There is no shortage of coffee drinks in this world but we want to focus on the two different types of espresso.
Espresso and lungo are both derived from the same basic drink called "coffee".
The differences between them come down to a few key factors which we will explore below.
In this Article
What is a lungo?
A lungo is a "long" coffee. A very long coffee. The drink comes from a period of Italian history when coffee drinking was much more widespread and diverse than it is today.
In the 17th century, Italy was one of the most coffee-consuming countries in the world, and every region had its own version of what a “coffee” should be. Lungo was the name given to these different coffees across town and throughout Italy.
Lungo is a way to pull an espresso shot that gives it a less intense but more bitter and smoky taste. The beverage is also made with an espresso machine, and it takes longer to prepare the cup. A lungo takes up to a minute to brew.
The water has more time to saturate the coffee, resulting in a less intense flavor than an espresso. A lungo is two ounces.
A lungo shot of espresso is more bitter than a regular espresso because the longer brewing time extracts a more intense flavor.
Shots pulled for a lungo will have three parts, but there will be less crema. Lungo can also be enjoyed with multiple shots if you prefer.
Pros and Cons of Lungo
- Purer, more true to the original flavor of the bean
- More Water
- Maybe bitter
- Less crema
- Takes longer to pull
What’s an Espresso?
An espresso shot is best described as a soothing and fragrant beverage that's around a half to an ounce. The coffee shot is a very strong but flavorful single-shot espresso.
The flavor of the espresso can be slightly bitter and more intense than other caffeinated beverages, but that’s why it is so popular.
Espresso can also be made into multiple shots for a stronger drink, but some people prefer to enjoy it by itself. An espresso shot consists of three parts: the body at the bottom, the heart in the middle, and a light foam on top.
To make an espresso, we start with our unroasted coffee, which is called a bean. The machine grinds the beans into grounds and then forces hot water through them at high pressure.
This makes a shot of coffee that has a thin layer of foam on top and which sinks pretty quickly. This is not the same as drinking whole milk-based coffee drinks, but it is still delicious in its own way.
Pros and Cons of Espresso;
- Bold, concentrated flavor
- Generally served straight
- Made with less water
- Three layers, with foamy crema
- May be too strong
What is the difference between an espresso and a lungo?
Well, some of the main differences between an espresso shot and a lungo are listed below:
- Espresso takes less water and is, therefore, a stronger drink.
- Espresso has a crema on top of its layer, which comes from the oil of the coffee bean. In contrast, lungo doesn’t have that layer on top.
- The espresso shot is poured into a cup, whereas with a lungo, the drink is generally served straight up in a glass.
- Espresso is usually served at an angle. Lungo is poured straight into the cup.
- Espresso is usually made with a shorter drip time (more coffee is pulled through the machine), which results in the crema on top of the drink. Lungo has little or no crema (the watery layer on top).
- Espresso shot size: espresso 5-15 grams, lungo 4-8 grams
How is a Lungo made?
An espresso machine with a lever to control the pressure of the shot
Lungo is made using an espresso machine, and the process takes up to a minute to make the drink. To start, you need coffee beans. Look at Italian traditional cafes for bean bags and find out what you would like your cup to taste like.
Put a scoop of ground coffee into an espresso machine and put in two or more scoops of water, depending on how weak or strong you want the drink. Close the lid on the espresso machine, and press the button to get it started.
It may take a few tries to get your preferred amount of coffee and water in the perfect cup. You can also add sugar or milk while the espresso machine is warming up.
Put your cup underneath where you are brewing from (or into a carafe) on your espresso machine. Pour out the water as soon as the brewing is finished (do this slowly so you don't spill).
Why might someone prefer a lungo over an espresso?
Usually, people who choose a lungo over an espresso drink have two reasons.
1. Less Concentrated Coffee
The first reason is that they don’t like the concentrated bitter flavor of espresso. They prefer the smoother, less intense taste of the coffee in a long shot.
Espresso tastes strong and maybe too bitter for some people. This is sometimes due to the fact that most espresso machines use extremely high pressure (9 BAR), which extracts more flavor into the shot.
2. The Taste: Bitter is Better
The second reason for choosing a lungo over an espresso is simply that they prefer the taste without any froth on top of their coffee.
Espresso shot froth is made by the water pressure in your machine, while a long shot may have less crema or none at all.
Lungo has a more bitter and smoky taste than espresso. Espresso can be compared to Jasmine tea; the sweet taste of tea with a fragrant taste. Lungo has more of a bitter, smoky taste with a heavy body and texture.
To sum up all the information on the matter of espresso and lungo. You have two types of coffee: espresso, and lungo, which are very different from each other.
Espresso has a stronger taste with crema, while lungo has a more smoky, bitter taste with less body. Espresso is usually served straight up in a shot cup and lungo is usually served in a glass or long cup. If you choose to make your drinks yourself, then you can choose which one will be better for you.
So which one is your favourite? Do you like a small cup of espresso, or do you like a long cup of lungo?
I hope this has helped you in choosing your favourite one, Be sure to come back and let me know which one it is.