How Is a Lungo Served?

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Two cups of coffee on a table next to roses, Lungo Served.
Table of Contents
Two cups of coffee on a table next to roses, Lungo Served.

Confused about how to serve a lungo perfectly? This espresso variation has its unique set of rules, unlike other popular coffee drinks. You are in for a treat because this blog post will teach you all there is to know about serving lungos, from the ideal brewing process and serving size to distinguishing it from other espresso drinks.

Let’s dive right into our caffeinated journey!

How Is a Lungo Served?

A lungo is served in a slightly larger cup than a typical espresso. Specifically tailored to capture its unique flavor and characteristics, this extended extraction coffee method requires more water to flow through the coffee grounds.

Consequently, a lungo generally fills a cup of about 110 to 120 milliliters. This ensures the subtle nuances of the coffee’s flavor profile are preserved. When served, it’s common to see a thin layer of crema on top, a testament to the proper extraction process.

Presentation-wise, it’s typically unaccompanied, allowing coffee lovers to appreciate its distinct taste without distractions.

Key Takeaways

  • A lungo is an espresso variation that is served by pulling an espresso shot with more water and for a longer time.
  • The serving size of a lungo is typically around 3 – 4 ounces, smaller than an Americano.
  • Lungos have a milder flavor compared to regular espresso due to their higher water content.
  • Lungos can be enjoyed on their own or with milk or cream.

What is a Lungo and its Origins

A Lungo comes from Italian coffee culture. The word ‘lungo’ means long in Italian. This name is used because it takes a longer time to make this drink than an espresso shot. This type of coffee also uses more water, which makes the taste less strong.

Lungo became popular in Europe first. It started from Italy and spread across to other countries over time. Now, many people around the world enjoy lungos at cafes or at home with their Nespresso machines.

Some people like to add milk or cream to their lungo. But whether you take your lungo plain or with some extras, you are taking part in a piece of Italian history each time you sip!

How to Prepare a Lungo

To prepare a lungo, start by using an espresso machine to extract a shot of espresso with a higher water-to-coffee ratio than usual. Typically, this is achieved by adding more water while brewing.

The result should be a longer extraction time compared to a regular espresso shot.

Brewing process

To make a lungo, you’ll need an espresso machine. Start by grinding your coffee beans to a fine consistency. Then, preheat your espresso machine and fill the water reservoir with fresh cold water.

Next, measure out the appropriate amount of coffee grounds for a lungo shot. The ratio is typically 1:2 – one part coffee to two parts water.

Now it’s time to brew! Place your cup or demitasse spoon under the portafilter and start the brewing process. The hot water will pass through the coffee grounds, extracting flavor and creating crema on top of your lungo shot.

Unlike regular espresso shots that are brewed quickly in about 18-30 seconds, a lungo takes longer. It may take up to a minute for the full extraction process because more water is used.

Once your lungo shot is ready, you can enjoy it as is or add some milk or cream if you prefer. Remember that a lungo has a milder flavor compared to regular espresso because of its higher water content.

Serving size and presentation

A lungo is typically served in a smaller serving size, around 3-4 ounces. This is smaller than an Americano, which is usually around 8-12 ounces. When it comes to presentation, a lungo shot should have a rich layer of crema on top.

It can be enjoyed as-is or with a splash of milk or cream. The serving size and presentation help enhance the overall experience of enjoying a lungo espresso shot.

Lungo vs Other Espresso Drinks

When comparing Lungo to other espresso drinks, such as Americano, Espresso, and Ristretto, there are distinct differences in taste, serving size, and brewing process. The longer extraction time of a Lungo creates a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from these other popular espresso drinks.

Lungo vs Americano

These two types of espresso-based drinks have their similarities and differences. A lungo and an Americano both use espresso shots as the base, but they differ in the amount of water used, the brewing process, and the resultant taste and texture.

Brewing ProcessA lungo is pulled with double the amount of water for a longer duration.In an Americano, hot water is added to a shot of espresso.
Serving SizeThe serving size for a lungo is generally 3-4 ounces.An Americano usually has a larger serving size, with more water added after the espresso shot is pulled.
Taste and TextureA lungo offers a milder, less intense flavor compared to a regular espresso shot.An Americano delivers a flavor profile similar to brewed coffee, with a lighter taste than lungo.
Calorie CountThe calorie count in a lungo is usually between 2-4 per serving.The calorie count in an Americano is usually similar, depending on the amount of water used.

The two drinks are versatile and cater to different taste preferences. A lungo, with its milder flavor, may be preferred by those who find a regular espresso shot too intense.

On the other hand, an Americano, with its lighter taste, might be more appealing to those who love traditional brewed coffee.

Lungo vs Espresso

A lungo is similar to an espresso, but it is made with more water and brewed for a longer time. This gives the lungo a milder flavor compared to the intense taste of an espresso shot.

The serving size for a lungo is typically smaller than that of an espresso, around 3-4 ounces. While an espresso shot takes about 18-30 seconds to brew, a lungo can take up to a minute.

Lungos are often made using a higher coffee-to-water ratio and are commonly prepared using Nespresso machines for convenience. So if you prefer a milder flavor and don’t mind waiting a bit longer for your coffee, give the lungo a try!

Lungo vs Ristretto

Lungo and ristretto are two different types of espresso shots. While a lungo is made with more water, a ristretto is made with less.

The serving size for a lungo is around 3-4 ounces, while a ristretto is usually served in just 1-2 ounces. A lungo takes longer to pull, about a minute compared to the 18-30 seconds for a regular espresso shot. On the other hand, a ristretto has an even shorter pulling time, only about 15-20 seconds.

The taste and strength of these two drinks also differ – while a lungo tends to have a milder flavor due to the increased water content, a ristretto is very concentrated and intense in taste.

So if you prefer something stronger and bolder, go for the ristretto; but if you like your coffee more diluted and mild, then the lungo might be your cup of tea!


A lungo is served by pulling an espresso shot with more water and for a longer amount of time. It has a serving size of around 3-4 ounces and can be enjoyed on its own or with milk or cream.

Lungo offers a milder flavor compared to regular espresso and is commonly made using a Nespresso machine for convenience. So next time you’re looking for a flavorful but less intense coffee experience, give the lungo a try!


What is a lungo and how is it served?

A lungo is a type of coffee that’s brewed with more water than normal using espresso machines. It’s often served in larger servings compared to regular coffee.

How does one make a doppio?

A doppio, or double shot, uses two shots of espresso brewed through an espresso machine like when making Lungo coffee.

Can you put sugar or milk in a lungo?

Yes! You can add sugar or have your lungo with milk depending on your taste.

Are there different ways to brew a cafe lungo?

Yes, there are various coffee brewing methods and techniques used for making Cafe Lungo. These depend on the type of Coffee brewing equipment used.

How do you pronounce “lungo”?

‘Lungo’ pronounces as ‘loon-goh’. This word means ‘long’ which refers to the longer brew time when compared to regular Espresso.

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.