How Do You Drink Lungo?

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Table of Contents
A woman enjoying a cup of coffee at a window.

Are you a coffee enthusiast eager to explore different ways of enjoying your favorite brew? If so, lungo -a medium-sized black coffee- might catch your interest. Through this comprehensive guide on how to drink lungo, we’ll unravel the mystery surrounding this delightful beverage and equip you with everything needed to make it at home.

Read on if expanding your caffeine horizons sounds like your cup of joe!

How Do You Drink Lungo?

Drinking a lungo is similar to enjoying other espresso-based drinks. Typically, it’s served in a slightly larger cup than a regular espresso, allowing you to savor its milder taste.

Unlike denser espresso shots which are often sipped quickly, a lungo offers you the chance to take your time. First, take a moment to appreciate the aroma. Then, sip it slowly to enjoy the nuanced flavors, which can vary based on the coffee bean’s origin and roast level.

Adding sugar or milk is optional, but many purists prefer to enjoy it black to experience the full flavor spectrum the lungo provides.

Key Takeaways

  • Lungo is a type of black coffee made by brewing an espresso shot with twice as much water, resulting in a larger volume and milder taste.
  • To make lungo at home, grind medium-coarse coffee beans, use hot water heated to around 200°F (93°C), let the water flow through the coffee for 30-40 seconds, and serve it black without adding milk or cream.
  • Lungo has a unique flavor profile that is mellow and subdued compared to espresso or ristretto, with subtle notes of fruits, nuts, and chocolate.
  • You can enhance your lungo experience by pairing it with pastries or desserts like scones, croissants, biscotti, chocolate cake, fruit tart, cinnamon rolls, or macarons.

What is Lungo?

Lungo is a coffee beverage that is made by brewing a shot of espresso for a longer amount of time, resulting in a larger volume of liquid.

Definition of Lungo

Lungo is a type of black coffee. It means ‘long’ in Italian. People make it using an espresso machine but use twice as much water as in an espresso shot. This makes the Lungo shot bigger and softer in taste.

Some people call it a “long shot” espresso because of this. Milk or cream is not added to lungo, you drink it as is.

Differences between Ristretto, Espresso, and Lungo

To better understand the taste and preparation differences between Ristretto, Espresso, and Lungo, it is good to analyze their key aspects side by side. Here is a comparison made easy with an HTML table format.

Coffee TypeWater QuantityBrewing TimeFlavor Profile
RistrettoLeast Amount of waterShortest Brewing TimeIntense and Full-bodied
EspressoModerate Amount of waterMedium Brewing TimeBold and Rich
LungoTwice as much water as espressoLonger Brewing TimeMellow and Subdued

The above comparison reveals that the Ristretto is the most intense and full-bodied due to the least amount of water and shortest brewing time.

The Espresso, on the other hand, offers a more balanced experience with a moderate amount of water and medium brewing time, resulting in a bold and rich flavor. The Lungo uses twice as much water as espresso and has a longer brewing time, leading to a mellow and subdued flavor.

How to Make Lungo

To make Lungo at home, follow these simple steps.

Steps to make Lungo at home

To make Lungo at home, follow these steps:

  1. Grind coffee beans to a medium-coarse consistency.
  2. Heat water to around 200°F (93°C) or until it’s just below boiling.
  3. Add the ground coffee to the portafilter of your espresso machine.
  4. Tamp the coffee down firmly using a tamper.
  5. Attach the portafilter to the espresso machine and start the extraction process.
  6. Let the water flow through the coffee for about 30 – 40 seconds.
  7. Collect the brewed lungo in a cup or mug.
  8. Optionally, you can preheat your cup by rinsing it with hot water before brewing.
  9. Serve the lungo black, without adding any milk or cream.
  10. Enjoy your homemade lungo!

Proportions of water and coffee

To make a lungo, you need to use twice as much water as coffee. This means that for every shot of espresso, you should use about 60-70ml of hot water. The increased amount of water creates a longer extraction time and gives the lungo its unique taste.

It’s important to get the proportions right to achieve the perfect balance between strength and flavor in your lungo shot.

Brewing time and temperature

To make a delicious lungo coffee, it’s important to consider the brewing time and temperature. The recommended brewing time for lungo is between 30-60 seconds. This longer brew time allows more water to pass through the ground coffee, resulting in a larger and milder cup of coffee compared to espresso.

When it comes to temperature, the water should be heated to around 200°F (93°C) before being poured over the coffee grounds. This high temperature ensures proper extraction of flavors from the beans, giving your lungo a rich and aromatic taste.

So remember, take your time when brewing lungo and use hot water for a satisfying cup of this medium-sized black coffee!

Serving and Drinking Lungo

To serve Lungo, use an appropriate cup and enjoy it black or add milk and sugar to taste.

Proper serving size

Lungo, a medium-sized black coffee, should be served in a demitasse spoon or cup. It is important to note that lungo shots are larger than regular espresso shots because they contain more water.

When drinking lungo, it is best enjoyed without adding milk or cream. Remember to drink in moderation as the recommended daily caffeine intake suggests a maximum of 5 lungo coffees per day.

Adding milk or sugar

Some people prefer to enjoy their lungo as it is, without adding any milk or sugar. This allows them to fully appreciate the flavors and nuances of the coffee itself. However, if you prefer a creamier or sweeter taste, you can certainly add some milk or sugar to your lungo.

Just keep in mind that adding these ingredients may alter the flavor profile of the coffee. Experiment with different amounts to find your preferred balance between bitterness and sweetness.

Enjoying the flavor profile

Lungo has a unique flavor profile that is less intense than espresso or ristretto. The longer brewing time allows for a smoother and more mellow taste. You can expect subtle notes of fruits, nuts, and chocolate in each sip.

The crema on top adds a creamy texture to the coffee. To fully enjoy the flavor profile of lungo, it is best to drink it black without any milk or sugar. This way, you can appreciate the intricate flavors that come from the coffee beans themselves.

So sit back, take a sip, and savor the rich and nuanced taste of lungo.

Tips for Enjoying Lungo

Pair your Lungo with a delicious pastry or dessert for the perfect pairing. Try experimenting with different beans and explore flavored variations. Ready to discover more about the art of drinking Lungo? Read on!

Pairing with pastries or desserts

Pairing lungo with pastries or desserts is a great way to enhance your coffee experience. Here are some ideas to try:

  1. Scones: Enjoy a warm scone with your lungo for a delightful breakfast or afternoon treat.
  2. Croissants: The buttery and flaky texture of a croissant pairs perfectly with the smoothness of lungo.
  3. Biscotti: Dip your biscotti in your lungo for a satisfying crunch and extra burst of flavor.
  4. Chocolate cake: Indulge in a slice of rich chocolate cake alongside your lungo for a decadent combination.
  5. Fruit tart: The fruity flavors of a tart complement the subtle taste of lungo, creating a refreshing pairing.
  6. Cinnamon rolls: The warm, cinnamon-spiced goodness of a cinnamon roll complements the boldness of lungo.
  7. Macarons: These delicate French cookies add an elegant touch when enjoyed alongside your lungo.

Experimenting with different beans

Experimenting with different beans is a great way to discover new flavors and aromas in your lungo. There are various types of coffee beans available, each with its unique characteristics.

You can try experimenting with different roasts, such as light, medium, or dark roast, to find the one that suits your taste preferences. Additionally, you can explore single-origin coffee beans from different regions around the world to experience the diverse flavor profiles they offer.

Some may have fruity notes, while others might have a chocolatey or nutty undertone. By experimenting with different beans, you can truly customize your lungo experience and discover your favorite flavors!

Exploring variations like flavored Lungo

Lungo coffee can be a great base for exploring different flavors. One way to enjoy variations of lungo is by adding flavored syrups or extracts to your brew. This can give your lungo a hint of vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, or other delicious flavors.

Another option is to try different types of beans for more diverse flavor profiles. You could experiment with single-origin beans from various regions or even try blends specifically designed for lungo brewing.

By exploring these variations, you can customize your lungo experience and discover new and exciting flavors that complement the rich taste and aroma of this medium-sized black coffee.


Drinking lungo is a delightful experience for coffee lovers. It’s important to remember that lungo is best enjoyed without milk or cream. By following the right brewing method and using the correct proportions of water and coffee, you can savor the rich flavors and subtle taste of this medium-sized black coffee.

So go ahead, grab your demitasse spoon, take a sip, and enjoy the goodness of lungo!


What is a lungo?

A lungo is a medium-sized coffee which uses double the amount of water and has more flavors than a long shot espresso.

How do you make a lungo?

You create a lungo by doing a long pull or adding double the usual amount of water to an espresso recipe during coffee brewing.

Can I add milk to my lungo like Latte?

Yes, you can enjoy your Lungo with some milk added in, but it may change its strength and flavors from what’s originally intended for this type of espresso drink.

Are there other ways to drink coffee like the Lungo style?

There are different variations and methods used when drinking coffee that could result in changes in flavor and strength, similar to how making the perfect Lungo takes more water than normal espressos.

About the Author:
Sophia Lewis, a travel blogger with a focus on global coffee cultures, explores coffee traditions from Colombia to Turkey. Her expertise lies in understanding the cultivation, brewing, and enjoyment of coffee in different cultures. Through articles, travel vlogs, and tastings, Sophia brings a global perspective to coffee, emphasizing ethical and sustainable practices, and invites readers to join her community of global coffee enthusiasts.