refers to the longer extraction time of this type of coffee.

It is believed that lungo coffee was created as a way to provide a milder alternative to the intense flavor of regular espresso. This brewing method involves using more water and extracting the coffee for a longer period of time, resulting in a larger volume of coffee with a slightly different taste profile.

The debate between lungo and doppio (double espresso) originated in Italy, where both variations are enjoyed by coffee lovers around the world. So if you prefer a milder and larger cup of espresso, lungo could be your go-to choice!

Brewing Process

The brewing process for both doppio and lungo involves a specific water and coffee ratio, extraction time, and pressure and temperature.

Water and Coffee Ratio

In the process of brewing espresso, the ratio of water to coffee plays a crucial role in defining the body, taste, and aroma of the beverage. Below is an overview of water-to-coffee ratios for different types of espresso.

Type of EspressoWater to Coffee Ratio
Espresso shot for larger milk drinks1:1.5
Ristretto shot1:1

The doppio espresso, also known as a double shot, traditionally uses a 1:2 ratio, meaning one part coffee to two parts water.

On the other hand, a lungo shot, which is an espresso made with more water, has a water to coffee ratio of approximately 1:4. For larger milk drinks, a 1:1.5 brew ratio is often used, which involves extracting 30 grams of liquid espresso from 20 grams of ground coffee.

The ristretto shot, which is a short shot of espresso made with half the amount of water, has a ratio of approximately 1:1. Each of these ratios directly impacts the flavor profile and texture of the espresso, so understanding them is key to achieving your desired taste.

Extraction Time

The extraction time is an important aspect of brewing espresso-based beverages like doppio and lungo. For lungo shots, the extraction time usually lasts between 30 and 40 seconds, resulting in a longer brew.

Doppio coffee refers to a double espresso shot where the extraction time is typically doubled compared to a regular single shot. Generally, the ideal extraction time for both single and double espresso shots falls within the range of 22 to 28 seconds.

This timeframe ensures that the flavors and aromas are properly extracted from the coffee grounds, creating a balanced and delicious cup of coffee. Overall, understanding and controlling the extraction time is crucial in achieving the desired taste profile for your preferred espresso-based drink.

Pressure and Temperature

The pressure and temperature used during the brewing process play a crucial role in determining the quality and taste of Doppio and Lungo coffee. For espresso, high-pressure brewing is essential to extract the flavors from the coffee grounds effectively.

The average extraction temperatures increase as we go from ristretto to normale to lungo, which affects the strength and intensity of the coffee. Lungo coffee has more soluble solids and a slightly higher caffeine content compared to other espresso variants due to the increased water volume used during extraction.

These factors, along with the type of beans, grind size, and water pressure, contribute significantly to how Doppio and Lungo taste when brewed properly.

Flavor and Aroma Differences

Doppio: Doppio is a double shot of espresso that features a rich, intense flavor with notes of dark chocolate and caramel. The aroma is bold and robust, making it perfect for those who enjoy strong coffee flavors.

Lungo: Lungo, on the other hand, is a longer extraction process that results in a milder taste compared to doppio. It has a smoother flavor profile with hints of citrus and floral notes, offering a more subtle experience for coffee enthusiasts.


Doppio is a type of espresso shot that contains twice the amount of coffee as a regular single shot. It has the same taste, aroma, and caffeine concentration as an espresso shot but offers a bolder and more intense flavor.

To make a doppio, you need to use double the amount of ground coffee compared to a single shot and extract it using an espresso machine. Doppio is known for its full-bodied taste and rich aroma, making it the preferred choice for those who enjoy a stronger and more robust coffee experience.


A lungo is a type of espresso that uses more water and has a longer extraction time than a regular shot. This results in a diluted espresso with a less intense flavor compared to the usual short shot.

The taste, texture, and aroma of a lungo are different from other espresso variants like the doppio. It tends to have more nutty and caramel-like flavors, with some bitterness. The lungo shot also has less texture and caffeine content compared to a double espresso shot.

Caffeine Content

Doppio Caffeine Content: A doppio shot of espresso contains approximately 128 milligrams of caffeine, making it a strong and energizing choice for coffee lovers.

Lungo Caffeine Content: On the other hand, a lungo shot contains around 80-100 milligrams of caffeine, providing a slightly milder but still satisfying caffeine boost.

Doppio Caffeine Content

A Doppio espresso has a high caffeine content compared to regular coffee. It contains approximately 150 to 170 milligrams of caffeine, which is about the same as two shots of espresso.

The amount of caffeine in a Doppio can vary slightly depending on factors like the type and roast level of the coffee beans used. Generally, a Doppio is made with 19-21 grams of ground coffee, resulting in a strong and concentrated flavor that coffee lovers enjoy.

So if you need an extra boost of energy, opting for a Doppio might be the way to go!

Lungo Caffeine Content

Lungo coffee has a slightly higher caffeine content compared to regular espresso. On average, a lungo contains around 80-90 mg of caffeine. However, the amount can vary depending on the specific type of coffee and brewing method used.

Lungo capsules from Nespresso, for example, contain about 80 mg of caffeine per serving, while their Fortado blend is even higher with over 190 mg of caffeine in a 5 oz cup. If you’re looking for a longer coffee drink with an extra kick of energy, a lungo might be the right choice for you.

Uses in Popular Drinks

Doppio is often used in popular drinks like lattes and macchiatos, where the double shot of espresso provides a strong base for adding milk or foam. Lungo, on the other hand, is commonly used in long black or Americano coffee, where the extra water creates a milder and more diluted flavor.

Doppio in Popular Drinks

A doppio espresso, with its bold and intense flavor, is a popular choice for many coffee lovers. Here are some popular drinks that feature doppio espresso:

  • Doppio Macchiato: A doppio espresso shot with a dollop of milk foam on top.
  • Doppio Americano: A doppio espresso shot diluted with hot water to create a milder and larger drink.
  • Doppio Latte: A latte made with two shots of doppio espresso and steamed milk.
  • Doppio Cappuccino: A cappuccino made with two shots of doppio espresso, steamed milk, and topped with frothed milk.

Lungo in Popular Drinks

A lungo, which is a double shot of espresso with twice as much water, can be enjoyed on its own or used as a base for other coffee beverages. Here are some popular drinks that feature lungo:

  1. Americano: A classic coffee drink made by adding hot water to a shot of lungo espresso. It creates a smooth and balanced flavor with a slightly weaker intensity compared to regular espresso.
  2. Long black: Similar to an Americano, but the hot water is added first, followed by a shot of lungo espresso on top. This preserves the crema and results in a richer flavor.
  3. Macchiato: A macchiato with lungo espresso is called a “long macchiato.” It’s made by adding a small amount of milk foam or steamed milk to the lungo shot, creating a creamy and lightly textured beverage.
  4. Latte: For those who enjoy milky coffee drinks, a lungo can be combined with steamed milk to make a latte. The extra water in the lungo helps balance out the flavors and allows for more milk without diluting the taste too much.

Choosing Between Doppio and Lungo

When it comes to choosing between Doppio and Lungo, consider your personal preferences and the appropriate occasion for each option.

Considering personal preferences

When it comes to choosing between doppio and lungo, personal preferences play a crucial role. Some people may prefer the bold and intense flavor of a doppio, while others might enjoy the smoother taste of a lungo.

It really depends on what you like in your coffee. If you’re someone who prefers a strong and concentrated espresso shot with less water, then doppio is the way to go. On the other hand, if you enjoy a milder and more diluted coffee experience, then lungo might be your preference.

Ultimately, it’s all about finding the taste that suits your palate and brings you the most enjoyment.

Determine the appropriate occasion

To determine the appropriate occasion for enjoying doppio or lungo coffee, consider your preferences and the flavor profiles of each. If you prefer a bold and intense flavor, doppio is a great choice.

It’s perfect for starting your day with a strong caffeine kick or when you need an extra boost of energy. On the other hand, if you prefer a milder taste and enjoy sipping on coffee throughout the day, lungo is ideal.

Its larger volume and less concentrated flavor make it suitable for leisurely enjoyment. Additionally, if you’re serving guests who have different preferences, offering both doppio and lungo options can cater to everyone’s taste buds.


Both doppio and lungo offer distinct flavors and strengths for coffee lovers to enjoy. Doppio provides a stronger and bolder taste, while lungo offers a milder flavor with more volume.

Whether you prefer a powerful pick-me-up or a smooth sip, understanding these differences can help you make the perfect choice based on your personal preferences. So go ahead and indulge in the world of espresso with either a doppio or lungo option!


What is the difference between Doppio and Lungo?

The main difference between Doppio and Lungo is the amount of water used in each espresso drink. A doppio uses double 7-9 grams of coffee, but less water. A lungo uses more water, giving you a longer drink.

How do I make an Espresso Lungo coffee at home?

To make an Espresso Lungo at home, pack the coffee grounds into your machine as usual then let it pull a longer shot. That means using more water than when brewing a solo or single espresso.

Is there more caffeine in a lungo compared to other espresso-based drinks like Doppio and Americano?

Yes, considering ratio of coffee to water; having more hot water forced through the beans in a lungo creates higher caffeine levels due to some dissolved later during extraction process.

Can I use any type of beans for making Doppio or Lungo?

Absolutely! Both types need an espresso brewing method but can use different beans so you could get smokier notes from certain ones depending on what you’re into!

Does “Doppio” mean double serving?

Yes! “Doppio” means double in Italian: thus it represents two shots (a double serving) of espresso made with about 14-18gms coffee grinds under 9 bars pressure.

Can I control my caffeine intake while enjoying these drinks?

Yes, by choosing either smaller cup sizes like the ristretto for reduced volume and hence less caffeine or larger such as Aeropress that dilutes concentration over increased quantity.

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.