How To Make A Lungo Shot
In our humble opinion, we believe that of all the espresso types, the lungo shot gets a bad rap. Yes, it is true that it can be bitter, but any type of espresso or even coffee for that matter can also be as bitter.
Lungo (Italian for “long”) is a coffee beverage made by using an espresso machine to make a longer espresso – a short black (a single espresso shot) with much more water (generally twice as much), which as you might guess will result in a larger coffee.
A normal serving of espresso should take about 18 to 30 seconds to prepare, and should be poured in a 25 to 60 millilitre shot, on the other hand a lungo can take up to a minute, and should be prepared in a 130 to 170 millilitre shot. The extraction time depends on various factors such as the type of coffee beans (usually a blend of Arabica and Robusta), its grind and the pressure of the machine.
Lungo vs. Espresso: What’s the True Difference?
The difference between lungo and espresso is that lungo is basically a “stretched” (longer/taller) version of an espresso.
Additionally, a lungo takes about twice as long to pull as it does to pull a regular espresso.
When making an “espresso lungo”, most people use twice the amount of water as they would when making an “espresso”. An espresso normally takes between 18 and 30 seconds to push out of the machine (the specifics may vary based on the machine, though).
Because about twice as much water is used, it takes longer, about a minute, to make a lungo coffee.
Lungos should be served in large mugs. You will find that this is because the espresso cups are too small and will not fit the amount of coffee that comes out of the machine. Nobody wants to cry over spilt coffee, do they?!
With a lungo the water is more than what is used in an espresso so the coffee wont be so strong. In addition to the above, you will also find that the taste is more bitter. It is due to the fact that more water is passing through the ground coffee during the second extraction process that a more bitter taste develops.
This means that more coffee granules are being filtered and dissolved in the lungo than the espresso. So, if you actually enjoy espressos but have found them a bit too strong for your taste, this might be the drink that you are looking for! Just to let you know, if you are not a fan of bitter coffee, then there is a way to make it better by adding some sugar that will offset the bitterness.
So we have gone over the difference between espresso and lungo. The main difference between an espresso and a lungo is that the amount of water is larger in the case of the latter.
Lungo vs. Americano: What’s the difference?
A lungo is made using an espresso machine and water, much like an Americano. This has made you ask the question as to whether or not a lungo is the same thing as an Americano. The method of making both these coffees may sound the same, but there is actually a big difference. When you make a lungo or any espresso beverage, all of the water is boiled and brewed resulting in a shorter cup.
The way you make an Americano is by adding the water after the espresso has already been pulled from the espresso machine. Americanos usually come in larger cups, and you are free to add as much water to the coffee as you like. The Lungo should be served in a slightly smaller cup because after making it, you don’t need to add any water to drink it. But if you really do so, you may want to keep it in mind that nobody is going to bother or judge you if you do!
Both coffees are made by using ground coffee, that is they are made with ground coffee and roughly the same amount of water. As a result, you will expect them to taste the same. Incorrect. If you add the water after the espresso has been pulled, then you will get a weaker flavor in your coffee. Having the water pass through the ground coffee granules, as it does in a “Lungo”, gives you a stronger tasting coffee. I recommend you use this one for your weekend coffee, it is great for those of you who like strong, dark coffee to kick start your day.
Thus, if somebody asks you whether a lungo is an Americano, you will now know that the answer is no. It is made in its own special way, due to which it creates a taste that is unlike an Americano. It is like strong espresso coffee, but still much longer lasting.
How to make a Lungo
Now that you understand that a lungo is not the same as an Espresso nor is it the same as an Americano, how about making one yourself at home? The method of making this strong dark coffee is not difficult. It does not require too much skill and it is a straightforward process.
Lungo is produced in Italy, so you should prepare it like the Italians cook it. Try adding a little less milk and a bit more water to your usual coffee measure and you will create an alluringly dark, rich coffee that should be enjoyed slowly. And here’s how you can create that traditional Italian Lungo.
These are the items you will need
- Coffee beans — must be of high quality and fresh (between 14-18 g)
- Espresso machine
- Small cup (bigger than an espresso cup but smaller than an Americano cup)
Steps – How To Make A Lungo Shot
- Make sure to grind your coffee beans to an even consistency for best results.
- Two shots of coffee are required to be added to the portafilter of your coffee machine.
- Use around 30 pounds of force to tamp the beans. Make sure that the pressure is level so that the water can pour through evenly.
- In my experience, this should take 20 to 35 seconds to fully pour.