Because sometimes an espresso shot is just not enough, today we’re making an authentic and perfectly balanced espresso lungo. ‘Lungo’ literally means long in Italian, which basically means this is a tall espresso.
The Lungo has been around forever, at least since espresso machines were invented in the 19th century. I guess we have never covered this before, but here’s what an espresso machine actually does.
An espresso machine ‘shoots’ a jet of hot water through a cake-shaped packet of pressed coffee grounds with a pressure of at least 9 atmospheres to get roughly one ounce of coffee from once ounce of ground coffee. It’s magic.
The three original espresso sizes are the ristretto, the espresso and the Lungo. They all use the same amount of coffee, but each is made with more water than the next. Regularly, an espresso comprises between 1 and 2 ounces, and it takes between 18 and 30 seconds to brew. A lungo takes twice as much time to brew and yields between 4 and 6 ounces of coffee.
A Lungo is obviously less concentrated than an espresso, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s milder, and that’s nice. It’s easy to see why Lungo coffee is almost as popular as espresso.
Isn’t a Lungo just an Americano? Well, not really. The difference between an Americano and a Lungo is that the first one is a shot of espresso topped with hot water; the Lungo is long too, but all the water passes through the ground coffee, so it gets infused with coffee’s flavors and aroma.
This leads us to the next question, is a Lungo the same thing as a double espresso? Not really. A double espresso means the coffee charge is changed twice, so you get two fresh shots of espresso. Al lungo uses the same coffee charge, so it’s still strong, definitely more potent than an Americano, but not as strong as two espresso shots in a single cup.
How to enjoy your Lungo? You can add a splash of milk, and you can undoubtedly sweeten it as much as you want. It makes an awesome iced coffee, too, if you pour it over ice. It’s just perfectly balanced.
Without further ado, let’s make ourselves a proper Lungo. Don’t worry; it’s as easy as brewing a regular espresso, just don’t overdo it. Too much water will dilute your tasty coffee too much. As with other types of coffee, you must find your sweet spot.
Brew your espresso but instead of stopping at one ounce of water, let it drip until you get three ounces of water per espresso shot. Extraction time of around 35 seconds.