What is Lungo Coffee? (All You Wanna Know!)

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Johny Morrisson

If you enjoy coffee, you’ve probably heard about Lungo coffee. The Ristretto, Doppio and now the Lungo are just variations of Espresso.

“Lungo” means “Long” in Italian and is essentially an espresso shot that is brewed longer and with more water. Lungo shots are around 2-3 oz and are often pulled for 40 seconds, which is twice as long as a traditional espresso shot. Consequently, the drink has milder and less concentrated flavors and leaves a bitter aftertaste.

In this article, I’ll explore how Lungo Espresso is made, its flavor profile, caffeine content, and how it differs from standard espresso. I’ll also provide pro tips for pulling a perfect lungo shot to highlight the nuances this unique drink can offer.

Lungo vs Espresso vs Ristretto

A little more about Lungo Coffee

Lungo is believed to have originated in Italy in the mid-20th century when coffee drinkers began to request longer shots of espresso with more water added to create a milder flavor and a longer finish.

The larger volume of the lungo coffee shot results in a drink with a milder flavor and a longer finish. Lungo has a stronger taste than regular coffee but milder compared to an Espresso shot.

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5 from 6 votes

How to Make a Lungo Shot

Here's a step-by-step guide to preparing a perfect Lungo
Total Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 1
Author: Johny Morrisson


  • Coffee grinder
  • Espresso machine
  • Coffee beans


  • 10-15 grams Coffee grounds


  • Choose your coffee beans: Light to medium roast coffee beans are the best choice for brewing a lungo espresso. Dark roasts can produce a bitter and unpleasant flavor.
  • Grind your beans: Grind your coffee beans with a high-quality burr grinder just before brewing, using a little coarser grind compared to traditional espresso shot.
  • Fill your portafilter: Fill your portafilter with enough ground coffee to make a 2-3 ounce shot. The good coffee to water ratio for a lungo shot is 1:3-4.
    Tamp the coffee grounds down firmly to ensure an even extraction.
  • Start the extraction: Start the extraction process on your espresso machine and let the water run through the coffee grounds for approximately 30-40 seconds. This longer extraction time is what distinguishes a Lungo Espresso from a traditional espresso shot.
  • Watch the flow: As the coffee is extracted, pay close attention to the flow rate. You want the coffee to flow smoothly and consistently, without any interruptions or spurts. If the flow is too fast, your coffee will be weak and watery; if it's too slow, your coffee will be bitter and over-extracted.
  • Stop the extraction: Once you've extracted approximately 3-4 ounces of coffee, you'll start noticing the crema layer. At that moment, Stop the extraction process by turning off the machine.
  • Enjoy your Lungo: Serve your Lungo Espresso in a preheated cup and enjoy it on its own, or use it as a base for other coffee drinks like lattes or cappuccinos.

Taste and Flavor profiles of Lungo

A lungo shot tastes less intense and more bitter than a standard espresso. The extra hot water draws out more bitter notes while diluting the body and sweetness. This longer brewing process also results in a thinner crema – the frothy foam that covers the shot’s surface.

I always suggest using Light roasted beans for Lungo coffee as they work exceptionally well with Lungos. The extended extraction time of a lungo, typically around 40 seconds, allows these subtle flavors of light roasts to shine.

Never use dark roasted beans for lungo as the extended brewing time can cause over-extraction and make the taste of your drink overly bitter and burnt.

The taste of lungo coffee

Is Lungo Stronger Than Espresso

Lungo is not stronger than espresso. It is made with twice as much water as espresso, but the same amount of ground coffee. This results in a larger and less concentrated drink with a milder flavor.

Also Read: Why Is Espresso Tasting Bitter

The Caffeine content and calories in Lungo

As Lungo is prepared with the same amount of coffee grounds as a single Espresso shot, the amount of caffeine is almost the same which is around 70-80 mg. Yes, it is slightly higher than standard Espresso as the longer extraction time draws a little more caffeine from the coffee grounds.

The calorie count in Lungo is almost the same as Espresso which is 2-4 calories per serving which is virtually negligible.

However, if you add any additional ingredients to your Lungo, such as milk, cream, or sugar, the calorie content will increase.

Comparison of Lungo with other similar Drinks

Lungo Vs Double Espresso

The main difference between Lungo and Double Espresso is the coffee-to-water ratio. In a double shot, both the amount of coffee grounds and water is doubled compared to a solo shot so the ratio remains the same (1:2). While in a lungo shot, only the amount of water is increased so the ratio increases to (1:3-4).

So, you can say that in a Lungo coffee, the amount of coffee is the same as a single espresso and the amount of water is the same as a double Espresso.

doppio espresso

Lungo vs Ristretto

A lungo is characterized by a long and extended extraction with a 1:3 coffee-water ratio while a Ristretto is extracted quickly with a 1:1 Coffee water ratio, yielding a concentrated shot with bold and syrupy flavors.

Lungo and Ristretto are like the yin and yang of the espresso world, offering distinctly different flavors and experiences.


Read a detailed guide: Long Shot vs Ristretto

Lungo vs Americano

Lungo is made by pulling a longer espresso shot with additional hot water. Americano, on the other hand, is made by brewing a regular espresso shot and then adding hot water afterward.

Both Lungo and Americano are diluted versions of espresso, but there are differences in the taste and texture of both drinks.

Americano Coffee

Also Read: What is Gran Lungo Nespresso

Final Thoughts

Learning about Lungo Espresso has been really fascinating!

I’m a big coffee fan, and I love exploring all the different types of coffee out there. I’ve found that Lungo Espresso is really unique because it’s brewed for a longer time than regular espresso, which gives it a milder taste.

Lungo is a perfect drink to enjoy the delicate and fruity flavors of lighter roasts which are often subdued in the standard espresso brewing process. Whenever I get my hands on a perfect light roast I prefer to brew Long shots rather than standard Espresso shots.

I’d definitely recommend giving it a try and seeing what you think – who knows, it might just become your new go-to coffee drink!

Also Read: What is short black coffee?

Can you put Milk in a Lungo?

Yes, you can certainly add milk to a Lungo Espresso to create a variety of delicious Espresso drinks such as a Latte, Cappuccino, or Macchiato.
The addition of milk can help balance the bitter flavors of Lungo and create a creamier and more textured drink.

What Is The Difference Between Lungo And Long Black?

In a Lungo, the water is passed through the coffee grounds during the brewing process while Long black is a similar drink to Americano, wherever hot water is mixed with freshly brewed standard Espresso shots.
Lungo and Long Black are often confused, but they are quite different in taste and texture.

Does Starbucks do lungo shots?

Yes, you can definitely order Lungo shots at Starbucks. You can enjoy a Lungo on its own or use it as a base for other espresso-based drinks like Cappuccino or various lattes.

Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About. He knows everything there is to know about coffee and loves sharing his passion with others.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.

6 thoughts on “What is Lungo Coffee? (All You Wanna Know!)”

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve always been a fan of espresso, but I’ve never tried Lungo coffee until now. Gonna try it with my favorite Colombian single origin beans

  2. 5 stars
    I’m excited to try pulling a lungo shot with my espresso machine.
    The article provided great insights into the nuances of extracting a longer shot, Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    Lungos are my go-to when I want an espresso-based drink but need a bit more volume. They certainly tastes better than watered down Americanos

  4. 5 stars
    I’m always surprised by how many coffee shops don’t offer Lungos. To me, it’s the perfect compromise between drip coffee and espresso. Thanks for the tips on making Lungo at home!

  5. 5 stars
    My local cafe does an amazing iced triple lungo with a hit of vanilla syrup. Deliciously drinkable!
    I wanna recreate it at home, Thanks for the Recipe!


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