What Is The Difference Between Espresso And Lungo? Essential 6 Points!

The difference between espresso and lungo is that lungo is an Italian word meaning “long”, while espresso is a type of coffee. A lungo is made by brewing espresso for a longer time, allowing more water to pass through the grounds, whereas espresso is made with a shorter extraction time so that less water passes through the grounds. This results in a stronger and more intense flavor for espresso, and a weaker and less intense flavor for lungo.

The main difference between espresso and lungo is a different technique to pull a shot of espresso that gives it a somewhat milder flavoring. This drink is also made with the help of an espresso machine. But it takes much longer to pull a traditional espresso shot. A lungo can go through a full minute to pull. In the aftermath, generates a less intense flavor than a normal espresso as there is more water.

The espresso has a shorter pull than a lungo. A lungo consists of 2 ounces of an espresso shot. In short, a lungo is just the same quantity of coffee used in the making of espresso but requires more water.

So, have you ever entertained the thought of all of the various choices within your favorite cafe’s espresso menu? You may be acquainted with a latte, mocha, cappuccino, or an Americano, but do you really know what makes an espresso separate from a lungo or espresso?

To make matters simple, to pull an espresso shot, there are 3 different ways of utilizing an espresso machine. They are each built on the likewise fundamental ingredients as well as the fundamental formulas. But they stand out in exactly how the process is finished.

Difference Between Espresso And Lungo

  • In a lungo, you have to use twice the quantity of water as an espresso
  • An espresso normally takes from 18 – 30 seconds to pull
  • But lungo uses twice as much water, it takes a near minute to make
  • Lungos are served in large cups compared to espressos
  • Because of using more water, a lungo will not taste as strong and also will taste more bitter compared to an espresso
  • Lungo contains a little bit more caffeine than regular espresso

How To Make Espresso

  1. Espresso requires a very fine grind of coffee and feels a bit like dusty sand
  2. Measure in the coffee. For example, it can be 21 grams
  3. Distribute and tamp carefully to make sure the coffee grind is distributed evenly within the portafilter
  4. Purge the machine to ensure the proper running of water and let the machine clean shots from the previous usage
  5. Pull the shot. The coffee-to-water ratio is 1:2 for espresso
  6. Let the shot pour for 20 – 30 seconds
  7. Clean the machine and serve!

How To Make Lungo

  1. Grind the coffee beans to an even consistency
  2. Take 2 shots of coffee to the portafilter and tamp the beans with 30 pounds of force
  3. Adjust the extraction to up the extraction time to 35 seconds
  4. Pull a double shot of espresso and this should take 20 – 35 seconds to pour fully
  5. Add sugar if you like and serve!

Is Lungo An Espresso?

Lungo is a unique way of making espresso. Over a relatively long period of time, the water being used for lungo is pressed through delicately grounded coffee powder. So various aromatic flavor components are also adjoined to the cup. This ends up in the very robust tasting version of espresso. It has an incredibly high proportion of aroma and taste from the coffee. Also consists of more volume than the traditional espresso cup.

Espresso VS. Lungo For Preparaing Latte

You can brew an espresso shot to kick-start crafting the latte process. A 25 – 40 mL espresso brew size perfect fit for this. Although you can try to craft a latte using a lungo-sized coffee cup that contains 110 mL, made up of water and espresso, it’s going to taste quite runny and will be absent of the creaminess and milky texture of an espresso milk latte. So, it’s best to go for an espresso shot for making a latte rather than a lungo.

Can You Use Lungo Pods For Making Espresso?

This is actually a very important question. No, you should not prepare espresso using any lungo pods or vice versa!

The blends of coffee and their respective tastes are specifically put together with the production length in mind. If you go for super slow extraction with the espresso pod while adding more water to it, will create just a weak and over-extracted espresso. It will not taste the way it was intended. Likewise, it would be unfeasible to extract the complete flavors of the lungo from any other capsules by letting the extraction process go under higher pressure as well as for a shorter period of time.

Ristretto VS. Lungo VS. Espresso

Those who at first glance cannot choose between classic ristretto, lungo, and espresso should try to give a closer inspection at the subtle variations through the taste test. It is primarily the ground level, blend, and roast that creates the difference between the construction methods possible.

The ristretto runs into the coffee cup with a highly fragrant scent within a brief moment. And it does such comprehensively without requiring more or a normal amount of water. Whereas lungo, with the coarse ground, is perfectly made for a longer processing time.

If you compare classic espresso and lungo against ristretto, in terms of their quantity of prepared coffee, the ristretto requires the least amount of coffee in the cup. And the lungo needs the most. The classic espresso falls somewhere in between these two. This also answers why there are so many connoisseurs who regard the ristretto to be the most sophisticated of them all.

Nonetheless, the divergence can be tasted not only by coffee connoisseurs. If you love your espresso, you will definitely soon be good to understand the details of its taste. Provided that you are up to the challenge of enjoying a highly concentrated coffee which is expected for the real Italian ristretto. In contrast, a lungo is a lenient version and less concentrated concoction. Both have their own aromatic benefits.

FAQs On The Espresso VS. Lungo

Which is stronger Espresso or Lungo?

Lungo means “long” in Italian. It is a dissimilar way to pull an espresso shot. It gives a slightly milder taste. Since there it has more water, the beverage is less intense than an espresso.

Can I add milk to Lungo?

Yes, for 40mL of coffee, you can add 20mL of milk into it.

Can I use a Nespresso capsule twice?

Nespresso capsules should only be applied once for the best results. They are designed to be used a single time.

Do I use Espresso or Lungo for a latte?

Using espresso for making a latte is preferable. You can also use Lungo but it will give you over-extracted and weak coffee.


In conclusion to our lungo vs espresso discussion, espresso may be a preferable pick for coffee lovers who are seeking a more bitter cup of joe. Not only a cup of coffee but one that is added with a far more sophisticated range of flavors.

A lungo, on the other hand, may draw the interest of drinkers who favor more marked aromatic flavors with a toned-down bitter aftertaste. All in all, finding the Java you like best may draw down to a process of trial and error. Before finally settling for your go-to morning drink to tide you throughout your hectic day.

Enjoy Your Coffee!

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