Is a Lungo a Black Coffee?

Want to learn more about coffee?
Explore more on our blog!
Learn more
A cup of coffee with steam.
Table of Contents
A cup of coffee with steam.

Craving a cup of coffee and wondering if a lungo is what you’re looking for? A lungo, Italian for ‘long’, is indeed an intriguing type of black coffee that uses more water than the standard espresso shot.

This blog post will unravel all your questions about whether a lungo can be considered black coffee while diving into its unique characteristics. Stay tuned to explore this fascinating world of caffeine delight!

Is a Lungo a Black Coffee?

Is a lungo a black coffee? Yes, a lungo is a type of black coffee, but with a unique preparation method that distinguishes it from other black coffees.

A lungo, which means “long” in Italian, is made by extracting an espresso shot with more water than usual, resulting in a longer pull and a larger volume. This method gives the coffee a different flavor profile, often milder than a regular espresso but stronger than an Americano.

Unlike a long black, where hot water is added to an espresso, the lungo’s extended extraction process allows for more of the coffee’s complexities to emerge. However, both are enjoyed without milk, preserving the rich nuances of the coffee beans.

Key Takeaways

  • A lungo is a type of black coffee that uses more water than a regular espresso shot, resulting in a larger volume and distinct flavor profile.
  • While both lungo and black coffee are dark-colored beverages, there are differences in their preparation process, taste, and caffeine content.
  • Lungos have flavor notes that lean towards nuts and caramel with some bitterness, making them unique compared to other black coffees.
  • If you’re looking for an intense coffee experience with more volume, trying out a lungo can be a great choice.

Understanding Lungo, Americano, and Long Black

Lungo is a type of coffee that involves extracting more water through the espresso machine, while Americano and Long Black are both made by adding hot water to espresso shots.

What is a lungo?

A lungo is a type of coffee drink. It’s made with an espresso machine, just like regular black coffee. More hot water and ground coffee are used for making lungo. This leads to more volume in the cup compared to a normal espresso shot.

The taste leans towards nuts and caramel, but can also be a bit bitter. This style of coffee has less strength than typical espresso but it still packs quite a flavor punch!

What is an americano?

An americano is a popular coffee drink made by combining an espresso shot with hot water. It is similar to a lungo in that it is a black coffee, but the preparation process and flavor are different.

Unlike a lungo, which pulls a longer shot of espresso, an americano starts with a regular-sized espresso shot and then adds hot water to dilute it. This gives the americano a milder taste compared to a lungo.

The amount of caffeine in an americano can vary depending on the size of the espresso shot and how much hot water is added. Overall, an americano is enjoyed for its smooth flavor and balanced strength, making it a favorite choice for many coffee lovers.

What is a long black?

A long black is a style of coffee that originated in Australia and New Zealand. It is made by pouring a single or double shot of espresso into hot water. Unlike a lungo, which is made using an espresso machine, the long black uses hot water to dilute the espresso shot.

This results in a milder taste compared to a lungo, with flavors that are less intense and more balanced. While both the lungo and the long black are considered types of black coffee, they have distinct brewing methods and flavor profiles.

The Differences Between Lungo, Americano, and Long Black

Lungo, Americano, and Long Black differ in their preparation process, water to coffee ratio, flavor and taste, caffeine content, and popularity.

Preparation process

A lungo is made using an espresso machine. To prepare a lungo, the barista pulls an espresso shot for a longer time compared to a regular shot. This means that more hot water and more ground coffee are used during the brewing process.

The result is a black coffee with a larger volume than a typical espresso shot. It’s important to note that the lungo and long black differ in their preparation methods, even though they may appear similar at first glance.

Water to coffee ratio

The water to coffee ratio is an important factor in determining the strength and flavor of a lungo, americano, or long black. For a lungo, more hot water is used compared to a regular espresso shot, resulting in a larger volume of coffee.

This means that there’s a higher proportion of water to coffee grounds in a lungo. The specific ratio can vary depending on personal preference and the desired taste profile. However, generally speaking, for every ounce (30 ml) of espresso extracted from the machine, around 2-3 ounces (60-90 ml) of hot water are added to create a lungo.

This dilutes the intensity of the espresso while still maintaining its robust flavor and aroma.

In contrast, when making an americano or long black, the process involves pouring hot water over one or two shots of espresso. The amount of water added can also vary based on personal preference but typically ranges from 4-6 ounces (120-180 ml).

This method produces a milder taste compared to a lungo since there is less concentration per ounce.

Flavor and taste

A lungo has a distinct flavor and taste. It tends to have flavor notes that lean towards nuts and caramel, with a hint of bitterness. The longer extraction time allows for more intense coffee flavors to develop.

On the other hand, a long black has a milder taste as it is diluted with hot water. While both beverages are considered black coffees, they offer different flavor profiles for those seeking unique coffee experiences.

Caffeine content

The caffeine content in a lungo can vary, but it is believed to have more caffeine than a regular espresso shot. However, the exact amount of caffeine depends on factors such as the specific coffee beans and the brewing method used.

So while a lungo can be considered a type of black coffee, it may have a higher caffeine content compared to other coffee beverages.


Lungo, Americano, and Long Black are all popular coffee beverages enjoyed by people around the world. Each has its unique characteristics that cater to different taste preferences.

The popularity of lungo lies in its intense coffee taste, thanks to the longer extraction process and higher water-to-coffee ratio compared to regular espresso. This results in a larger volume of black coffee with distinct flavor notes like nuts and caramel.

While lungo may not be as well-known as other coffee types, it offers a unique and satisfying experience for those who enjoy bold flavors.

Clarifying the Status of Lungo as a Black Coffee

Lungo is considered a unique form of black coffee due to its similarity to espresso, but it has distinct differences in preparation and taste.

Lungo as a form of espresso

A lungo is a type of coffee that is made using an espresso machine. It starts with an espresso shot, but the process involves pulling the shot longer, using more hot water and more ground coffee.

This results in a black coffee with more volume than a regular espresso. The flavor of a lungo tends to be more intense and can have notes of nuts and caramel, along with some bitterness.

While it can be considered a form of black coffee, it is distinct from both regular espressos and long blacks due to its unique brewing method and taste profile.

Similarities and differences to black coffee

A lungo can be considered a type of black coffee because it has a similar brewing process and results in a dark-colored beverage. However, there are some notable differences between a lungo and regular black coffee.

Firstly, the preparation process for a lungo involves pulling an espresso shot longer, using more hot water and ground coffee compared to traditional drip coffee. This creates a stronger flavor with more volume than regular black coffee.

While both lungos and black coffees have caffeine, the exact amount may vary depending on factors such as the type of beans used and the brewing method employed.

Although there are similarities between a lungo and black coffee in terms of their appearance and presence of caffeine, they have distinct flavors due to variations in their preparation methods.

How it is enjoyed

A lungo is enjoyed in a similar way to other black coffees. It can be sipped slowly or consumed quickly, depending on personal preferences. Some people like to add sugar or milk to balance out the bitterness, while others prefer it as is.

The longer extraction process of a lungo brings out different flavors compared to a regular espresso shot, so it can be interesting for coffee enthusiasts to try and explore its unique taste profile.

Whether enjoyed alone or with company, a lungo offers a distinct coffee experience that can be savored at any time of the day.

Conclusion: Lungo as a Unique Coffee Experience

While a lungo can be considered a type of black coffee, it is unique in its own way. With its longer extraction process and distinct flavor profile, a lungo offers a different coffee experience compared to regular espresso or long black.

So if you’re looking to explore the world of black coffee with an intense taste and more volume, give the lungo a try!


What is a lungo?

A lungo is a coffee recipe that uses long shot coffee brewing methods to create a unique taste and strength.

Is a lungo the same as black coffee?

No, while both are types of coffees, they are different in ways like the method used to brew them and their tastes.

How does a lungo compare with espresso or an Americano?

While all three are types of coffees, they differ in how we make them and their flavors. A Lungo uses more water than an espresso but less than an Americano.

Can you tell me about the crema on a Lungo?

Sure! Crema is the creamy layer on top of your cup when you brew your lungo properly using your lungo recipe.

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.