The lungo is a long shot of espresso when compared to a standard shot. Lungo ends up having more water in it. You may be able to relate this to an Americano. But lungo ends up with a less intense and more bitter flavor! Let’s dive in to learn more about lungo, how it’s different from espresso and ristretto, and the step-by-step brewing procedure!
Lungo originated in Italy, and it’s simply a longer espresso shot. Traditionally, a single shot of espresso gives you 30ml of coffee. Lungo, on the other hand, produces a 50% longer single shot by allowing the water to run through the espresso for a longer period of time, resulting in 45–50ml of coffee in the cup.
A regular espresso shot is usually an ounce, but a lungo shot is 1 ½ ounce to 2 ounces.
Please keep in mind that, contrary to popular belief, lungo is not a long black. Lungo is robustly bitter because of its tad over-extracted nature, and it’s thinner and lighter. But lungo tastes lighter as it carries more water content than a standard espresso shot.
A lungo is a single shot of espresso made with more water. That’s why it’s served in a bigger cup. “Lungo” means “long” in Italian. So, it’s a long espresso shot. If you’re wondering, alternatively, a short espresso shot is called a ristretto.
Similar But Not Same: Lungo Vs Espresso Vs Ristretto
- A regular espresso shot takes anywhere between 20-30 seconds, a ristretto takes 15-20 seconds, and a lungo shot takes 35-40 seconds.
- A lungo carries 70-80 mg of caffeine, and a double shot of espresso carries 60-70 mg of caffeine. Ristretto has only 63mg of caffeine.
- Ristretto is the smallest of the three (about ½ an ounce). Espresso consists of double shots (2 ounces), and a lungo shot is the biggest, having 1 ½ to 2 ounces in a single shot.
- Ristretto is sweeter and lighter. A lungo is darker, with more bitter notes. Espresso is smack right in the middle, with light and dark notes. A lungo is adored for its additional tasting notes through the long shot.
- A digital measuring scale: For a single shot, use 7-9 grams of coffee grinds, and 14–18 grams for double shots
- A coffee grinder (in case your espresso machine doesn’t have one)
- An espresso machine
- Coffee: the best coffee for your daily lungo is Espresso Roast. It brings the right darkness and bitter flavor.
- The coffee grind should be a bit coarser than a normal espresso grind.
- Fresh filtered water.
Making Lungo Step-By-Step
Grind The Coffee
Grind the coffee until it’s very finely ground. But it should be a tad bit coarser than your normal espresso grind level
Tamp The Grounds
Add the coffee grounds to the portafilter. Use the tamper to press the grounds evenly and press very firmly until they are fully compressed. Make sure that the coffee grounds are even and compact in the portafilter to get the best lungo shot
Pull The Shot
Install the portafilter on the espresso machine. Press the lungo button to pull the shot. If such a function is not available, use the Manual mode. The shot should go on for 35–40 seconds
Tip: It’s not about the set amount, it’s about letting your espresso shot go a few seconds longer than your normal espresso shot.