What Is Lungo with Milk Called?

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A cup of coffee sitting on a window sill.
Table of Contents
A cup of coffee sitting on a window sill.

Who hasn’t experienced the delightful confusion that comes with trying to decode a coffee menu? With so many options, it can be hard to keep up. For instance, did you know there’s something called a ‘lungo’?

This Italian term refers to an espresso shot made longer than usual by letting more water pass through the grounds.

In this blog post, we’ll unravel the mystery of what happens when milk is added to this mildly bitter and smoky coffee variant. Stay tuned; your next café order might just impress your barista!

What Is Lungo with Milk Called?

A lungo with milk doesn’t have a universally recognized specific name like some other coffee variations. When you add milk to a lungo, it becomes similar to a café au lait or a latte, depending on the amount and preparation of the milk.

A café au lait typically combines equal parts brewed coffee and steamed milk, while a latte is made with espresso and steamed milk, topped with a small amount of foam. The key distinction lies in the coffee-to-milk ratio and the type of coffee base used.

If you’re ordering in a café, it’s best to describe your desired preparation to ensure you get the drink you’re envisioning.

Key Takeaways

  • Lungo coffee is a type of espresso with more water, resulting in a milder and bigger cup with a caffeine kick.
  • Traditional lungo coffee is served without milk but can be enjoyed with different variations such as lungo con latte or lungo macchiato.
  • Other espresso drinks with milk include latte macchiato, cortado, cappuccino, and flat white.

What is Lungo Coffee?

Lungo coffee is a type of espresso that is prepared by extracting more water through the coffee grounds, resulting in a longer and milder cup of coffee with a bigger caffeine kick.

Definition of Lungo Coffee

Lungo coffee is an espresso shot made to last longer. It gets the name “lungo” from the Italian word for “long”. This coffee has a bigger volume than regular espresso. To make it, more water is poured over finely-ground coffee.

This gives us a bigger and milder drink. Lungo often tastes less strong due to more water use. Still, people like it because of its subtle bitter taste with smoky hints.

How to Make Lungo Coffee

To make lungo coffee, you will need:

  • Finely-ground coffee beans
  • Hot water
  • Espresso machine or pod system (such as Nespresso)
  • Cup or glass for serving

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Grind the coffee beans finely, ensuring a consistency similar to table salt.
  2. Prepare your espresso machine by preheating it and filling the water reservoir.
  3. Place the ground coffee in the portafilter and distribute evenly.
  4. Tamp down the coffee gently to ensure an even extraction.
  5. Lock the portafilter into the espresso machine and place your cup or glass beneath it.
  6. Start the extraction process, allowing hot water to flow through the coffee grounds.
  7. The lungo shot should take longer than a regular espresso shot, typically around 25 – 30 seconds.
  8. As soon as you have obtained the desired volume of coffee, stop the extraction process.
  9. Serve your lungo coffee straight or add a splash of milk or cream for a creamy touch.
  10. Enjoy your lungo coffee while it’s still hot, savoring its mild flavor and subtle bitterness.

Can You Add Milk to Lungo Coffee?

You can add milk to lungo coffee, but it is not the traditional way of preparing this type of espresso.

Traditional preparation without milk

A lungo coffee is typically prepared without milk. It is made by extracting a larger amount of water through finely-ground coffee, resulting in a milder and less intense flavor compared to regular espresso.

The extended extraction time gives the lungo its unique taste with bitter undertones and smoky hints. It’s served as a plain shot of espresso in larger cups or glasses to accommodate the greater volume.

This traditional preparation allows you to enjoy the subtle flavors of the lungo coffee without any added milk or cream.

Variations with milk

  • Lungo con latte: Adding milk to a lungo creates a creamy and milder version of the coffee drink.
  • Lungo macchiato: This variation involves adding just a small amount of milk to create a “stained” effect on top of the lungo espresso.
  • Lungo cortado: A cortado is made by mixing equal parts lungo espresso and warm milk, resulting in a balanced and smooth coffee beverage.
  • Gran Lungo with milk: The Nespresso Gran Lungo pods are designed for larger cup sizes, making it perfect for adding milk to create your desired taste.
  • Customizable milk options: You can choose different types of milk like whole milk, skim milk, almond milk, or soy milk to personalize your lungo with milk experience.

Other Espresso Drinks with Milk

Latte Macchiato

Latte Macchiato is another coffee drink that you can enjoy with milk. It is made by layering steamed milk, espresso, and a small amount of foam on top. The name “latte macchiato” means “stained milk” in Italian, referring to the way the espresso shot is added to the milk.

Unlike a traditional latte where the espresso is poured into steamed milk, a latte macchiato has more milk than coffee. This results in a creamy and smooth beverage with a slight coffee flavor.

So if you’re looking for a milder option that still incorporates the richness of milk, try out a Latte Macchiato!


A cortado is a popular coffee drink that combines espresso and steamed milk in equal parts. It is made by pouring a shot of espresso into a glass or cup, then topping it off with an equal amount of steamed milk.

The result is a balanced and creamy beverage, with the rich flavor of espresso complemented by the smoothness of the milk. Unlike other drinks like lattes or cappuccinos, the cortado has less milk, allowing the taste of the espresso to shine through.

It’s perfect for those who enjoy a strong coffee flavor, but still want a touch of creaminess from the milk.


When milk is added to lungo coffee, it becomes a variation called “lungo with milk.” This adds a creamy touch to the subtle and bitter flavor of the lungo. If you enjoy milder coffee tastes or want to try something different, giving lungo with milk a try might be worth it.


What is a Lungo with milk called?

A Lungo coffee with added milk is often called a Caffè Latte or Latté.

How does the taste of black coffee differ from Lungo?

Black coffee tastes strong and bold, while Lungo has a milder flavor because more water is used in its recipe.

Can I prepare a lungo using coffee pods?

Yes, many brands offer Lungo-specific coffee pods for use in brewing machines.

What are other popular Coffee drinks like Mocha, Affogato, and Frappuccino?

Mocha combines espresso (which can be Ristretto or Americano) with chocolate and steamed milk; an Affogato includes ice cream topped by hot espresso; while Frappuccino is a cold drink made of iced espresso mixed with milk and sweet syrup.

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.