What Is the Ratio of Coffee to Water in a Lungo?

Want to learn more about coffee?
Explore more on our blog!
Learn more
The ratio of coffee to water in a Lungo.
Table of Contents
The ratio of coffee to water in a Lungo.

You enjoy coffee, but you’re not sure about the correct ratio of coffee to water in a lungo. A “lungo” is an Italian term which translates to “long,” and refers to the longer extraction time compared to regular espresso shots.

This blog post will guide you through understanding what a lungo is, its unique taste profile, and importantly, help determine the perfect balance between coffee and water for your brew.

Ready? Let’s demystify this richly flavored delight!

What Is the Ratio of Coffee to Water in a Lungo?

A lungo, which translates to “long” in Italian, is made by extracting more water through a standard amount of coffee, typically using around 50-60ml of water for a single espresso shot’s worth of coffee.

This is roughly double the amount of water used for a regular espresso, which is typically 25-30ml. The exact ratio can vary based on personal preferences and specific espresso machines.

The intention behind a lungo is to produce a longer, less concentrated espresso drink, maintaining some intensity while offering a milder flavor profile compared to a straight shot of espresso.

Key Takeaways

  • Lungo coffee is brewed using an espresso machine and has a longer extraction time than regular espresso shots.
  • The typical ratio of coffee to water in a lungo is between 1:3 and 1:4, with one part coffee grounds to three to four parts water.
  • Factors like personal preference, type of coffee beans, grind size, brewing method, altitude, and temperature can influence the ratio.
  • To brew a lungo coffee, grind your beans medium-coarse, tamp the grounds firmly in the portafilter, let water flow for 1-2 minutes, and adjust based on desired strength.

Understanding Lungo Coffee

Lungo coffee is a type of espresso that is brewed with more water, resulting in a larger and milder shot compared to traditional espresso.

Definition of lungo coffee

Lungo coffee is a type of strong drink. It comes from an espresso machine. In Italian, lungo means “long”. This name tells about the time it takes to make this coffee. Unlike regular espresso shots, lungo takes more time.

This makes for a bigger shot size too. People who like bitter taste and thicker brew love lungo coffee!

Taste profile of lungo coffee

Lungo coffee has a strong and bold flavor profile. It is known for its intense taste and higher caffeine content compared to other espresso shots. The longer extraction time brings out the rich flavors of the coffee beans, resulting in a full-bodied and robust cup of coffee.

Lungo coffee can have hints of bitterness but also offers a smooth and balanced finish. Its concentrated nature makes it an ideal choice as a base for specialty drinks like lattes or cappuccinos.

Coffee to Water Ratio for Lungo

The typical ratio of coffee to water in a lungo is 1:2, with one part coffee grounds to two parts water.

Typical ratio of coffee to water in a lungo

The typical ratio of coffee to water in a lungo is usually between 1:3 and 1:4. This means that for every part of coffee, you would use three to four parts of water. The specific ratio can vary depending on personal preference or the desired strength of the lungo.

It’s important to note that tamping the coffee grounds down firmly helps ensure an even extraction and enhances the taste of your lungo.

Factors that may affect the ratio

The ratio of coffee to water in a lungo can be influenced by several factors. One factor is personal taste preference – some people may prefer a stronger coffee flavor and use a higher coffee to water ratio, while others may prefer a milder taste and use a lower ratio.

Another factor is the type of coffee beans used – different beans have varying levels of strength and flavor, so the ratio may need to be adjusted accordingly. The grind size of the coffee grounds can also impact the ratio, as finer grinds may require more water for extraction.

The brewing method and equipment used can affect the extraction process, which may warrant adjustments to achieve the desired taste. Lastly, altitude and temperature can play a role in how well flavors are extracted from the coffee grounds, potentially altering the ideal ratio.

Brewing Lungo Coffee

To brew a lungo coffee, follow these simple steps and achieve the desired taste.

Steps to make a lungo coffee

To make a lungo coffee, follow these simple steps:

  1. Grind your coffee beans to a medium-coarse consistency.
  2. Add the ground coffee to your espresso machine’s portafilter.
  3. Use a tamper to firmly compact the coffee grounds in the portafilter.
  4. Place the portafilter into the espresso machine and start the extraction process.
  5. Let the water flow through the coffee grounds for a longer period of time compared to other espresso shots, about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Monitor the extraction time and stop when you have reached your desired strength and volume of coffee.
  7. Pour the lungo shot into a cup or glass.

Tips for achieving the desired taste

  • Use freshly roasted coffee beans for the best flavor.
  • Grind the coffee beans just before brewing to preserve freshness and aroma.
  • Adjust the grind size to find the right balance between extraction time and flavor.
  • Experiment with different coffee varieties and blends to discover your preferred taste profile.
  • Preheat your espresso machine or coffee maker to ensure optimal brewing temperature.
  • Use filtered water to enhance the flavors of the coffee.
  • Experiment with different brewing times to find your desired strength and intensity.
  • Taste the lungo shot as it brews to make adjustments if needed.
  • Clean and maintain your espresso machine regularly for consistent results.


The ratio of coffee to water in a lungo can vary, but it is generally between 1:3 and 1:4. Lungo coffee is made using an espresso machine and has a longer extraction time compared to other espresso shots.

It has a strong flavor and higher caffeine content. Overall, the coffee grounds to water ratio for a lungo should be adjusted based on personal taste preferences.


What is a lungo?

A lungo is a coffee brewing method that uses more water than an espresso shot and gives you a different flavor.

How do I make a lungo?

For the popular Lungo recipe, use more water than coffee – this gives it its taste!

Is the Lungo extraction time longer than Espresso?

Yes! The extra time lets the water pull out more flavors from your grounds.

Can I change how strong my Lungo is?

The ‘coffee-to-water’ ratio can change how strong your Lungo tastes. If you want less bitterness, add more water!

Should all of my shots be the same size when making a Lungo?

No, if you like thick coffee, smaller shots work best!

What does changing brewing ratios do to my coffee’s flavor?

Different Coffee brewing ratios will bring out different tastes in your cup!

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.