What Does Lungo Taste Like?

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A cup of coffee taste.
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A cup of coffee taste.

Ever been puzzled about the true taste of a lungo? You’re not alone – this espresso variety often confuses even seasoned coffee lovers. Brewed with more water for longer extraction, the lungo offers a flavor profile distinctly different from regular espresso.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into understanding what makes a Lungo unique and the complex flavors you can expect when savoring one. Ready to discover your new favorite brew?

What Does Lungo Taste Like?

A lungo tastes milder and more diluted than a standard espresso, primarily due to the increased amount of water used during extraction.

This extended extraction process pulls out diverse flavor compounds, resulting in a layered taste profile that balances between the boldness of espresso and the lightness of a regular coffee.

The lungo’s flavor can vary based on the coffee bean’s origin and roast, but it typically offers a smoother, less concentrated taste than its shorter counterpart, the ristretto. For those who find traditional espresso too intense, a lungo provides a gentler, yet still rich, alternative.

Key Takeaways

  • Lungo is a type of espresso with a milder taste compared to regular espresso.
  • It has pronounced flavors of chocolate, nuts, and caramel, creating a balanced and roasty flavor profile.
  • Lungo is often confused with Americano or regular espresso, but it has its own distinct taste.

What is a Lungo?

A Lungo is a type of espresso drink that is prepared by extracting more water through the coffee grounds, resulting in a longer shot than traditional espresso.

Definition and origin

Lungo is a type of coffee from Italy. The word “lungo” means “long” in Italian. More water is used to pull the shot, so it takes longer time to make than other coffee types. This method gets more flavor from the coffee grounds.

Many enjoy lungo by itself or as the base for different espresso drinks.

Preparation of Lungo (Long Shot Espresso)

To prepare a Lungo, follow these steps:

  1. Grind coffee beans to a medium – coarse consistency.
  2. Fill the portafilter with the ground coffee.
  3. Tamp the coffee evenly and firmly.
  4. Insert the portafilter into the espresso machine.
  5. Place a cup under the spout to collect the coffee.
  6. Start the extraction process and let it run for a longer time than an espresso shot.
  7. Watch as the rich, dark liquid flows into the cup.
  8. Stop the extraction when you have reached your desired volume of coffee.
  9. Take a moment to appreciate the beautiful crema on top of your Lungo.
  10. Enjoy your Lungo as is or personalize it with milk, sugar, or other flavorings according to your preference.

Differences between Lungo and other espresso drinks (Americano, Espresso, Ristretto)

There are certain distinguishing factors between Lungo and other espresso drinks like Americano, Espresso, and Ristretto. The differences lie in the volume of water, extraction time, and resulting flavor.

Espresso DrinkWater VolumeExtraction TimeFlavor Result
LungoUses more water to pull a shot, resulting in a longer extraction time.Provides a longer extraction time, allowing for more flavor to be extracted.Tastes milder than espresso, with pronounced flavors of chocolate, nuts, and caramel. Often described as smoky, with a light body and an acidic, dry flavor profile.
AmericanoCreated by adding hot water to a shot of espresso.Typically, extraction time is similar to an espresso shot.Often more diluted in taste but maintains a rich flavor. Less intense than a Lungo.
EspressoUses less water than Lungo for a more concentrated shot.Has a shorter extraction time.Strong and robust in flavor. More intense compared to a Lungo.
RistrettoEven less water is used than in espresso, making it the most concentrated.Has the shortest extraction time.Exhibits a sweeter, more concentrated flavor. This drink is significantly more potent than a Lungo.

These variations provide choices to different taste preferences, with Lungo offering a balanced, milder option.

The Taste of Lungo

Lungo offers a milder flavor compared to espresso, with pronounced notes of chocolate, nuts, and caramel that create a balanced and roasty taste.

Flavor profile (milder than espresso)

Lungo has a flavor profile that is milder compared to espresso but still packs in some delightful tastes. When you take a sip of lungo, you can expect pronounced flavors of chocolate, nuts, and caramel.

These add a satisfying depth to the overall taste experience. So, if you’re looking for a coffee that’s not too strong but still has delicious notes, lungo might just be the perfect choice for you!

Pronounced flavors (chocolate, nuts, and caramel)

Lungo coffee has pronounced flavors of chocolate, nuts, and caramel. Unlike espresso, which can be strong and intense, lungo offers a more balanced taste with these delicious notes.

The longer extraction time of lungo allows for more flavor to be extracted from the coffee grounds, resulting in a rich and satisfying experience. So when you take a sip of lungo, you can expect to enjoy the smoothness of chocolate, the subtle nutty undertones, and hints of sweet caramel dancing on your tastebuds.

These pronounced flavors make lungo a delightful choice for those who appreciate a milder yet flavorful cup of coffee.

Common Confusion and Misconceptions

Many people get confused between Lungo and Americano, thinking that they are the same thing. However, there is a significant difference in their preparation methods and taste profiles.

Comparisons with other espresso drinks

Lungo is often mistaken for other espresso drinks like Americano or regular Espresso, but it has its own distinct flavor.

Compared to an Americano, a lungo has a more concentrated taste and doesn’t have the same level of wateriness. As for regular espresso, a well-made lungo will taste milder and less bitter.

It’s important to note that lungo should not be confused with ristretto, which is an even shorter shot of espresso with a stronger flavor. So if you’re looking for a coffee that strikes a balance between mildness and intensity, give lungo a try!

Lungo vs Americano

Lungo and Americano may seem similar, but there are distinct differences in taste. While both drinks use more water than a regular espresso shot, the brewing methods vary. Lungo uses more water during the extraction process, resulting in a longer shot and milder flavors.

Americanos are made by adding hot water to an espresso shot. This dilutes the coffee’s strength and creates a less concentrated flavor compared to lungos. So if you’re looking for a milder yet tasteful option, go for a lungo; but if you prefer a less intense coffee with a balanced flavor, give an americano a try.

Lungo vs Espresso

Lungo and espresso are both types of coffee, but they have some differences in taste. While espresso is strong and intense, lungo has a milder flavor profile. Lungo is made by using more water to pull a shot, which results in a longer extraction time compared to espresso.

This longer extraction time allows for more flavors to be extracted from the coffee grounds. As a result, lungos often have pronounced flavors like chocolate, nuts, and caramel. On the other hand, espressos are known for their intense bitterness and roasty flavor.

So if you prefer a milder taste with subtle notes of chocolate or nuts, then lungo might be the right choice for you!


Lungo tastes milder than espresso but has pronounced flavors of chocolate, nuts, and caramel. It is often described as having a balanced and roasty flavor. Despite being longer in extraction time, it still maintains a light body with an acidic and dry taste profile.

Lungo can be enjoyed on its own or used as a base for other espresso-based beverages.


What does lungo taste like?

Lungo coffee has a mild, watery espresso taste. It often carries bitter flavors with chocolate notes and caramel hints.

Is lungo coffee strong or mild?

Lungo coffee offers a subdued, watery flavor compared to regular espresso because it uses more water.

Does lungo have any aroma?

Yes, despite its mild taste, Lungo carries an appealing aroma that gives out the sense of fresh coffee flavor.

Do I need to add sugar in my lungo?

You don’t have to unless you want to balance its bitter flavor but usually, the natural caramel hints in it make up for sweetness.

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.